PlayStation 5 runs cool and quiet, according to initial hands-on reports


Like most of the world, we here at Ars are still waiting for our first hands-on experience with the PlayStation 5 ahead of its planned release next month. But over the weekend, a handful of Japanese journalists and YouTubers got to try out Sony’s new system and have revealed a few new tidbits about the hardware and its design.

The most welcome news—at least for those accustomed to the “jet engine” fan noise sometimes encountered on the PS3 and PS4—is that the PS5 seems to remain relatively quiet even while in continuous use. Dengeki Online (Google Translate) noted that “it was really quiet” after playing for hours in a hot room, with no apparent heat felt on the surface of the system itself.

AV Watch (Google Translate) similarly noted that “the operating sound of the main unit [is] now smaller than [that] of PS4,” as was the sound of pressing buttons on the DualSense controller. And 4Gamer (Google Translate) confirmed that “the exhaust was gentle, and I could hardly hear what seemed to be the rotating noise of the fan.”

Light ’em up

AV Watch also noted that there is an LED “in the gap between the white body and the black part” of the PS5 itself. That’s apparently used to show the system’s current status: blue when the system is connected to power and white when the system is on, much like the PS4.

The PS5’s new DualSense controller (which is the only controller that will work for most PS5 games) features colored lights as well—these accent LEDs can shine blue, red, green, or purple through the small gaps to the left and right of the trackpad area in the center of the controller. In addition, the DualSense has four LED lights that shine beneath the trackpad to indicate which player number corresponds with that controller.

4Gamer also notes that “you can see some metal parts through the gap in the upper intake” of the system itself. There’s already some speculation that this metal “latch” is used to access the interior of the system to install approved M2 SSDs for storage expansion, but nothing has been confirmed on this score as of yet.

The Japanese press didn’t get to see the PS5’s new system-level user interface, which PlayStation VP of UX Design Matt MacLaurin has previously promised will be a “100 percent overhaul of the PS4 UI” that showcases “some very different new concepts.” That means the journalists didn’t get to test the system’s “quick resume” game switching or new social sharing functions.

But AV Watch notes that the system interface and games will now be standardized to use the X button to confirm selections and the O button to cancel them worldwide. On previous PlayStation systems, those options were reversed in Asian markets.

A few other tidbits about the controller from the hands-on event:

  • In addition to a microphone hole on the rear of the controller, there is a small, paper-clip-sized hole referred to as a “reset port.” It’s unclear from the coverage exactly what this is intended for, but it seems like it could reset a controller to factory default settings.
  • The controller has a small mute button sitting below the PS logo in order to silence the built-in microphone.
  • The analog sticks on the DualSense have been “surface treated to prevent finger slippage,” as 4Gamer puts it.

If you’re looking for a more active look at the PS5, Famitsu has a couple of videos showing close-up use of the DualSense controller, as well as direct feed video footage of Astro’s Playroom and Godfall.

Listing image by 4Gamer



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