Sony has started to quietly roll out an updated PlayStation 5 digital edition design. It seems to be quite unusual for a console so new to be revised, but the modest changes noticed make things easier for SSD upgraders, and makes the whole console about 300g lighter. The first is certainly a minor but welcome change, while the second might have been implemented to bring the console manufacturing costs, particularly the BOM, down.
Initial reports about a tool less access screw on the base of the console (standing vertically) seemed to come from Australia and Japan. However, users have started to report getting the new model in the USA too. The tool less feature change is a mere change in the base screw spec, to one with a knurled head, providing enough grip surface, so you can use your fingers to undo it, rather than hunt around for a slotted screwdriver or a sixpence.
Sony recently announced it has a software update in the pipeline which will allow users to add M.2 SSD storage support. Until this arrives, the slot has just been practically useless. The update combines with thumb-screw access to the installation slot will be welcomed by many users. An M.2 SSD that’s PCIe Gen4 and has read speeds of 5,500MB/s or faster is recommended to make use of this expansion facility – an attached heat sink is advised too.
Another change which is perhaps more intriguing is the reduction in overall weight of the new PS5. The updated PS5 weighs 3.6kg, which is a significant percentage less than the original PS5 digital edition model (3.9kg (and the original disc drive packing PS5 weighs 4.5kg)). It isn't disclosed how Sony managed to shave off this much weight, but hopefully it won't impact the console's durability or the effectiveness of its cooling solution. One thing is pretty certain, the weight reduction should mean Sony will be saving money on its PS5 bill of materials (BOM).
If you have recently bought a Sony PS5 digital edition, you can see if you have the new model by checking for the thumbscrew. If in any doubt, the model number has been updated from CFI-1000B to CFI-1100B. This model number is clearly visible on the packaging (see above), as well as on the console.