PlayStation 5 Console Design Explained by Sony

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan explains the reasoning behind the PlayStation 5's controversial design.

PS5 Horizontal
Photo: Sony

Since it was revealed at Sony’s June reveal event, the PlayStation 5’s design has captured the attention of meme makers, trending topic chasers desperate for internet points, and, yes, even gamers. Many are left wondering what the inspiration for such a…unique design is. Well, according to Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan, the PS5 was designed to feel at home in the modern living room.

“The PlayStation sits in the living area of most homes, and we kind of felt it would be nice to provide a design that would really grace most living areas,” Ryan said in an interview with the BBC. “That’s what we’ve tried to do. And, you know, we think we’ve been successful in that.”

Interestingly, Ryan offered an expanded (and slightly different) explanation of the PS5’s design in an interview with CNET.

“We wanted to do something that was bold and daring almost,” Ryan told CNET. “We wanted something forward-facing and future-facing, something for the 2020s.”

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Put all this information together, and it seems that Sony designed the PS5 to feel more at home in a modern living room, which the company seems to feel is more streamlined, futuristic, and likely filled with a variety of devices with similar curves and aesthetics.

Is that an accurate assessment? We suppose it really depends on the design of your own living room, but it makes sense that your PlayStation may be closer to your TV, soundbar, and (as some have directly compared the design of the PlayStation 5 to) modem and router. Speaking personally, the design may clash slightly with my IKEA entertainment center.

Ryan also confirmed that the only real difference between the standard PlayStation 5 and the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is that the latter lacks a disc drive. However, he stopped short of verifying whether or not the Digital Edition will feature a different price point than the standard edition. He also seemed to suggest that black and white are the official PS5 colors, so it doesn’t sound like the company intends to release color variants of the devices at launch.

In any case, the PS5 offers an interesting design contrast to the Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series X offers more of a “blocky” tower look that seems to be designed with practicalities such as ventilation and size in mind. We’re actually not entirely sure where the vents are in the PS5’s design, but it does seem that Sony is choosing to focus more on the console’s striking looks during this initial promotional period.