Microsoft Expects PlayStation 5 Slim Console to Launch This Year
According to documents revealed in its legal battle with the US Federal Trade Commission, Microsoft predicts that Sony Interactive Entertainment will release a PlayStation 5 Slim console later in 2023. The company expects the new PS5 model to be priced the same as the current PS5 Digital Edition, which is $100 cheaper than the standard PS5.
PlayStation 5 Slim at the Same Reduced Price Point
“PlayStation likewise sells a less expensive Digital Edition for $399.99, and is expected to release a PlayStation 5 Slim later this year at the same reduced price point,” stated Microsoft.
Possible PS5 Pro and Handheld Versions
Microsoft also suggests that Sony is preparing for the launch of a PS5 Pro console. “PlayStation, meanwhile, currently offers two different versions of the PlayStation 5—one with a Blu-Ray player for physical media (Standard) and one without (Digital)—and is anticipated to release further differentiated Pro and Slim models in the near future.”
Last month, Sony announced a new PlayStation streaming portable device called ‘Project Q’. It allows users to stream games from their PS5 console using remote play over Wi-Fi. According to Microsoft’s legal filings, Sony is also expected to release a handheld version of the PlayStation 5 later this year at a price below $300.
Potential New PS5 Model with Detachable Disc Drive
Insider Gaming sources claimed that Sony plans to launch a new PS5 model with a detachable disc drive around September 2023. This model may replace the original PS5 by the end of the year. The detachable disc drive will be sold separately and connects to the PS5 using an extra USB-C port on the back of the machine.
PS5 Price Promotions and Xbox’s Stance on Upgrades
Microsoft’s claims align with recent PS5 price promotions in Europe, which suggest that Sony may be clearing old stock before introducing a new model. However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer stated that a mid-cycle upgrade for the Xbox Series X is not a priority for Microsoft. He mentioned that they are satisfied with the current hardware and do not feel an urgency to release a more powerful version.
Pandemic Impact on Console Upgrades
Both Microsoft and Sony released their current-gen consoles, Xbox Series X/S and PS5, respectively, in November 2020. Supply issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic may have affected the timeline for any planned mid-cycle hardware refreshes. Previous generations saw major upgrades introduced after 3-4 years on the market.
New Black Version of Xbox Series S
During the Xbox Games Showcase, Microsoft announced a new black version of the Xbox Series S with 1TB of storage. It will be priced at $349, which is $50 more than the existing white 512GB model.