Sony has somewhat quietly released an updated PlayStation 5 model that has many fans desperately asking the seemingly simple question “Why?”
Much of this information comes from Press Start who initially reported that Sony intends to release a new version of the PS5 Digital Edition that is slightly lighter than the “launch” version of the console and features a new screw that makes it possible to remove and attach the console’s base stand without a screwdriver. Well, fans have recently confirmed that those new PS5 Digital Edition models are indeed already on sale in Australia (and possibly elsewhere). In an interesting twist, though, it seems that the “base” PS5 model (which includes a disc drive) has also been upgraded with similar changes.
Based on initial reports, it seems that the biggest difference between the launch versions of the PS5 and these recently upgraded models is indeed that new stand screw that can be removed by hand. It might not sound like much (and it really isn’t in the grand scheme of things) but considering how annoying it is to remove and attach the PS5’s current stand, this certainly seems to be the better way to go moving forward.
What about the console’s lighter weight, though? Well, it turns out that the new PS5 models only weigh about 10 oz less than the original models, which would usually not be a big deal were it not for the fact that nobody currently seems to be sure why these new models weigh less than the old ones.
The new screw certainly wouldn’t be enough to account for the weight difference, but since it seems that nobody has had the chance to dissect the new PS5 and see why it weighs less than the old model, people are currently left to rely on educated guesses and wild theories to help explain the situation.
So far as wild theories go, the strangest I’ve heard so far is that the design of the PS5 has been changed in some way that would allow Sony to compensate for the hardware shortages that have thus far made it incredibly difficult for most people to find a PS5 (or Xbox Series X/S). That theory seems to be based on a statement that Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki made earlier this year in which he suggested that it may be possible to alter the design of the console in such a way that could help the company “cope” with ongoing semiconductor shortages.
It’s an interesting theory, but I highly doubt that the “new” PS5 will be much easier to find than the old one. Not only is nobody offering a solid explanation for how this slightly lighter weight would possibly make it significantly easier to manufacture PS5s, but if that was the case, then I feel like Sony would be treating this like a much bigger deal than they currently are. Still, it must be said that Sony likely wouldn’t make any changes to the PS5 hardware unless they felt like it would be just as easy to manufacture as it currently is, or, even better, will help pave the way to ending next-gen console shortages sometime in the (hopefully) near future.
A slightly more plausible theory suggests that the new PS5 models feature a new wireless communication device. That theory is based on recent documents discovered earlier this year which suggested that Sony was interested in releasing a new PS5 model that features a modified wireless module. That certainly seems to be what we could be looking at now, but again, nobody has been able to confirm that these new models feature any noteworthy hardware alterations beyond the new screw. Even if that component has been changed, it’s not clear whether it will offer noticeable performance improvements or make it easier to manufacture PS5s moving forward.
For now, then, it may be best to assume that this is nothing more than slight hardware modification that will almost certainly become the “standard” moving forward but will almost certainly not immediately affect PS5 availability or performance in any significant ways. Should any new information change our read of this situation in any way, we’ll be sure to let you know.