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PlayStation 3 Model Guide: PS3 Model List and Comparison

Updated: Jan 30, 2023 3:33 pm
Playstation 3 Model Guide PS3 Model List Comparison

Console variations weren’t always so clear and obvious, so we’ve put together this useful PlayStation 3 model guide. Here you’ll find a list of PS3 models, with a comparison – just to show you how they differ. Unlike the PS4 and PS4 Pro, the difference in models may not be as clear cut as you’d hope. Differences can make or break your experience either way, so let’s get into this PS3 model guide.

There are PS3 models that have PS2 backwards compatibility while others don’t. Some models have more storage capacity while others have less but boast better performance. Oh, and newer models weren’t always the best. It was just all messed up.

Don’t worry though; this is why we painstakingly created this PS3 model guide. So, whether you’re looking to pick up a PS3 and enjoy some (by now) retro gaming, or just dust off your old console and figure out which model you own, this guide is for you.

Despite all the PlayStation 3 model differences, all PS3 models have the following constants:

The Different PS3 Models

Before we look at the broken down long list of model numbers, features, prices, colors, and everything that makes up each PS3 model number, let’s first talk briefly about the 3 different PS3 models:

Original PS3 Model (Phat)

In November 2006, Sony released the original PS3 “Phat” model. It was named so because it was bulky and heavy. This system not only played PS3 games (duh!), but also supported PS1 and PS2 titles.

There were different hard-drive sizes circling the model and it ranges from 20GB, 40GB, 60GB, 80GB, and 160GB versions.

The “Phat” PS3 models can be identified by its thicc curves, or if you’re more of a numbers guy, then you could use the following model numbers:

The “Phat” PS3 models


PS3 Slim Model

Sony then started releasing the slim model in September 2009. It got its name because this is 32% smaller and 36% lighter than the “Phat” model. Aside from that, it also consumes 33% less power than its predecessor. As far as backward compatibility is concerned, this only supports PS1 games.

This system came in 120GB, 160GB, 250GB, and the 320GB variants.

The PS3 Slim models have the following model numbers:

The PS3 Slim models


PS3 Super Slim Model

Three years after the Slim model was released, Sony decided its long-lived PS3 was still not thin enough, and thus the Super Slim model was released in September 2012. This is 25% slimmer and 20% lighter than the Slim model. Like the Slim model, this also supports PSone games.

One of the obvious changes is the sliding disc cover instead of the traditional slot-loading drive. This version only has 2 variants, unlike its predecessors– the 250GB and the 500GB versions.

The Super Slim PS3 models are distinguished by the following model numbers:

The Super Slim PS3 models


How Do I Find My Sony PS3 Model Number?

Locating the model and serial number on your PlayStation 3 is easy. Just check the back of the system and find the barcode. Underneath it should be the 11-digit serial number. Next to it is the model number, which usually starts with “CECH”.

The Phat model

PlayStation 3 Model Comparison Table

PS3 “Phat” Mode

20 GB60 GB80 GB40 GB40 GB80 GB160 GB
Release DateNov-06Nov-06Aug-07Nov-07May-08Sep-08Nov-08
Launch Price$499$599$599$399$599$399$499
Available ColorPiano Black/BlackPiano Black/ChromePiano Black/ChromePiano Black/Satin SilverGunmetal Grey/Satin SilverPiano Black/Satin SilverPiano Black/Satin Silver
Cell Fab Process90nm90nm90nm65nm65nm65nm65nm
GPU Fab Process90nm90nm90nm65nm65nm65nm65nm
Power Consumption180W180W180W135W135W110W110W
USB Ports4442222
Flash Card ReaderNoYesYesNoNoNoNo
Bundled Accessories
Ethernet CableYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
Video CableComposite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)
GamepadSixAxisSixAxisSixAxisSixAxisDualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3
Playstation 2YesYesSoftwareNoNoNoNo
The Slims model

