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PlayStation 4 vs PlayStation 4 Slim: What's the difference?

While all eyes were on Sony's big PlayStation 4 Pro during the announcement, a new slimmer PlayStation 4 snuck onto store shelves. Instead of being called a Slim model like previous generations, it's simply also called PlayStation 4.

The goal is to replace the current PlayStation 4 on store shelves eventually, leaving only this new model and the PlayStation 4 Pro for shoppers to choose between. Until that happens, there are a pair of boxes labeled PlayStation 4 on shelves and it's not entirely clear what the differences between them are. Here's what you need to know!

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PlayStation 4

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PlayStation 4 Slim

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PlayStation 4 Slim

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PlayStation 4 Slim

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PlayStation 4 Slim

In keeping with Sony's previous slim PlayStation releases, the goal with this new PS4 is mostly aesthetic. Sony claims the new PlayStation 4 consumes less power, but the big feature here is size. The new PlayStation 4 is noticeably thinner, and slightly narrower. As you can see by comparing the two side by side, the updated design drops the even split on either side of the big black line in the middle of the console and instead makes the top way thinner. This updated design is also matte black instead of glossy on half, and the under side of the casing swaps out streaks of anti-skid rubber for PlayStation themed anti-skid marks.

As silly as this may seem, the biggest update to the new PlayStation 4 design is the inclusion of discrete buttons on the face of the console. These two buttons, instead of the touch sensitive strips on the face, make it abundantly clear when you're powering on/off and ejecting a disk. It's a fairly small update in the grand scheme of things, but anyone who regularly tapped the front of the original PlayStation 4 only to have nothing happen will welcome the change.

Sony's DualShock 4 controller has also received a slight update, though you wouldn't know it by looking at them powered off. The touch pad in the center of the controller now shows you a sliver of light coming from the light bar. This means you know when the controller is producing light without looking at the back of the controller, and no extra power is consumed in the process. It's a nice little detail, but not something that will send most folks scrambling to replace their existing controllers.

PlayStation 4

The new PlayStation 4, which is currently being sold in a 500GB bundle with Uncharted 4, is exactly what we've come to expect from Sony with its "slim" releases. It's a physical update so this standard PlayStation 4 looks like a sibling to the PlayStation 4 Pro. It looks nice unless you're a fan of the white version of the PlayStation 4, and as the packaging suggests it's everything you need to get ready for PlayStation VR. Just like choosing between this new PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 4 Pro, the biggest reason anyone would choose the original version over this newer version is price.

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Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

