Feature Article

PS5 Console Preview: An Un-PlayStation Look That's Stark And Striking

We got our first hands-on with the PS5 console hardware, and while its stark look doesn't scream PlayStation, there's a striking familiarity in the DualSense controller that feels comforting.

Upon opening the PlayStation 5's box, the first thing that came to mind was that this console is much better looking in person than in its marketing images. This is the first time Sony has delivered something other than a black console at launch since the original PlayStation, and that decision has raised some eyebrows. Of course, it's always hard to tell from white-background retailer images exactly how a console will look in your entertainment center or feel in your hands. Thankfully, the PS5 is a good-looking console, even if its design doesn't scream PlayStation.

The PS5's form factor is made up of three distinct parts: two matte white plates and a glossy black midsection. The black midsection is broken up by vents on both sides for heat dispersion, and the gloss of this entire section looks great next to the matte plates. It's a nice contrast that makes the stark, unique design of the PS5 work. As someone who thought the console looked garish in its product images, it's hard to deny how nice the console looks in person.

Flipping the PS5 over, the black vents comb across the entire back of the midsection. This is also where you'll find HDMI, power, ethernet, and two USB 3.1 ports. The front features a USB 2.0 port as well as a USB-C 3.1 port. It's a little disappointing there isn't an extra USB-C port in the back, but the two USB-A 3.1 ports are going to be great for higher-end accessories that require them.

This particular PS5 features a disc drive, which you can find on the right side of the console when it stands vertically or on the bottom if it's positioned horizontally. For much of its history, Sony has designed consoles that look and work great in either position, though the PS5 is the first to include the stand in the box. This is likely because of the console's shape, which can't sit flat on its side.

No Caption Provided

Setting it up vertically requires you to pop off a little circular piece on the bottom and then screw the stand into that slot with the included screw. The stand itself features hooks that hang on to the back of the console in this position, securing it in place. The horizontal position, however, requires you to adjust the stand, so the hooks are positioned to the left. You then place the console on to the stand, while the hooks hang on to the edge--the included screw gets stored in the stand itself. It's not as secure and can easily fall off if you move the PS5, but this is something most people won't need to worry about.

And now to address the elephant in the room: the PS5 is the size of an elephant. Alright, it's not actually that big, but it will take up a considerable amount of space in your entertainment center. Vertically, it stands at 16 inches tall, about 10 inches deep at its thickest, and almost 3.5 inches wide. Horizontally, it measures in at almost 15.5 inches long, about 10 inches deep at its thickest, and almost 3.5 inches tall. This is really big. Where my entertainment center could fit a PS4 Pro and an Analogue Mega Sg, I can only fit the PS5 horizontally--thankfully, there's enough room for ventilation. However, if I position it vertically, I need to reserve a spot outside of my entertainment center for it.

Out of the box, the PS5 is accompanied by the new DualSense controller, which features some notable differences from the DualShock 4. First off, it's slightly bigger and features improved ergonomics, fitting the contours of my hands much more comfortably. With its increased size comes bigger L1 and R1 buttons as well as L2 and R2 triggers, giving your fingers more surface area to rest on. The D-pad also feels less stiff than the DualShock 4's, and knocking out the motions for Scorpion's teleports and Terry Bogard's Power Wave feels satisfying. The D-pad and face buttons are also made of translucent plastic, which gives them a nice, glassy look.

As for the analog sticks, the DualSense's are the same size as the DualShock 4's, and the tension is almost completely identical. The top of the DualSense's sticks, however, feature more grip around the edge and a slightly deeper concave shape. Moving them in different directions and rotating them feels very similar to the DualShock 4.

No Caption Provided

The Options and Create buttons are now more pronounced and easier to press, while the Touch Pad is significantly larger. The Home button is much less resistant but still feels responsive. Under the Home button, there's also a clicky mute button that turns off the built-in microphone. The DualSense controller features a 3.5mm jack on the button for headphones and headsets, transistors on both sides of the jack for dock charging, and a USB-C port on the top for charging and updates. Overall, the DualSense controller feels very familiar, yet slightly improved in some key ways that make it more comfortable to hold and use.

The PS5 is definitely a big change when it comes to Sony's history of console design. It doesn't look like a PlayStation in the way the PS3 and PS4 did. It features the form factor of a sci-fi corporation's high-rise tower and demands a large amount of real estate in your entertainment center. However, like those state-of-the-art buildings, its design is also striking, with a clash of matte and gloss that catches the eye. This may be decidedly un-PlayStation, but the DualSense controller extends a familiar hand, inviting you in and reminding you that--despite the grand design--this is still PlayStation.

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tingtong

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The hype is over. They’ve made their statement.

Now how’s that supply chain doing again?