PS3 Slim model

120 GB CECH-2001A250 GB CECH-2001B120 GB CECH-2101A250 GB CECH-2101B160 GB CECH-2501A320 GB CECH-2501B160 GB CECH-3001A
Release DateSep-09Oct-09Mar-10Mar-10Jul-10Jul-10Jul-11
Launch Price$299$349$299$349$399-$399
Available ColorCharcoal BlackCharcoal Black/White and PinkCharcoal BlackCharcoal Black/White and PinkCharcoal Black/Classic White/Satin Silver/Titanium Blue/Magical GoldCharcoal Black/Classic White/Splash Blue and Scarlet Red/Satin Silver/Black and Pink/GoldCharcoal Black/Classic White/Satin Silver/Titanium Blue/Magical Gold
CPU Fab Process45 nm45 nm45 nm45 nm45 nm45 nm45 nm
GPU Fab Process65 nm65 nm40 nm40 nm40 nm40 nm40 nm
Power Consumption250W250W230W230W230W230W200W
USB Ports2222222
Bundled Accessories
Ethernet CableYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Video CableComposite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)
GamepadDualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3
Playstation 2NoNoNoNoNoNoNo
PS3 Super Slim model

PS3 Super Slim model

12 GB CECH-4001A250 GB  CECH-4001B500GB CECH-4001C12 GB  CECH-4201A250 GB CECH-4201B500 GB CECH-4201C12 GB CECH-4301A
Release DateOct-12Sep-12Sep-12Jun-13Jun-13Jun-13May-14
Launch Price$260+$270$300$260+$270$300$260+
Available ColorCharcoal Black/Azurite Blue/Garnet RedCharcoal Black/Azurite Blue/Black and Gold/Black and White/Black and Blue/Classic White (Japan)Charcoal Black/Classic White (Japan, Europe/North America/Garnet Red/Azurite BlueCharcoal Black/Azurite Blue/Garnet RedCharcoal Black/Azurite Blue/Black and Gold/Black and White/Black and Blue/Classic White (Japan)Charcoal Black/Classic White (Japan, Europe/North America/Garnet Red/Azurite BlueCharcoal Black/Azurite Blue/Garnet Red
CPU Fab Process45 nm45 nm45 nm45 nm45 nm45 nm45 nm
GPU Fab Process40 nm40 nm40 nm40 nm40 nm40 nm40 nm
Power Consumption190W190W190W190W190W190W190W
USB Ports2222222
Bundled Accessories
Ethernet CableYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Video CableComposite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)Composite (Analog)
GamepadDualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3DualShock 3
Playstation 2NoNoNoNoNoNoNo

Phat vs Slim vs Super Slim: Which is the Best?

It’s hard to discern which is the best console because they all boast different features that may or may not be in line with your needs or interests. Moreover, it is worth knowing the model numbers to look for or avoid since the hard drives can be replaced thus meaning capacity isn’t a great way to differentiate between models. So let’s (semi-)quickly compare them.

The “Phat”

The original “Phat” PS3 may not be as sexy as its successorsalthough we still think big bottom consoles make the world go round– but the original CECHB01 (20GB) and the CECHA01 (60GB) models– released in November 2006– have backward compatibility for both PS1 and PS2 games (Although, the original 20GB model didn’t have built-in wi-fi for some reason?). All of the later “phat” models, like the CHECG01 and CECHK01, and all of the Slim and Super Slim variants were only able to play PS1 titles.

Just to clarify– since this is likely why most readers are here:

  • Is the CECHG01 backwards compatible? No.
  • Is the CECHK01 backwards compatible? No.
  • Is the CECHL01 backwards compatible? No.
  • Is the CECHE01 backwards compatible? Yes… sorta. It uses software emulation instead of hardware emulation and the results aren’t pretty.

Aside from that, earlier “phat” models have 2 more USB ports, as well as other storage ports like SDIO/MMC, Compact Flash, Memory Stick, and SD cards.

It can also be jailbroken, so you could add more features like debug tools and install packages. But even so, it still is more vulnerable to overheating, which is why a lot of these models get the dreaded Yellow Light of Death or YLOD.

The Slim

A lot of consumers tagged the slim model as the best among the three while others said that it shouldn’t have been released in the first place because it doesn’t have the backwards compatibility of the earliest PS3’s.

However, it definitely boots faster and is quieter than the “Phat” models and it takes up less space compared to its fat predecessor, a reason why a lot of consumers praised the slim.

Unfortunately, some of the slim models still have the dreaded YLOD problem. This is why a good number of slim consumers decided to buy a fan dedicated only to the slim to address the overheating problem. To add to that, other slim models have problems recognizing dual layered discs, too. This was only a small fraction of users, but it’s still worth considering when dipping into the secondary market.

It does support Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, which lets you hear better audio quality compared to the “phat” models and it can also be jailbroken, too.

