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Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim) review

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  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
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  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
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  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
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  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
  • Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)
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Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Incredibly quiet
  • Much more energy efficient
  • Looks lovely
  • Easier to expand HDD space

Cons

  • Controller analogue sticks still not durable enough
  • The PS4 Pro makes this a tough sell to dedicated fans

Best Deals for Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)

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Key Features

  • HDR Gaming via software patch
  • Redesigned controller
  • 40% slimmer than original PS4
  • Available in 500GB and 1TB models
  • Manufacturer: Sony
  • Review Price: £259.00

What is the PS4 (Slim)?

The new PS4 (given the technical title of CUH-2000 but casually referred to as the PS4 Slim) represents the new standard PlayStation 4 console. It’s a hardware revamp that incorporates a makeover of both console and controller.

Their are currently multiple offers on PS4 bundles. Check out our Black Friday deals for more savings, and get a deal on a PS4 Slim bundle below:

Buy Now: PS4 Slim 1TB bundle with Uncharted 4, The Last of Us and DriveClub on Amazon for £250

Physically, it’s a big change, but functionally this PS4 is the exact same as the console currently on the market. That’s not a terrible thing, though: while there’s no 4K Blu-ray player or bump in game performance to shout about (unlike with the Xbox One S), it’s quieter, leaner and less power hungry than its older brothers, making it a decent upgrade.

However, with the impending launch of the PS4 Pro, which boasts a significant boost to performance, 4K gaming and even frame rate improvements for existing games, it may not be the best PS4 on the market for long. But it’ll certainly be the cheapest.

PS4 – Price and release date

The new PS4’s pricing is similar to that of the older model.

The console is currently sold with two different storage capacities: 500GB and 1TB. The 500GB unit retails with an RRP of £259, but with retailers offering competitively priced bundles, you could add more value to the mix for not much more, and the same is true of the 1TB model, which retails at £309.99.

PS4 (Slim) Video Review

The 500GB model will be available from September 19 and the 1TB a week later from September 26.

PS4 – Design and Controller

When leaked pictures of the PS4 ‘Slim’ began surfacing online, I didn’t think it looked particularly good. However, getting to see the new model in person, I can confirm my initial reservations proved unfounded: it’s a really cool-looking console.

Sony’s removed the beam of light running atop the console, leaving the slim with a simple matte black top and small PS4 logo. I always found the light bar on the console to be a massive eyesore and an outright annoyance when playing games with the lights off – which is why I’m happy Sony’s ditched it.

In its place you have a very simple, elegant (and also welcomingly dim) line of light on the power button.

Related: Nintendo Switch - Everything we know

PS4 Slim

The vertical power and eject buttons have also been removed and replaced with small, “clicky” buttons on the lower half of the console. It’s a simpler, more elegant look that makes mis-presses, which were a regular occurrence on the first PS4, a thing of the past.

The angled design is maintained from the older models, though in this smaller and thinner form factor it’s not nearly as prominent. The snazziest change actually comes on the bottom of the unit, with the face button symbols used for its feet. It’s a very cool bit of design.

On the front of the hardware the two USB 3.0 ports have been spaced out, with one sitting on the far right and the other just next to the disc tray. It’s annoying that there’s still no rear-facing USB port, as having devices such as an external storage drive or PSVR headset plugged in permanently will make the new, slimmer PS4 look untidy.

The right side of the console once again features the iconic square, circle, triangle and cross, but the circle is hollow to allow for the vertical stand needed if you want to place the console upright.

Related: PS4 Pro vs Xbox Scorpio

PS4 Slim

Around both sides of the unit there’s far less ventilation than on the launch PS4, which will hopefully mean far less dust entering the machine, thus preventing it becoming much noisier after a few months.

On the back of the unit we have all the same ports – HDMI, power, aux for the PlayStation Camera and Ethernet – but the optical output has been scrapped. This is presumably because Sony reckons most mid-range-and-above TVs have optical ports built in, but anybody who’s using the output on their current PS4 will have to rethink their home cinema setup.

There’s also a new slot on the back-right of the console that allows much easier access to the hard drive, for those wishing to upgrade. A simple pinch on the cornered slot will reveal a small piece of tape – which looks like film leaking from a camera – and by unscrewing a single screw, you can effortlessly slide out the pre-installed SATA hard disk and replace it with another. For those picking up the 500GB model – and anyone who already has a 500GB PS4 will know how quickly space runs out – being able to easily upgrade is a big plus.

The new controller has had some minor visual tweaks, but functionally it remains very much the same beast. The analogue sticks, face buttons, Options/Share buttons and D-pad have been given a new grey tone to contrast with the black of the controller. The grey used is reminiscent of the PlayStation 20th Anniversary Edition controllers, though a couple of shades darker.

