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New PS5 just got a video teardown — here's why you don't need it

PS5 updates
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

It turns out the so-called new PS5, which has got some current owners of Sony next-gen console hunting down PS5 restock all over again, is practically no different from a launch model. If you've already got a PS5, you don't need to upgrade. 

Hopefully, this latest revelation finally puts an end to one of the more bizarre gaming sagas of 2021. For the unaware, in August Sony released a new model of the PS5. It’s visually identical to the launch console but includes a few under-the-hood tweaks, including a smaller heatsink that initially raised concerns.

A video from YouTuber Austin Evans claimed the new PS5 was in fact worse than the original due to a redesigned heatsink that was less effective at cooling the internals. This claim was subsequently refuted and it was reported that the new PS5 in fact ran cooler than the launch model. This of course created serious confusion among wannabe PS5 owners as to which model they should be hunting for. 

Well the good folks at Digital Foundry, in collaboration with Gamers Nexus, have performed a full teardown of the new PS5 and found that "in all practical terms, there is no meaningful difference between PS5s old and new.”

While Sony has changed the heatsink on the new PS5 model, as well as made very small tweaks to the motherboard and baseplate, these changes make essentially no difference to the overall performance or playing experience on the console. Furthermore, both PS5 consoles are designed to automatically shut down if they hit a critical temperature so neither is in danger of bricking due to overheating. 

Digital Foundry concluded their investigation by noting “the core question of whether the new PS5 is better or worse than the launch model can be answered by saying that they're mostly much the same, certainly in terms of the end-user experience.” So it appears that PlayStation enthusiasts have been making a big stink about nothing for the last few weeks.

It should be noted that this discussion is not one that Sony has facilitated. Minor hardware revisions are common with gaming consoles, and the new PS5 is intentionally identical to its predecessor in both aesthetics and packaging. The only way to tell the difference is by looking at the console’s specific model number. 

In the future, Sony could release officially marketed revisions of the console in the form of a PS5 Slim or a PS5 Pro, but minor hardware tweaks are not supposed to be scrutinized to this degree. Specifically seeking out either model specifically seems to be a waste of time.  

Of course, finding either model of PS5 in stock is a pretty tricky task even nearly a year on since the console’s original launch. If you’re hoping to get your hands on one before the holiday season, make sure to bookmark our PS5 restock hub for the latest information and updates. 

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.