There have been all sorts of rumors about the next phase of PlayStation hardware, be it a PS5 Pro, PS5 Slim or possibly even both. So far Sony has kept quiet about the possibility, but we have little to go on beyond rumors. But according to Microsoft, we may be seeing some new PS5 hardware before the year is up.
Specifically, Microsoft believes that Sony will release a PS5 Slim before the end of 2023. The company outlined details of what it believes Sony’s plans are in documents filed with the FTC, all as part of hearings related to the attempted buyout of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft also believes Sony may end up selling the PS5 Slim for the same $400 price tag as the PS5 Digital.
On top of that Microsoft also believes that the Project Q handheld, which will let you stream games from your home PS5 on the go, should be priced at under $300. Which is a lot of money, considering this device seemingly doesn’t do anything you can’t do on a smartphone.
Naturally, Microsoft doesn’t offer any sources for these assumptions, and it could be the company is relying on the same rumors that the rest of us have been hearing. We did hear late last year that the PS5 Slim could launch this year, after all.
Then again for a company as big as Microsoft, we’d expect a little bit more insight into its rivals. So it may know something that we don’t, and that could mean a PS5 Slim really is coming later this year.
The question is what kind of PS5 we might be looking at — and whether it has a disc drive or not. Slim PlayStations have generally arrived for a lower price tag in previous generations, but things aren’t always so simple right now. Previous generations never saw console prices go up two years after launch, which happened to the PS5 almost everywhere except the U.S.
It’s possible that the PS5 Slim could have a disc drive and a $100 discount compared to the standard model, or it might just be Sony’s take on the Xbox Series S. Insider Gaming previously reported that the 2023 PS5 could come with a detachable disc drive, which would be sold as a standalone accessory. That would suggest the PS5 Slim will be, by default, a digital-only console with the option to add disc support later if needed.
At this stage it’s far too early to say what might happen, and we’re going to have to wait and see what Sony has planned for the PS5’s mid-cycle update. Assuming there really is going to be one.