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

It's ugly, but I don't exactly stare at my console while I'm playing, and I never place any of my machines vertically, so whatever. Not sure why people care so much.

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Innerlux69

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I don't think it's ugly. Just too big for any entertainment center. Anyways I Pre-ordered the disc-based console for the games. So I don't really mind.

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Soulcrusher777

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Edited By Soulcrusher777

I must say this look is awful. I loved my ps4, but I will pass on ps5. I don't like their strategy approaches either, their line ups, etc. Teaming up with a rapper is really dumb too! LMAO. I am excited for the Series X though! That is my opinion, and I'm sure many will agree, and many will disagree! Oh well!

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NilsDoen

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@soulcrusher777: im also considering the swap

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Soulcrusher777

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@nilsdoen: Nice. I'm betting millions of others will as well! Lol.

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naruto945

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It’s looking toight like a toiger

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dzimm

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The form factor looks like an ugly flower vase that you would find at a junk shop for a quarter.

2 • 
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onehitta323

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Love the design. Striking, futuristic, unique, etc. Can't wait for this. Sony gonna dominate again just like they always do. #1 console incoming.

2 • 
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njs72

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I've always been a playstation guy but man I hate the look of this console so I'm switching to xbox. I would have much preferred a design not dissimilar to the ps4pro.

3 • 
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ChazCheeto

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Been searching everywhere for this information: are you able to say if the included HDMI cable is 2.0 or 2.1? And can you say what length the cable is? I just mounted my TV, and unfortunately I need to have the PS5 set up a decent distance from the TV HDMI ports, so I'm trying to plan ahead if I need a longer cable.

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GustavoB

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@ChazCheeto: they said in many unboxing videos that the cable is 2.1.

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Allercon

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Detailed and thorough review of the design. Great stuff guys

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Ghost_of_Phobos

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If this console was designed by anyone else other then Sony it would be destroyed online. This is the first time in my life I'm skipping buying a console because of how it looks. It's gigantic and looks like a cheap knock off console.

My hope is that it somehow fails to meet sales expectations and they are forced to a redesign ASAP. WTF Sony!

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jenovaschilld

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@ghost_of_phobos: If you give a fiddlers fu#K about what a console looks like, you were never a gamer to begin with. If you are worried about whether it will fit in your entertainment center, you were never a gamer to begin with. If you care what color shape a console is, you were never a gamer to begin with.

Now if Skyrim, Horizon's Zero Dawn, Final Fantasy, Halo, Zelda, were exclusive to a console shaped like a refrigerator box, smelled like a dead cat, and had razor blades around the disc tray- but you called your friends over to play some games on your proud new 'Refrig-cat smell-sharpo 2' console.... then your a real gamer.

Stop being a whiny poser, buy a console because of the games, and also just mod it to your preference like a real gamer would.

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Ghost_of_Phobos

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@jenovaschilld: Wow this my first time in my almost 40 years as a gamer that a moron decides to explain to me why I'm not a gamer. I guess this day comes to everyone. Thanks for the laugh.

As a gamer who currently owns a PS4 Pro, a Switch and an Xbox One X, and also owns an OK gaming PC (although atm I'm more of a console pleb), there's no shortage of stuff to play. I'll be getting my XSX on release day, but I do have some minimum aesthetic standards and don't want that monstrosity in my living room, nor do I want to subject my wife to it. So when Sony releases an acceptably looking PS5 I'll get it and they inevitably will. Meanwhile I'll keep playing my games elsewhere with no regrets.

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jenovaschilld

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@ghost_of_phobos: Yes, agree

Definitely do not let your wife play something so big, massive and powerful... she'll never be able to go back to something small, tiny and ineffectual again.

But seriously, I have no problem with a person criticizing what a game console looks like, but even you (a rational human) have to admit how childish it sounds that a person will push a way an entire library of exclusive content not on, accessibility or financial reasons, but just because of what the device that plays it, looks like. Not only does that sounds silly, it sounds more like your a child with no appreciation of what we are actually paying for. The game.

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Ghost_of_Phobos

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Edited By Ghost_of_Phobos

@jenovaschilld: I don't want something ugly on my living room and I'll still have access to thousands of games available in other systems I own. It's just that simple. Plus every console gets redesigned, I rather wait.

I'm pretty sure you don't know the meaning of the word "childish".

Tip: Read both of your previous posts, one telling me I'm not a real gamer, the second making some moronic joke involving my wife if you need some clues on what "childish" means.

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GustavoB

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@ghost_of_phobos: they sold in the first 12 hours the equivalent of the first 12 weeks of PS4. People either don’t care about the design or they love it.

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Ghost_of_Phobos

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Edited By Ghost_of_Phobos

@gustavob: What does it have to do with me? It still wont fit my media cabinet and will still look like a monstrous atrocity on my living room if I put it anywhere else.

