Sony launched its lighter and more compact PlayStation 5 in the US and Canada this week, but interested South African buyers will have to wait a few more months for a local release.
PlayStation distributor in South Africa, Gamefinity, has told MyBroadband the revamped console — informally referred to as the “PS5 Slim” — will be available locally sometime in 2024.
The company expects the country to start getting stock around Easter, which falls in the last week of March next year.
The new PS5 console boasts the same internal hardware as the original and first-refresh models but packs it into a 30% smaller chassis, weighing 18% less than the standard PS5.
The new digital edition weighs 24% less than its predecessor.
Aside from its lower height, the biggest exterior change is that the two side plates are split into four separate panels, with the top glossy and the bottom retaining the matte finish.
A horizontal gap on either side divides the panels into two sections.
There have also been some changes in terms of the I/O, with the front now featuring a pair of USB-C ports instead of one USB-C and one USB-A port.
The disc eject button has also been moved to the disc drive itself.
This change makes sense because the drive is easily removable and will be sold separately as an add-on for those buying the new digital model first.
Sony is pinning its hopes on the PS5 “Slim” to boost sales over the holiday period.
According to its latest financial results update, it sold 4.9 million PS5 units between July and September 2023, taking its all-time sales number to 46.6 million.
While it is leading the Xbox Series X|S by a significant margin, the company previously said it was targeting 25 million sales in its financial year, which will run until the end of March 2023.
It will have to sell 16.8 million units over the next two quarters to reach that number, compared to the 9.2 million sold in the first six months of its financial year.
Nevertheless, Reuters reported that Sony President Hiroki Totoki was confident the company could attain this “very easily”.
Pricing yet to be determined
PS5 “Slim” pricing in South Africa remains to be confirmed.
In the US, the standard version with a disc drive costs the same as its larger predecessor — $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.
That means it could cost more than the R11,999 for the current digital version in South Africa.
However, speculating on pricing is an exercise in futility with months to go before the local launch, as the rand’s value can strengthen or weaken substantially against the currency in which Gamefinity buys the consoles.