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The PlayStation 5 Slim is, one could argue, a tremendous disappointment. It’s somewhat smaller and lighter, sure, but there’s really nothing else for one to get excited about. The original PlayStation 5 was released three years ago and, needless to say, we were all hoping for this inevitable “Slim” variant to bring a series of improvements — alongside a slightly lower asking price.
In the end, Sony failed to deliver, and for obvious reasons, too: its latest console keeps selling like hot cakes. Sony has jacked up prices, made baffling anti-consumer decisions, opted to go all-in on live service games, and yet still the PlayStation 5 keeps flying off the shelves across the globe.
The original model will still be present on the market for as long as supplies last; once that point is reached, this slim-like revision will be the only option available.
So, frankly, the question of should you buy one over the other is only valid at this point in time (and, presumably, the next few months). And it’s a most interesting question, too, as the PlayStation 5 Slim is at once both better and worse than the model it’ll soon be replacing.
PS5 Slim vs PS5 — What’s the Difference?
There are a couple of notable differences between the “OG” PlayStation 5 and this — relatively unimpressive — Slim variant. Those who already own a PS5 have nothing to get excited about whatsoever. Those who still haven’t gotten their hands on Sony’s latest gaming console, however, should go with the updated model, for reasons we’ll explain down below.
A Noticeable Difference in Size
First of all, the PS5 Slim is noticeably smaller; we’re talking about a 30% decrease in volume which, needless to say, is quite impressive. Then again, the original PlayStation 5, while certainly unique-looking, was way too large to begin with; the console itself went from being bafflingly oversized to tolerably oversized.
Original PS5 [Disc]: 390mm [height] × 260mm [depth] × 104mm [height]
PS5 Slim [Disc]: 358mm × 216mm × 96mm
Original PS5 [Digital Edition]: 390mm × 260mm × 92mm
PS5 Slim [Digital Edition]: 358mm × 216mm × 80mm
A Larger SSD
The second difference pertains to on-board storage. The original PlayStation 5 had an 825GB SSD. This newer one, however, comes with a full 1TB. That isn’t going to make a world of difference, but with games getting bigger and bigger, every little bit helps.
With this increase in storage, you’ll essentially be able to store another AAA game or, conversely, a billion indies.
The Slim is More “Modular”
There’s a reason why that last word is flanked by parentheses. Over the last three years, gamers had to choose between a regular PlayStation 5 (for those who cared about physical media) and a disc-less Digital Edition. The former offered a bit more versatility, whereas the latter retailed for a hundred dollars less, making it a much more alluring purchase for the budget-minded (or those with digital-only game libraries).
This time around, things are a bit different. The Blu-ray disc drive is now a separate, dettacheable accessory — one that is included by default on all standard PlayStation 5 Slims. This approach means that even those who buy the disc-less version will still be able to expand the functionality of their console in the future (assuming they choose to do so and are okay with making an additional investment).
The catch, however, is that if you buy both the Digital Edition and a separate disc drive — which retails for a whopping $79.99 — you’ll end up paying more than if you just bought the regular PlayStation 5 for $499. On the one hand, having the ability to “upgrade” further down the line is definitely a great option for those who need it, but paying such a hefty premium for what should by no means be deemed a luxury simply isn’t okay.
The Vertical Stand Is Now a Separate Purchase
This, in short, is yet another wholly baffling choice by Sony. These “slim-like” revisions will no longer come with a vertical stand in the box. Instead, that’ll be a separate $30 purchase. Now, the PlayStation 5 Slim is still stable enough to stand vertically on its own (without the stand), but the fact that Sony chose to cut corners in this particular fashion does leave a sour taste in one’s mouth.
The Digital Edition Is Now More Expensive
The disc-less version of the PS5 Slim is now going to cost $449 as opposed to $399 which, needless to say, is rather outrageous. You’re getting the exact same console and the exact same performance for a higher asking price. It is negligibly smaller, and it does come with a bit more internal storage, but that by no means justifies such a tangible price delta.
It’s not as bad a deal as it might sound, but it sure isn’t something that would make you run out, wallet in hand, to your local hardware shop. And that’s a shame, as Sony had a spectacular opportunity to one-up Microsoft even further, and make its console the only viable choice for those who aren’t partial to Game Pass (or the few worthwhile IPs that are only available on Xbox/PC).
Is the PS5 Slim Faster Than the Regular PS5?
Not at all. In fact, it carries the exact same internals. Its SoC is still built on the same manufacturing process (6nm), so you shouldn’t expect any kind of upgrade whatsoever, be it in peformance, thermals, power draw, or fan noise.
It is, for all intents and purposes, a slightly improved and physically more compact device. That’s about it.
Verdict — PS5 vs PS5 Slim
This whole revision screams low effort. It is better than the original PlayStation 5, but only in the bare minimum sense. We’re glad that we’re getting more internal storage, that the console itself is smaller and, one could argue, more visually pleasing, but objectivelly speaking this isn’t much of an upgrade — if at all.
The fact that there’s now just a $50 difference between the regular and Digital Edition only adds insult to injury. And, frankly, Sony’s jacking up prices because it can. Microsoft is trying its hardest to put up a fight, but unless it can compete in sheer volume and sales — and it obviously can’t — then there’s no incentive for Sony to be any better towards its (existing and future) customers.
In any case, you really can’t go wrong either way. If you’re okay with a slightly larger console, then buying the original PlayStation 5 would probably be your best option; it’s been available for longer and can, presumably, be found below its MSRP across the globe.