Sony’s New Slim PlayStation 5: A Smaller Console with Strange Design Choices

In the realm of gaming, console design has always played a crucial role, and with each iteration, manufacturers strive to strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality. Sony, known for its sleek gaming consoles, recently unveiled the new PlayStation 5 (PS5) and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, touted as "slim" versions of their predecessors. However, this slimming-down process comes with a blend of both improvements and odd design choices.

The original PS5, often described as a white-and-black obelisk, received mixed reviews for its massive size and distinctive design. The new PS5 promises a 30 percent reduction in volume, making it visibly smaller, but opinions on its design remain divisive. The slim version features shorter white covers, a concave top curve, and panel lines that create a mix of shiny and matte finishes. Despite these refinements, the design still raises eyebrows due to what some describe as "strange half-measures."

One peculiar aspect of the new design is the disc drive, which, instead of seamlessly integrating, appears as a protuberance on the console's side. The absence of vent fins at the top gives the impression of a prototype or incomplete product, and the cat ear-shaped feet intended for horizontal positioning seem more like a humorous addition than a functional stand. Notably, the vertical stand, which was included with the original PS5, is now an additional purchase for $29.99.

Despite these design eccentricities, the new PS5 offers some tangible improvements. It boasts 1TB of built-in storage, a boost from the original 825GB, and replaces the original USB-A port with two front-facing USB-C ports. The revised location of the removable disc drive's eject button also addresses a long-standing issue of confusion between power and eject buttons.

However, one of the most perplexing features of the new PS5 is the removable disc drive itself. While Sony deserves credit for making it tool-free and easy to attach or detach, questions arise about the necessity of such a feature. Buyers seeking to add a disc drive to the Digital Edition will face additional costs, as the Digital Edition now retails for $449.99, and the drive add-on is priced at $79.99. Furthermore, setting up the disc drive requires an internet connection, a potential hurdle for those in offline environments.

The disc drive's setup process raises concerns about future preservation efforts. The need for internet connectivity and warnings about factory resetting only compound the confusion, leaving some to question the benefits of this seemingly DRM-like approach.

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