With rumors circulating about a new PS5 Slim, we break down the potential upcoming revision to Sony’s current console.
In a report from Insider Gaming’s Tom Henderson, Sony is planning their inevitable hardware revision for the PlayStation 5 sometime this year. The big changes include a potential detachable disc drive, which has taken some by surprise.
While this is all speculation right now, Henderson’s track record is solid enough that we believe this could be the case for Sony’s console going forward. However, with any leak, take everything with a pinch of salt.
PS5 Slim hardware changes: Detachable disc drive, new chassis
According to the report, the new PS5 Slim will feature a detachable disc drive and new chassis. As of right now, the PS5 features either a full disc drive version or the cheaper, diskless, and digital-only edition.
It could be presumed that this leaked ‘PS5 Slim’ would achieve its smaller size by eliminating the disc drive entirely in favor of an external one. This would give Sony the option to completely cut down on the gangly design that the current versions have opted to use.
While necessary for heat dissipation of the internals, the PS5 was criticized for being far too big when it was revealed and launched.
Our particular hope is for the rounded top of the PS5 to be eliminated and back to the flat PS4 aesthetic so that the device can have things sat on top of it again.
To support the external drive, Sony would apparently include an additional USB-C port on the device, which we assume would also double as the input and output for the upcoming PlayStation VR2 headset.
Current PS5 revision
Recently, the PS5 got a revision. While this happens frequently in hardware, the PS5’s changes were particularly interesting as Sony changed the internal layout of the device. This lightened the load by 300 grams and 200 grams on the Digital Edition.
The changes would also presumably help Sony fight off the ongoing semiconductor shortages after the last few years scuppered production. By eliminating the disk drive, resources could be put into generating as many consoles as possible and selling the disc drive on its own.
We fully expect the price of the next version of the PS5 to be much cheaper than its older sibling. While the price of the PS5 has recently increased, the PS3 and PS4 Slim brought with them a much cheaper price point to move additional units during the mid-life cycle.
Comparing the PS3’s original launch price of $599, the reduction to the Slim version was a launch price of $299. While we don’t expect it to reach that far, we do expect Sony to gun for the Xbox Series S a little more, which currently retails for $249.
However, Sony won’t release a console that eliminates performance and would be able to factor in a cost reduction as PCIe 4.0 drives, and the AMD parts inside get cheaper sometime next year. It’s also been reported that the new version of the PS5 will feature the exact hardware the current version supports.
Moving the drive to an external option would also allow for Sony to not completely eliminate their disc sales, which a majority of PS4 and PS5 games are still sold through. This could possibly put the new iteration of the PS5 against the Xbox Series S and X at the same time.
It is currently reported that a bundle will exist, or it’ll be sold separately. However, it does remind us of the Xbox 360’s HD-DVD drive, which had to precariously sit on or next to the console to play the short-lived red top alternative to Blu-Ray.
Will the PS5 Slim be more powerful?
Tom Henderson of Insider Gaming, who originally sparked the news surrounding the console, has recently reported that the PS5 Slim won’t actually be more powerful in any capacity.
This should be known news, as this happened with each of the previous Slim versions. In fact, for the PS3, features were removed from the newer console like PS2 backward compatibility and Linux support.
It would also fracture the player base too much. As with the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, if the games are to be released on the platform, they need to work across the board. This would presumably continue with the PS5 Slim, which would probably – as mentioned above – feature the same parts, but be cheaper on Sony’s end.
When would the new PS5 model launch?
According to Tom Hendersen’s report, Sony is looking at a potential September 2023 launch date for the new version of the PlayStation 5.
The PS5 itself launched in 2020, with a 2023 launch putting it in line with the previous console generations. The PS4 Slim and the first iteration of the PS3 Slim, were both launched three years after their inception.
Meanwhile, the PS2 Slim was launched in 2004, four years after the original, and the PS One was launched nearly six years after its first release in 1994.