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Sony Released A New PS5 And You Didn't Even Notice

Though the PlayStation 5 might not quite reach the peaks of its foremost competitor — Microsoft's Xbox Series X — in terms of power, Sony's latest console is a next-generation achievement that boasts an impressive library of exclusive titles. Unfortunately, despite its massive sales and positive critical feedback, the PlayStation 5 has been plagued by supply shortages since its launch.

When the PS5 first released in late 2020, the world was in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many people to stay home until the spread had gone down and treatment options rolled out. The pandemic took an enormous toll on the gaming industry, and many games were delayed due to quarantine mandates and staffers transitioning to remote work. Console manufacturers were also effected due to work mandates and the overwhelming demand brought on by players stuck inside — not to mention the scalpers who capitalized on the situation.

For unspecified reasons, Sony has progressively scaled down the PS5's internal components, making lighter consoles. The first attempt at this venture occurred in 2021, and newer, even leaner models are set to be released soon. As a matter of fact, these updated PS5 versions have already hit shelves in some regions. Unless you were paying close attention to the console market, it's likely you didn't notice their debut.

A smaller PS5 emerges in Australia

On August 28, Japanese retailers revealed that Sony planned to distribute lighter versions of the PlayStation 5 in the country beginning on September 15, possibly in an effort to help production and better keep up with its massive demand (via Press Start). This change would be represented in both the Disc and Digital consoles — the new models being the CFI-1202A and CFI-1202B, respectively. However, according to a report by Press Start on August 29, Australia has already received these new versions — just days after Sony announced that the PS5 would get a controversial $50 (AUD) price hike in the region effective immediately. President & CEO Jim Ryan attributed this decision to inflation and other economic setbacks, however, the move met with significant backlash on social media.

Though the team at Press Start didn't dig into the system to find out what exactly has changed about these new models, it did notice that, according to the accompanying spec sheets, the CFI-1202A Disc version weighs in at 3.9kg while the CFI-1202B Digital version was listed as 3.4kg. This is down from the previous versions of the PS5, which weighed 4.2kg and 3.6kg.

To provide a better reference as to how much weight the PS5 has shed since its original iteration, the new Disc version weighs 600 grams less than it did at launch while the Digital version weighs 500 grams less. That is more than a pound lighter than either version of the console when they first hit the market in 2020.

Why is the new PS5 lighter?

In 2021, amidst severe supply issues, Sony first released new models of the PS5 to the public. These versions of the Disc and Digital PS5 weighed in at 4.2kg and 3.6kg, respectively, — down from the launch weights of 4.5kg and 3.9kg (per Press Start). However, some concluded that the new models harbored a sad truth just below the surface: Sony had replaced the console's heat sink with one that was half the size of its predecessor. While YouTuber Austin Evans concluded this could make the console run hotter, further tests run by Hardware Busters International may have debunked this claim, even going as far to say that the new heat sink worked more efficiently than the old one.

While it's currently unknown why the third round of PS5s are even lighter, some speculation links these models to the possibility of a PS5 Pro on the horizon due to multiple rounds of revisions to the original console. Alternatively, several people on Twitter have expressed concerns that Sony has replaced some of the system's parts with cheaper materials. "Raise the price over there AND make the console out of cheaper/ lighter components?" questioned one individual. "So lighter, cheaper to make yet they charge $50 more for it," observed another. "It's not about inflation at all. It's greed."

Some users, like @RayzerRed, theorized that Sony had reduced the size of the heatsink yet again, possibly to the detriment of buyers. Others wondered why Sony keeps messing with the weight at all, suggesting that the company should focus on more critical elements of the PS5's design, such as providing better balance or a slimmer profile.