Sony's PS5 Digital redesign reveals the flaw in its approach to this console generation

The PS5 Digital Edition has had a mysterious redesign but reveals a larger issue with Sony's approach to next-gen hardware

PS5 review Sony PlayStation 5
(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5 Digital Edition is getting a redesign that will make it lighter than the current model and easier to attach it to the console stand. But the finer details about what Sony has changed to account for the 300g weight loss are scarce. 

On face value, the system is the same – with the exception of a few screws that will make it easier to affix the stand. Twitter user Renka_schedule spotted the updated hardware that's being listed by Japanese retailers that bears the model number CFI-1100B, differentiating it from the OG PS5 Digital Edition's CFI-1000B model number. Aside from that, the chassis is the same, so we're definitely not getting a PS5 Slim this early into the console's lifecycle. 

Is it possible this could be the PS5 redesign we've been hearing about? Earlier this year, Sony CFO, Hiroki Totoki admitted that the company was struggling to keep up with the demand for the console, citing the global semiconductor shortage as one factor as well as "other factors that will impact on the production volume." With a goal of surpassing its second year sales target of 14.8 million (which would be more than the PS4 sold in its second year), Totoki said that one way that would achievable is "maybe [finding] a secondary resource, or by changing the design".

Talking about the disparity in demand between the PS5 standard and PS5 Digital Edition last year, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan explained (via AV Watch via VGC): 

"The ratio between the Digital Edition and the disc drive model is currently something we cannot disclose at this time. We cannot give specific information on numbers, but we can say that we plan to produce the necessary number of units to meet the demand for that model type. 

"However, we’ve never produced two different console models at the same time before so deciding on the right number and the right ratio is very hard to know. We are doing our best to predict demand.” 

It seems that Sony may have found a secondary resource, or implemented the design change it was pondering, but has rolled this out to the cheaper digital edition first. Looking at Microsoft's consoles, the cheaper, less powerful, and all digital Xbox Series S hasn't suffered the same supply issues as the Xbox Series X and is aimed at a different audience. 

Sony meanwhile is offering a cheaper version of its console with the only difference being the lack of a disc drive. And now it's apparently prioritised the digital console's redesign over the standard edition – although again, we don't know exactly what has changed.

It would have made more sense to follow Microsoft's model and offer two distinctly different options for gamers rather than two models that are exactly the same save for the ability to take a disc. Sony has usually offered a physical revamp or power upgrade to sit along its standard offering.

Regardless, any redesign that sees more stock become available is good news. We've reached out to Sony for more details on what the redesign entails and if we're going to see the same for the PS5 Standard Edition so watch out for updates. 

Shabana Arif
Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.