As you may have heard by now, we have received the PlayStation 5 at Ars’ orbiting headquarters, ahead of its official launch on Nov. 12. We’re still limited in just what we can tell you about the system itself until that launch gets a little closer. One thing we can talk about, though, is the console’s design—that is, the physical shell that houses all those electronics.
Sony’s big boy
The most striking thing about the PS5 case (especially the disc-drive-sporting version we received) remains just how big it is. We’ve known for a while that the PS5 was set to be the biggest console in decades, of course. But it’s one thing to know that intellectually. It’s another to see it in your home, dwarfing most any other piece of consumer electronics you’ve ever owned (as you can see in some of these photos).
When you lift the PS5, though, it feels a little lighter than you might expect, given its physical size. At 9.92 lbs, it’s slightly less heavy than the (smaller) launch-era PlayStation 3, for instance. And while the PS5 is heavier than the 7.3-lb PS4 Pro, it feels much less dense than that earlier system when lifted.
That might be because a lot of the PS5’s apparent size is taken up by empty space. There’s a lot of room in between the PS5’s undulating white exterior panels that’s taken up by nothing but air, especially around the rounded corners of the core black casing (and we’ve seen just how that space plays out when the system is taken apart by Sony engineers). The stark contrast between the smooth white paneling and the shiny black interior casing can trick the eye, too, making the system seem a bit sleeker than a simple hard-cornered box with similar dimensions.
Visually, this lets the PS5 cut a striking figure that changes heavily depending on the angle of visual approach. The system is generally symmetrical, but not along the left-right axis that you’d expect when the system is sitting horizontally. It’s the kind of norm-breaking that adds visual impact and interest to the system as a focal point of the room.