Alleged PS5s, laptop stands, and Apple Watch bands
Instruction Set 2023/8/11
Welcome back to Multicore. This is Instruction Set for Friday, August 11th.
Quick programming note: Multicore will have a limited publishing schedule for the rest of the month. I’m travelling in Canada — we’re in Alberta this week before moving on to visit my wife’s family in Toronto. I’m planning to keep up with Instruction Set and will hopefully be able to finish some other stories in the works, but I’ll have to find the time between searching for bears and poutine.
Okay, on to what happened this week.
The upcoming redesign of the PlayStation 5 — which will inevitably be called the “PS5 Slim” by everyone regardless of how slim it is or whether Sony puts that name on the box (it won’t) — appears to have leaked.
Rumours around this one have been circulating for a while. Insider Gaming reported almost a year ago about a model with a removable disc drive, and this new variant does appear to be that. You can see it in an alleged video here.
This reminds me of one of my favourite ever gadget leaks: a “stolen” PS3 Slim went on sale at a street market in the Philippines in July 2009, two months before Sony officially announced the redesign. So while I can’t verify the video above, there is precedent!
The new console doesn’t abandon the PS5’s divisive design language, but it does look quite a bit more trim, and I think the detachable drive makes sense.
Right now Sony maintains two separate SKUs, one with a drive and a “digital edition” without. I almost never buy physical games, so I would’ve gone for the latter model to save $100, but it turned out to be impossible to find at launch. Sony could help boost PS5 adoption by focusing on the cheaper model, which people might be more willing to buy if they knew they could add a drive if they needed to down the line.
Speaking of PS5 adoption, Sony released its quarterly earnings this week, and they weren’t great. Well, they were actually okay, as the company bumped its full-year net profit forecast by 2%. But that still missed analyst estimates, and the stock fell the most in a year due to a warning that smartphone demand is unlikely to rebound soon. That’s a big headwind for Sony, which relies on selling image sensors to virtually every smartphone manufacturer in the world for a huge chunk of its profits.
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