If you’re a dedicated Sony fan then you probably already know the drill. First they release their newest flagship console (most recently, the PlayStation 4) then later they provide an “updated” or “streamlined” version at a reduced price. In point of fact, Sony has done this with all of their major consoles, including the PS1, PS2, PS3 and likely with the PS4 as well. To date however, we have received very little indication from the megalithic company of any intention to move forward with a new version of this supremely powerful machine, but that hasn’t stopped people from speculating, obviously.
The first juicy bit of intel comes from this cnet article, which details all the sales figures and supposed business strategies of both Sony and Microsoft. Why is this relevant, you ask? Well, it follows logic that creating a more streamlined slim console often requires additional research and development, likewise, there’s all sorts of logistical considerations to contend with not to mention profit margins and so forth. In short, as it stands, Sony isn’t hard up to release a slim PS4 console any time soon because they’ve basically exceeded their expectations with regards to release sales (up til now). Why would they want to go through the trouble of producing a better, cheaper console when they’re already selling the current model like hot cakes?
By the same token, what Microsoft decides to do with their Xbox One will affect their overall “slim strategy” too, because even though they’ve pulled ahead of everyone else, M$ could easily up the ante on the backside of the console sales market, stoking the fires later rather than sooner (allowing them to edge closer to the PS4 in terms of overall sales during the life of the console).
Moreover, one must also consider the effect that bundle sales will ultimately have on the eventual release of a slim model PS4 console. For many gamers, the real value is in purchasing a working system which has lots of extra “goodies” to play around with. As we see newer big budget games released up to and during the 2014 holiday season we’re definitely going to see more and more people opting to just buy a console now rather than later.
The time between the release of the original PS3 and the PS3 slim is often used these days as a sort of benchmark to gauge when the PS4 slim might be released. Hitting store shelves in November of 2006, the PS3 was doing quite well but it wouldn’t be until August 2009 until we saw the Slim model unveiled. All in all, that’s a good chunk of time between iterations, however it would seem likely that Sony has already been thinking about a PS4 slim during the development of the original console. Call it what you will, a marketing strategy or just a method of giving themselves enough room to update their current console to more exacting standards, there’s no reason to assume that they’re going to break the status quo here. If you actually look at the time between regular to slim releases the gap seems to be shortening as well (PS1 – PS3), so there’s yet another indication that a more quick PlayStation 4 slim release might be in the cards.
Taking a loot at this piece on wololo.net, it would seem that Sony is updating their motherboards, which is definitely an indication that a slim could be in the works. Furthermore, if you extrapolate all the related data (taken as a whole) and look at it objectively, it’s not hard to see that a late 2015 PS4 Slim release might be headed our way.
Unfortunately, there is no hard evidence that a slim is in the works for next year, but isn’t that how they always play things? They never come right out and tell us that they’re doing these things because that would probably upset their overall marketing strategies (on multiple levels). Furthermore, this clearly isn’t the only thing they’re toiling away on; they also have Project Morpheus on deck as well. As many others have already indicated, Sony likely move on the PS4 slim when they feel they need a major boost in sales or in order to upset Microsoft’s strategies, which could be as soon as next year.