I don’t know if you realise this, but the PlayStation 4 still costs $299.99 officially. Sony has added value to the console by increasing its base hard drive size and also by bundling in software, but it’s more or less maintained the same MSRP for nearing three years now. That’s a testament to the success of the system overall: it’s approaching 100 million units now, and it’s done so at a premium price point.
But with the PlayStation 5 looming, I think it’s the perfect time to move the format into its final form. With the PlayStation 3, the platform holder introduced an end-of-life hardware revision: the top-loading PS3 Super Slim – a cheap and cheerful entry-point for cash-conscious latecomers. The manufacturer’s said that the PS4 still has three years left in it, so perhaps it’s time to do the same.
Nintendo is leading the charge in this regard, as it so often does. Despite the Switch being the hottest new piece of hardware on the market, it’s already readying the release of a revision: the portable-only Nintendo Switch Lite. It’s fair to say this isn’t competing for the same market as the PS4, but at just $199.99, the House of Mario will no doubt expect the handheld to fly off shelves.
Sony doesn’t necessarily need to respond because it’s targeting a different audience, but its current-gen console could benefit from a shake-up. With major titles like Death Stranding, The Last of Us: Part II, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Cyberpunk 2077 scheduled to round out the generation, the manufacturer has a lot to shout about – but revised hardware and a reduced price point would help.
To be clear, I’m referring to the base model PS4 in this article – I’m not convinced it’s worth altering the PS4 Pro at this stage, as the supercharged system is likely to be phased out once the PS5 arrives. But for that market of stragglers – kids, casuals, and everyone in between – there’s a huge market left for PS4 that would undoubtedly benefit from a smaller, cheaper model.
I’ve no reason to doubt the Japanese giant at this stage in the generation: it’s cultivated a tremendous ecosystem and sold more consoles than I could even count. But to eke the very most out of the latter stages of this generation, I think the company needs to be proactive: drop the price, reinvent the hardware, and then let the last round of software wrap things up in unprecedented style.
Do you think Sony should launch a PS4 Super Slim, or stick with the current hardware model until the system’s eventually retired? Would you buy a smaller, cheaper PS4 for family or friends? Shrink things down in the comments section below.
Would you buy a PS4 Super Slim? (183 votes)
Yes, I always buy hardware revisions
I would, I've been waiting for a cheaper PS4
Maybe, it'd depend on its features and price
No, I already own a PS4 and don't need another
I'm not interested in the PS4 anymore
Please login to vote in this poll.