Sony unveils new PS5 model that's lighter, slimmer, and the same price

Sony has announced an update to the PlayStation 5 hardware, but it's not the "Pro" edition with enhanced capabilities that was rumored earlier. Instead, the new hardware is a PS5 "Slim" that is thinner and lighter than the launch model, which was one of the largest game consoles ever released. 

According to the announcement, the new PS5 model is 30% smaller by volume and up to 24% lighter. The console's signature white side panels are split into four sections now, and are slightly more flush to the internals, though its silhouette is still similar. Sony says that it'll sell new color options for the side panels in 2024, starting with Volcanic Red, Cobalt Blue, and Sterling Silver.

The new PS5 slim will also come in 2 models: The standard version with an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive, and a cheaper Digital Edition with no optical drive. Unlike the launch versions, though, the Digital Edition can be upgraded with an optional Ultra HD Blue-ray drive. You just have to pull off one of the side panels, hook up the drive, and replace it with a new, included panel.

While the system's graphical capabilities are identical to the current model - ensuring parity between customers who purchased their consoles at launch and newer ones, the new PS5 slim model will have a few updates in key areas. The PS5 Slim will have greater default storage space - 1TB effective storage versus the 800GB or so that the original had after the system was accounted for. It'll also have an additional USB-C port at the front, while the USB-A port on the front has been moved to the rear (the better to hide the dongle for a wireless headset or a cable for an external hard drive). Finally, the new model will also support a new official horizontal stand that keeps the machine stable when lying on its side. The launch model PS5 had a dual-purpose vertical stand that could be converted into a horizontal one.

Meanwhile, Sony will also sell a new vertical stand that incorporates metallic components for a more secure footprint. The new vertical stand is compatible with both the new and old models of PS5.

It's also worth noting that Sony technically isn't calling the new PS5 Slim model by the "Slim" moniker, or any other new name at all: It's just the PlayStation 5. That's because this new slim PS5 will eventually supercede the current one. Once stock of the existing models of PS5 run out, this slim version will be the only one left, much in the same way that the original PS3 Slim replaced the launch-model PS3.

Price-wise, the disc version new PS5 will cost the same as the old one did at launch, while the Digital Edition will get a price hike, seemingly accounting for its new modularity. The disc version has a suggested retail price of $499 USD, and the new Digital Edition will cost $449. A person who wants to upgrade from the Digital Edition to the disc version can purchase an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive separately for $79.99 USD.

The new model of PS5 will launch in the US in November 2023, and globally "in the following months."