Sony has today confirmed that the Playstation 2 is getting an exciting new smaller, sleeker, redesign. This is news enough, but Sony further advised that the model, designated SCPH-70000 CB is due for release in Europe on 1st November 2004.

The new, as yet unnamed model (don't rule out it being called the PStwo), has been hinted at on the web for a few weeks now. Much of the speculation has centred on what style the new console would adopt. Those expecting a PSone-type model will be disappointed, as the new iteration is the same as the original PS2, albeit much smaller and lighter. However, there are a couple of key differences; firstly, the new design has a network adapter in-built, at the expense of having an external power supply. Interestingly enough, the other major change has been hinted at before today, in game manuals, no less; the keen-eyed will have noticed that contained among the PS2 layout graphic in the instructions for both Burnout 3 and Sly Racoon 2 is the following message -

"Illustration may not match all PlayStation 2 console types. For owners of SPCH-70000 series PlayStation 2 systems, refer to the setup instructions supplied with your system."

And the reason for the intriguing statement? It's because the SCPH-70000 CB is a top-loader! The console can still be positioned vertically, using the circular base-stand, although it could pose interesting placement issues in home set-ups that are bereft of width.

Sony have not yet confirmed pricing, although pure speculation would put the SCPH-70000 CB between £100.00 - £150.00.

More details can be found at the Sony Computer Entertainment Europe site.