PS5 Slim vs PS5: what's the difference?

PS5 Slim with detachable disc drive on a white background
(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5 Slim has been on sale for around six months now, and will soon be the default Sony console – once all remaining stock of the standard PS5 has sold out, the Slim will be your only option. (Until the PS5 Pro is unveiled, that is.)

But while the Slim and the standard PS5 are still available, you have a choice to make: which to buy? Like previous Slim variants, the PS5 Slim is essentially the same console as the standard PS5 but in a slimmed-down design – previously, the PS2, PS3 and PS4 all shed some pounds for their own Slim iterations.

But that's not the full story. The PS5 Slim has some upgraded innards too, including more storage and more modern USB ports. It's also much easier to find than the original PS5 was at launch, though that had to content with component shortages caused by a global pandemic.

Wondering which console is right for you? Read on, and we'll spell out the differences between the two.

PS5 Slim vs PS5: price

The PS5 Slim was announced at the start of October 2023, and went on sale at the end of November.

Like the original PS5, it comes in two variants – one with a disc drive, one without. The Digital Edition starts at £390 / $450 / AU$769, while the version with the disc drive costs £480 / $500 / AU$799. This is more expensive than the launch price of the original PS5 Digital Edition (£360 / $400 / AU$600) and Physical Edition (£450 / $500 / AU$750), but is in line with current PS5 prices as both models received a price hike earlier in 2023. 

The PS5 Slim's detachable disc drive comes in at £100 / $80 / AU$159, meaning you'll save £10 / $30 / AU$129 if you decide to get the disc-drive included model from the get-go. 

Want the vertical stand to go with it, and show off how slim your new PS5 is? That's extra too. It costs £25 / $30 / AU$49.

While prices remain high, the standard PS5 is in the process of being superseded by the Slim, so has more chance of being discounted by retailers looking to shift old stock.

** Winner: PS5 **

PS5 Slim vs PS5: design

Sony PS5 with a controller on a white background

(Image credit: Future)

The PS5's design is somewhat divisive. Some people love its big-collared look, while for others it might be a bit too Harry Hill. But one fact is not up for debate: it's massive. The biggest console in gaming history, in fact. So the PS5 Slim is most welcome. It's not only slimmer than the PS5, but lighter as well. It's 30 per cent smaller and 24 per cent or 18 per cent lighter, depending if you opt for the version that includes the disc drive. So not only will it take up less of your home entertainment unit, it'll put less strain on your back when you pick it up, too.

This is in keeping with previous 'Slim' models – the PS4 Slim was 40 per cent smaller than the original PS4, while the PS3 Slim was 33 per cent slimmer than the standard PS3, 36 per cent lighter, and 34 per cent more power efficient. Sony then went on to launch a PS3 Super Slim model, which managed to be 20 per cent smaller than the PS3 Slim, while tipping the scales at 25 per cent lighter.

For the first time, Sony sells the PS5 Slim's disc drive as an optional extra, so if you buy the Digital Edition and find you miss physical media formats, you can always add it on afterwards. Although it won't look quite as sleek as the Physical Edition variant's built in version.

In terms of the actual look, there's not much difference between the PS5 and PS5 Slim. The Slim model does have four side plates instead of the standard PS5's two. One of these extras is to fit the detachable Blu-ray disc drive, and also makes it easier to access in case it needs repairing. 

** Winner: PS5 Slim **

PS5 Slim vs PS5: specs

The two consoles mostly have the same specs, but there are a couple of key differences. The PS5 Slim has 1TB of onboard storage, whereas the standard PS5 only has 825GB (though it is expandable with external storage). That gives the Slim model more space for games, movies, music, photos and apps.

There's also a slight difference in the USB ports. The Slim model has two USB-C ports on the front, whereas the original PS5 has one USB-C and one USB-A. On both consoles, one of these is rated Hi-speed (the USB-A on the original PS5, up to 480Mbps), and one is SuperSpeed (up to 10Gbps). Both consoles have two rear USB-A SuperSpeed ports. You can see more info here.

Other than that, the specs of both consoles are nigh-on identical. And they should perform exactly the same. They both deliver 4K games mostly at 60Hz (but upping this to 120Hz for some titles) with an AMD graphics processor with 10.28 teraflops of power.

** Winner: PS5 Slim **

PS5 Slim vs PS5: verdict

The PS5 Slim will soon be the default version of PS5. Sony has confirmed that once stock of the original console sells out, the Slim model will be the only one available, either with or without a disc drive. Its technical name is CFI-2000, so if a console isn't marked as 'Slim', make sure you check the model number before buying.

You might think retailers would be keen to run down stock of the original PS5, but we've not seen any discounts so far. If you do see it going for a bargain, and you don't mind the heft, the lower built-in storage and older USB arrangement, you should grab it. Otherwise, the PS5 Slim is the way to go.


Check out how to get the best picture and sound from your PlayStation 5

Find out where to buy a PS5

These are the best PS5 games around

Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.