Three years after launching the PlayStation 5, Sony has introduced a smaller PS5 model, commonly referred to as the PS5 Slim, but which is being sold under the old name. This isn’t a new strategy — the company used the same follow-on approach for the PS4, which also started out chunky and subsequently slimmed down. The PS5 Slim is available now, and Sony says the new versions will be the only option once it sells through its remaining stock of the old ones. I would keep an eye out for retailers trying to discount and move the older models if you’re trying to find the cheapest option out there.
Like the PS5 at launch, there are two versions of the Slim model, one with a disc drive and one without. Both now come with 1TB of storage instead of the 825GB that the original models had. Because that’s the only change inside, don’t expect any new components to make it faster or more powerful.
The original PS5 launched at $400 for the Digital Edition and $500 for the one with a disc drive. Over the years, Sony actually increased that price in some places around the world, but US pricing did not change. The slim PS5 retails for $450 for the Digital Edition and $500 for the disc drive option, which is currently bundled with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 for no extra cost.
The biggest difference now is that the disc drive can be removed or added later. By lifting one of the cover plates, you can access the drive and pull it out. This feature is aimed more at players who buy the $450 discless version of the console, once again called the Digital Edition, since all the games will have to be digital versions as opposed to a physical disc. The model with the disc drive runs $500 — if you want to add it later, you can buy the drive for $80. It’s worth noting that the console requires an internet connection when first using it with a disc drive attached.
The original disc drive model stands 15.4 inches high, 10.2 inches deep and 4.1 inches wide. The Slim disc model stands 14.1 inches high, 8.5 inches deep and 3.8 inches wide. The original’s weight of just under 10 pounds drops to just over 7 for the Slim. As someone who often travels and takes games consoles with me, having a smaller and lighter PS5 is fantastic — I was never going to try and fit the enormous launch PS5 in my luggage.
The original PS5 came bundled with a stand that could position the console either vertically or horizontally. However, Sony has only packed the Slim models with two tiny plastic feet to allow the console to sit horizontally. They’re easy to attach by just pushing them into the little slots between the panels. I think this tripod setup looks kinda goofy. If you want to stand your slim PS5 upright, like I do, you’ll need to buy the $30 vertical stand.
The front of the console has been slightly updated with two USB-C ports instead of one USB-C and one USB-A. The disc eject button below has been moved onto the drive itself, which makes sense since Sony’s now selling these separately. The power lights have also been lengthened to go all the way down the front of the machine. The ports on the back are identical, although now they’re positioned in a different order.
PlayStation sells different color cover plates for the original PS5. It goes without saying that those will not fit on the new console. Sony has stated it plans to sell new versions for the Slim in early 2024. The Slim comes with the same DualSense controller as before.
If you’re in the market for the disc version, I recommend getting the Slim model. It has a bit more storage, and will take up less space on your shelf. Remember, if you stand your consoles upright, like I usually have to, you’ll need that $30 vertical stand as well.
When it comes to the Digital Edition, I’m having a hard time recommending the newer model. It’s $50 more than the original, and if you change your mind about a disc drive later, you have to put out another $80, making it more expensive than the disc version to begin with. This means the digital version, which used to have a compelling lower price, just doesn’t seem worth it if you’re in the market for a PS5 right now.
For those of you who already have a PS5 and are thinking about upgrading, I recommend holding off and crossing your fingers for a Pro or more powerful model, if that ever happens. There just aren’t enough differences between the two models, especially since both allow you to increase the internal storage on your own.