PS5 will be the most ‘customizable’ PlayStation ever

(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5 will probably come in different colors; the only question is whether it will do so at launch. Fans have had fairly mixed reaction to the PS5’s black-and-white color pattern, and may be relieved to hear that they’ll (probably) be able to purchase the console in a different style. An all-black model seems to be a popular request.

Information comes from a LinkedIn thread posted by Matt MacLaurin, vice president of UX design at PlayStation. We learned a considerable amount of information from MacLaurin before he closed the thread, including some information about the PS5’s interface. While he didn’t give anything away, he was surprisingly candid about some of Sony’s plans for its new console. He had a few things to say about different colors, particularly special editions.

One commenter asked whether we could expect an all-black PS5. MacLaurin replied, “Maybe.” In response to other comments, he added that players will “definitely be seeing some special editions,” and that the PS5 “is also customizable in ways previous gens weren’t.”

Take the direct response to an all-black PS5 for what it’s worth, but the other two comments were a little more direct. Historically, special editions of PlayStation consoles come in different colors, such as a white Vita for Assassin’s Creed: Liberation or a red PS4 for Spider-Man. If you want a PS5 with a different design, you might have to pay a premium for it and get it bundled with a certain game, but it seems like you’ll almost definitely have the option.

Using past PlayStation special editions as a guide, it's not hard to imagine potential PS5 special editions. Among others, we got a red-and-white PS4 for Spider-Man, a black-and-white PS4 for Death Stranding and a blue-and-black PS4 for Uncharted 4. Imagine, then, a purple PS5 for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, a light blue PS5 for Horizon: Forbidden West or a red-and-black PS5 for Spider-Man: Miles Morales. None of these models is guaranteed, but they don't seem impossible, either.

“Customizable in ways previous gens weren’t” is a little more mysterious. It’s possible that the white plates aren’t an integral part of the PS5’s chassis, and could be swappable, like the face plates on an Xbox 360. It’s equally possible that MacLaurin was talking about the software or UI, though. Don’t forget that for a while, you could install Linux on a PS3 and run the system that way.

For the moment, at least, there’s no evidence that the PS5 will launch in anything other than the black-and-white pattern that we saw at Sony’s June 11 event. As with previous console generations, we may be stuck with a single design at first, and find more color combinations available as the console gets subtle redesigns and refreshes later on. 

However, consoles like the GameCube launched in various colors, so it’s not impossible that Sony will have alternate PS5 colors available this holiday season. It’s already releasing one PS5 version with a disc drive and another one without, so Sony is clearly not that worried about offering different spins on the same product.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.