It happens with every console generation: After the world gets to know a PlayStation for a couple of years, Sony decides to refresh it with something lower profile: a “slim” console, if you will.
Sony followed up the OG PlayStation with the PS One; the PS2 with the PS2 Slim; the PS3 with the PS3 Slim and the PS3 Super Slim; and the PS4 with the PS4 with the PS4 Slim (and, later, the PS4 Pro). So it’s not a surprise the company is launching a slim version of both the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition. That doesn’t mean you should buy it, however.
Introducing the “new” PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition
Sony officially announced the new, slimmer PS5 and PS5 Digital edition on Tuesday, and the end product is much as you might expect: Sony shaved off some of the form factor from the original PS5s to create a lower-profile console without sacrificing any power. In fact, there’s an improvement here over the original: These PS5s now come with 1TB of internal storage, an upgrade over the old 825GB standard.
The changes in form factor should be pretty noticeable: Sony cut the volume of the PS5 by more than 30%, and weight by 18% and 24% (depending on which model you get). It comes with a horizontal stand, but unlike the PS5’s stand, it isn’t reversible: If you want to position your console on its side, you’ll have to buy a new vertical stand for $49.95. These consoles also now have four cover panels, doubling the previous models, and Sony will sell panels in a variety of colours.
The final major change is the new “Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Drive” for the new PS5 Digital Edition. Before, purchasing a Digital Edition PS5 meant you never could use disks with your console. But if you have regret after the fact, you can drop $159.95 on this attachable drive to effectively turn your Digital Edition into a standard PS5. (Note: This is only for the new Digital Edition console.)
Sony plans to launch these new models in November.
Long live the Slim
You might notice I’m not referring to this new console as the PS5 Slim. That’s intentional, as Sony isn’t branding these consoles this way; rather, these consoles are called PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition. “How could that be,” you might wonder. “Wouldn’t people get confused between these new, slimmer models and the originals?”
Sony isn’t worried about that, because they aren’t making any more OG PS5s. Once the current stock of PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition are sold, that’s it. The originals will be officially retired, and the slim models will take their place as the definitive PlayStation 5.
It’s an interesting move on Sony’s part. While the company tends to phase out original consoles for its iterations, it usually brands the new ones accordingly, rather than replacing it with a new version with the same name.
Now might be the time to buy an OG PS5
The new PS5s are almost the same as the originals, minus the slimmer form factor and increased storage space. But, in my opinion, there’s never been a better time to buy the OG PS5, especially before the slims drop.
For one, Sony confirmed they’re not making any more of these consoles. Sounds like a future collector’s item to me. My guess? As soon as Sony sells out of the original, they’ll shoot up in price in the used marketplace. If you can get your hands on the original now for MSRP, it’s a good time to do so.
Now, if you could get the PS5 experience for less money by buying a Slim, I’d see that side of the argument. But these new PS5s aren’t cheaper than the originals. In fact, the Digital Edition is more expensive: Sony is pricing the new Digital Edition at $679.95, more than the MSRP for the current Digital Edition, while the new standard PS5 is priced at the exact same $799.95. True, you gain 125GB of storage by buying a new PS5, which may justify the price increase (or make the same $799.95 price a little more attractive), so that’s something to keep in mind.
It’s also cool that Sony is letting new Digital Edition customers add on disk-reading capabilities, but that makes the console $40 more expensive than the standard once you buy the disk drive.
There’s nothing wrong with the new PS5s. If you buy one, you’ll get the same overall experience we’ve had since the 5’s launch three years ago. However, unless you’re dedicated to the slim form factor, and feel the expanded 125GB will save you from buying an SSD for your console in the future, there’s still plenty of reasons to buy the classic PS5 instead.
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