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Is Sony's new PS5 design actually worse than the original?

We've just got our first glimpse at Sony's redesigned PS5, and we have to say we're a little underwhelmed. We'd been holding out for an improvement in the looks of a console that's been mercilessly mocked for its gargantuan size. Alas, the new PS5 actually looks identical to the original; it's just a whole lot lighter.

And while lighter might sound better, just how has Sony managed to shaved 300 grams (0.6 pounds) from a device that looks exactly the same? It seems the answer to that may not be an improvement at all. One tech reviewer who's got his hands on the model has discovered that the difference is in the size of the heat sink and that, somewhat logically, the new model gets hotter as a result. There's no suggestion that the change is going to improve availability of the device, but if you fancy your chances getting one, make sure you check our guide to where to buy a PS5.

PS5

The new PS5 looks identical to the original model (Image credit: Sony)

We heard back in July that a lighter version of the PS5 was on the way, but it wasn't clear how the weight would be reduced. We were hoping it might mean a more svelter design for the console, but it turns out that the new model is just as enormous as the original, provoking more mystery about the reduction in weight.

With Sony having quietly started distributing the new 1100B model in Japan, the tech YouTuber Austin Evans managed to get hold of one and immediately took it apart to find out what was going on. He picks up on a few minor changes, such as a different screw in the stand and an improved internal fan, but his main discovery is that the newer model gets 3C to 5C hotter hotter when its running because of a smaller heat sink.

A heat sink serves to regulate the temperature of the console and prevent it from overheating. A matter of a few degrees isn't a massive difference, but Evans reckons it could be enough to cause performance issues and to impact on the longevity of the console. He comments below his video: "The thing is, Sony removed a SIZABLE amount of the heatsink on this new model. With fewer fins and smaller heat pipes it simply isn’t as efficient at moving the heat out of the console."

We only have the one test to base this on at the moment, and it's no guarantee that the new model will consistently run hotter than the original. However, Evans goes as far as to say the new PS5 is a worse console in terms of cooling and that he'd prefer to have the original PlayStation 5.

Of course, with both models being so hard to come by, we hardly have the choice. The new model is currently being sold in Japan, but if it gets rolled out elsewhere then we'll have to take it. We had heard that Sony might be planning to redesign the PS5 because of a shortage of semi-conductors holding up production of the console, but it's not clear whether the redesign seen here will help availability.

PS5 heat sink

What's inside? Evans' comparison of the PS5 heat sinks (Image credit: Austin Evans)

If you're getting frustrated waiting to get your hands on a PS5 yourself, check out the best current deals on other games console deals below – and be sure to take a look at these fantastic Nintendo Switch deals.

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Joseph Foley

Joseph is a regular freelance journalist at Creative Bloq. He also works as a writer and translator, as well as a project manager at a design agency based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he spends his nights dancing tango and drinking malbec. His interests include graphic design and social media.