Why Does PlayStation 5 Design Look Strange?

3 min

Sony Playstation 5
Sony Playstation 5

Just a few hours ago, Sony revealed to the entire world the design of its next desktop console, the Playstation 5. Some readers have expressed their disagreement regarding the design of the machine.

Even among the newsroom, there are disparate opinions on individual design decisions. In this article, we will try to explain why Sony has been able to decide on this design that, without a doubt, breaks with what was seen on its previous consoles.

It Focuses on Cooling Abilities

There’s one thing both Xbox Series X and PS5 share: They’re the most powerful launch consoles ever. As you know, PS4 and Xbox One were already somewhat obsolete on the market compared to the hardware available on PC at that time. But this time, both manufacturers have made a great effort to bring us the best possible within a compact chassis and its price.

When we talk about power, there is a factor that is above the rest, and that will limit us forever. It is the ability we have to cool the system. All modern processors have a function that limits performance (usually by decreasing the working frequency) to avoid damage to the components or that the system may suddenly shut down due to exceeding a specific temperature value.

Surely, you have seen this with your smartphone. You leave the phone in the sun or play a demanding game with it for a long time. Then the phone responds slowly until it cools down and goes back to normal. What your smartphone is doing is lowering the processor’s working frequency until it can cool down to avoid overheating.

However, Sony cannot decrease the performance of the next-gen console. If they do so, the performance of the video game would be affected, and the user experience would be affected.

It undoubtedly will cause user complaints to developers when they would not be responsible. The only possible solution is to invest in improving the cooling system, and the first step is to create a natural airflow that helps this.

The Design Adapts Computer CPU Airflow

As you know, hot air tends to rise. In a horizontal design expelling the air from the rear simply does not make sense. It will be more impossible to cool down the system since an NVMe SSD which will also increase the heat.

Heat flow within computer casing
Heat flow within computer casing

If you are one of those who like to see the PS5 lying down, I must tell you that, this time, it will be a wrong decision. You will significantly reduce its cooling capacity, causing the fan to rotate faster and even decreasing the useful life of some of the components.

It is because the part of the heat generated from the console will tend to go towards the top. It means the one that would be vertically on the left.

PS5 Features A Large Top Opening To Facilitate Evacuation Of Hot Air

From the PS5 design, it seems that cold air enters the console from three points: below, behind, and in front. If we look at it from the front, the hot air is expelled from the top, with a marked opening. So, it does not hinder its evacuation of hot air.

Sony Playstation 5 backview
Sony Playstation 5 backview

We believe that the decision that Sony has made is a perfect one. With the console set vertically and expelling the hot air from above, it will make users unable to cover or hinder the exits so easily, which for sure It will cause a decrease in the noise generated by the spinning of your fan.

We have all seen or even had video game consoles that we have placed in a drawer in the living room cabinet, with the hot air outlet blocked by a wall a few inches from the game console. It seems that this is precisely what both Sony and Microsoft seek to avoid.

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David Porter

David Porter

David writes video game and technical news and reviews