It’s at around this point in a console’s life cycle that companies like to release a new, slim model to reinvigorate sales, cut costs, and experiment with a new design. Sony has been trimming down its home consoles since the PS2, with each home console getting a slimmer, sometimes cheaper replacement a few years after launch. We’re closing in on the PlayStation 5’s third birthday and rumors abound about both a PS5 Pro and a PS5 Slim model, and yet Sony’s remained tight-lipped about any iterations on the base unit. Still, some of these rumors and potential leaks may hold some weight and are fun to follow regardless to see how accurate they end up being.
Before getting into the rumors and leaks, know that until Sony itself confirms the existence of a PS5 Slim, everything that follows is speculative and should be taken as such.
The first rumors of a new PS5 model centered around a diskless version that could be paired with a detachable disk drive you could buy separately in another step away from physical media. This was speculated to be coming out sometime in fall 2023, but has been rolled into the idea of the PS5 Slim. This potentially imminent release date also lines up with statements Microsoft made about a new PS5 Slim releasing this year for $400 during the Federal Trace Commission (FTC) hearing.
Adding more fuel to the fire is the claimed leaked video from X (formerly known as Twitter) user BwE_Dev, who claims to be showing off the casing for a PS5 Slim.
The shape looks nearly identical to the base model, but with a noticeable slot where many speculate the detachable disk drive would be able to slide in and out, as well as a diagonal cut in the white cover. It also appears to have two USB-C ports in the front, as opposed to the single one on base units. According to the leaks, the Slim will be about 5 centimeters shorter than the base units.
As for the price, that’s where things get tricky. Again, Microsoft seems to think the unit will come in at $400, which is the current U.S. price for the Digital Edition of the PS5. Normally, slim units also launch at a lower price due to parts being cheaper to make and more efficient as time goes on. For example, the PS4 originally sold for $400, and the PS4 Slim was released at $300. What makes this situation a little different is that in most territories, Sony actually raised the price of both PS5 units. Unfortunately, that leads us to trust that this new Slim model won’t be any cheaper in the U.S. at least, but perhaps it will bring the price back down to parity in other territories where it was raised.
As far as new features, aside from the slot for a new detachable disk drive that you would no doubt have to buy separately, don’t expect the PS5 Slim to have any power improvements like a PS5 Pro would. At best, you could expect it to be more energy efficient, less prone to overheating, and perhaps quieter. While this is still a complete guess, we would also assume it would work with all the current PS5 accessories, such as the PSVR 2 and the upcoming Access Controller. What we’re curious about is if any of the new faceplates will be compatible with the smaller design, especially with the noticeable slit running along the middle.
If the plan really is to launch a PS5 Slim in the fall of this year, Sony would need to make an official announcement soon to let the public know and begin preorders. As soon as the PS5 Slim becomes a reality, we’ll update you on the facts.