Hype around Sony’s upcoming PS5 console is building rapidly. Fans online are already speculating on what new features Sony will bring to gamers later this year, and some are snooping through patent filings to get a glimpse of what the PS5 might hold.
Dutch website Let’s Go Digital uncovered a patent filed away at INPI (National Institution of Industrial Property) in Brazil that was later registered on August 13th, 2019 at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office). The patent design, which also lists longtime PlayStation engineer Yusuhiro Ootori, shows off a bizarre looking box with a wedge right in the center, perfect to place a slice of pizza.
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Pictures have also emerged on Twitter showing a very similar design. It’s shown sitting next to a PS4 development kit.
PS5 anyone? pic.twitter.com/cBggZTIty4November 30, 2019
Now, is this the final PS5 design? Unlikely. First, it doesn’t follow the modus operandi of Ootori, who also designed the PS4. The PS4 differentiated itself by going with sleek angled edges and a minimalist aesthetic. For Ootori to take such a drastic design step would be surprising.
Also, it’s not structurally designed for mass-market production. The flared vents allow areas of structural weakness which could cause packaging and shipping problems. There’s a reason your consoles tend to be flat rectangular cubes. A simple box can bear a lot of weight. No points are susceptible to increased pressure and it’s efficient to manufacture.
That’s not to say Ootori’s dev kit design won’t trickle down into the final product. According to a Reddit user (via BGR), they were able to see the logo for the upcoming PS5 pop up on the Japanese PlayStation website before it was taken down. Again, this could be a fake, so take it with a grain of salt.
It’s likely that the design patent and the image you see above is a development kit Often, dev kits can range wildly in design from the final market product. Here are pictures of past development kits for a variety of consoles:
Let's take a minute to remember just what the #PS2 dev kit looked like. pic.twitter.com/6JpND7pWnzDecember 4, 2019
A little random fact before I really go to bed: This was a PS3 dev kit. pic.twitter.com/FNA5RVJnBIMay 6, 2019
Beyond design, rumors are circulating that Sony is having trouble keeping cost down on the PS5. The memory market seems to be the culprit, with DRAM and NAND flash memory costing more than what Sony was hoping it would.
According to Bloomberg, the cost of the PS5 is currently $450 to manufacture, putting its final retail price potentially at $500. And given that Microsoft made the mistake of charging $500 for the Xbox One at launch -- a move that the system was never really able to recover from -- Sony would likely want to avoid that scenario when going up against the Xbox Series X this fall.