Theory: PS5 To Have Custom Panels

Sony have showed us the design for their PlayStation 5 systems and while many like the two-tone design, it certainly isn’t unanimously loved. It stands out for sure especially when compared to console designs of recent years but I imagine this was a conscious decision by Sony to distinguish the PlayStation 5 as a new console generation aesthetically when compared to the PS4 and PS4 Pro.

Various photoshoped designs of the PS5 have circulated online with all black versions as well as versions based on popular games, with many people saying they think an all-black version looks far better than the standard two-tone white and black.

While we may be stuck with the standard colour scheme, at least at launch, we seemingly have confirmation that PlayStation will indeed be doing special editions of the PS5 down the road.

The information actually came from an unlike source as Matt Maclaurin (PlayStation’s VP of UX Design) gave some titbits on LinkedIn that were then reported on by Push Square.

Maclaurin wrote:

‘definitely be seeing some special editions’

‘[The PS5] is also customisable in ways previous gens weren’t’

It’s this last line that has me most interested. Special edition versions of the PlayStation 5 were always expected as the PS4 has seen various ones itself such as an all red Spider-Man one as well as a recent PS4 Pro that incorporates designs from The Last of Us Part II.

To say the PS5 is ‘customisable’ though makes me think that PlayStation could take a new approach especially when looking at the design of the console. The white sides of the PS5 seem to be panels surrounding the ‘core’ that incorporates the gloss black centre as well as the ventilation fans. What if these panels on either side are detachable and therefore could be swapped out for other designs?

The panels could slide on and click into place in a similar way to the glossy panel on the original PS4 that was removable to allow you to access the hard drive. This would allow for PlayStation to allow players to slide off and change those panels while keeping the core of the console intact and avoiding any risk of voiding the warranty.

Panel removed at 2:37

Going forward PlayStation as well as third parties could then offer panel designs based on their popular games to allow players to make their console unique to their tastes without having to buy a whole new system.

While I imagine Sony likes players investing larger amounts in a new special edition system this is likely limited in scope as existing console owners would need to trade in and purchase a new console, likely loosing money in the process, or they are relying on new-comers to their ecosystem.

With custom panels though they could still ship a new console with these panels pre-installed but could also sell the panels separately for those that don’t want to commit to getting a whole new system for a design which they may want to change again in a year or so.

This of course is all speculation but if Sony is to offer some form of customisation to the PS5 beyond that of special edition consoles I don’t think we are too far from finding out.

The marketing campaign on the lead up to launch is likely going to be in full swing from now on and with the internet full of people wondering just how big the PS5 is I’m expecting them to do a closer look at the system with maybe a teardown video in the coming weeks to help clear up any confusion.

Until we get to see more official information from PlayStation though here are a several great photoshoped designs that fans have produced.

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