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Week in review: Gaming gets small

Sony takes the wraps off its new PS3 Slim game console, which is smaller, lighter, and cheaper. Also: Microsoft and Facebook on the court docket.

Now playing: Watch this: Sony PlayStation 3 Slim

Sony is taking the game console wars down a notch with its new machine's belt size.

The electronics giant finally took the wraps off the much-rumored PS3 Slim and gave it the more affordable $299 price tag consumers have been clamoring for.

Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai performed the unveiling at a press conference Tuesday in Cologne, Germany, preceding the opening of the Gamescom Expo.

The Slim is hitting stores September 1 in North America and Europe. Hirai says the device has the same features and functions as the "old" PS3 but is 33 percent smaller, 36 percent lighter, and comes with a 120GB hard drive.

The PS3 Slim changes the marketplace considerably. Standalone Blu-ray players that offer similar performance to the PS3, like the LG BD390 and Samsung BD-P3600, used to offer some savings over PS3, but now they actually cost a little more. All of this begs the question: how can these standalone players expect us to pay more?

Needless to say, Sony hopes that a trimmed-down--and less expensive--PS3 Slim will similarly invigorate sales of the PlayStation 3, which has lagged behind the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Xbox 360 and has taken some of the luster off the PlayStation brand (even though earlier versions of the PS3 received high marks from this publication). Here is CNET's official review of the PS3 Slim.

More headlines

Microsoft asks for stay of Word injunction

The software maker also asks an appeals court to quickly hear an appeal of the order, which threatens to halt sales of Microsoft Word in its current form.

Users file privacy lawsuit against Facebook

Complaint alleges that the social-networking site is violating California consumer privacy laws by disseminating private information to third parties for commercial purposes.
•  Facebook privacy lawsuit 'a jumbled mess'

Three men indicted in largest U.S. data breach

Florida man accused of stealing credit card data from TJX is among those named in breach involving Heartland, 7-Eleven, Hannaford Brothers, and others.

It's official: MySpace to acquire iLike

CEO Owen Van Natta said in a conference call that the News Corp.-owned social network has agreed to purchase the social music site, following rumors.
•  Does iLike price show cost of Facebook dependence?
•  Source: iLike to debut downloads on Facebook app

Coalition to challenge Google Books settlement

The Internet Archive is reportedly forming a coalition of tech giants to be led by veteran Silicon Valley attorney Gary Reback.
•  Challenge to Google Books settlement focuses on class actions

Justice Dept. approves Oracle's Sun buy

With the federal government giving its nod, the biggest remaining hurdle is getting the OK from the European Commission.

Facebook disables 6 rogue apps, but 5 more appear

A handful of unwelcome applications were sending Facebook users to a phishing site, stealing passwords, and then spamming users' friends.
•  Rogue Facebook apps steal log-in data, send spam

Budget PC brands see biggest gains in consumer satisfaction

Compaq and Gateway gain ground in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index, but Apple maintains a wide lead.
•  Search satisfaction high as Google rules the group

Also of note
•  Apple Store has retrofurbished iPods
•  CBS to run video ad in magazine this fall
•  Hacker Mitnick may sue AT&T over data breach