In the world of technology, consumers and developers alike can’t wait to get their hands on “the next version” of their favourite products. Whether it’s phones, cars, or graphics cards, the time between tech advancements becomes shorter and shorter as computers get smarter and smarter, taking over our world like Skynet, but hopefully with less robot killing machines.
Thanks to the power of the Internet, we are lucky enough to access a well of information about one of our favourite toys: the PlayStation 5. The big question on many gamers’ minds is “when are we getting the PlayStation 5 Slim or Pro or whatever the heck they’re going to call it?” This November will mark three years of the PS5, and we’ve only technically seen two variations of the console – the physical disc version and the digital version. So, what’s next for Sony in this generation of gaming? Well before we look forward through rumors and speculation, let’s review the release history of the PlayStation series of consoles to better understand the timeline ahead.
A HISTORY LESSON
The year is 1995. Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise is tearing up the charts and the first Mortal Kombat movie is dominating the box office. September 9th of that year sees the North American release of the PlayStation. After launching the year prior in Japan, Sony entered their silver stallion into the Western market and never looked back. The PS One, a compact version of the original, was released just over 5 years later on September 19th, 2000, coming out just a month before one of the best-selling consoles of all time, the PlayStation 2, on October 26th, 2000. The PS2 went on to sell over 155 million units in its lifetime, including a Slim version which became available in November of 2004. Two years later, on November 17th, 2006, Sony birthed their chunkiest console thus far, the PlayStation 3. The PS3 was the first system to include a Blu-Ray drive, which expanded the capabilities beyond just gaming. It was also the first console in Sony’s product line that had two successive models: the Slim (September 1st, 2009) and the Super Slim (September 25th, 2012). As the names suggest, these units were much less bulky than the original. They also provided a variety of hard drive options and price points for all types of players looking to get in on the craze.
We’re almost caught up to the present so let’s power through it like an AC cable so we can get to the reason you clicked on this article. PlayStation 4 burst onto the scene on November 15th, 2013, as the console war against Microsoft and Nintendo raged on. A PS4 system with double the hard drive hit store shelves several years after on July 15th, 2015. Next up was the PlayStation 4 Slim and Pro models which all came out in the same year. On September 15th, 2016, the Slim 500 gigabyte model replaced the original PS4 as it slowly went out of production. If that hard drive size wasn’t enough for you, all you had to do was wait two weeks for the release of the Slim 1 terabyte version on September 29th, 2016. This all cumulated with the PS4 Pro, which was the first 4K gaming console on the market on November 10th, 2016. I hope you’ve been keeping track of all these dates because they will be on your final exam.
TRULY NEXT GEN
This brings us to the current generation of consoles and the highly sought after PlayStation 5. Releasing mid-pandemic couldn’t have been easy for Sony but they still managed to release two variants of the system on November 12th, 2020. One unit featuring a disc drive for physical disc games and the other a digital version that omitted the drive for those that preferred to download their games. Both of which we have plenty of accessories for in our Glistco PlayStation 5 Collection – no matter what kind of setup you have!
As you can see from our walk down memory card lane, Sony seems to fancy the three-year timeframe in the modern era of gaming. If my calculations are correct, that would mean that we should see the PS5 Slim sometime this year, 2023. Or will we? As the rumor mill continues to swirl on the alleged successor to the PS5, let’s look at just the tip of the iceberg of leaks that the Internet has to offer us. Take this all with a grain of salt until Sony says otherwise, but for now, onto the conspiracies!
NOT SO SECRETS
As reported on by the folks at Insider Gaming, various sources have revealed that the PS5 Slim will not only be a slimmer, less expensive unit than the base model, but it will most notably feature a removable disc drive. The console will likely be sold on its own (without the drive), as a bundle (with the drive included), and feature the drive sold separately. Removing the disc drive should allow Sony to reduce their production costs, which in turn will increase the number of units available so that we don’t have to relive the endless scalper troubles of the initial launch. The technical specs of the PS5 Slim will apparently be the same as the standard PS5, however it will be more power efficient to reduce the amount of overheating the console faced in its infancy.
There is further evidence the thinner sister system exists thanks to a video shared on Twitter by a user named @BwE_Dev which features a slightly slimmer PlayStation 5 unit that has gap across the center of the plates, suggesting that the disc drive will, in fact, be an extra attachment. A more subtle difference can be seen on the front of the unit in the form of two USB-C ports. The PS5 currently has one USB-C port and one USB-A port on its face.
The last piece of the mystery worth mentioning comes from an unlikely source: Microsoft! In a recent court hearing involving the ongoing acquisition of Activision/Blizzard by Microsoft, the Xbox developer and their lawyers seem to believe that not only will Sony release a Slim model this year but that it will be priced at around $400 USD (or about $549.99 CAD). These details can be viewed here and might just be our biggest clue yet that the PS5 Slim is closer than we think.
It’s hard to say whether Sony will drop a bomb on us and put out a PS5 Slim within the next few months, especially with a limited-edition Spider-Man 2 console coming out in October that really thwips a web in all this speculation. Sony made no announcements at Summer Games Fest, Comic-Con, Gamescom, or any PlayStation State of Play thus far about their plans to expand their PS5 hardware lineup. Based on the evidence and timeline of past systems, it would make sense to release a new model this year, but only time will tell.
Have you heard anything else about the rumoured Slim? Hit us up in the comments and be sure to check out our shop page for PlayStation 5 for all your PS5 accessory needs!