The touchpad is also now translucent at the top to allow a slither of light to pass through from the lightbar on the back of the controller. The tweak makes it easier for players to see which colour they are in multiplayer matches. Considering the initial disdain for the light bar in the first place, it feels like a strange thing to include, and not something many players were screaming out for. It may, however, find greater use in the weeks and months to come, via the impending launch of PSVR.

Related: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Review

PS4 Slim

A big disappointment is something that remains unchanged: the analogue sticks. Vulnerable to rapid wear and tear, it would’ve been nice if Sony produced better materials that would last longer, like on the Xbox One’s excellent controller. I’ve already shelled out for new thumb pads for my original controller, and I’ll have to do the same with the new one.

PS4 – Specifications and Performance

The slim PS4 has the exact same specifications and offers the same performance as the original PS4. It is, however, noticeably quieter.

My launch PS4 screams like a vacuum cleaner working overtime these days, despite several (unsuccessful) attempts to clean and remove dust. The constant whine of the machine is present whether I’m playing a game from a disc or the hard drive, or when I’m simply streaming Netflix. However, this new PS4 is absolutely whisper-quiet.

Related: Best PS4 Games 2016

PS4 Slim

Playing games on mute I could barely hear the console. The only time noise was noticeable was when a disc was spinning. In these instances the console was admittedly still pretty loud, but it remained quieter than my other unit.

Thanks to a patch, the PS4 Slim will also be getting HDR gaming support. While it may lack a 4K Blu-ray drive, you’ll still be able to enjoy some HDR visuals if you own a 4K TV with that functionality.

PS4 – Power Consumption

Not only is the console smaller and better looking, but it’s also less power hungry. I put the PS4 Slim to the test against my launch unit, comparing it by using three games: The Witcher 3 (on disc), PES 2017 (on disc) and Paragon (digital). You can see below the difference in peak power usage across all three titles. All of the games were monitored across approximately an hour of gameplay, with the highest wattage level recorded.

Peak power consumption: PS4 Slim CUH-2000/Original PS4 CUH-1000

PES 2017 – 81W/147.6W

The Witcher 3 – 88.9W/146.2W

Paragon – 85W/144.7W

ps4 slim power consumption

As you can see, the energy efficiency of the new hardware compared to my launch console is pretty drastic. In fact, the launch PS4 uses as much energy in the main menu of the system as the Slim does playing games, averaging in the mid-80s.

If you included the mid-life refresh, the CUH-1200, that machine’s power consumption would be somewhere in the middle of the two.

Should I buy the PS4 (Slim)?

The new design won’t be for everyone, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction and grew on me during my time with it. It’s smaller, whisper-quiet and sips electricity, making it the best PS4 currently on the market.

The one giant elephant in the room is the forthcoming PS4 Pro. With the launch of a new high-end machine capable of delivering 4K and HDR gaming, plus upscaled resolution and improved framerates for 1080p, it’s tough not to ask: is it worth grabbing a Slim now?

Related: Xbox One S review

PS4 Slim

If you already have a PS4, probably not, as the Pro would make more sense as your next big investment. But for those without a 4K/HDR TV or a PS4, and who aren’t interested in the very ‘cutting edge’ of console performance, this is the console to buy.

If you’re debating whether to buy the Slim or the Xbox One S, the question really comes down to your intended use. If your main interest is 4K movies on your snazzy new TV, then the S is the way to go, but with the Slim still outshining Xbox as a games console, then Sony is the way to go for gamers.

Buy Now: Sony PS4(Slim) at Amazon.com from $299

Verdict

The best PS4 money can buy – for now.

For our review of the original PS4, head over to page two.

Overall Score

8

Best Deals for Sony PlayStation 4 (Slim)

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marty

June 13, 2013, 8:14 pm

I hope we see a native Spotify app on the PS4.

Matthew Bunton

June 16, 2013, 8:41 am

I think that both of the new consoles are going to suffer from DRM issues. Sony states that it is leaving it up to the developers. However, I cannot see that developers will have DRM restrictions on the Xbox One games but remove it for the PS4 versions.

Gian-Reto

November 22, 2013, 9:29 am

If only they would come out with true "next-gen" consoles... the CPU might sound pretty good for today, but will be overtaken in a year as its x86 instead of some superior design, and the GPU really sounds weak on both the XBone and the PS4.

Both are basically outdated the day they appear compared to any Highend Gaming PC. The only amazing thing is the price, bang for the bucks wise it beats any PC...
but they are still too expensive as impulse buys for anyone with a half-decent Gaming PC, as you pay 400 bucks for less power.