And really, who above 15 years old LOVES to have a white toy-looking tower on their living room? I get that some people don't mind, but love? Only a fanboy, no?

As for sales. Good for them, I just won't buy it until a redesign. But with all the FOMO generated around the PS5, with people pre-ordering multiple PS5s (which will be canceled) plus scalper bots, I wouldn't be too confident about their numbers. I'll put it this way, Playstation Allstars wouldn't be delayed if they were super confident on their record breaking numbers.

But I'm 100% sure that the PS5 will be an enormous success, they just wont have me as a costumer until they release a proper designed console because I find it unacceptable.

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GustavoB

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@ghost_of_phobos: “ My hope is that it somehow fails to meet sales expectations and they are forced to a redesign ASAP.”

I was answering to this comment of yours, so it has everyrhing to do with you since you were the one who made the comment 🤷‍♂️

And it doesn’t seem to be the case because people over 15 years old don’t care all that much about the console design to the point of giving up the purchase because of that.

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NilsDoen

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@gustavob: dude... im 35. i dont own anything as ugly as the ps5. im probably switching to xbox after having owned all ps ever an no xboxes ever.

purely based on the look of the console.

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GustavoB

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@nilsdoen: dude...it’s not a woman, or a car, or a house. It’s a gaming console.

Hope you don’t regret the change, but I believe you will.

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NilsDoen

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@gustavob: sit becomes different if you kinda made an effort in making ur home immaculate. but yeah, i might buy ps5 for gow2 only and then keep it in the basement or something :D

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Ghost_of_Phobos

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@gustavob: It doesn't help me at all regarding me not buying it. And I really don't trust their numbers, or the ability to fulfill them even if they were real. So I must remain hopeful they are forced to a redesign.

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Barighm

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@ghost_of_phobos said:
I'll put it this way, Playstation Allstars wouldn't be delayed if they were super confident on their record breaking numbers.

Or maybe COVID had something to do with it, you know, like it does the rest of the industry?

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Uncle_Rell

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@ghost_of_phobos: each to their own. My opinion I don’t buy a console based on its design. However we respect your decision.

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GamerBum

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ps5 is not a good looking console. It’s just not. For starters it’s huge. Comically huge and the shape is weird.

It’s one of the worst console designs I’ve ever seen.

The XseX is much better. It will blend into my entertainment centre beautifully. The ps5 will stick out like a sore thumb if I can even find a place to fit it.

I think I’ll wait for the slim/pro version once it has more games for it. In the mean time I’ll play Spidey MM and HFW and probably GOW Ragnarok on my ps4.

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jenovaschilld

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It looks pretty cool, but really could care less. How bout them games!

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deactivated-5fab1400b2fcc

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I like the design, don’t get the hate.

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5tu88sy

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Up next from GameSpot: PS5 Power Cable Length and Can You Plug it in?

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Crazy_sahara

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Dual sense kinect 2.

The future

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Epak_

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Man it's gonna be a long wait til next year watching these previews, reviews and crap :(

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justin01

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I'm going to stand mine vertically and place little miniature trees and scenery around it to make it look like a scale model skyscraper. Maybe even have some LED spotlights around the bottom.

7 • 
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Matr0ska

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Preordered it along with a XSX, but I absolutely hate the design of it. It looks more like a prototype that they were toying around with. The uneven shape and the disc-shaped base make it problematic for laying it down horizontally and the height of it is taller than probably every console in history. I do like the fact that the ventilation makes it easy to vacuum dust out though. I'm kind of hoping that Sony decides to redesign it later down the line when they release different iterations of it (ie. Slim, pro).

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s0ldier69

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I have a pre-order. Will play the hell out of it but that thing looks like dogsh!t. Horrible design. Ugly AF.

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ReturnoftheBrotha

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@s0ldier69: Only the PS1 and PS3 looked good, all others were ugly.

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Spartan_418

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Wonder if Sony regrets putting the touchpad on the DualShock 4. Most games didn't use it for anything other than clicking it as an extra button, but now they're forced to include it on the DualSense, and future controllers, for backwards compatibility reasons

I don't mind that it's there since it can function as a mouse on PC which is handy, but still, on the overwhelming majority of controllers, it will never really get used

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gts-r288

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Edited By gts-r288

@Spartan_418: Are you saying you can play PS4 games with the DSense? I thought you'd need to use an old DS4.

P.S. I totally agree for the touchpad, but I'm glad they left motion controls for gyro aim, I hope shooters will take advantage of it this generation.

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Spartan_418

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@gts-r288: Pretty sure you can? Think they've only confirmed they're not compatible the other way around, you can't play PS5 games with a DS4

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GirlUSoCrazy

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@Spartan_418: I regret devs not using it in more ways that make sense.

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