With the recent report from DigiTimes about a new PS5 model, this raises a host of questions about exactly how much of a redesign it's going to be. We know Sony has already released a slightly lighter version of the PS5 in Japan. So is this "new" PS5, mooted for 2022, actually going to be substantively different?
We've rounded up as much information as we can find, to give you the scoop on all the important things you need to know about the rumoured new PS5 model. It may seem odd that a redesign is in the works with the console being less than a year old. So we'll take a look at the possible reasons for this too. Have global events painted Sony into a corner?
New PS5 model Release Date
The article we mentioned above suggested that TSMC, the semiconductor manufacturer, are expected to start production for a PS5 redesign between the second and third quarters of 2022. It's worth noting that some analysts view DigiTimes' track record as "spotty". So it may be wise to take all this with a grain of salt.
It's also slightly murky as to whether production will start in Q.2 or Q.3 2022. Or whether production is starting before that, before an intended release date in 2022. Either way, mid-2022 is a potentially significant juncture.
There is a question mark around the extent of a redesign for the PS5. Will this be a redesign on a par with the mid-generation refresh the PS4 saw? Or an internal redesign, similar to what Nintendo did soon after the Switch was released? Nintendo's redesign introduced the Mariko chip, a slightly overclocked, more efficient SoC.
At this point, it's looking much more likely to be the latter. The reported redesign is expected to focus far more on the architecture of the console. Specifically, with a potential new AMD silicon CPU chip. The rumour is that the new chip will move from the current 7nm octa-core AMD Zen 2 processor, and replace that with a 6nm process node instead.
The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition has already seen its first redesign. Newer models will be slightly lighter. Will this first big revision be substantially lighter and smaller?
At the present moment, the redesigned PS5 is very much in rumour country. This means there is absolutely no definitive answer. However, with the PS5 having recently sold its 10 millionth console, becoming the fastest-selling PlayStation model in history, it doesn't particularly seem that there is a need to change the price at the moment.
If Sony were to change the price, it's unlikely that it would be because of falling demand so soon in the product life-cycle. More likely, would be because of a change in the manufacturing cost of the console. For now, we will just have to sit and wait for more information.
The main upgrades being discussed are focused almost exclusively on the chipset we mentioned earlier. There is a possibility that a switch from 7nm to 6nm might also enable a performance boost to the console, and allow it to run more efficiently.
This would certainly be the sort of improvement one might expect to get as part of a mid-cycle console redesign. But whether we can really call this a PS5 'Pro', remains to be seen. This is especially true given how recently the PS5 was launched.
Would Sony take the opportunity to make other internal tweaks, such as increasing the size of that 825GB SSD? It would certainly be nice. As new games begin to fully realise the potential of the console, the chances are they will get bigger as well. At least the pending external hard drive update will help.
Why is this being talked about?
The single biggest reason this might be in discussion is because of the worldwide semiconductor shortages, which have been plaguing manufacturers around the world. Computers, games consoles, even cars, have all been hit by this. So Sony might be looking for a workaround to try to maintain supply levels of the PS5.
Being such a fast-selling console despite these supply challenges is impressive. But Sony won't want to rest on their laurels, and leave consumers with no option but to go elsewhere in the run-up to Christmas, for example. Ultimately, the best thing for us to do is watch this space, and see how accurate these rumours really are.
Sony remains tight-lipped over a potential console refresh. But there are continuing rumours of a possible PS5 Pro model being released in late-2023, or early 2024. This is the suggestion made by TCL technology, a television manufacturer.
Whether they have been given definitive guidance from Sony is unclear, but there is growing noise that suggests plans are in motion for a mid-cycle console refresh by Sony.
In further developments, new models of the PS5 have started appearing in stores in Australia, with a considerable weight reduction of about 13%, as reported by press-start.com. The weight reduction slims down the PS5 by 600 grams compared to the launch edition, and the PS5 Digital by 500 grams.
But while there is a clear effort to shed some weight from the gargantuan console, this doesn't necessarily mean an entirely new design is imminent.
As always, we'll let you know if anything changes.