As nice as I think it is that Sony does not make this console a Loss-Leader (no PS owner wants to see Sony making a loss), the fact that they still aim fora 7-10 year cycle is ridicolous. I can see Streaming prolonging the life of these consoles.... but I don't think you need 400$ hardware for Game Streaming.

Lets see what Valve and the Steam Machines bring to the table, and if Nvidias GRID and Sonys Gaikai will somehow spawn a new type of console gaming. I for one was never less enthusiastic about a new console cycle as I am today... The off the shelf hardware sounds good for developers and cross-platform games and the console manufacturer and their profit, but they will blur the boundaries between the consoles and PCs further... I am not sure if this is what Sony and MS want. and it certainly does not help convincing me to fork over 400$ for a much weaker system than my PC I can already hook up to my TV and play games on with my XBOX Controllers.

Bring on the GOOD exclusives Sony!

Jason

November 22, 2013, 3:36 pm

One thing I don't understand is, why Sony refuses to put USB ports on the back of the console. No one wants to have their headset plugged into the front of the console. It will ALWAYS be left plugged in. So why not give us at least one in the back so we can hide the cable somewhat?

Friv juego

November 24, 2013, 4:57 am

I do not have much knowledge of technology and machinery but my husband was always a believer in this field, any new information also makes him sit her time to read and research. I will let him read this, so thank you.

Actionable Steps

November 29, 2013, 2:21 pm

Apples and oranges bro. I love my PC too (even though it's really crappy). But PS4 is bringing games that aren't gonna be there on PC (unlike Xbox One which you can completely forgo as all the good games will come out on PC too).
Yeah its outdated and weak ass compared to a PC, but who said graphics and fidelity are the only important things? Do you know what game I played the most last year. FTL - Faster than Light. Looked like crap but it was engaging as hell!

nbtech

December 6, 2013, 5:39 am

x86 as opposed to what?

An architecture specific to gaming?

PC gaming is not bound (generally) by CPU speed, but GPU power.

FuriousOne

December 17, 2013, 12:00 pm

There is a usb on the back of the console, certainly works for the Camera? Also wouldn't you just plug any 3.5mm jack headphones into your controller (Rather than MS's expensive version, you can use any normal headset you own (bar usb))

Jason

December 17, 2013, 7:15 pm

The one for the camera is only for the camera. Nothing else is shaped to fit.

I use the Astro A40 and I only need the USB port to power the mix amp, so it will always be plugged into the console. Something like that shouldn't always be seen. They want the console to be used in the living room, so why not make it so you can hide wires? It's not only used for charging controllers.

justerthought

December 21, 2013, 3:50 pm

Lack of USB on the back is the result of excessive cost cutting like the removal of analogue audio out. The camera socket on the back is not USB. The point about using USB means u can use high quality headsets that have a base bluetooth transmitter so you have wireless. Forget 3.5mm jacks and wires, this is 2013.

justerthought

December 21, 2013, 4:23 pm

This is a very good review. All the facts are correct and the resulting conclusions valid with no artificial bias. I now have a PS4 and can verify the PS4 is a beast waiting to be unleashed. Right now we only have awesome Assassin's Creed 4 showing us what the thing can do with breathtaking visuals, but others will follow rest assured. There is still a lot missing in terms of features, so hopefully Sony will focus on delivering them in future updates once the launch period has past. PSN infrastructure needs heavy investment as well in terms of quality of service now that Sony are charging for much if its use.

The first instalment is successfully in place. A powerful hardware beast with a great controller that is easy for devs to programme. The future looks bright for gamers, especially if you have a PS4.

justerthought

December 21, 2013, 5:06 pm

You're making the usual PC fanboy mistake of comparing like for like hardware specs and expecting similar overall performance. Measuring dick size is a primitive comparison done by fools and geeks who think they are part of the IT master race. The brute force numbers only tell half the story. The other half is all about how efficiently the hardware is used by the platform. PC's are general purpose devices and have to allow headroom for wildly varying user customisations, so they are very wasteful of their hardware resources and processing power.

A high spec cutting edge PC will always be better than a console because it cracks a nut with a sledge hammer using brute force. You just keep buying a bigger sledge hammer. The PS4 targets the sweet spot between power and price without over running into diminishing returns territory. It's aimed at a different user base and is a huge step up from the PS3. PS4 is perfectly capable of delivering 5 years of high quality, reliable, next gen gaming within a consistent eco system and requires zero maintenance from the user.

