UPDATE: As quickly as it took me to write this post, the unboxing video has been made private. Looks like somebody got a call from Sony!
Sony’s PlayStation 4 Slim was leaked to the public yesterday through an online auction listing overseas, followed by two Twitter users who confirmed that they had the console in hand. Now we have another user in possession of the unreleased console, and this time we have an unboxing video to watch that goes through some of the changes to the console as well as the DualShock 4 controller. The most interesting change, though, fixes something that everyone here at NAG has griped about at some point in time.
The unboxing video was filmed by Youtube Gaming streamer “ZRZ”, who somehow managed to purchase his console ahead of the launch date (which still has to be announced by Sony). It’s just a standard unboxing and there’s no extra surprises in the box – all the cables, connectors, and peripherals you’d expect are still in there.
EDIT: The video has been taken offline, but you can access an archived copy through this link.
But it’s the design changes to the DualShock 4 controller that have me the most excited. The directional buttons and the action buttons swap out the glossy plastic finish for a matte surface to increase grip, and Sony has also gone back to using the traditional PlayStation Grey background colour for the buttons instead of the current black. The analog sticks also switch to the same colour, and seem to use a different rubber as well. Many early controllers suffered from rubber which tore and wore down easily from players whose skin was slightly acidic, so hopefully that’s addressed.
The biggest change has to be the LED lightbar, though. On the regular DS4, the lightbar changes colours depending on the player number, or what the player is doing in the game. Some games like Grand Theft Auto V, or MotoGP15 change the colour to reflect in-game actions, like flashing red and blue when the cops are chasing you, or use the shifting colours to represent a tachometer. But the problem is you can’t see it. Unless you’re playing in front of a mirror, only other players get to see the light effects.
Now that Sony’s made a semi-transparent slit in the touchpad, the light shines through and you don’t have to flip the controller over to see what colour you are. That’s pretty neat, and I hope it leads to more game developers using the LED bar for lighting effects to change the player’s mood.
Sony is expected to announce the PlayStation 4 Slim at their New York City event on 7 September 2016. They’re also expected to announce the launch date of the PlayStation NEO and PlayStation VR head-mount display, and possibly discuss pricing as well.