Mid-generation hardware updates are nothing new. Every Sony PlayStation console since the original has had them. Sometimes these have been less physically noticeable changes, like an alteration of video output support, or the PS3's infamous stripping of backward compatibility. Sometimes the changes are obvious and are a major selling point for late adopters. The miniaturized "PSone" released in 2000 actually outsold the PS2 its first year on the market, proving that not everyone needs the latest and greatest. Sometimes it's enough to just have a compact version of the console with the proven library.
While there hasn't been any official acknowledgment from Sony, images of a new PS4 console iteration hit the web from a Gumtree posting last week. This all but confirmed the existence of a new, slimmer version of the standard 500 GB model. It is assumed that Sony's plans are to announce this new version alongside the 4K enabled and graphically enhanced PS4 Neo at a press conference on September 7. As is often the case before a major hardware upgrade, current units are going on sale. Destructoid is reporting, you can currently score a 500 GB PS4 and a second controller for only $299 on eBay.
With mounting evidence, any lingering doubts that these images were just an elaborate hoax have now evaporated. Let's Play Video Games has posted an unboxing video of the newly slimmed iteration of the PlayStation 4. Aside from the difference in the console's look (curved edges and a roughly 1/3rd thinner design), the video highlights its major functional differences. These include an LED-lit, physical power button, removal of the optical audio port, and a tweaked controller design that extends the controller light bar to a sliver above the touchpad. The updated console box simply markets it as the Sony PS4, so the "Slim" moniker may end up merely being a shorthand differentiator for gaming enthusiasts.
While a streamlined architecture is sure to encourage system sales for newcomers, it's likely that the Neo will be the bigger item of intrigue for long time PS4 owners, especially those who've invested in 4K televisions or are considering the already sold-out PSVR system. While the exact specifications and abilities of the Neo likely won't be clear until a week from now, it's expected to enhance the resolution of games in both of these formats.
With Microsoft releasing their own 2TB, 4k enhanced Xbox One S and their own graphically enhanced Xbox One Scorpio, the mid-generation console war certainly seems to be heating up. Whether or not these new models will change the race or simply give consumers more options remains to be seen, but it looks like we'll have a much better picture of the situation in the coming weeks.
Screen Rant keep you updated on the PlayStation 4 Slim and PlayStation Neo as more information becomes available.