When evaluating the 10x increase over current gen PS3, don't look for something 10x better. You won't find it. Look for 10 things 2x better. That's the increase. Games don't have to ration which facilities they offer now. PS4 can run them all simultaneously without breaking sweat. 1080p, zero screen tear, smooth frame rate, rock solid image with zero flickering distant details, high res textures, stable high quality shadows on everything, complex physics, water refraction, wave simulation, wind simulation, current simulation, plants that bend when you push through them, particle effects, volumetric smoke, bokeh depth of field bur, realistic colourful global lighting, lush object density, drastically reduced pop in and huge draw distances. And it's all performed inside a tiny beautifully designed console with a very quiet fan and very low heat levels.

If you want proof of all that, play Assassin's Creed 4 on PS4. It's breathtaking.

Yes it's a closed system but that is not always a bad thing. It's bad if you're a hacker and want to pirate games, or want to play IT geek and enjoying tinkering with stuff. The audience Sony is targeting do not want a gaming PC. It is a lifestyle choice compatible with their current situation and their gaming habits. The future looks bright if you're gaming on a PS4.

RJ

January 23, 2014, 12:04 am

I hope none of you have the luck I've had. The console was an out of box failure (HDMI port malfunction) that I had to wait over 10 days to get a new one shipped to me. Then less than two months later the controller fried out. Have to wait another two weeks to get the replacement on that. PS4 might have a lot of capability, but they must be made in a shoddy sweatshop. On a good note...all possible things other than the wiring have broken on me now so perhaps I can count on the replacements working for more than a few weeks!
..........wondering if I should've stuck with xbox. I never had a problem with the original or the 360.

mi

February 27, 2014, 11:06 pm

had the console for less than a month, and the system stop working, sent it back to company and they will not honor the warranty. not good customer service. BBB will be involved

zaman

March 7, 2014, 6:57 pm

i am disappointed for being able to found many items on ps4. drive club, watch dog not even ready after 4 months. not recommend to purchase until sony bring some decent collection of games.

Actionable Steps

March 8, 2014, 6:35 am

If you had brains you wouldn't write something so dumb as whether the light bar is the reason for reduced battery life. Have you heard of LEDs? They run for months on a single AAA battery, so stop talking crap... ok?

Guest

April 6, 2014, 1:38 am

Oh I LOVE it when people are mean online. Makes me giggle when I think how completely silent and shy you'd be in person. Unable to speak your mind out of fear. Your type is pathetic ha ha.

Guest

April 6, 2014, 1:39 am

Lies. If it was a genuine issue on their end they would honour the warranty. You messed up somewhere along the lines.

Guest

April 6, 2014, 1:40 am

Can it support wireless headsets? If so just use one of those.

Tim

May 20, 2014, 3:39 am

Then what is it? My PS4 controller dies incredibly fast and I hardly use it. So if you're so damn smart clue us in.

Tim

May 20, 2014, 3:47 am

VERY GOOD RETORT! BRAVO!! I myself OWN a PS4 but I prefer my Xbox ONE (Not BONE you idiot fanboys!) and actually can say the samething in regards to that. Where all PS4 fanboys use the "BUT PS4 HAZ THE MORE POWERZ"
Your post was refreshing

Sohpia Bright

June 2, 2014, 6:21 am

I don't know about other people, but honestly I am in love with my PS4. It is just one amazing of device without which I guess I can't live. I had the PS3, and was hesistant to upgrade, but once I did upgrade to PS4 there was no turning back. Now, the graphics of the PS3 look sooo un-real, which is saying a lot. Overall, I found no issues at all in the PS4.

Also, for all the fellow Indians, the device is available at a highly discounted price on FlipKart. Also, I managed to find a link which gives you priority shipping. Here's the link with the discount and priority shipping -

bit DOT ly SLASH BuySonyPS4

Cheers!

Camila

September 26, 2014, 8:53 pm

Increible!!

john

December 17, 2014, 12:42 am

Ps4 died 15 days after purchase

Gshearer

February 11, 2015, 6:31 am

I have never been so disappointed with a game console as I am with the PS4 and trust me I grew up with two gamers and raised a now 20 and 14 year who also are big gamers. I've waited over night in parking lots, camped outside stores for game consoles only to put a smile on my kids faces and never with any regrets. That is til the playstation 4 which lasted about 5 months which mind you hardly had been used being that my 14 year old had been waiting for watch dogs to come out, well once it did after about 3 days the console went dead with game inside of it what a disappointment. I called and shipped it off to sony and console was lost/misplaced nowhere to be found after about 5 to 6 months It finally was shipped back during holidays and never fixed I dont even think they touched it.... warranty has run out... now what?? hate to dissappoint my kid but most of all I feel cheated..

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