With the leaked PS4 Slim rumors all but confirmed at this point, I have become curious as to what the possible ramifications are for the Neo's own future and how the two are interconnected.
Right off the bat the knowledge that there will be a PS4 Slim seems to shut the door on the possibility that the Neo will totally phase out the PS4 and become the only model of the console available. Still, I do think it's well within reason that the Slim and Neo very quickly become the only two versions of the console out there, leaving consumers with either the high-end decked out model or the cheaper, college student type model.
The second big take-away for me regarding the Slim is the ability for Sony to launch the Slim this fall and then hold the Neo until next holiday season. This seems likely for two reasons. Firstly, it gives Sony more time to react to the rumored specs of the Xbox Scorpio and secondly it allows Sony to launch the Neo during the holiday sales season while also getting a boast in sales this season with the new and cheaper Slim. Xbox has in effect done that and they are already seeing boosts in sales from their smaller, type console.
A big question about the slim and how it relates to the Neo that we sadly won't find out about until the PlayStation event in a few weeks is how much it will cost. The price of the Slim will be hugely important in determining the success of both it and the Neo. I think $249.99 is by far the most likely price point for the Slim to hit, I truly believe it can't go much beyond that. On the other hand I do think it would be huge for Sony if they could drop it as far down as $199.99. This would allow there to be a sizable gulf between the Slim and Neo thus making the Neo seem more valuable and elite by comparison. It also matters because the cheaper the Slim the more room Sony has to work with regarding the Neo. I think the Neo can't possibly go above $399.99 without hurting their sales and the goodwill they've built up. Ideally though to garner the biggest splash they should aim to have it come out at $349.99. But then again who the hell really knows.
PlayStation finds itself on tricky ground for perhaps the first time since this generation began. With a massive lead in sales and the overwhelming goodwill of gamers they are the clear winners of this generation so far, yet at this key time in the evolution of both the generation and gaming as a whole, they are being forced to strike a delicate balance between appeasing the tens of millions of gamers who have already purchased their machines and given them this commanding lead and also trying to reach those that haven't yet gotten on board and upgrade those who already have. Both Sony and Microsoft are aiming to do something that's never been done before in console gaming and we won't truly be able to judge until after their event in early September, but right now we are standing at a huge moment for PlayStation and their actions and decisions over the next few months, will go a long way in deciding whether their historic success of the past three years was a momentary fluke or a lasting trend. I can't wait to find out.