Sony just released the new PS5 variant which fans have unofficially dubbed the PS5 Slim. PlayStation has been trying to reach 25 million unit sales by the end of this fiscal year, which is why this newly launched variant came with Black Friday bundles which include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or Spider-Man 2 for free while keeping the previous price tag of 500 USD.
To state it plainly, the PS5 Slim only includes added storage as a real upgrade and fans will be disappointed to see that Sony did not include newer revisions other than simply making the SKU of the model smaller. During previous generations, fans were incentivised to upgrade to the newer variants of PS2, PS3 and PS4 for added benefits like better thermals and the omission of other hardware issues present in the launch models. However, that is not the case here. The PS2 Slim was *considerably* smaller than the fat variant and included an added ethernet port. It solved big thermal issues present in the fat variant while also changing the design language of PS2. PS3 Fat was prone to hardware failures fixed in the slim variant and PS4 Fat had overheating issues, leading to fans terming its fan’s volume as if ‘a jet is firing up’. The PS4 Slim variant directly addressed this problem and after-market solutions like changing the thermal paste were not needed anymore.
Sony’s legacy in previous generations and their capability to launch PlayStation 5 without any direct issues resulted in a situation in which the PS5 Slim was not needed. By revising the SKUs slightly, Sony decreased its weight, lessened the power consumption and changed the positioning of heat sinks for better thermals. The changes that might have been needed in an eventual slim variant were already delivered.
Perhaps, this is why PlayStation refuses to label this new variant, PlayStation 5 Slim. It is just another revision in a long line of small revisions that they have been making for the PlayStation 5. PS5 Slim is in no shape or form worth upgrading to for existing owners of PlayStation 5. There are no added benefits except the slightly larger storage size which I believe should have been present in the launch model before considering the massive sizes of recent games. For example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 takes a whopping 234.9GB of space because it includes the newly introduced Call of Duty HQ. The launch variant PlayStation 5 only has 667.2 GB of usable space. There is a set precedence of many gamers ‘upgrading’ to the slimmer variants during the console’s life cycles but my own thoughts assume the wheel will break here. Aside from decreasing the size, players were expecting a bigger design overhaul since the reception of the PlayStation 5’s design was mixed, to say the least. However, Sony doubled down with the slimmer variant by adding a glossy part to the console.
This also begs the question if this new variant was even needed, and if PlayStation should have focused on the rumoured PlayStation 5 Pro. While that would have decreased the production timeline for the pro variant, the main reason for this slim revision can be labelled purely financial as it decreases production/manufacturing costs by making the SKU for both the digital and disk variants the same. The price of the digital variant was also increased by 450 USD which makes no sense and also breaks the promise of next-gen gaming being provided by Sony at a price of $400 USD. It was assumed that the new disk drive which is sold separately would cost 50 dollars to price-match the disk variant but it costs 80 which brings the total price to $530.
Also, it is critical to note that the new variant will not include any vertical stand and instead will be sold separately for 30 bucks. This hints at greedy play and also diminishes the prospects of players wanting to upgrade to a new variant at a reasonable price. Fans have been voicing their concerns online regarding this and also the flimsy horizontal stand that the new PS5 will need.
For prospective buyers, we would advise that the new PS5 Slim is in no way a reasonable upgrade over the launch variant. As Black Friday is around the corner, it would make more sense to wait for deals on the launch variant because retailers would be looking to clear stock of the older variant. Many gamers have made it a habit to not buy consoles at launch and instead wait 3 to 4 years for the slim variant as they believe it will fix issues present in the launch variant, but it is not recommended to apply the same thought process here as they could have the same experience of next-gen gaming but at lower costs by hunting PlayStation 5 Launch edition Black Friday deals. The PS5 Slim also did not launch with any price cuts like previous generations but instead, the digital edition now costs more.
For prospective buyers interested in the smaller size of PS5, you can check out the bundles available through the links below: