Sony has announced not one, but two revamped PS4 systems due for release this year; the PS4 Pro, a more powerful mid-generation upgrade previously codenamed PS4 Neo, and a slimline edition of existing PS4 hardware - or PS4 Slim - which simply takes the name of PlayStation 4.
The initial reveal of the slim console came as a bit of a surprise, with it first spotted out in the wild on auction website Gumtree, instead of through the usual set of rumours and leaks that come well ahead of most new hardware reveals. The slim PS4 was subsequently verified by Digital Foundry as being authentic, with the fact it came in final retail packaging suggesting an imminent release - which Sony confirmed at their PlayStation Meeting in September.
PS4 Slim release date and price
As announced as part of September's PlayStation Meeting, the PS4 Slim will release on two dates, each with a different hard drive size:
- PS4 Slim 500GB - £259 / $299, September 16th 2016
- PS4 Slim 1TB - £309.99 / $TBC, September 29th 2016
You can pre-order both from Amazon UK; the 500GB PS4 Slim is available solo or bundled with FIFA 17, while the 1TB PS4 Slim is also available solo or with FIFA 17. You can also grab the new DualShock 4 separately too, though remember your existing controllers will work fine.
PS4 Slim specs - what's new with the slimline console?
This updated PS4 takes the position as a traditional mid-generation 'slim' redesign, which runs the exact same as current PS4 hardware - including the family-wide addition of HDR output as part of firmware update 4.0.
That leaves the PS4 Pro to deliver tangible graphical and feature upgrades for those who want them - for more on that, check out Digital Foundry's impressions following their three hours of hands-on time with the PS4 Pro at the PlayStation Meeting.
But for those who don't want a PS4 Pro - and have the choice between the original launch model and this new Slim - how do the two compare? Digital Foundry's first hands-on with the CUH-2000 PS4 Slim says it is "better than the existing PS4 in almost every way" with better power efficiency and noise reduction, and while it comes at a more budget price point, it has a build quality on par with existing models.
How the slim PS4 looks different to launch PS4 hardware:
- Thinner form factor with softened corners and an all-matte finish
- Approximately 40 per cent smaller, with dimensions of 26.5cm x 26.5cm x 3.8cm compared to the launch PS4's 27.5cm x 30cm x 5.3cm.
- Physical power and eject buttons housed just below the disc drive
- Light bar removed in favour of a light on the new power button
- Two USB 3.0 ports positioned apart from one another on the front of the device
- The base of the console has multiple 'legs' made of protruding plastic in the shape of iconic PlayStation symbols
- The PlayStation square, triangle, circle, and cross symbols are stamped on the side of the console, with the circle also acting as part of the attachment for the stand
The slim PS4's features and hardware compared to the original PS4:
- Removal of the Optical Out port on the rear of the console
- An updated DualShock 4 controller that comes packaged in the box (see more below)
- Two hard drive options - standard 500GB, or an increased capacity of 1TB
- The ability to change hard drives with a dedicated panel on the back
- New hard drive supplier - Toshiba MQ01ABD050 2.5-inch in our hands-on - but the same 5400rpm speeeds
- Reduction in fan noise, heat, and power consumption (around 41% less power on the dashboard in early tests)
- WiFi Improvements - 5GB IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac supported (also available with the Pro model)
PS4's new controller - what's different about the updated DualShock 4?
The big addition is a strip of light at the top of the controller's touch pad, allowing players to see the controller's light colour without having to look at the underside of the controller. The light bar itself is slightly smaller.
It'll also transfer data over USB when plugged into the PS4, reducing the very slight Bluetooth lag seen in the launch controller. This feature isn't exclusive to new PS4 models - it'll also work if you plug the new controller into a launch PS4 also.
It'll also look a little different too, with the thumbsticks and D-pad adopting a more grey colour scheme than the original black.
This controller is also available with the PS4 Pro and will retail separately, coming in the same Magma Red and Wave Blue colour varieties as the originals.