As many have reported on in the last few weeks, it does appear that the PlayStation 5 is getting a little bit of tinkering done with its internals moving forward. According to Digitimes, it does appear that suppliers and manufacturers are gearing up for a new version of Sony’s newest flagship console, but before you get irritated that the $500 box you just bought a couple months ago is already being made obsolete or getting your hopes up for a PS5 slim or pro, let’s just take a second to realize what this is. Neither a bad or good reaction is needed in this case – at least this point.
So far all we know from the supposed rumor is that the processor is getting swapped out for a different version that might be easier to produce in the wake of the semiconductor shortage the global electronics manufacturing sector finds themselves in as a result of the pandemic. This is widely speculated to be for that reason, but it could also be just another benign cost cutting measure for Sony that anybody who has been around the block with PlayStation a few times should feel familiar with. PlayStation consoles regularly undergo certain revisions and the swapping out of parts as new, more efficient parts become cheaper and/or more accessible.
The PS1 had multiple revisions before we even knew a slim model was coming. With one adding an expansion port in the back, one adding different video outputs, and eventually all of these ideas being on the same console as the parts for those things became cheaper to produce and easier to acquire. Even consoles that predated the PS1 had plenty of minor revisions here and there to help make their console a more and more attractive item for players to buy while still keeping production costs at a manageable level for the company making them.
Same for the PS2. Sony’s PlayStation 2 had over 6 different revisions throughout its life, and most of those versions of the console would provide no noticeable differences to the end user in terms of what the console could do or how it would do it. Very few of the revisions would incorporate something physically noticeable about the appearance or the capabilities of the systems. As far as the vast majority of gamers were concerned, both systems; the PlayStation and the PlayStation 2 would be changed multiple times on the inside in ways that didn’t affect performance in any noticeable way, but somehow either made the system cheaper to produce, easier to produce, or both. With this, and many versions of each system out there, you’d think they would have changed more than they did, but they were so incremental in nature that it almost went totally unnoticed. And don’t even get me started on the PS3.
The truth is, not every revision is particularly important, or even worth taking note of at all. Especially so in this case considering that this new revision of the PlayStation 5 hasn’t even officially been confirmed by Sony to be real yet. given Sony’s history with doing this with their gaming consoles on a relatively regular basis one could reasonably surmise that a revision for the PlayStation 5 is inevitable within the next year or so, so the rumor here that we’ll be getting an ever so slightly different version of the console soon isn’t really off base at all. In fact, it would probably be more surprising if they didn’t have a revision or two before we actually hear anything about a PlayStation 5 Slim or PlayStation 5 Pro.
Usually, Sony tries to let a console breathe for at least 3 years or so before an actual new model is released to the public. This is smart because it helps avoid the two outcomes that we discussed earlier; people either being irritated that the Box they just invested in is now outdated or people holding off on buying the console because they just want to wait for a new, more superior model. This particular pattern in Sony’s production habits is going to naturally appear a bit strange to somebody who isn’t familiar with it though. Especially in the year 2021 where every single thing these companies do is amplified across social media and gaming media websites. But noise aside, if the rumor turns out to be true, it’s probably going to be much to do about nothing’.
Of course, that’s not to say that a PlayStation 5 Slim or a PlayStation 5 Pro aren’t on the way or being planned right now as we speak. They almost certainly are. And when those things come to light, I’ll be the first one there expressing my exciting for them and dissecting every little piece of information about them that I can possibly get my hands on, but until then it’s really not worth it to waste our energy and speculation on such small benign changes that are occurring with the PlayStation 5 to either side step production problems caused by the pandemic or just routine changes that are done to beef up profit margins.
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