Sony plans to reveal a slimmed-down standard version of its well-known PlayStation 4 video game console the next month, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The news takes after the company’s announcement earlier this year that it would introduce a higher-end version of the console with improved graphics, aimed at hard-core gamers. The system will be slimmer and less expensive than the current US$350 console, as per the WSJ.
The strategy is in keeping with the shift from conventional disc-based software sales to subscriptions and software downloads. Sony has reportedly cut production of the current PS4 in order to conform inventories and clear out space for the new standard version and enhanced model. The two systems might be revealed officially on Sept. 7 when the company holds its scheduled New York press conference on the PS4 business and the future of the platform.
The Sony PS4 has sold more than 40 million units worldwide since its dispatch in November 2013 – twofold the number of Xbox One units rival Microsoft has sold. However, PS4 sales slowed in Japan this summer. The “PS4 Slim” is seen to a great extent as a slight iteration of the console, instead of a major leap. “It’s common for game consoles to release a slim iteration, as has been a feature of the hardware cycle for several generations now,” said Steve Bailey, senior analyst for gamers at IHS Markit.
Where Sony’s strategy now differs from its past console efforts is that it’s putting forth only a slimmed-down rendition, as well as an enhanced version. This could be seen as an approach to hedge its bets on the very fragmented gaming audience. The company efforts and goal to cover every contingency in the console space could imply that Sony’s PS4 will contend not just with the Xbox One and Nintendo’s Wii U, but also with different versions of the PS4.