The PS4 is less than two years old, but a new leak suggests Sony is already planning the PS4 replacement that could surprise gamers and deliver even more competition to the Xbox One.
A new PS4 code names Monolith appeared online showing off a new PS4 Slim model. It’s definitely too early for any chatter of a PS5 release, but Sony is well-known for releasing slim models of the PlayStation. These build in slight improvements to the design and often a lower price.
Leaked slides show the same basic PS4 design, in a slimmer and smaller PS4 that shifts the disk drive to the side and makes it easier to figure out which button ejects a game and which one powers the console off. In one of the images a PS4 controller next to the console shows just how much smaller a PS4 slim may be.
The PS4 slim leak also shows a side by side comparison that illustrates just how much smaller this new PS4 could be. The images include a Code Monolith RC and include a “2015 Confidential Material” label. The warning that “Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.”, is odd considering this is appears to be an early internal document.
It is possible that this is a fake, designed to gain attention and not a real PS4 slim photo set. Multiplayer.it shares the leak and cautions that the size may be too small for the internal components.
The video below shows that Sony is capable of major reductions in size going from a fat model to a slim model. See how the PS3 slim compares to the PS3 fat model, and you’ll notice that Sony is good at cutting the size down in just a few years.
A PS4 slim is not just an update that potential buyers enjoy, the Slim model is also a move by Sony to make production more efficient and it could help boost sales of the console. The PS3 Slim rocketed to the top of the Amazon sales charts within 24 hours of release. The PS4 sits at the six spot right now and the Xbox One at 13.
While a new Slim Playstation arrives typically at least three years after the main console release, Sony may feel pressure from Microsoft. Starting in November Microsoft cut the price of the Xbox One to $349, which is $50 less than the PS4 and also included several bundles. Combined with Black Friday deals the Xbox One overtook the PS4 for sales in the holiday period. According to Xbox Live’s Major Nelson the, “Xbox One became the best-selling console in the U.S. in November and December.”
This is due to a Xbox One without Kinect that arrived at $399, the $50 discount that Microsoft just brought back and multiple bundles that offer free games that users actually want to play like TitanFall, Madden 15, Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. In short, what is essentially a Xbox One slim in terms of price helped Microsoft come back after months of PS4 domination in sales.
It is possible that the new PS4 slim photos are a legitimate leak and the early appearance is due to increased pressure from a cheaper Xbox One that consumers are responding to in big numbers. Sony reportedly sold the PS3 at a loss, even at the initial $599 sticker price, but in just over two years the company reportedly cut the cost to manufacture the PS3 by 70%.
By the time a PS4 slim arrives at E3 2015 in June or for the holiday season we will be close to that two-year mark and Sony may be ready to introduce a new design that is cheaper to make and allows for a better fight with the cheaper Xbox One that will also let gamers play Xbox One games on a Windows 10 PC.