It has been a long wait, but Sony has finally delivered. It’s reasonable enough to argue that very few, if none at all, of the many fan-made concept renders came close to what the PS5 actually looks like. In fact, it doesn’t even resemble the devkit, although there is the hint of the Roman numeral V, for 5, if you look at the next-gen console head on from the front. The PS5 has a weird and wonderful design that few expected.
Sony’s CEO, Jim Ryan, has called the PS5 design “bold and daring” and “something for the 2020s”. It’s certainly not going to get mistaken for a fridge, but it might be cruelly compared with a router or even a toilet seat (although that latter accusation was more aimed at the devkit). However, with well over 800,000 thumbs up on the PS5 Hardware Reveal trailer on YouTube compared to 31,000 thumbs down at the time of writing, it appears the majority of fans are satisfied with its futuristic look.
Instantly, it seems possible that this white PS5 console could be easily customized. Fans have already started mocking up black variants and there is a stunning Spider-Man model to celebrate the confirmation of Spider-Man: Miles Morales being a standalone PS5 game.
It’s possible the sides (wings) of the PS5 might be removable, which would open up so many exciting options for users. Regardless of the potential customization capabilities the PS5 may or may not have, users can at least rest assured that the console works both vertically and horizontally.
Sony hasn’t skimped on the details: Those concerned about the cooling system can chill out, as the company has spent a fortune making sure heat issues would be conquered. The surface of the PS5, if you look carefully enough, is decked out in a familiar pattern that will delight PlayStation fans. It’s an impressive overall design achievement; and even if you hate it, the PS5's design still elicited a strong opinion from you. It’s not “just” a box...it's a statement.
That design debate is growing too: The Xbox Series X World Premiere on YouTube has garnered 12.28 million views since December 2019. Not shabby at all…but the PS5 Hardware Reveal trailer has already amassed 13.79 million views in just over a day! It’s a huge PR win for Sony, and Microsoft will just have to accept that when it comes to design, the Xbox Series X has lost this round of the next-gen console clash. However, there is still the performance, games, exclusive titles, affordability, and other key factors to be considered. It's far from over for the "fridge" just yet.
PlayStation fans needs need to be aware just how big the PS5 is. It’s not a tiny beast that can be tucked away in the corner and forgotten about. It’s huge. The exact measurements aren’t available yet, but there have been attempts to show the relative size of the console, and it is definitely a substantial piece of hardware. So Sony made it big (need that cooling solution) and gave it white wings and blue LEDs – but who is not going to spot that? It seems to be all part of a marketing masterplan: Make it visible in stores, on the shelves, online, at a friend’s house. It stands out. Whether standing up or on its side, the PS5 is not a shy console.
Sony can truly close this round of the next-gen console war by offering the PS5 clad in black. It would be a "cannot lose" situation for the company and fans have already shown how great the console would look in its somber shadowy sleekness. It’s not too much to ask, considering the company managed to keep the digital edition of the PS5 a secret. Surely there must be a black variant in the works as well?
Design might not be the most important factor when it comes to consoles, but this is a win for Sony and the PS5, hands-down. There’s nothing particularly wrong with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X; it has a minimalist charm to it and will suit those who like their hardware maintaining a low profile. But Sony has gone for a risky, sexy, and surprising approach for the PS5 design that is already paying dividends through fan approval.