PlayStation 5 Slim: The New Iteration of Sony’s Iconic Console
November 13, 2023
It was inevitable that Sony would give a touch of refresh to its flagship console, the PlayStation 5. After the beloved PS One, the original versions of Sony consoles have always been larger and more clunky in appearance compared to their subsequent redesigns. This cause a significant case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). However, the story with “slim” PlayStations seems to have come to an end with the new PlayStation 5.
An Imposing Design that Becomes a Compromise
The PlayStation 5, with its imposing black-and-white design, is a massive console whose design you learn to accept rather than love. Making design adjustments to the PS5, as was done with the “George Foreman grill” style PlayStation 3, might seem like an easy task. The new PlayStation 5 is available for $499.99 for the standard version and $449.99 for the Digital Edition. However, it features some rather unique design choices.
Reduced Dimensions: a Plus Point
From a design perspective, the new “slim” PlayStation 5 is indeed smaller. According to Sony, the volume has been reduced by “more than 30%,” but up close, opinions vary between “Yes, it’s much smaller” and “Okay, it’s smaller… but it’s still a monster!” The sleek curves and contours of the new PS5 can change one’s opinion about its design in a matter of moments, depending on the angle from which it’s viewed. This is the result of intricate, and frankly, somewhat unattractive design.
A More Refined Design, but with Some Odd Choices
The “slim” version appears more refined compared to its larger and bulkier sibling, thanks to its shorter white covers, concave top curve, and lines that cut across its sides, creating a contrast between glossy and matte finishes. However, the new PS5 also features some truly strange design choices:
- the disc drive still looks like an odd protrusion sticking out of the side of the console
- the absence of ventilation slots on the top makes the slots look even more prototypical or incomplete
- the cat-ear-shaped feet for horizontal use are a joke for an included “stand.”
The console can stand on its own, but if you want added peace of mind to prevent it from tipping over, the vertical stand must be purchased separately at a cost of $29.99. (The original PS5 had a convertible stand for both horizontal and vertical positions.)
An Increase in Storage Space and Other Changes
However, the new PS5 does have some aces up its sleeve in comparison to its quirky design compromises. It now boasts integrated storage of 1TB (compared to the original’s 825GB) and two front USB-C ports instead of one USB-C and one USB-A. The only other tangible advantage is that the removable disc drive’s position finally prevents confusion between the power button and the eject button, which looked too similar since the days of the PS4.
The Removable Disc Drive: A Peculiar Choice
Sony has made it easy to detach or attach the disk drive without tools. (It’s even easier than adding an M.2 SSD to the PS5, a process that fortunately is still possible.) However, “Why?” Those who regret buying a PS5 Digital Edition can simply buy a disk drive and add it themselves. But they will end up paying more, since the Digital Edition now costs $449.99 and the additional unit is priced at $79.99.
Some Disc-Related Complications
Setting up the disc drive requires an internet connection, as reported last month, even though the disc drive is included with the console. Setting up the console without an internet connection might seem unlikely for most people. But if you find yourself in such a situation, you won’t be able to play until you’ve made at least one connection to Sony’s servers.
There’s even a warning that factory resetting the console requires an internet connection to properly detach the disc drive. Raising the question of what happens if you buy or sell a second-hand disc drive that hasn’t been unlinked.
PlayStation 5 Slim: A Confused Mid-cycle Upgrade
The oddities of the PS5 Slim’s disc drive, combined with some of its bizarre design decisions, make this version a rather confused mid-cycle upgrade. It seems that this version of PS5 suits Sony more than its customers, pushing them to pay more through accessories. Apart from the reduced size, modest increase in storage space and reconfiguration of ports.
If you own an original PS5, there’s almost no reason to upgrade. Conversely, if you’re purchasing a console today, there’s really no harm in opting for the “fat” PlayStation 5. At least until the slim version becomes the only option.