Here’s what a PS5 Slim could mean for the current console generation
The long-rumored PS5 Slim is reportedly going to be released in 2023, making Sony’s console much more compact. However, even if these reports turn out to be true, we need to manage our expectations for the hardware.
We’ve been hearing about a PS5 Slim since nearly as long as we’ve been able to buy a PS5, but according to an anonymous source speaking to The Leak, the compact console will be released in 2023 and will feature a die shrink treatment for a smaller silicon board boasting the same capabilities as the larger console itself. This will mean that not only could the console be smaller and lighter, but also potentially cooler as it would require less voltage.
Rather than release a slim version of the PS5 disc drive model and the All Digital Edition, the PS5 Slim will feature a detachable disc drive, according to a separate report by Insider Gaming. This would save Sony from needing to sell different variants of the console, it could sell a single PS5 model with an optional disc drive attachment.
The removable disc drive would connect to the system through an additional USB-C port on the rear of the machine, and could be purchased separately from the base unit itself, the reported sources say. This would, in theory, give buyers a cheaper all-digital option with the ability to play physical games down the line.
Will we see a PS5 Slim in 2023?
It’s worth remembering that the PS5 originally launched just shy of two years ago on November 12, 2020. However, the semiconductor shortage and manufacturing delays on a whole due to the pandemic have heavily impacted the system’s availability. Despite these setbacks, Sony says it’s sold over 25 million units since launch.
Supply for the PS5 appears to be in a much stronger place now than at any other point in the console’s two-year run. In September, PS5 restocks greatly improved with a 400% year-on-year increase, shipping over 7 million units in that month alone, the largest amount on record at this point. Considering that the console received an internal redesign, complete with motherboard alterations this month, it shows that availability could be healthier.
Popular hardware YouTube analyst Austin Evans unveiled that newer versions of the system featured a smaller motherboard with a revised cooling heatsink with no changes to the externals of the console itself. This means that we could see this board, or a smaller revision of it, featured in the PS5 Slim as the components are already in use in the system as a whole.
What is the PS5 Slim’s place in the market?
If we look back at previous hardware revisions in the PlayStation line, then a PS5 Slim would certainly make sense in 2023. It’s worth remembering that there’s usually a three-year gap between major reworks of the systems themselves. This was true of the PS4 to the PS4 Slim, with the former released in November 2013 and the latter hitting the shelves in September 2016.
Looking back further, the PS3 launched in November 2006 and three years later, in September 2009, Sony released the PS3 slim. The full-fat version of the console was released at a monstrously expensive $599 (£425 / $999 AUD), and largely stunned early adopters due to overheating problems with the dreaded yellow light of death.
Sony fixed those problems with the PS3 Slim and introduced a cheaper price point. This is when the PS3 really became competitive with Microsoft’s Xbox 360, as the console’s relaunch saw a 1000% sales increase, outselling the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360, which it had previously struggled behind, according to The Guardian’s sources from that time.
Will the PS5 Slim be cheaper and more available?
The PS5 Slim is reported to launch in Q3 2023, so sometime between July and September. Based on previous launches, September seems most likely, that’s when Sony released the PS3 Slim and PS4 Slim. If the rumor of the removable disk drive is true, you would hope that the console would be cheaper to reflect that.
Traditionally, Sony’s slim consoles have launched at lower prices than the original consoles. The PS4 Slim was released at $299 (£259 / $439 AUD). The PS3 Slim was a full $300 less than the $599 launch price, and it came with more internal storage and used less power than the original As to whether or not the PS5 Slim will be more affordable remains to be seen.
With stock in such short supply, there’s been no need for retailers to provide PS5 deals or discounts over the last two years, in fact, the PS5 has even gone up in price due to what the company states as a changing ‘global economic environment’ and ‘high inflation rates’.
We’re hoping that the Black Friday PS5 deals could help take the sting out of the price of investment, this is the first year where PS5 stock shortages seem to be less of an issue so there will potentially be savings on console bundles, games, and accessories.
The price increase means the PS5 is more expensive in regions such as the UK, Japan, Australia, Europe, and Canada, with North American pricing remaining unchanged for now. As a frame of reference, the console went from £449.99 to £479.99 in the UK.
That’s an increase of £30 (a percentage increase of 6.66%). Given the fact that the new PS5 Slim is likely to use the 1200 motherboard, or something smaller, we would hope the price is lower than the full-size PS5 but there are no guarantees that Sony won’t keep the price high.
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