Last week, the existence of what appeared to be a smaller, redesigned PlayStation 4 console leaked out into the world. Despite no comments from Sony and the disappearance of video documentation, people know it's out there. Thanks to this totally unauthorised advance review, they know how it performs. Over at Let's Play Video Games, a PS4 Slim — that the site says was acquired on eBay — gets a nuts-and-bolts shakedown, from unboxing to on-screen set-up. The website doesn't have a lengthy track record of scoops like this, but there's nothing in the review that would lead us to doubt that this is the real deal. It looks totally legit.
Everything in the write-up makes the Slim sounds like a incremental hardware revision:
The PS4 Slim model is, simply put, a smaller PS4. It doesn't perform any better or worse than the previous model, but does run cooler and quieter. It has a slightly improved controller, but the box itself doesn't run any better. Don't expect Xbox One S-style HDR and 4K blue-ray support. This is still a basic PS4 model with no internal upgrades over the previous iteration, and is not the upcoming PS4 Neo. It does not make games run better, or upscale them to 4K.
So the box itself runs a little cooler. It seems like one of the biggest changes is a redesigned bay that makes hard drive upgrades easier:
Beyond the controller and the smaller size, the biggest functional difference, shown in the above unboxing, is the easier hard drive replacement. There is now a thin piece of plastic on the rear corner of the console which, when removed easily by hand, exposes the SATA drive port. You simply undo one screw with a standard screwdriver, replace your drive, and replace the screw. The plastic covering then clips back on, but it is worth noting the thin nature of the plastic does make it feel a little flimsy and in danger of breaking when trying to clip it back into place. I removed and replaced it thirty consecutive times to test its durability and it did hold up, but it never felt terribly secure. The Slim model supports the same maximum SATA drive size as the original system model.
The PS4 Slim's official announcement is expected to happen next week on September 7. Sony is also expected to release a more powerful PS4 Plus.