PlayStation 5 Slim still some time away from SA launch

Sony has recently introduced a lighter and more compact version of the PlayStation 5 in the US and Canada, colloquially known as the PS5 Slim. However, South African gaming enthusiasts eager to get their hands on this revamped console will have to exercise patience until its expected local release in 2024.

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Gamefinity, the PlayStation distributor in South Africa, said that the PS5 Slim is anticipated to be available locally around Easter 2024, falling in the last week of March. The redesigned console retains the internal hardware of the original and first-refresh models but is housed in a 30% smaller chassis, weighing 18% less than the standard PS5. The digital edition is even lighter, weighing 24% less than its predecessor.

Externally, the PS5 Slim introduces notable changes. The two side plates are now split into four separate panels, with the top featuring a glossy finish and the bottom retaining a matte finish. The panels are divided into two sections with a horizontal gap on either side. Additionally, changes to the I/O include the front featuring a pair of USB-C ports, replacing the previous combination of one USB-C and one USB-A port. The disc eject button has been relocated to the disc drive itself, a move designed to accommodate the drive’s easy removal, which will be sold separately as an add-on for buyers of the new digital model.

Sony is banking on the PS5 Slim to drive sales during the holiday season. Its latest financial results update revealed the sale of 4.9 million PS5 units between July and September 2023, totalling 46.6 million units overall. Despite leading the Xbox Series X|S by a considerable margin, Sony aims to achieve 25 million sales by the end of its financial year in March 2023. To meet this target, it must sell 16.8 million units over the next two quarters, compared to the 9.2 million sold in the first six months of the financial year. Sony President Hiroki Totoki expressed confidence in reaching this goal “very easily.”

While the pricing for the PS5 Slim in South Africa is yet to be confirmed, the US pricing provides some insight. The standard version with a disc drive is priced the same as its larger predecessor at $499.99. The current standard console is priced at R13,999 in South Africa. However, the new digital edition is $50 (R932) more expensive than its previous version, potentially exceeding the R11,999 cost for the current digital version in South Africa. Predicting the local pricing remains uncertain due to fluctuations in the rand’s value against the currency in which Gamefinity purchases the consoles.