At the time of writing this article I have inspected a PS4 Slim, hooked it up to a TV, turned it on, and played a game on it. It features no optical port, a slot for easy hard drive replacement, labelled power and eject buttons, and a redesigned controller.
I took it to a branch of CEX, where it was tested by their staff who offered to purchase the unit from me for just over £300. Their stock system has an entry for the console, which appears in store and on their website. I did not sell the unit.
Multiple websites that have run footage of the console booting up have since taken down their footage for “legal reasons”. I am currently not posting my own photographs or videos while I assess the legal situation surrounding the machine.
The console is not expected to be officially revealed by Sony for another two weeks. During the next two weeks, Sony will continue to stay silent on the existence of a product which I have held, used, and verified for myself as existing. Sony will likely stay silent on the existence of a product which can be purchased with relative ease on eBay right now.
The video games industry is a little ridiculous when it comes to verifiable leaks, with a solid insistence that planned reveals change for nobody, regardless of whether continued silence is making the people in charge of those reveals look foolish.
I don’t know why video games have this huge inflexibility issue when it comes to its PR.
I’m going to tell a little story today. Roughly a year ago, a week before Paris Games Week 2015, I brought to the world the existence of a then-unannounced PSVR game titled Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. I gave detailed descriptions of the gameplay systems, the controls, enemies from Until Dawn that would appear, the fact that the game was an on-rails mine cart lightgun shooter, and its official title. I had this information independently verified by multiple sources, who had all confirmed multiple key pieces of information.
The day I reported that Rush of Blood existed, developer Supermassive denied it in a Reddit AMA.
A week later, they announced a PSVR title called Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, an on-rails mine cart lightgun shooter. Every single detail matched the story as I had reported it.
This is what makes actual reporting on video games, outside of their established PR cycle, so difficult. Outlets that acquire hardware and prove it exists before a formal announcement receive legal threats. Outlets that announce software before it is formally announced have to deal with developers directly stating that their reports are wrong. The current video game PR system is not only broken, but built to prevent investigative reporting from being taken seriously as a verifiable, worthwhile pursuit.
I have had a PS4 Slim in my office. I’m just waiting for Sony to tell you all it exists so I can show you that it exists, and so we can all openly talk about its existence. That’s an issue we need to talk about.