For the past few months we’ve been hearing rumors about a slimmer, and potentially cheaper, version of the PlayStation 3. Alleged images of the console started making the rounds back in May, followed by a cease and desist letter, which ironically gave rumors a bit more credence. Things quieted down for a while, with no mention of the console at E3, but speculation is once again running rampant.

Somewhat coinciding with a report from Ars Technica last week, the Economic Daily News claims Sony indeed finalized a new PS3 form factor and has already awarded Foxconn and Pegatron with manufacturing contracts. They also assert the units are slated to be delivered this month, although that seems less plausible since it would give Sony and retailers no time to clear out both the 80GB and 160GB models – Ars’ fall release prediction is more likely due to this reasoning.

Of course, Sony could also align the pricing on current models to sell the slimmed-down version concurrently. Whatever the case may be, for now you should take this for what it is – a rumor.