Gaming First Look

Slimmer and lighter PlayStation 4

Makeover is slight but the PS4 barely makes any noise, compared with its predecessor

The corners of the PlayStation 4 console are now rounded.
The corners of the PlayStation 4 console are now rounded.PHOTO: SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT

A new smaller and lighter PlayStation 4 (PS4) console will be available on Saturday, priced at $449 for the 500GB version, and $499 for the 1TB model.

It has about 30 per cent less volume than its predecessor and, at 2.1kg, is about 700g lighter.

While it retains the parallelogram profile of the original, which was released in 2013, its corners are now rounded and the console looks less angular overall.

It also sports a much plainer look, with the non-decorative light strip running down the middle. Instead, it has a simple matte surface, reminiscent of the PlayStation 3 Slim, and a PlayStation logo in the centre.

The front of the console has also undergone a slight makeover. While the power and eject buttons used to be camouflaged to blend into the light strip, they are now discreet. It still has two USB ports but, for some reason, there is a three-inch gap between them. It looks odd but perhaps it will make sense when the PlayStation VR comes out later this year.

Inside the slimmer shell, the new PS4 is pretty much the same as the old one. Both models run an octa- core AMD x86-64 Jaguar 1.6 GHz CPU and an AMD Radeon GPU running at 1.84 terraflops. Both have 500GB and 1TB storage options, and both have 8GB of RAM.

Gamers who want an upgraded device capable of 4K gaming will have to wait for the PS4 Pro, which will be released in November, starting at $599.

Where the new PS4 does better, though, is in noise levels. Playing Doom on both consoles, the new PS4 made barely any noise, while I could hear the fans on the old one whirring away. I would say this is not a massive upgrade though, more often than not, game sounds are loud enough to drown out whatever noise the console makes.

What I do like, though, is the new DualShock controller. Though not strictly part of the new PS4, it comes bundled with the console.

The biggest improvement is a strip of light added to the top of the controller, unlike the old controller which had only a light on the front.

Now, users no longer have to tilt the device upwards to see the light, which makes it a useful display for in-game notifications or health bars.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2016, with the headline 'Slimmer and lighter PlayStation 4'. Subscribe