The Super Slim

The Super Slim may not be as feature-rich as the “phat” but it is the best when it comes to power consumption (Probably about 5 cents less per month? You could probably buy a stick– not a pack– of gum with that!). Regardless, this means you have little to no chances of encountering the dreaded YLOD.

Aside from the size, you’ll also notice that the disk tray is now located at the top with a slide-to-open cover feature.

Moreover, releasing 6 years after the original phat models and three years after the original Slim models, this is significantly younger, which is something worth considering for legacy hardware– consoles or otherwise.

Like the slim, this supports Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and an HDMI control that automatically turns the TV on when you turn the console on. While this does have PS1 compatibility, it doesn’t have PS2 backward compatibility.

Also, even though this can now be jailbroken, I still don’t advise it since users had problems afterwards with their display not recognizing the console, games didn’t work, and failed installation.


Because they all have different features, it’s hard to say which is best– especially since our needs and wants are very subjective. Early phat models may support PS2 games, but they were also released in 2006. That is an extra 6 years of wear and tear, dust and grime that PS3 Super Slims have not had to fight through.

But at the end of the day, it still boils down to how well you take care of your PS3 (and a little luck on getting quality hardware and materials?) that defines the longevity of the system.

Which PS3 model did you have and how well did they serve you through the years? Tell us down the comments!

51 thoughts on “PlayStation 3 Model Guide: PS3 Model List and Comparison”

  1. Sally

    Hi I hoping I have an old Sony playstation serial number 08-27430417-0857893-CECHCO2,
    Can anyone help me with yhe set-up of it please

  2. Marie

    Hi, im trying to find out whitch ps3 i have. The model no. Is CECHL04 . The outputs that exist are: AV MULTI OUT, DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) ,HDMI OUT ,LAN , AC IN and two USB in front. Hopefully someone here knows and will answer me. Thanks!

  3. Kendall

    Heyy everyone, I have a marvelous PS3 super slim that’s still as fresh as a daisy and I’ve taken such care to make sure it’s playability will hold up to the test, because Tbh it’s all I have I have no internet no streaming just my phone and my PS3 with dark souls I can’t afford what some may consider small luxury’s like affording a PS4 I can’t and I’ve been completely helpless lost everything all I want is to keep my family fed and help them and many life bombs came all at once Soo ya here I am but I must say that I am grateful for my family and for what I have which is a brokedown car a PS3 and a phone I’ve came close to selling it many times but I just feel the worth of it is far more than what people offering and game stores like gm games sell ps3’s high dollar Soo why do they merely offer not even a fraction of that, the system is fallible,broken, but point is thank you to any one who may try and wish me well or prayer to a higher power.whatever it may be you do,I will do the same for you as I do all anyways and just wish me luck in this troubling situation in the backwards small ignorant town I’ve been stuck in far to long!! PS4,I shall have you one day!! 😌

  4. Alik

    Hi guys please help me out here
    I just got myself PS3 with 3 gaming joysticks and remote control.
    My console is the one slides at the top
    And you ready for this?…
    Model no CECH-4302A . Now could anyone please tell me which one do I have???
    How many GBt’s slim , phat or super slim??
    Please HELP!

  5. Robbie Walkington

    I have the power cord but need the controller for ps3 modelcech2503b and what ever else I need could you please give me a price for it all the things I need for it to play thanks,

  6. Jamskool

    Hi everyone to be honest I myself love the 3 or 4 version that Sony came out for the playstation my self. Kind of like the ps one but to a point it was to light. Also loved the Ps2 systems Now the Ps3 System was crazy for having way too many version of the system. Now I wish that Sony the Ps4 the way it was. When they was about to start building it. But like they said. They had to really down grade it from $1k to about where folk’s could afford it under $700 but the first Ps4 setup blueprints would been the bomb. Thank you all for taking the time to read this. Sign Mr.James

  7. LS

    I have a PS3 model # CECHP01…. It won’t play disc games….. What disc drive replacement can I use?

  8. Saundra Claman

    GTA 5 money instrument be real sluttish to add to your friend’s record without beingness patterned by the line admins.

  9. Kevin Mallon

    Hi Someone just gave me a PS3 system complete is this able to play PS1&PS2
    games the serial number is CECH 2101B

  10. Manny E

    i got a ps3 top sliding door disk loader, with serial number CECH-4001B. Is mine compatible with ps2 and ps1 games?

