Sony’s PlayStation 4 video game console series lets you choose the model that best fits your needs and budget. Its smallest version – the PlayStation 4 Slim – is the most inexpensive way to step into the PlayStation world and enjoy Sony exclusive titles like Uncharted 4 or streaming media apps. Of course, a smaller size and lower price means you sacrifice an optical out port, VR compatibility and 4K playback. However, its small build and slick interface make it a good option for anyone on a budget.
The PS4 Slim’s chassis is stylized plastic with an all-matte exterior, similar to the PlayStation 4 Pro build, albeit much slimmer, as its name denotes. In fact, it is considerably smaller and lighter, and it uses less power than the standard PlayStation 4 model. The gaming console measures 1.45 x 10.43 x 11.34 inches (HWD) and should fit into most entertainment centers without any trouble, especially considering that it’s smaller than any other traditional console. The system and included controller’s modern, sleek design – available in black or white – makes it easy to blend in with whatever room you place it in.
Though serious gamers may ultimately prefer the processing power of the Pro model, the Slim still proves its worth for casual gamers, kids or anyone trying to game on a budget. It boasts a 1.6GHz octo-core AMD custom Jaguar CPU, an integrated AMD GPU clocked at 800MHz with 1.84 teraflops of performance, and 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. Two USB 3.1 ports located at the front of the console make it easy to charge your controllers or connect an external storage device.
The PS4 Slim comes standard with a 500GB hard drive, though the Pro version and Xbox One S offer a higher storage capacity right off the bat, up to 2TB. However, despite the lack of built-in storage options, the PlayStation 4 consoles do support hard drive upgrades, so you can opt for an upgrade, or you can easily plug in an external storage device.
With a smaller build and lower cost than its standard and Pro counterparts, a few features are sacrificed in order to balance things out. The Slim loses its optical audio-out port, killing support for third-party headphones. It is also the only console within the PS4 series that isn’t compatible with PSVR, Sony’s proprietary virtual reality gaming unit. Additionally – and this could be a deal breaker for many – the Slim doesn’t support 4K UHD gaming or streaming video playback. While this doesn’t matter if you don’t also own or plan on buying a 4K TV, it means the console isn’t future-proofed like the Pro model.
Hundreds of physical video games are available for the PlayStation 4 Slim, from established franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, to popular new games like Overwatch, to beloved sports titles like FIFA Soccer. You’ll also have access to exciting exclusive titles from Sony like Horizon Zero Dawn, as well as VR titles. Should you choose to subscribe to the PlayStation Network – also called PSN – you’ll gain access to over 500 titles in the PS4 library of games, including new releases, classic re-releases and a plethora of indie games. A PSN subscription also gets you members-only discounts, game sales and monthly free games, as well as the ability to play or chat with your friends online.
In addition to playing Blu-rays, the gaming system lets you easily download apps for streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, HBO GO, Vevo, iHeartRadio, WatchESPN and others. TV lovers also have the option to directly connect to cable or HDTV antenna for live TV viewing. Additionally, you can opt to subscribe to PS Vue, Sony’s media service, which gives you access to channels like ESPN, Food Network, USA, AMC, Fox Sports and Comedy Central. With all of these options, the PS4 Slim can become a centralized entertainment center in your home.
The Sony PlayStation 4 Slim may lack 4K support and an optical audio-out port, but it’s smaller, quieter and less expensive than any other non-handheld console. It’s a great option if you’re looking to step into the world of console gaming, or if you’re simply trying to keep to a budget. You’ll still have the same access to games, multimedia apps, and online social connectivity as with the standard and Pro PlayStation 4 models, making it a great option for your kids or as a centralized home entertainment hub.