Sony’s PS5 is a divisive machine, with some people liking the bold two-tone design, and others finding it to be a big and ungainly console that could do with some slimming down. That could be happening in the form of the rumored PS5 Slim.
As part of the legal jousting between Microsoft and the FTC, a lawyer from the former has reportedly claimed that Sony will release a PS5 Slim before the end of 2023. And if Microsoft is saying that there could be some weight behind the rumors, then it could definitely be happening.
A slimmer PS5 isn’t set to bring in any extra power or features over the base PS5 or more likely the PS5 Digital Edition. But for those who’ve yet to jump from the PS4 to the PS5, it could be the console to get if you’re not sold on the looks of the existing console or have limited space in your entertainment center.
So far the PS5 Slim is still only rumored, but we’d be pretty confident it could arrive this year or maybe in 2024. So with that in mind, here’s what we know about the PS5 Slim so far.
PS5 Slim release date speculation
There’s no official word on a potential release date for the PS5 Slim. But the rumors around it would point towards it arriving at some point in 2023. A recent update to Amazon's PS5 listing page has added further fuel to the fire and could be a further indication that the PS5 lineup is set for a refresh in the months ahead.
The PS5 will be three years old come November this year, so there’s some logic that a redesigned model would come at a time when Sony’s machine has had time to mature and developers are more familiar with the hardware. Familiarity tends to lead to better optimization, which in turn leads to improved performance for less power. And less power means there’s not so much need for cooling on components, and thus they can be packed into a smaller chassis; just bear in mind this is educated speculation rather than any insight we have from Sony.
PS5 Slim price speculation
According to Microsoft, the PS5 Slim is predicted to cost $400, putting it on par with the PS5 Digital Edition, as the Slim isn’t expected to have a disc drive.
This pricing would make sense, but we’d hope Sony cut the price further, especially if the company can reduce material costs and it’s making a machine with hardware that’s approaching its third birthday. But Sony has a roster of PS5 exclusives and titles that really need the PS5’s power to run well. So in many ways, Sony can easily dictate the price it wants.
The PS5 hasn't come down from its launch price of $499, and has in fact gone up in other nations like the U.K. where it rose from £449 to £479. So with price hikes a couple of years into the generation — at a time when we’d have expected prices to drop — we can't foresee Sony having the PS5 Slim heavily discounted. It certainly won’t be priced as cheaply as the $299 Xbox Series S.
PS5 Slim design and specs
A video that has a claimed PS5 Slim case in it has shown that a new version of the PS5 might only be some 5cm shorter than the original console and not much slimmer.
However, we'd suggest you take such videos with a serious dose of skepticism, as Sony's previous slim iterations of consoles have brought in dramatic changes, and we'd expect something similar of the PS5 Slim. especially going by some concept renders.
We’d be pretty confident in saying such a console won’t have a Blu-ray disc drive; having one would only ramp up the component cost of the PS5 Slim.
We can expect the futuristic router-like look of the current PS5 console to be swapped for something more rounded and less ostentatious. A machine in the vein of the PS4 Slim, which dropped sharp angles for more rounded corners and a compact look would make sense.
Improved cooling systems and engineering could let Sony pack the PS5’s components into a notably smaller box as well. However, more compact packaging could remove the option of adding in a second SSD as you can with the PS5; the process isn’t plug ‘n’ play but it's straightforward enough (see our how to upgrade the PS5 internal storage guide).
In terms of specs, we’d expect them to remain the same as the current PS5 models. The number of USB ports could be cut, again to save on costs. And Sony may find some way of boosting the console's storage to 1TB or offering an even higher capacity console now that PCIe 4.0 SSDs have come down in price.
Improved cooling could see Sony extract a little more performance from the AMD system-on-a-chip but we’d not bet money on that speculation.
PS5 Slim outlook
Given the polarizing reaction to the PS5’s design and that it’s by no means a compact machine, a PS5 Slim would be a welcome addition to the current-gen lineup. And such a slim console would track with Sony making slim versions of the PS3 and PS4.
We’d not expect it to be a big step forward for the PS5. Rather, it would likely slowly replace the current Digital Edition model. Regardless, a PS5 Slim now seems inevitable. It seems not a matter of if but when at this point.