  11. Zackary

    I have a Cech-A01 runs whisper quite got it New thermal paste anyways seeing as these systems are getting pretty old. I love it played it more then the ps4 during quarantine.

    Now that I got a Pre-Order for the Ps5 I sold the ps4 but never will give up my phat ps3 its the ultimate sony console still because it plays 3 generations of systems.

  12. Holly Kattenberg

    I have a PS3, the number on the back is CECH2502A- is this a PS3 slim?

    • chees


    • Dylan Richards

      Hi Holly,

      The PS3 model number CECH-2502A corresponds to a 160 GiB PlayStation 3 Slim.



      • Nathan cook

        How can it before a slim line I’m looking at mine now has same model number cech-2502a but its huge bug fat ps no way it’s a slim lol

  13. Lynne

    I’ve just stripped down & cleaned my sons old PS3 ‘phat’ because it was overheating. It’s now spotless and I’ve applied new thermal paste. Put it all back together and it’s running like a dream. Currently leaving it playing Fifa for a few hours to see if I’ve cured the overheating.
    Model number is CECHK03. Can anyone tell me if this model is backwards compatible please


      I just bought a phat pse that will not come on how do you apply the thermal paste.

    • Blake

      Lynne, it’s not backwards compatible for PS2. But do some research. There are ways. Mine wasn’t compatible but I’ve since changed that.

    • Jordan Serson

      The original ps3 (phat)plays all 3 versions of playstation. It’s the only ps3 that can play all 3 games for each system from playstation.

  14. Elena

    Got a CECHLO1 from 2009, is it backwards compatible? I play ps1 games on there cuz I still mostly have a ps1 still as well and that works.

    • Hi Elena,
      Heres an article I found on PS3 compatibility with PS1 games: https://support.playstation.com/s/article/Play-PSone-and-PlayStation-2-Games-on-a-PlayStation-3?language=en_US

      All PlayStation®3 systems can play most PS One games.
      Certain PS3™ systems have the ability to play disc-based PlayStation®2 software titles (backwards compatible).
      All PS3™ systems have the ability to play downloadable PS One and PlayStation®2 Classics available from the PlayStation™Store.
      So this PS3 should play most PS One games, but some might not work. It can’t play PS2 games from disc – but it can play PS2 games downloaded digitally from PlayStation Store.

  15. Afir

    I have a ps3 slim that my uncle bought.It still works fine after 8 years in storage.it does not suffer from any problem.

  16. mettao

    I’m an older woman stuck in the house with Covid 19 pandemic and decided to get back into gaming after many, many years:) can you say “Commodore:)” Anyway just bought a bunch of piece meal parts and plan on throwing it all together but would like a manual to get started..can anyone help me out? I don’t want to have to print out 50 pages but I would pay something for one? I need a Manual for a Phat PS3 80 GB console running 3.4..1 firmware and can provide more info if you need it. Says manuf in 2007. Appreciate any help, thx.

    • Bruh Moment

      unfortunately, probably not. you can most likely find a digital PDF copy of the instructions manual online. just search what you want on Google with the keywords and “PDF” and you should be able to find a copy.

  17. shaun johnson

    Serial number is cechho1 which you don’t mention. Bought it on eBay. Seller said it was a 40 gig. Sony PlayStation 3 PS3 Original Fat Console Controller, When I put a PlayStation 2 game it said it is noT compatible. Also no front door on left side for storage cards. Do you know of this model?

    • Bruh Moment

      you have the later fat model. these ones were released to save on manufacturing costs. unlike the earlier fat models, these ones do not have a PS2 Emotion Engine chip inside, and have no way of playing PS2 games. These were released in 2008, I believe.

  18. Alex

    I have my 320GB Ps3 Slim for almost 10 years now. I’ve opened it a few days ago and it wasn’t even dirty inside. I have also bought a Ps3 Super Slim recently, which i also like a lot. And I have the fat 80gig model, that has the YLOD. I like all of them, but the Slim is my favourite, partly because like i said, I’ve had it for 10years now.

