The firm has reportedly drawn up plans for the slimmer PS3 4000 series, which could be announced at gamescom in Germany next month, reports Eurogamer.
The documents were filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and show how the new model measures up against older, bigger versions.
Sony is yet to comment on the latest rumors, but did hint at a slimmer PlayStation 3 earlier this year.
"We should never say never - hardware guys are always looking at ways to make things cheaper, smaller," said Sony's Shuhei Yoshida last month.
The PlayStation 3 first launched in 2006, with a slim redesign arriving in 2009.
In the past, Sony has created slimmer and cheaper versions of its hardware close to the release of a new system to help drive sales and build an audience that can upgrade to the newest hardware. The strategy was used with both the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2.
With rumors that Sony's next home console could release next year, it would follow the company's pattern to come out with a more compact PlayStation 3.
Picture gallery - PlayStation 3 Slim: