Rumor mill: As we approach the midpoint of current-gen consoles lifecycle, the rumor mill is chugging along at full pace. We've heard rumors of a PlayStation 5 Pro landing next year, with just a few hints at a Slim version coming sooner. Now, there might be video evidence that a PS5 Slim is just on the horizon.

A self-proclaimed Australian PlayStation developer and reverse engineer going by the name Better Way Electronics tweeted a video over the weekend showing what looks to be a PS5 disk system with modified side plates (below). However, he claims it is a new PS5 SKU (CFI-2016). He further speculates that it may have a detachable optical drive, as some rumors have suggested.

"Note that the SKU on the case doesn't have A or B (Disc/Digital)," BwE tweeted. "So my guess is that it comes without the drive and you buy it and attach it later…"

Presumably, the plate with the disc slot removes to expose an optical drive bay. The idea is that the Slim would ship sans drive, and users could purchase and easily add one later. So a more accurate description would be "an optional optical drive" rather than "detachable." Semantics aside, this design would allow Sony to sell disc or digital versions while fabricating only one chassis, thus reducing costs.

Some weight is lent to the rumor by the unit's size. It does look smaller than a standard PS5. The plastic protective wrap in the top side plate is typical for new electronics, but it is not definitive proof that this is legit.

In a subsequent tweet in which he defended himself against posters calling it a fake, BwE says, "I'm surprised a lot of people's basis for saying it's fake is because it looks empty or too light. Well, it's because it is. I posted the case. Just like I described in the post."

So somehow, he obtained just the chassis. However, it's BwE's lack of transparency that has us suspicious. He never mentions where he got this item or why it's an empty case. It's within reason that Sony might release a sample chassis for photographing marketing materials, but that leaves us with the question of how it ended up in a random "reverse engineer's" hands. So this alleged PS5 Slim case could be an official photo model from Sony or a mockup from someone good at making authentic-looking props.

Recent PlayStation 5 Pro rumors point to an upgraded model coming in 2024. Other leaks and speculation regarding a possible PS5 Slim indicate it might come sooner – around the start of the holiday shopping season this year. In fact, Microsoft filed court documents in June claiming that it "expects" Sony to release a PlayStation 5 Slim "later this year for $399," the current price of the PS5 Digital. It fits Sony's historic MO of striping components from the standard PlayStation and shipping it as a "Slim" model. If Sony truly plans on launching either version by Black Friday, we can expect official word soon.