Sony’s PlayStation 5 console has been out for around 10 months now, and it certainly feels like that time has flown. It seems like only yesterday we were struggling to place our orders and desperately hoping that websites would have stock of the console in any form…oh, right. Well, that might not have changed, but the PS5 certainly has more games under its belt and a growing list of reasons to buy it (or, at least, to hope that you can get hold of one at some point).
Even though the PS5 is out there in the wild now, in 2021 Sony released a new hardware revision for the console. It’s nothing major; the WiFi chip is getting updated, there’s a new console screw for alignment purposes, and it’s marginally lighter than the console was at launch. This isn’t the PS5 Slim – that’s probably coming later – but it’s the first step along the way to a major hardware switch-up, which will eventually give rise to the PS6. With all that in mind, then, a reasonable question could be asked: when are we going to get a PS6, and will there be a pro / slim edition?
You might think this is thinking ahead a little too far, but hey – the PS5’s stock issues were so widespread that planning for the PS6’s eventual release doesn’t feel that far-fetched anymore. You might even be thinking that you’re going to skip the PS5 generation and head straight for the PS6, or even for the PS6 Slim or PS6 Pro, and you’d be forgiven for doing so. After all, with consoles still so difficult to get hold of, who knows when you’ll be able to get your hands on a PS5?
If we want to know when the PS6 could land, we should first think about when we might see the PS5 Pro and PS5 Slim edition. The slimline PlayStation 2 model arrived in 2004, around four years after the release of the base chunky model. That version added a toploader disc tray and switched things up to a much slimmer build, although it sacrificed HDD capabilities as a result (which came as a blow to anyone wanting to play Final Fantasy XI on their PS2).
Moving through the generations, the PS3 launched in 2006-2007 depending on which territory you were in. Rather uniquely, the PS3 actually had two different slim models: the Slim, released in 2009, and the Super-Slim, launched in 2012. The Slim was created to address overheating issues with the PS3, but it did away with PS2 backwards compatibility. The Super-Slim made further design changes and came with a larger hard drive, anticipating the move towards download-based gaming.
Finally, we have the PS4, which launched in 2013. The Slim version arrived in 2016, and although it wasn’t technically called the PS4 Slim, that’s what it’s colloquially known as. That makes three years between the PS4 and the Slim model, two to three years between PS3 and PS3 Slim, and four years between the PS2 and PS2 Slim. Judging by that logic, we can expect the PS5 Slim to arrive in around 2022 or 2023, although it’s going to be hard to squash down that chunky form factor!
So, based on this, when can we expect the PS6? If the PS5 launched seven years after the PS4 – which itself launched around seven years after the PS3 – then we can assume the console generation cycle lasts for around seven years. With that in mind, the base PS6 model is likely to arrive in 2027. Time will tell what kind of features it will have, but we can make a few educated guesses. That’s for another article entirely, though – we won’t speculate here!
The PS6 Slim will therefore likely arrive in around 2029-2030. That’s right – we’re looking at a wait of at least eight or nine years before we get a PS6 and the possibility of a PS6 Slim model. That’s assuming Sony follows the same trajectory it has done for its other machines, too; there’s every chance Sony may decide to skip the Slim model for the PS5, and that they may do so for the PS6 as well. We simply don’t have enough information about the PS6 at this time to make an informed judgement.
When the PS6 Slim does arrive, what is it likely to change about the PS6 base model? Well, that’s entirely dependent on what the PS6 looks like. Judging from past Slim models, we can assume it’s going to significantly reduce the PS6’s size, probably by around 33% all around. That might cause heat sink issues, so expect Sony to come up with a clever way to make sure the console is still venting enough heat not to run into difficulties later down the line.
The Slim model is likely to have the same storage capacity as the base PS6 model. If there is a PS6 Pro, that’ll be the one with a bigger SSD inside (and mark our words, there’s no way Sony is returning to mechanical drives). The purpose of the Slim model has always been to refine the formula created by the base machine and get the console into more homes, not to increase power. With that in mind, we don’t think the PS6 Slim is going to differ too much in specs when compared to the base PS6 model.
So there you have it – that’s what we think about the PS6 Slim! Of course, all of this is based on pure conjecture. All we have to judge this by is past figures and what Sony tends to do in each console generation, and that may or may not be an accurate yardstick when it comes to the PS6. We’re going to have to wait and see what time has in store for Sony’s next console, but one thing’s for sure: we’re going to be right here when it does arrive.
Image source: here.