Sony was seemingly planning a stealthy "surprise, you can buy it today!" announcement for its upcoming redesigned PlayStation 4, but the new slimmer console has been spotted out in the wild prior to its official announcement. Despite not officially existing yet according to the company line, the new slim PS4 is coming and Laura Dale at Let's Play Video Games has acquired a unit to review. The short version is that it's the same PS4 but slightly smaller, quieter, and cooler with minor features added and one feature removed, but there's nothing here that fundamentally changes the PS4 experience.
The PS4 Slim model is, simply put, a smaller PS4. It doesn’t perform any better or worse than the previous model, but does run cooler and quieter. It has a slightly improved controller, but the box itself doesn’t run any better. Don’t expect Xbox One S-style HDR and 4K blue-ray support. This is still a basic PS4 model with no internal upgrades over the previous iteration, and is not the upcoming PS4 Neo. It does not make games run better, or upscale them to 4K.
It's good to see that Sony hasn't fundamentally changed the console in such a way that it renders existing PS4s obsolete (that'll come later with the Neo hardware revision). The real news tagging along with this review is that Dale had to basically disown possession of the PS4 lest she incur Sony's wrath. Her review opens with a few paragraphs spelling out that she does not own the PS4, nor does she still have it and that it came from a store manager who broke a street date, but did not steal it. Moreover, numerous large gaming sites had shown interest in publishing the review, but all of them backed off. Preemptive intervention from Sony warning those sites not to get on the company's bad side by running a review of a product they didn't want "out there" prior to an official announcement? Sure seems that way. Here is where Sony learns the hard lesson that it's not possible to keep a secret in our current age of information and social media.