Sony Will Release the PS4 Slim the Instant They Fall Behind Microsoft

You will see a new PlayStation 4 model when Sony thinks they need to play catch-up. And that may happen within the next year.

The PlayStation 3 had a dismal launch.

There were nowhere near enough units to go around, Blu-Ray had yet to be adopted as the high-definition format of choice (it was still battling HD-DVD), the PlayStation Network was in its infancy, there just wasn't enough software, and the formidable $600 price tag was a killer.

Few thought Sony's console would ever catch the Xbox 360, especially with Microsoft's one-year head start. And really, until the PS3 Slim launched, Sony took a drubbing just about every month in the US market. That new slim model, featuring a bigger hard drive and a lower price tag, is what allowed Sony to scramble back into the race.

Ultimately, the PS3 and Xbox 360 sold around 82 or 83 million units (depending on which source you use) and if the naysayers are being honest, they'll remember a time when it wasn't even remotely close, and they believed the PS3 would finish a distant third.

The PS4 situation is almost a total reversal and yet, Sony will save a new model until they really need it

The PlayStation 4 held a much more agreeable $400 price tag at launch, there were more games available, both Blu-Ray and the PSN had long since come into their own, and perhaps most importantly, developers everywhere praised this new system to high heaven. Throughout most of 2013 leading up until the release of Sony's new console, the PS4 was the hottest console in the world...and it wasn't even on store shelves yet.

However, now that the Xbox One has dropped to a more sensible $400 and this year's exclusive lineup could arguably favor Microsoft's console, Sony may soon find themselves in an neck-and-neck battle for the North American territory. We know the PS4 currently has the lead, domestically and globally, and while I'm convinced it will always retain that global advantage, I'm fairly certain the Xbox One will make a strong comeback in t he US.

I think Sony expects it as well, which is why they'll hold off on implementing a newly revamped console until it's absolutely essential.

History repeats itself...?

The PS3 Slim let Sony claw its way back into the previous generation and really, the timing of that system couldn't have been better in my estimation. For the PS4, while you've got the lead, there's no need to alter the winning formula. But when Sony begins to see its market share slipping in North America, they might utilize the same tactic. It makes perfect sense, too:

Not only does a Slim model reinvigorate the brand - in that it fuels gamer interest once again - but it also presents consumers with a positive illusion: "Look, a new system and now, it has lots more games!" Okay, so no core gamer is going to believe it's a new console, but the point is that if it's better than the original unit, and there are plenty of great software options, it will be infinitely more appealing. This is how the PS3 Slim got Sony back into the game (pun intended).

So, when the Xbox One officially retakes the lead in the US (and unfortunately, I believe that's inevitable), it won't be long before you hear about a new PS4 model.

Featured Columnist

A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published Jul. 2nd 2014
  • Axe99_1967
    This article is an interesting idea, but kinda disregards the huge logistical exercise it is to launch a remodelled console. Not only do they have to design the thing and prep the manufacturing plants for it (no trivial or quick task by any measure), they also need to stock the retail channel before launch. Given this, it will happen on Sony's timetable, as it'd be pretty much impossible to predict when (or if) the XB1 was going to pass the PS4 in the US (don't forget it hasn't got there yet, and if we have the same kind of differential in multiplat performance going into this holiday season, that's unlikely to change).
  • Thomas Lewis
    I agree with pretty much all of this article, but you have failed to bring up the perhaps way more important element to this. The PS3 Slim was released with a price drop too was it not?
  • SpandexRex
    Ok so never then.
  • andy_9741
    Cool so never? I don't see how being outsold 5 to 1 every single hour since January could see this ever happening.
    And in that case should Microsoft do it right now then? Or should they wait 4 and a half years to release the version of the console that doesn't guarantee to overheat and die on you (in case you haven't figured it out, that's what happened with their last console that was, you might say, a tad more popular than the Xbone).
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    It is not 5-1 in the US. That's not even close to accurate. In fact, for the majority of months, the PS4 barely beat out the Xbox One in the North American market, and that was before the price cut.
  • Nick_9838
    So never?

    I doubt Sony would never release slim version,.. It is always for cutting down the costs while keeping machine somewhat profitable,..

    Though how much smaller can this thing even get,..

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