New PS5 Slim console update suddenly arrives

We just got an update on a "PlayStation 5 that has a detachable disc drive" from a respected insider

PS5 Slim console in white colorway next to PSVR 2
(Image credit: VR4Player.fr)

It was just last week that I wrote (in Should I wait for a PS5 Pro or just buy a PlayStation 5 now?) that Sony is almost certainly going to release a new PS5 console over the next year, and now we've just got confirmation from a trusted gaming insider that a "PlayStation 5 that has a detachable disc drive" is now "in people's hands" and, most excitingly, "it works flawlessly".

The new PS5 console information comes courtesy (opens in new tab) of Tom Henderson, a respected gaming industry insider, who mere hours ago wrote on Twitter that:

"Small update on the PlayStation 5 that has a detachable disc drive - I've heard from two people now that the test kit is in people's hands and it 'works flawlessly'. We should hear more about it officially soon."

This almost certainly is the 'PS5 Slim' console reported by respected North American news site Forbes (opens in new tab) back in November, as well as The Leak (opens in new tab), but this confirmation that actual hardware is in developer hands adds even more weight to its legitimacy.

In that original report, which was entitled "A PS5 Slim may be coming in 2023", the incoming console was described as using a die-shrink treatment to reduce its overall design, and that it uses less voltage, runs cooler, and weighs less than the original PS5. In addition, the slim-line console was also reported to be looking to ditch the PS5's plastic stand, with production scheduled for Q2 2023 in advance of a predicted Q3 2023 release.

What's most exciting about this new update, though, is that Henderson says "we should hear more about it officially soon", indicating to me that we can expect some sort of teaser reveal early next year, maybe alongside the PSVR 2 launch in February.

What could the new streamlined PS5 console with a detachable disc drive look like? Well, as T3 also reported on previously, a super stylish concept design video offers our best look yet. You can watch the video in full below.

The T3 take: A PS5 Slim is obviously incoming in 2023, but is a PS5 Pro?

This confirmation of a new PS5 console now residing in developer hands is pleasing but not surprising. I've written numerous times before about how Sony has, for multiple console generations in a row now, launched new console hardware in the third year of a console generation, and with the PS5 launching in 2020, next year in 2023 will mark that three-year point.

This new PS5 console with detachable disc drive will almost certainly be the much-rumored 'PS5 Slim', even though current thinking is that Sony won't actually call the console 'Slim', which will follow the PS4 Slim and PS3 Slim as almost certainly launching in September of the third year of the console generation, and will be a direct replacement for both the original PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition.

Nothing is officially confirmed yet, of course, but it is clear to me that this new PS5 will come as standard without an optical disc drive and retail for less than a standard PS5, with an add-in optical disc drive then purchasable separately if desired.

There could also be a version of the console sold with an optical disc drive already fitted, too, or the standard console could come bundled with a disc drive too.

The point is that this new console, which is likely to be smaller and more compact in design than the original PS5, and also likely to be more efficient and run quieter (based on previous Slim console improvements), will arrive late in 2023 and replace the current PS5 console offering.

For me, though, the big question now is if a PS5 Pro console is going to come next year, too? For the PS4 generation of consoles, Sony released a PS4 Slim in the September of the third year of the console generation, and then immediately followed it in the November of the same year with the PS4 Pro.

So far we've had few rumors and leaks as to what a PS5 Pro could deliver, although the idea it could be a two GPU system has surfaced, and tech company TCL has also predicted how powerful it thinks the console could be.

For me, as an owner of an original PS5 with disc drive, I would not be interested in upgrading to a PS5 Slim, as I don't think it would be worth the money. However, an even more powerful PS5 Pro console that outguns the Xbox Series X and is officially the most powerful console on Earth? That's another matter altogether. Sony would have my money faster than it takes The Flash to pour his morning cup of Joe.

Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. As the editor of PC Gamer, and former Deputy Editor for T3.com, you can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket his two favourites.