A new PS5 model started appearing in Australia, Japan, and parts of the US earlier this month, with a new stand design and a mysterious reduction in weight. Thanks to a teardown video from YouTuber Austin Evans, the mystery has now been solved: Sony has changed the heatsink that helps cool the PS5.

The new heatsink is significantly smaller than the original, and makes up for the entire weight reduction of 300 grams (0.6 pounds), according to Evans. It’s not clear why Sony has swapped out the heatsink so early on in the PS5’s lifecycle, but Evans does note that his particular unit ran hotter as a result — with rear exhaust temperatures around 3 to 5 degrees higher. That could be down to manufacturing variance, though.

The old PS5 heat sink (left) vs. new PS5 heat sink (right).
Image: Austin Evans (YouTube)

Sony uses this heatsink to cool the PS5, and the console has a heat pipe with a shape and airflow that’s designed to create the same level of performance as a vapor chamber. The heatsink, hard copper plate, and aluminum dissipation fins all take up a significant amount of space inside the PS5, and contribute greatly to its overall size. It’s interesting to see Sony reduce the size of this part, and I’m hoping this could be the first sign of the company working towards a smaller PS5 model. The PS5 is the biggest game console in modern history.

Evans does conclude that the changes make the PS5 worse though, due to the extra heat he recorded. That could well make the launch PS5s more desirable, if it’s something we see replicated elsewhere. “I don’t think there’s any argument that this is a worse console, at least for thermals and for cooling,” says Evans. “As far as I’m concerned I’d rather have a launch PS5.”

The revision comes just as Sony reveals it’s no longer selling the $499 version of the PS5 at a loss, and after reports last year suggested Sony was battling to keep the PS5 costs down thanks in part to its expensive cooling solution. Evans has only opened up a Digital Edition version of the PS5, so we don’t know for sure whether Sony has also changed the cooling unit on the model with a disc drive.