[Update] Sony’s Fall Plans: Two New PS4 Versions, Price Hike For PlayStation Plus

Image courtesy of Jon Fingas

Ah, September: time for the kids to head back to school, the air to get a little crisper, and the tech companies to get all their stuff launched so folks can plan to get it before the many-months-long Holiday cycle hits in earnest. And reports say that Sony’s planning not just one but two new PlayStation models for store shelves this year as days shorten.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony’s planning a refreshed edition of its best-selling PlayStation 4 console, sources say, and will announce it for real on Sept. 7.

The rumor mill says that it’s basically a “slim” style refresh of the console, which is typical for Sony at this point in their products’ life cycles. The PS2, which launched in 2000, got its slimline models in 2004; likewise, the PS3 slim came out in 2009, three years after the PS3’s 2006 launch.

What’s new, this time around, is that the still-not-technically-confirmed PS4 slim is coming out in addition to the fancypants “Neo” upgraded console, which Sony confirmed back in June would launch later this year.

That console edition will be joining the other PS4 on the market, not replacing it — think of something like the iPhone 6 and 6S both hitting the market at the same time, for comparison.

That said, there’s also not much out there about what exactly the “slim” PS4 will do differently. Game news site Eurogamer got to see a new console in person after news of it leaked, and posted photos and video of it booting up to prove that it was real:

Update: After we ran our story, Eurogamer pulled down their video, citing “legal advice.” Today, Sony reportedly began issuing takedown requests on any Facebook post that linked to original images or video of the new console.

Therefore, we’re happy to share with you this artist’s rendering of the new PS4 slim, fresh from the pen of Consumerist Boss Meg:

ps4slim

The newer version appears a little thinner, with more rounded corners and a more matte surface. The one that has been proven to exist has a 500 GB hard drive, but it’s unknown if that’s the only version shipping.

It’s also not yet known how much the new slim version will cost; presumably Sony will announce that in September. It is, however, widely expected to cost less than the launch PS4.

And that’s good, because other player costs are going up: As of September, the annual price for a PlayStation plus membership is jumping to $60, Sony announced today.

Sony to Sell Updated Model of Standard PlayStation 4 [Wall Street Journal]