PlayStation 5 teardown: how Sony balanced build cost with performance

Last week, Sony finally unveiled its teardown of the PlayStation 5 console, fulfilling a promise first made by Mark Cerny over six months ago in his own Road to PS5 presentation. Effectively a basic outline of the make-up of the hardware, we finally got to see the fundamental building blocks of Sony’s hulking console, but little was revealed in terms of the philosophy behind the remarkable design. Our take? It’s a somewhat more conventional design than Xbox Series X, and the key challenges facing the designers are answered by sheer real estate.

Yahuhiro Ootori, VP of the mechanical design department at SIE is the stoic presenter of Sony’s teardown – and he’s the real deal, with a host of console patents to his name (the most recently unearthed being the PS5 dev kit) and of course, he also hosted the PS4 teardown video way back in 2013. His presentation begins with a basic outline of the port on the unit – a USB Type-A and 10Gbps Type-C on the front of the unit, paired with two 10Gbps Type-As on the rear, the LAN port and HDMI 2.1 output. We’re hoping that confirmation of 10Gbps of bandwidth over USB should allow for some fast storage media options for back-compat titles, perhaps exceeding the results we’ve seen on Xbox Series X. Meanwhile, in revealing the rear ports, the sheer size of the venting here hints at the scale of the thermal solution to come.

Ootori seems to almost ‘peel back’ the white panels either side of the console before pulling them away. Under there, we get to see the dual inlets for the custom 120mm main fan. Of course, 120mm is a standard when it comes to building PCs but the 45mm depth of the custom unit is something else. It’s also here where we see ducts designed for users to vacuum out excess dust that could clog up the cooling assembly. This was a major failing for PS4 and contributed to its increasing loudness of time and it’s good to see this addressed without having to dismantle the unit and void the warranty – as was the case for the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro.

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