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PS5 Slim: when will we see a smaller, lighter PlayStation 5?

The release of a PS5 Slim isn’t just about appealing to consumers who may have been put off by the console’s gargantuan size. Slim consoles are essentially a cost-cutting exercise for companies. As manufacturing costs wane and more efficient parts are available, Sony can create a smaller PS5 that costs less to make and delivers the same experience in a smaller package.

In fact, Sony has already started to trim down the PS5, at least internally. New models of the PS5 Digital Edition, CFI-1100B, is a whopping 300 grams lighter than the launch model was, and Sony even decided to change the screw that comes with the PS5’s stand, too. This revised console also has a redesigned heatsink, which resulted in a lighter system.

There are a few caveats when it comes to hardware revisions, though. Slim consoles can often feel cheaper than launch models, which can sometimes be over-engineered. While that’s not always the case, sometimes the cost-savings can be felt when features are removed. The PS4 Slim, for example, removed the optical port which was found on the launch model.

Still, the smaller design of a PS5 Slim should outweigh most of the negatives a cheaper design can bring. Sony will ultimately replace the original console design with its new model as it looks to maximize its profit margins during production. If you’re interested in picking up a PS5 Slim, here’s everything you should expect to see from Sony’s slender new hardware revision.

PS5 Slim price and release date

DualShock 4 controller sat on top of a PS4 console

(Image credit: Shutterstock / charnsitr)

The PS5 Slim will likely be cheaper than the original PS5’s launch price of $499.99 / £449.99 / AU$749.95, though it's since gone up to £479.99 / €549.99 / AU$799.95, thanks to the PS5 getting a price hike. We’d expect it to be around $100 cheaper, so $399 / £349, which was the PS4 launch price. The original PS5 price tag of $499 / £449 will likely be replaced by a PS5 Pro, as was the case when the PS4 Pro released.

It’s unclear whether Sony will release a PS5 Slim Digital Edition, but we’d expect it to follow the same pricing scheme as before, with a discount of $100 / £90 over the disc version. That could make Sony’s all-digital console incredibly appealing, but we’re not sure if Sony would pursue another digital model at this stage.

Historically, Sony tends to release a Slim version of its consoles three years after launch. This was the case with PS3 and PS4, while the PS2 Slim and PS One took four years and six years to arrive respectively. It’s likely, then, that a PS5 Slim could arrive sometime in 2023 or early 2024.

PS5 Slim design

Close up of a PS5 console and Dualsense controller

(Image credit: Sony)

While it’s impossible to predict exactly how a PS5 Slim would look, we’re expecting a fairly drastic reduction in the console’s overall size and weight. It’s likely that the console’s design won’t stray too far from Sony’s original vision, so expect a smaller, more compact version of the PS5’s current design.

The PS5 is the biggest console Sony has ever made, it demands a fair bit of room in your home entertainment center, especially if you place it vertically. We’d love to see Sony do away with the stand completely for those who put the console on its side, and we imagine it'll be a lot shorter than the current PS5.

Sony has already knocked 300 grams off the current PS5 models, but we’d also expect to see further improvements to the console’s hefty frame. It’s the second heaviest system Sony has made to date at 8.6 pounds, which is only a touch lighter than the PS3.

So far, we've seen one unofficial attempt at creating a PS5 Slim. Back in June, one YouTuber's PS5 Slim crammed the console into a tiny shell but this was a bit of a cheat, since it separated the power unit into a separate large power brick. We can't ever see Sony taking this approach but regardless, it was an interesting attempt.

PS5 Slim specs

Close up of PS5 DualSense controller leaning on a PS5

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Hopix Art)

The PS5 Slim will likely be identical spec-wise to the PS5, but we've seen prior Slim revisions get small performance boosts. Microsoft improved the Xbox One S performance slightly, and Nintendo added more grunt to the New Nintendo 3DS, letting it play specific games. Sony hasn’t generally improved hardware inside Slim models, however, and with a PS5 Pro on the horizon, it wouldn’t make much sense.

Sony could increase the PS5 Slim’s storage, or at least offer two SKUs for those who want a bit more wiggle room when it comes to storing games. There’s also a chance that the console’s ports could change or move around, as we saw with the PS4 Slim which axed the optical port.

PS5 Slim: Should I wait?

The PS5 Slim will undoubtedly be cheaper than the PS5’s current $499 / £449 price tag, and the smaller profile will appeal to those who might think the PlayStation 5 is simply too big. But you'll likely be waiting quite a while.

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