    • Saeid

      Hi,mee toooooo i like my slim and i have ylod phat

  19. atranfanatic

    I have the CECH-AO1 60 gb model. I won it on Ebay in Feb. of 2016 from an adult collector CIB with 7 great games that came with it. It already had 5 extra fans on the right side that matched the console with the chrome and black. And then I added 4 more fans to the front for extra cooling. So total with the stock fan, it is running on 10 fans. Also I upgraded it to a 1tb hard drive, as I filled the 60gb of space quite quickly. lol

  20. Glenn Foster

    I’m not shur what ps3 I have I need help

  21. Mike beatty

    I have a super slim that suddenly lost WiFi and Bluetooth connections. Since then I’ve been using a phat CECHK model that runs hot. The super slim model was giving code (8002F1F9) stuck on update loop. I was able to end the loop by replacing CR 2032 battery on the circuit board but did not bring WiFi back to working order. I did not replace the thermal paste yet either but want to know if there’s anything else I can try besides re-balling the wireless card/ replacement.

    • John

      Sounds like you just need to replace the Bluetooth/Wifi board. Not too hard to do. I think they run about $30. While you’re taking it apart, go ahead and replace that thermal paste too. Better to do it while you’re already in there.

      • J

        I lost the same functionality. Know of any tutorial help on how to replace this board? I can’t find anything in-depth and I’m not the best at replacing things on my own 🙂

  22. Brent

    You kinda skipped out on the 2008 models. Im assuming it has a 160gb drive? Model Number CECHL01 made in 08. I havent plugged it in yet. Its all refurbished from what im understanding. Is there anything in picticular about this model worth noting? I bought it for a hundred bucks 2 years ago It came with all kinda of stuff. 4 controllers a camera and some other stuff so it was worth buying at the time and I havent even played any games on it. Works great. I actually didnt know it played ps1 and 2 games so bonus I guess. Here in NH goodwill sells refurbed game consoles and computer parts and games @ 5 bucks a piece..

    • John

      HL01 doesn’t play PS2 games.

  23. Emily

    How do you take a part the super slim ps3

  24. Hrg

    I have super slim.Is any of this model have variation in gaming performance? or it’s all same in gaming,coz i been having issues with frame rates in certain games.Maybe phat is most powerful of 3 and some games might not run smoothly on less powerful variant

    • John

      Performance should be the same across the board. However, the game you’re having issues with could be the problem. Games that released near the tail end of that generation pushed the PS3 to the limits. A game that gave me trouble was GTA V. Which should have never released for PS3.

  25. Arthur

    i have a slim ps3, the game i bought on PlayStation store is 8gb y ps3 when i check the system info says it has 16gb/111gb what should i do???

  26. Anton

    I recently bought fat PS3 model CECHG which has no memory card slots and only two USB ports. It also had a 40Gb Hitachi HDD with I replaced with 750Gb Samsung I had on hand, and it works fine. PS2 backwards compatibility was achieved by changing firmware to REBUG 4.84.2, and my console in it’s current state was able to play every PS1 and PS2 games I threw at it. There’s still an overheating problem which I intend to resolve with thorough cleaning and thermal paste replacement.

    • Good work Anton, it sounds like you should be working at Sony!

    • Henry

      What’s thermal paste replacement, how is it done

      • Brent

        Thermal paste goes between the heatsink on your cpu and the top of the cpu. Good thermal paste will help cpu run cooler . I can also be used for video cards and chipsets between the heatsinks and the component. Water cooling blocks also, you dont put it on like frosting lol just enough to do what it does. good videos on you tube to show how its done correctly. Yes you can blow up your stuff if you dont do it correctly.

  27. G

    My PS3 Fat 40GB lasted 7 years of heavy use until the disc drive failed. I’ll get it repaired someday. I’ve used the super slim ever since. No issues.

    • Hey G, always a sad day when they go. Ever considered a PC?

  28. frank

    Is it even worth repairing? Where would be best to send to? I have 2 and one overheats and the other has no picture issue.

  29. Arthur Casey

    I have 3 backwards compatible ps3 consoles but they all don’t work because they overheat would it be worth it for me to send to you for repair?

    • Juzel Albert Padilla

      Hi Arthur! How are you? Unfortunately, we don’t do repairs 🙁

    • Mike

      Send me your ps3’s I’ll repair All three of them at a fraction of the costs of Sony or anyone else for that matter! Gives me something to do with my extra stay in the house Covid 19 virus orders

      • Carl

        Can you fix psp’s? I got the first model and the disc drive is making loud ass screeching noises. Lemme know if you see this.

      • David Keller

        My PlayStation 3 Phat model # CECHE01 no longer reads the disk. Everything else seems fine. Is this something that you could fix?

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