For anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with the news or, frankly, just hasn’t left the house much (we get it), you might’ve missed Sony’s announcement of a new, shinier PS5. Sony’s avidly dodging the ‘Slim’ sobriquet, but we’re still going to call a spade a spade. The ‘new’ PS5 is smaller, slimmer and hitting shelves just in time for the holiday season. It’s a PS5 Slim.
Knowing the name won’t do much for those people who can’t decide whether they should hang onto their ageing PS5 or head to the store when the rumoured 10 November release for the Slim goes live. That’s why we’re here.
Getting a facelift
If you’ve ever held the PS5 that launched way back in 2020, you’ll know that it’s a heavy bugger, coming in at 4.5kg. The digital edition of the time is slightly less so, leaving the box at 3.9kg. Every year since, Sony has reduced that figure tremendously, leaving us with PS5 models that weigh 3.2kg and 2.6kg respectively.
This makes the promise of an overall reduction in volume (30%) and a reduced weight of 18% and 24% depending on which console you’re referring to, ironically, a big deal. It’s a change that’s been a long time coming, too. It’s one of the harsher critiques of the original PS5 with the console oftentimes dwarfing the TV it’s surrounding.
Weight and volume reductions aside, Sony’s taken a crack at giving the Slim a facelift. It’s hardly different, and it’s still white, unfortunately, but it’s a far less egregious-looking monstrosity than it was before. It’s an entirely central affair (unless you’ve got the detachable disc drive but we’ll get to that later) and has four separate cover panels. The two on the top have a sort of glossy sheen to them, while the bottom two retain the matte plastic of the first iteration.
“Thank you. That will be R1,500″
Obviously, Sony’s got a couple of cover plates lined up to release in January 2024 to make the Slim look that much more presentable for when guests come over. It’s worth noting the $55 (R1,000) price you’ll need before that happens, though.
If you’d rather not spend to get that right, you can always try standing your PS5 upright. It shouldn’t really be doing that on its own (air vents and all that) without the help of a proper stand. On the ‘old’ PS5, this was never an issue. Right in the box is a customisable horizontal/vertical stand. The PS5 Slim won’t grant you the same courtesy.
Instead, Slim owners are being treated to a singular horizontal stand. Vertical stands are available if you can cough up the necessary (around R560). If it’s any consolation, it’s at least got a metal ring running along the base. Not much relief from that? We didn’t think so.
(Some) New hardware
From the get-go, it might appear as though Sony’s refreshed PS5 isn’t exactly going down well. Don’t get us wrong – we’re stoked about the smaller stature, significantly reduced weight, and ever-so-slight improvement in looks. That level of stokedness doesn’t transcend to the (paid-for) cover plates and vertical stand, though. Perhaps Sony will pay it off in the hardware department?
Yeah, no. This is a PS5 Slim after all. Usually, Sony spits these things out with a little more storage and a redesign and calls it a day. That… hasn’t happened here. It’s sticking with the same 1TB SSD that the original was packing and features an identical AMD “Zen 2” CPU. If you didn’t follow any of that, it means the games won’t look or perform any better on PS5 Slim. If better-looking games are a must, we’d suggest shelling out a few more bucks and getting a PC. Or just hang around until Sony releases the PS5 Pro.
But there have been some hardware changes. Alright, one. But it’s a big one. Rather than forcing people to pick between the Digital or ‘regular’ PS5 which has a UHD Blu-ray Disc Drive already built in, it’s giving customers the choice. Sony is selling a detachable UHD Blu-ray disc drive that you can always pick up later should the urge ever strike.
The PS5 Slim is certainly the better of the two. It may not make your games prettier, but it’s slimmer, slighter, and won’t scare away the townsfolk quite as easily. That doesn’t mean we’re advising you to pick one up right away. We’re also not saying that’s what you should do.
It all depends on the sort of setup you’re already rocking. If there’s a PS5 or Xbox Series X planted next to your TV, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Give it a clean, and it’ll come out looking brand-new, albeit gigantic. If you’re console-less or coming from last-gen… there’s a case to be made for waiting out the clock until the PS5 Slim hits the shelves sometime in November.