So the rumors were true and the August Twitter leak was accurate: Sony will be launching two redesigned PlayStation5 models that will gradually replace the existing ones while offering more storage space and consumer choice in the process.
The overall design of these new PS5 models is similar, but their volume has been reduced by more than 30% and their weight by 24% and 18% (for the PS5 equipped with an optical drive and the PS5 Digital Edition respectively). Their exterior now consists of four separate cover panels – the top portion sporting a glossy look, the bottom remaining in matte – and, as that leak had suggested, one of the bottom covers can be removed so that consumers can add the Ultra HD Blu-ray drive to the PS5 Digital Edition (turning it into a “full” PS5) at a later date. This drive will cost $79.99/€119.99 to purchase.
The new PS5 models will be available in November in the United States, at select local retailers as well as through the official PlayStation electronic store (where available). Both models will continue to roll out globally in the following months and, once inventory of the current PS5 units has sold out, the new models will become the only ones available. Both models will retain their current recommended retail prices, more or less: the PS5 equipped with the UHD BD drive will be going for $499.99/€549.99, while the PS5 Digital Edition will be going for $449.99/€449.99 (so $50 more expensive in the United States). Both models offer 1TB of storage, though, which is a nice upgrade from the 825GB of space offered by the current models. Both models also sport two USB-C ports at the front (instead of a USB-A and a USB-C like the current models) while retaining the two USB-A ones at the back.
A horizontal stand will be included with both new PS5 models – so this will be their default placement orientation from now on – and a new vertical stand will be sold separately for $29.99/€29.99. A variety of PS5 console cover colors for the new models will be made available in early 2024, including an all-matte Black as well as the Deep Earth Collection colors in Volcanic Red, Cobalt Blue and Sterling Silver. Prices for these will start at $54.99/€54.99 and Sony promises that “additional colors will be released in the future”.
As far as one can tell from Sony’s press release, listed specs and press photos, there is no change in the internal hardware of these new PS5 models compared to the current ones (other than the increase in storage space). If these models were taking advantage of a more advanced manufacturing node – going e.g. from 6nm to 5nm – then they would probably offer enough of a power consumption benefit for Sony to at least mention in passing. The company didn’t, so chances are slim, but we won’t know for sure until the first samples are in the hands of technical editors who will open the new PS5 models up and look for any changes under the hood.
Whatever the case may be, this is a clear win-win for Sony and PlayStation fans: the company is simplifying the manufacturing process of the PS5 by building Digital Editions and either including or not including a UHD-BD drive, while consumers get to choose when to get that optical drive if they are not interested in it at first, initially paying less for the PS5 itself. The sales ratio between the two current PS5 models is said to be fluctuating between 80%-20% and 70%-30% in favor of the one equipped with the optical drive, so it will be interesting to see how that changes with the new PS5 models long-term.
When it comes to the current models, though, retailers are expected to offer them at discounted prices or as part of more attractive bundles over the next few weeks in order to clear inventory, so looking out for offers of this sort those might be worth it (it’s basically the same hardware after all). Not long now, then!