The PlayStation has been one of the biggest games consoles in the world from the moment it hit the shops. That success kicked up a gear with the release of the PS5 though, which set a company record for the number sold on the day of release.
However, Sony wants to carve out an even larger share of the market. It is targeting global PS5 sales of 18 million by the end of the financial year, which would represent an annual increase of 70%.
It is also hoping to sell 30.5 million for the next financial year. That is not unrealistic, given that people don’t just use PS5s for gaming now but also for net browsing and TV streaming, helping to broaden its appeal.
Its compatibility with other kinds of gaming software also does that, for example online poker software, which offers the largest variety of games, including social chat which has become a valuable part of the consumer experience. That makes it a good buy for people who don’t play console games.
Industry sources suggest that Sony only sees 12 million of that 30.5 million sales being the current PS5. The rest will be of a new model that is yet to have its official release.
The most recent PS5 changes
News that Sony is planning another version of its PS5 console took some observers by surprise when it leaked a few weeks ago. After all, it was only in the summer of this year that it launched a revised edition of its flagship games console.
It is not particularly unusual for the manufacturers of consoles to release enhanced revamps, but the changes Sony made to the PS5 were not standard. Instead of hardware adjustments, the revamped version had a different internal layout.
The main purpose behind it was to make the console lighter to hold and use during long periods playing exciting PS5 titles like the open world Dying Light 2 and the FIFA 23 soccer game. The changes certainly achieved that, with the new hard console being 300 grams lighter while the Digital Edition was lighter by 200 grams.
It shows Sony responding to criticism, as the weight and size of the PS5 are among the issues that users have flagged up. The slightly bulky size remains a problem though and there is still no option for altering the wallpaper or theme, unlike with the PS4.
Some of the weight loss came from the upgraded and two-inch smaller motherboard, but Sony also sought to improve the cooling system on the 1200 model. It comes with a reduced heatsink and new model heat pipe that are intended to make it lighter without causing overheating.
Together, the heatsink and motherboard weigh roughly 2.5 pounds on the PS5 1200, which is around one pound less than the original console. Sony also altered the SSD enclosure, taking away the PCB and opting for exposed metal, most likely to try to help heat escape from the console more effectively.
The general view of the revised console was mixed, with some fans happy that it used up less power when gaming, while others complained that it was not really producing any less heat or noise during use.
That reduced power is something that could be a real advantage though. One test that was carried out by a YouTube PS5 gamer saw him try out the revamped 1200 Sony console playing Astro’s Playroom.
What he found was that between 20 and 30 watts less power was drawn by the console, which reduces power costs for players by up to 20%. That is not just good for individual PS5 users at a time when energy charges are skyrocketing; it is also good from an environmental perspective.
There is little question that this PS5 design refresh makes it better for gaming on.
A PS5 Slim coming
We may just be getting familiar with the 1200, but Sony has made it clear that there will be another PS5 revamp next year. As it expects that to count for the majority of 2023 sales, it must be something pretty special right?
Well the big change that is being trailed is the first PlayStation detachable disc drive. One plus point that will have for PS5 users is that if something goes wrong with their disc drive, they will be able to replace just that instead of having to buy a whole new console.
It is anticipated that the console will have another USB-C port for plugging in an external disc drive. The upcoming model is being called the PS5 Slim, which is leading some observers to hope for design improvements.
These include a size reduction and a return to a flat top instead of a curved one.
The PS5 Slim is expected to arrive in shops during September next year, so we will find out then.