Earlier this month, word got out that Sony has been sending out invites for a PlayStation event this coming September 7, simply dubbed as “PlayStation Meeting”. Of course, the invites did not come with the exact itinerary of the event because, well, that pretty much defeats the purpose of having a special event. It’s generally speculated that Sony’s mid-generation console upgrade – the PlayStation 4 NEO – will finally be revealed in the event, after being kept in the dark ever since Sony confirmed its existence before E3 this year. But it turns out the PS4 NEO isn’t the only console that’s going to be unveiled.
PS4 Slim leaked images and a weekend of rumors
This past weekend, a lot of rumors sprouted concerning a PlayStation 4 Slim, which was never announced or even mentioned by Sony. Apparently, the console was made available at Gumtree. Images of the console, both boxed and unboxed, were later posted at NeoGAF by the user Venom Fox, alongside images posted by user shortmaneighty2 on Twitter who saw the console at Gumtree. Of course, fans naturally got mixed feelings of excitement and suspicion over the leaks. But they can discard the latter feeling now because Eurogamer has also confirmed that the PS4 Slim is very much real. There are also unboxing videos now available online, but for legal purposes we’re not going to include links here (they’re easy enough to search for anyway).
Also popping up last weekend was the report by the Wall Street Journal that “people familiar with the matter” says that the September event will unveil “a new PlayStation 4 standard model alongside a high-end version”. The “high-end version” could possibly point to the PS4 NEO, unless Sony has yet another console up their sleeves (extremely unlikely), while the “standard mode” could be referring to the PS4 Slim, based simply on context.
Although the news about the PS4 Slim were a bit sudden, with the way the rumors and leaks flew around last weekend, it’s not exactly surprising that the current PS4 will be getting a Slim version. After all, its predecessors and even Sony’s handheld consoles similarly went through the aesthetic upgrade. The keyword is “aesthetic” because the PS4 Slim version is unlikely to have technical improvements over the current version, which will render the upgrades that the PS4 NEO will bring to the table useless. If Sony does end up unveiling both the PS4 Slim and PS4 NEO in the PlayStation Meeting, they will practically be in the same spot as their rival Microsoft. The software giant has recently released a slim version of their current flagship console, called the Xbox One S, which was first announced at this year’s E3. It was announced together with the Project Scorpio console, which will also be a mid-generation upgrade similar to the PS4 NEO and will be unleashed in the 2017 holiday season.
New DualShock 4 will come with PS4 Slim
Aside from the lighter weight, the PS4 Slim is apparently going to have a new DualShock 4 controller. Videos and images online that accompanied the flurry of leaks regarding the PS4 Slim also brought along details of the new controller, which are really just minimal actually. There is now a light bar at the top of the controller’s touchpad, and the directional buttons, face buttons, and shoulder buttons are now grey instead of the usual black. However, Twitter user shortmaneighty2 (again) clarified that said light bar is actually just a transparent strip on the touchpad and not an actual, uh, light bar. (Confusing isn’t it?) Furthermore, he also noted that the battery of the DualShock 4 now lasts longer than the current one.
Since the PS4 NEO is simply a mid-generation upgrade, it’s very likely that it will also use this new DualShock 4 controller, similar to the Xbox One S bringing along an upgraded Xbox controller instead of boasting an entirely new controller. Project Scorpio could also feature the current Xbox controller (presumably with some minor changes) considering it’s a mid-generation upgrade, too, as mentioned. An entirely new PlayStation controller may not arrive until Sony cooks up a PS5 or whatever next-gen console that will follow the PS4. Of course, Sony just might drop a surprise or two in their event next month, so be sure to stalk the event.