PS5 Prototype Photos Leak with a Very Retro Vibe

(Image credit: Zone of Tech)

This is the first photo of the PS5 prototype 1. It’s so retro it looks like a cross between an original Star Trek series prop and an Altair 8800. It also looks just like Sony’s recent patent. Can this be the final design?

The photo has been allegedly taken by a PS5 developer. Marked”PROTOTYPE 1 NOT FOR SALE”, it has the typical buttons of a development kit lined up over the disc drive slot: “On/Stand By”, “Reset”, “Eject” “System Init(ialization)” and “Network Init(ialization)”.

On top of that there’s a line of LEDs that go from 0 to 7. On the other side there seems to be an ON button over a li ne of five USB-A ports and one USB-B port.

It’s worth noting that old PlayStation dev kits — check out the PS4 or the PS3 — didn’t look anything like the final version of the machine. Those were very rough boxy designs that had very little styling, if at all. 

A render of the prototype based on the leaked photo and patent.

A render of the prototype based on the leaked photo and patent. (Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

Which is precisely what makes me wonder about this design. This PS5 has a truly distinct design that is not generic at all. It would be rather gratuitous and needlessly expensive if this were not close to the PS5 final design. The machine is marked as Prototype 1, which is a marking that you can’t find in the previous PlayStation dev kits.

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And finally there is the issue of the patent. This “PS5 prototype 1” machine has the same design as the one pictured in the documents filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization. It will be rather unusual that Sony had filed for patent protection of a developer kit which is not for sale to the general public.

Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has been making renders of that patent for a while. Here’s their latest 360-degree video:

I’m going to put my money on this machine being close to the final design, minus all those buttons and ports. I have to admit that I hated this initially but now I kind of like it.

But we are still far from the final release, which will happen in the 2020 holiday season, and a lot of things can change. 

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.