Tech

The PS4 Slim is light and better for the environment

PS4 Slim is lighter - on your wallet and the environment too

There is a new battle of the bulge brewing between Xbox and PlayStation.

Last week, Sony announced the release of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) Slim - as powerful as the PS4, butmore than 30 per cent smaller, 0.4kg lighter and 28 per cent more power efficient.

More importantly, it is $50 cheaper than its predecessor at $449 for the 500GB model, and $70 cheaper at $499 for the 1TB one. It is available in Singapore from tomorrow.

This follows last month's launch of Microsoft's Xbox One S in the US. It is 40 per cent smaller than the Xbox One. No word on a Singapore launch date, though.

Unlike the PS4 Slim, the Xbox One S is capable of playing 4K-resolution games and video, and even comes with a 4K Blu-ray player.

Sony also announced a higher-end PS4 Pro, which has more powerful processing and graphics capabilities to support 4K games and video streaming. It will retail for $599 in November.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has a more powerful Xbox in the works - called Project Scorpio for now - which is likely to trounce its rivals in processing power. It will be launched only at the end of next year.

We got our hands on the PS4 Slim and here are our first impressions.

SIZE

The PlayStation 4 Slim measures 265mm x 39mm x 288mm and weighs 2.1kg.

Compare this to the current PS4, which is 275mm x 53mm x 305mm and weighs 2.5kg.

You can really feel the 16 per cent decrease in weight, especially when you carry it with one hand.

AESTHETICS

The PS4 Slim's finish is fully matte, compared to the matte-and-gloss look of its predecessor. Also missing is the light strip in the centre of the console, which lets gamers know whether their machine is turned on.

Sony has also replaced the touch-sensitive power and eject buttons with physical buttons.

Touch buttons look sexier, but physical buttons are more practical as you can avoid accidentally turning the console on.

POWER

The Slim sports the same chipset and RAM as its bigger brother. So if you are looking for an upgrade in terms of speed, you might want to take a look at the PS4 Pro instead, which comes with a 4.2-teraflops graphics engine instead of the 1.8 teraflops in the existing PS4 and PS4 Slim.

However, the PS4 Slim is 28 per cent more energy efficient. This means that it runs cooler and there is less fan noise.

OTHER KEY FEATURES

Missing in the PS4 Slim is the optical out port, which is useful for gamers who want to output their gaming audio to a higher-fidelity home theatre system instead of relying on the standard HDMI output.

The hard disk bay has also been relocated so it is easily removed by gamers who want to upgrade the internal hard disk themselves.

The PS4 Slim also comes with the faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds.

ACCESSORIES

The new DualShock 4 controller that comes with the PS4 Slim is largely similar to its predecessor except that it has an extra light strip at the touchpad so that gamers can see the lighting indicators without flipping over the controller.

COMPATIBILITY WITH GAMES AND APPS

All PS4 (2015) games are compatible with the PS4 Slim and the transition across both consoles is seamless. Likewise, games from a couple of years back can be played on your new PS4 Slim.

VERDICT

Compared to the PS4, the PS4 Slim is largely the same machine, but with a smaller footprint and a sweeter price tag.

With the launch of the PS4 Slim and the upcoming PS4 Pro, Sony will phase out the standard PS4 models. That means the PS4 Slim will become the de facto PS4 model, and the PS4 Pro will be the higher-end version.

If you are looking to upgrade your current PS4, waiting for the Pro might be a better idea if you are willing to fork out extra bucks or are a big fan of 4K videos on Netflix or 4K gaming.

technologygamingREVIEWS