Is less necessarily more?
Sony finally officially unveiled the PS4 Slim that fans have been talking about for weeks already. The sleek design is just as we’d seen, and it offers a relatively low price point, going on sale for only $299. That will become the standard price for a base PS4 going forward as the Slim fully replaces the original, day-one design (bye bye lovely, blue light strip). It’s shiny and new, but does that mean it’s worth your attention?
“I need that,” is usually the first thought at the sight of brand new, upgraded hardware. But when we stop and take a solid look at what the PS4 Slim is bringing to the table, it becomes clearer that maybe we don’t need one. This is something that is especially true for those who already own a PS4.
Aside from being, you know, slimmer, the PS4 Slim lowers power consumption by 28% and comes with the upgraded DualShock 4, which has the lightbar at the top of the touchpad. The HDR capability (which allows for some stunning lighting and coloring) will come along as well, making for some prettier gaming, but that feature will be hitting the current PS4 model too thanks to an upcoming firmware update. Basically, outside of a new controller and a slightly lower utilities bill, there isn’t anything really new about the Slim.
So maybe you’re thinking, “I’ve been meaning to get a new PS4 anyway, so I may as well purchase this one.” The $299 price tag is certainly tempting, and you could possibly trade in your existing PS4 for some credit. But, if you wait just another two months, then your newer PS4 can be a PS4 Pro. The Pro brings a ton of new features such as 4K gaming, 4K media streaming, a 1 TB HDD, and more power. Priced at only $100 more than the Slim, it’s looking like a great deal, more than capable of satisfying that itch for a brand-new console.
It’s not that the PS4 Slim has absolutely no place in the market, though. Sony shared during the event that the PS4 is currently sitting at over 40 Million sales, meaning there are still plenty of people who don’t currently have one. This newer model is $50 cheaper than the previous one, and it has a smaller design allowing it to fit nicely into entertainment units. For those who’ve been on the fence about making the jump to the current generation of gaming, this may very well be the push they needed. Nothing like a low price and words like “new” and “slim” to get people to open up their wallets.
On top of that, while the PS4 Pro is indeed just over the horizon, not everyone cares about ultra high-end power and graphical fidelity, and not everyone owns a 4K or HDR TV capable of translating that enhanced output. Three hundred bucks for a console able to play Uncharted 4, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Call of Duty, and a ton of other triple A games really isn’t a bad deal at all. The Slim may be the perfect offering for those who have been waiting for a fiscally sound entry point to the Sony lineup.
When you really get down to brass tacks, the PS4 Slim isn’t worth a current user’s time. You’ll ultimately be paying just for the look and a fresh piece of hardware, and if it’s the new controller you want, you’ll definitely be able to pick one up some time down the line. As it stands right now, this smaller iteration is nothing special in the grand scheme of things. If you just want what you already have, but in a different wrapper, go for it. If not, then your time, and money, are best put towards the upcoming Pro or a different endeavor altogether.