Unless you’ve been living under a rock all weekend, you should have seen images surfacing of the rumoured PS4 Slim, or potentially the upcoming Neo. I’m inclined to lean more towards the images being that of the slim PS4, mainly due to the hard drive size being quoted on the box as 500GB, which is seemingly too small for the Neo, given that the current PS4 model ships in 1TB size.
As well as the hard drive size, I would also expect to see either more USB ports on the front of the Neo, or additional ports of the back to hook up with PSVR. I'd also expect the Neo to come bundled with a pro controller, something to rival that of the Xbox, and it appears to be bundled with a standard Dual Shock 4.
The slim is a little surprising to me. Where I haven’t seen the exact dimensions - and probably won’t until the press conference on September 7th - it doesn’t appear to be that much slimmer than the current model. When the PS3 Slim came out, it was drastically slimmer than the original PS3, which in itself was a design travesty. Seriously, all that gloss?
The reasons for making a slim PS4 are obvious. Firstly, you have Sony reducing the costs of production, so that they can pass that saving onto the consumer (this is why slim models usually cost less than the originals when they were released). However, with the upcoming Neo, I think there is an additional reason to release a slim PS4.
Many current PS4 owners, are worried about what Neo means for them. Will it mean moving away from the PS4 in terms of development? Are they going to be getting a second class experience by playing games on the PS4 rather than on the Neo? Well, in a way. But Sony releasing a slimline PS4 model now, proves that it is still dedicated to games being developed for the current spec PS4, and emphasising that the Neo is a luxury item, and not essential to getting a high standard experience.
I do think that introducing the slimline model will spell the end for the current PS4. Previously, models have been produced in parallel, but I don’t see this happening here. In fact, if you’re still looking to pick up a PS4, expect a flash sale pretty immediately after the September 7th press conference. However, this end of the current PS4 gives a good window into the Sony’s vision of the future of PlayStation.
The bottom line is that they do see the Neo as an extension of the PS4 experience, rather than a new experience on it’s own. Scaling development is not just a pipe dream in their eyes, and is clearly viewed as a viable reality going forward.
There were a few things that surprised me about the design of the slim. For one, placing the USB ports so far apart seems like a weird decision. From the leaked photos, one is next to the disc drive, whilst the other is at the other end of the front chassis. Why not put them next to each other? It makes me think that the internals are a little jumbled up.
I’m also going to make a statement here, that could be very wrong. But if Sony go the way of the PS3 and also release a “super slim” PS4, it won’t have a disc drive. In North America in particular, digital sales are high, and combined with super fast broadband, it’s how many people now purchase their games. Personally, I don’t like buying new release games on digital, but my opinion has been changing. If pricing becomes competitive, I would be tempted. Due to physical Vita game sales being nigh on non-existent now, I get all of my Vita goodness digitally, and it is mighty convenient. If Sony really forces the hand of consumers, it would be interesting to see if digital prices became more affordable.
All in all, I like the slim design, but likely won’t be changing my current model unless it breaks between now and the Neo release. I’d expect a asking price of around £250 for the slim at launch, which is pretty reasonable in my opinion, given that I think the Neo will come in at a £399 launch.
What do you think? Will you be upgrading? Let me know on twitter via @hiitscore or on PSN via @Sethoy.