PS5 Slim: why I'm hoping Sony releases one and what I'd love to see from it

Opinion: A PlayStation 5 Slim should be Sony's next big gaming console move

PS5 Slim
(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator)

Ever since Sony unveiled the PlayStation 5 I've been hoping for a PS5 Slim and PS5 Pro to follow it. Remember that the same second-gen hardware refresh was introduced with the PlayStation 4 – I think it's likely Sony would do the same this time around.

If the PS5 Slim does make an appearance in the future, then I'd expect it to follow the blueprint set down by the PS4 Slim. In other words, I'd expect it to be more compact and less noisy than the original PS5, as well as producing less in the way of heat.

Even if you love the Sony PlayStation 5, there's no doubt that it's a beast of a gaming console as far as its giant size and aesthetics go – and if the PS5 Slim eventually rolls around it should end up being much easier to position at the side of your 4K television.

PS5 Slim

A PS5 Slim concept image.

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator)

We haven't heard too much in the way of PS5 Slim news and rumours up to this point – remember that the PlayStation 5 only made its debut in November 2020 – but there has already been a gorgeous fan-made render of what a slimmed-down PS5 console could end up looking like, courtesy of LetsGoDigital and Concept Creator.

As you can see from the video rendering below, the PS5 Slim concept keeps the cooling vents and the blue highlights of the original PlayStation 5, while reducing the size considerably. This looks more like a compact external disk drive than a gaming console, though of course it still takes up a significant amount of space, and remember – this is just a concept.

Apart from the size of a PS5 Slim compared to the original PlayStation 5, I would not expect too much of a change. The PS4 Slim included USB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi improvements, but unlike the PS4 Pro it didn't come with CPU and GPU upgrades. That means I'd expect the PS5 Slim to stick to the same AMD internals as the PlayStation 5.

It's possible that a PS5 Slim might ditch the physical disc drive, putting it more in line with the PS5 Digital Edition and of course the Xbox Series S: all your games would have to be downloaded over the web rather than installed via disc, which would mean more savings in terms of physical space. Nowadays a lot of gamers are happy to get by with only an internet connection rather than owning any physical media.

PS5 Slim

A PS5 Slim concept image.

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator)

We have also heard rumours from the supply chain that Sony has already signed up with a partner to fabricate 5 nm chipsets for the next iteration of the PS5 (the original uses 7 nm architecture). That would improve performance while reducing power draw, and that in turn would help Sony to pack the same level of power into a smaller box – and it's fair to say that the PlayStation 5 could get a lot smaller.

One official bit of information we do have from Sony is that a PS5 redesign could be on the way, in part to make it easier for gamers to actually get their hands on the console. While there are no precise details about this, we're presuming that Sony would somehow streamline the amount of silicon in the console to alleviate some of the pressures on its supply chain and ramp up production.

PS5 Slim

A PS5 Slim concept image.

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital / Concept Creator)

PS5 Slim release date and price

Perhaps the gap between the PlayStation 4 launch and the subsequent arrival of the PS4 Pro and the PS4 Slim can give us some clues about a Sony PS5 Slim release date, if indeed Sony does release one.

The PlayStation 4 was unveiled in November 2013, and it was then September 2016 that the PS4 Slim saw the light of day (with the PS4 Pro announced on the same day). If Sony followed the same schedule, then we'd be looking at September 2023 as a possible launch window for the PS5 Slim.

What would the PS5 Slim price be? Again, we can look at what Sony's strategy was with the PS4 Slim and make an educated guess about how much a PS5 equivalent might cost.

Sony introduced the PS4 Slim for the same price as the PS4, essentially replacing the original console. That strategy would pin the price of the more compact PS5 Slim to start at £449.99 / $499.99.

As well as anticipating the arrival of a PS5 Slim, I'm also anticipating a PS5 Pro to go along with it. There's talk that it could come with not one but two graphics cards working in tandem, to really take gaming visuals to the next level, and offer up performance that puts even the Xbox Series X in the shade.

David Nield
David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.