Sony is struggling to keep up with PS5 demand, but it could be readying new hardware to fix the problem.
Following a previous hardware overhaul last year, a new PS5 model has appeared in Japan. First appearing in April (spotted recently by VGC), Sony has obtained a build design certification for it, along with updated radio gear. In Japan, all wireless and radio communication technologies must meet certain standards, hence the ministry’s certification. As a result, this PS5 review appears to be a “CFI-1200” series model.
It’s unclear why Sony is making new changes to the PS5, though the answer probably isn’t that exciting. While this doesn’t appear to be a significant upgrade from the PS5, the updated radio gear could use cheaper components, which would reduce overall production costs.
Alternatively, this revision could be designed for better use of existing hardware components, creating more efficient power consumption which decreases power consumption. It’s something we’ve seen Nintendo do before with their updated Nintendo Switch in 2019, although it dramatically increased the hybrid console’s battery life by 40%.
Don’t expect this to be a PS5 Pro
Mid-gen updates are nothing new. Nintendo may have set a modern precedent with the Nintendo DSi and New 3DS upgrades, but the trend of more powerful hardware only really caught on with the latest generation of consoles. The PS4 was followed by the PS4 Pro in 2016, offering a significant performance boost. Meanwhile, 2017 saw Microsoft launch the Xbox One X.
However, given the current shortage of semiconductors, it seems highly unlikely that Sony will actively consider an upgrade to the mid-gen PS5 at this time. PS5 restocks remain hard to come by for the most part, a fact reflected by recent PS5 sales falling behind the PS4. Realistically, a PS5 Pro model wouldn’t make much sense right now.
Instead, it’s likely to be a minor upgrade similar to the new CF-1100 series PS5 model. The hardware shed 300g of the weight of the original launch model by changing a screw and using a smaller heatsink and fan. Crucially, this update didn’t affect performance, meaning there’s no practical reason to upgrade if you already had the launch model. As such, it seems likely that this will be another minor optimization update.