New PS5 part revealed in hands-on video — but what is it for?

(Image credit: Sony)

Videos of PS5 hands-ons from Japan have been circulating online, but one has revealed a strange bolt in the console’s side with no explanation for the mysterious nut. 

Spotted by 4Gamers, the nut can be seen when looking into the PS5’s upper right-hand-side section if its casing. How easily it’s accessed and what it’s for remains to be explained, but we have some theories. 

First off, the PS5’s internal storage is set to be expandable, just as well given there's only 825GB of SSD space. So this bolt could mark the point at which users remove part of the PS5’s monolithic shell and access an expansion slot that promises to take off-the-shelf PCIe 4.0 SSDs, providing they’re Sony approved.

The PS4’s hard drive could be replaced with a larger capacity drive, as long as users were willing to get busy with a screwdriver. So it’s not unreasonable for Sony to expect future PS5 customers to do the same.

However, the Xbox Series X is offering a very easy plug-and-play system, whereby the storage can be easily expanded by 1TB using an external proprietary SSD. But these are set to be expensive upgrades.

PS5 mystery nut

(Image credit: 4Gamer)

Alternatively, the strange nut could be the means to remove the PS5's white covering and then attach new panels, perhaps those with custom designs as we’ve seen bandied around by concept renders. Sony has said previously that the PS5 will be a customizable console; whether that will be something users can do or more the realms of professional modders remains to be seen.

Given the venting on the PS5, the nut could also allow parts of the chassis to be removed so people can clean out any dust that might be blocking the console’s fans and cause it to ramp up the fan speed and thus volume. Early hands-ons have indicated the PS5 is pretty quiet, and we imagine that’s tied to clear air flow to the console’s powerful innards.

In the consoles of old — we’re talking classic Nintendo and Sega machines — such nuts would suggest that the consoles could be attached to some intriguing accessories. For example, the Nintendo 64 had a port underneath it that allowed it to be connected to a region specific game slot. However, given the PS5 appears to have all it needs to be a powerful entertainment machine, we doubt the nut is for such elaborate expansions. 

With the PS5 due to release in the U.S. on November 12 and the U.K. on November 19, we’ve not got long to wait until we get a proper look at Sony's next-generation consoles. PS5 pre-orders are also live, but they've sold out very quickly, so be prepared to be patient to bag yourself a console. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.