Sony PS4 Slim leak (1)

UPDATE: Some more sources for images have been added, and I need to point out that the optical audio port has been removed. This will be quite a deal breaker for a lot of people, especially those of you who use the port for home theatre systems, or for hooking up a high-end headset. Perhaps this was one of the cost-savings initiatives that Sony took with this redesign.

It’s been rumored for months now that Sony is preparing a PlayStation 4 Slim redesign to compete with the Xbox One S, which is set to become generally available quite soon (the 2TB model was unfortunately a limited release, for now). The new consoles are basically required for new television technology coming out in the next year, and of course everyone has to leap on the UHD 4K Blu-ray bandwagon at some point. It looks like Sony is close to the launch and reveal of the PS4 Slim, though, because images of the console have leaked onto the internet courtesy of a private online auction of the unreleased console. Hit the jump for more hardware porn.

The leaked images paint a picture of a console that had shed about the same weight as the Xbox One S did, which was around 40% of the total volume when you take the power brick into account. This new PS4 design is shorter than the old one and slightly less wide, but a bit deeper owing to the new placement of the hard drive.

Gone is the half-coloured cover (which also means those kick-ass swappable covers are probably not coming back), and gone is the glossy plastic finish, which collected scratches from just you breathing on it. It has buttons for powering on the console and ejecting the disc, and for some reason the USB 3.0 ports are now spaced out more. Perhaps that’s to make things appear neater when you’re hooking up the PlayStation VR base station right next to it, which will also need a redesign now that the chassis has changed.

At the rear, things have changed quite a bit. The hard drive tray is now at the rear of the console, and you have to slide it out to gain access to the drive. That makes it easier for Sony to support, but now it’s also more difficult to run extension cables into the chassis to connect a 4TB eSATA drive in an external enclosure. Gigabit ethernet, HDMI, and the proprietary PlayStation Camera port also still feature at the rear, along with the figure-eight power plug to the far left.

I think the PlayStation button feet are also adorable! Maybe it won’t wobble so much now…

While it’s easy for someone to make a mock-up of what they think the Slim looks like and try fool everyone, the added accessories and photos of the product boxes does add an air of legitimacy to the leak. The packaging is smaller and thinner, and the bundled headphones are still a thing, so if you’ve lost yours already you can get it back with this bundle.

I guess the main questions now are when the new console will be launched and how much will it sell for. Sony is hosting an event on 7 September in New York City, where it is expected to talk about the PS4 Slim, the launch of PlayStation VR, and the possible 2016 launch of the PlayStation Neo. Doing this now means they have enough time to build up the hype for an appearance at the Paris Games Show, where both consoles could be shown off.

As for the price, the PS4 500GB model is currently going for $348 with a copy of Call of Duty Black Ops III in the box, which converts to around R4700. The Xbox One S is selling at $299 with your choice of the Halo: Collection bundle or an extra new Xbox One controller. Saving $50 on the list price might not be what Sony wants to do, and it may end up being more aggressive and pricing the console down to $250 to sell faster and suck up more market share.

UPDATE: More images posted below, courtesy of two Twitter users who have access to early retail models. The first is a set from “charlieINTEL“, a well-known source for leaks relating to the Call of Duty franchise.

This next set is from user “shortman82“, who has also promised a detailed teardown in the near future. He claims that he bought it from a local store that had it in stock, and the owner confirmed that it would be available in three week’s time. That aligns quite well with a 7 September announcement and a launch later that week. Identification was also provided with a slip of paper verifying the console’s authenticity.

Source: Polygon