55 Comments
  • I don't get it, does it run on Android? ...Joe K.
  • It does not, but there's a pretty great Android app and that's excuse enough for us to talk about PlayStation sometimes!
  • So, that's great, but you are setting a precedent. Does this mean you will also review the Xbox One because it has an, in my opinion, even better android app? What about Roku devices or Kodi? At what point does the focus leave android as a whole beause you are too busy trying to review every device under the sun that has an app? I appreciate the effort to try and do more, but honestly you all produce a crapton of great content already, and I'm afraid you might be stretching yourselves a bit too thin.
  • That's odd.. I thought I opened the Android Central app..
  • The PlayStation Vue app runs on Amazon Fire TV, which is powered by Android. There's your Android connection. :)
  • Vue is a really good service too. I got rid of my cable subscription and switched to Vue a couple weeks ago and it's been pretty good.
  • tl;dr version from GameSpot: PS4 Slim dimensions are 26.5cm x 26.5cm x 3.8cm compared to PS4's 27.5cm x 30cm x 5.3cm.
    Reduction in fan noise, power consumption, and heat.
    PS4 Slim has physical power and eject buttons compared to PS4's touch buttons.
    The PS4 Slim lacks the PS4's light bar.
    The PS4's Optical Out port has been removed from PS4 Slim.
    PS4 Slim has a dedicated panel on the back for switching out hard drives.
  • No optical port means my Turtle Beach headset is useless. Why would they do that?
  • Should just rebrand Android Central as something else. Call it "Entertainment Central" or something.
  • I see we met the quota. At least one of these per off-topic article.
    AC is going to be covering all things VR, sony is about to drop PSVR next month
  • Isn't that what the VRHeads site is for, though?
  • I like Android Central is covering consoles. I like both
  • I as well. I love video games tho, but even if I didn't it's no big deal imo.
    If they stopped covering android, then that's a legit beef. Just skip the article if you're not interested, right?
  • This! People are acting like AC can only publish a limited number of articles a day and they've 'wasted' one talking about PlayStations. 99% of the stuff on here still relates to Android, is the odd article about something else really that big of an issue? It's not like its replaced Android articles
  • The only consolation is that every article Russell writes about Playstation diminishes his ability to write articles about Pokemon Go.
  • Ha! Not even a little.
  • By switching the buttons on the front, the eliminated one of my favorite design features; the light bar that runs on top.
    I can understand the confusion some had with the original buttons even tho I wasn't one of them.
    Ftr, I like the original better
  • That light bar did look nice.
  • Does it do anything? Or is it just flair?
  • Just flair
  • At first I thought it was just for flare, as well....until it started to slowly pulse blue, evidence that there was hardware failure, at which I sent it back to SONY. Without it being on the new slim version, I wonder what indicator there is for serious system malfunction....
  • I mean the capacitive buttons buttons lined up with the light bar, but they weren't actually part of it. There's a tiny row of LEDs on the power button now though.
  • Love how people get butthurt because it's a Playstation and not Android lol But anyways! The new ps4 looks promising. Hope to get mine
  • Yep. It's 2016. People got offended by a PS4 article. No surprise.
  • Funnier yet? The people who complain about the complainers. They are even bigger losers.
  • And the people who are complaining about the complainers who complained about the complainers.
  • Don't worry sir. Read the comments, didn't complain ;)
  • An observation as opposed to a complaint. I concur.
  • Where do the cartridges go?
  • On the bottom
  • It looks like the PS3 though
  • PS4 slim is a waste....get the ps4 pro
  • Ps4 pro is a waste, get the slim! It all depends what you need.
  • Speak for yourself.
    I have a very expensive high end 1080p tv that's only 3 years old. I have zero interest in swapping it for a 4k tv for a few years, therefore I don't need the ps4 pro. The ps4 slim meets my needs.
  • Omg u don't need a 4k TV to even use the pro..but considering the fact that u just said ull get a 4k TV in a few yrs, future proof urself and get the pro,especially since the price is very reasonable for what they're offering you
  • What do you mean by the new controller shows a sliver of light? The black controller in the picture looks just about exactly like the original.
  • It means, the light you see on the back of the existing ps4 controllers will now also show up on the touch pad on the front of the new controllers as a slither of light, so you don't need to look at the back of the controller to see the color. Not sure if I'm making sense
  • They didn't even include an audio out? Giant mistake on Sony's part. On a side note, Xbox Scorpio is the worst name possible for a gaming console. Xbox Orb or Xbox Red. Anything except Scorpio
  • It's called Project Scorpio not Xbox Scorpio... and Scorpio is just the Code Name... like PS4 Neo was code name for PS4 Pro, like Project Cafe was for Wii U, like Revolution for Wii, like Dolphin for GameCube etc etc etc
  • Nah. Wii U is the worst name in my opinion.
  • Sure. Orb or Red is better than Scorpio. NOT.
  • I just seen the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe 256GB mod is now on eBay for the super low price of 918 USD thoughta and comments.
  • DOA
  • I've already canceled my preorder for the Pro. It only supports 4K gaming and streaming, but not 4K Blu-ray. Dumb move by Sony, so I will be waiting for either the PS5 or a revised Pro.
  • Wow, I didn't know about the blu-ray.
  • Yeah, Sony dropped the ball, big time, compared to the Xbox one S by not including it. Not really a shock, you can't even get a fingerprint scanner on their phones in the US, and they refuse to implement touchscreens on their cameras.
  • People who are new and old to the site come here for one reason, Android news. I know it seems fickle not to just scroll past the article, but if every site did this, you would waste precious seconds and time that could be spent elsewhere. People who are new to the site will find somewhere else, and old viewers will go elsewhere too. You only have to look at the example of the Facebook news feed to see that there's so much going on in the world today that time is precious, and hence why your feed has nearly doubled or tripled in size and why their getting you to spend time on Facebook instead of your usual favourite news site, and why there is so many options to make sure you only see the content you want to see.
  • Bruh, even Obama has enough time to waste on "precious seconds" scrolling past posts he doesn't want to read.
    U must have OCD
  • Why would anyone upgrade to this? This is geared towards new customers but they need to lower that price.
  • If only Sony Xperias were nearly as impressive, or competitive, as the Playstation 4, which is a shame. They look amazing but fall completely flat against Galaxy, iPhone, and even Oneplus.
  • If Android central is indeed covering consoles then why not both of them: Xbox One S and PS4 Pro instead of just play stations? Is this an advertisement deal ? If not then cover both One S and PS4 Pro, you can just use the same article on both Windowscentral and Androidcentral, so no additional resource/writer required.
  • No vr for MS - yet - that's why.
  • This is not VR central, it is Android central and the only relation is Android app for both, any way got the answer from the author in the next article, both consoles will be covered in future.
  • Since playstatiom.com now only shows "ps4 slim" and "ps4 pro" my current ps4 "stealth looking" has been downgraded to something like.. uhh PS3.75..
  • no optical output? wow. lazy. so I couldn't use my soundbar. guess i'll buy the old one... and I was waiting all this time for the slim.