Sony has unveiled a slimmer model of the PlayStation 4 hardware that will arrive on 15 September for £259 in the UK. The console refresh officially debuted at a PlayStation event held in New York on 7 September, although its existence had been widely documented in recent months due to numerous leaks, hands-on video footage and even units being sold at second-hand retailers.
The thinner and lighter model - that will replace the original model released in November 2013 - closely resembles the slanted-rectangular design of its predecessor, but with the glossy-half traded out for a full-matte finish and more rounded edges. A set of LED lights and power and eject buttons also replace the long light bar found on the first PS4.
While an HDMI out and Ethernet port are standard inclusions, the lack of an optical port may be an issue for potential buyers who rely on optical audio. In addition, the refreshed console also supports 5GHz WiFi for faster download and upload speeds.
The retail bundles for the new PS4 model also includes a new version of the DualShock 4 where the rear light-bar now seeps through into a thin strip at the top of the touch-pad, as well as minor alterations to the D-Pad.
Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House addressed the new PS4 in a blog post:
"Our engineering and design teams collaborated to consolidate PS4's high-performance technology into a smaller, more energy efficient form factor. When comparing the new PS4 model to the current model, we've reduced volume by 30 percent, weight by 16 percent, and power consumption by 28 percent. Despite the sleek design, the new model packs all of the same powerful components that have made PS4 the best place to play."
In terms of price the £259 price comes in just above its competitor's slim-line console the Xbox One S, which currently retails at £249 for the 500GB base model. Unlike the Xbox One S, however, the new PS4 does not offer support for Ultra HD Blu-ray movies or 4K video streaming. Sony instead appears to be banking on its more powerful PS4 Pro hardware that also debuted at the event, although all PS4 models are set to receive a firmware update to support High Dynamic Range.
The announcement of the 'PS4 Slim' puts an end to a bizarre, almost month-long situation where Sony refused to confirm its existence despite it popping up in leaked images, unboxing videos and at second-hand retailers such as CEX. The re-design was also the subject of hands-on tests by Digital Foundry and LetsPlayVideoGames' Laura Kate Dale.