PS5 design still eludes players after Sony’s live stream

(Image credit: Letsgodigital)

The PS5 live stream is over, and it didn't tell us very much in the way of details that we were hoping to learn.

There was plenty of chatter about the benefits of SSD storage (which we already knew about), talk of reduced load times and 3D audio (which we already knew about), but not so much as a sneak peek at the external hardware design for the PS5 console – despite Microsoft having shown off the  Xbox Series X weeks previously.

There have been plenty of PS5 renders floating around, largely based on a leaked photo of the PS5 dev kit and an old patent image, both of which showed off a stylish V-shaped cooling system – though it's likely the final design will be quite different.

PS5 system architect Mark Cerny talked about the attempt to “build [the PS5] in complete secrecy”, and it feels like Sony has taken this mentality further than with previous consoles.

Spec(tacularly disappointing)

While a deeper look under the hood is great for those with a computing vocabulary, it does nothing to entice players who may have been be alienated by the spec-heavy live stream. Holding off on the PS5 launch – which had been expected to happen in February – and offering a largely developer-focused video announcement, in such a public manner, doesn’t feel like good form. 

It’s especially frustrating after that slap-in-the-face PS5 logo unveiling we saw at CES 2020, offering nothing new but the number ‘5’ – something that simply didn't deserve a dedicated announcement.

It’s widely understood that this live stream happened because of the GDC 2020 cancellation – and we know that Microsoft is similarly holding online talks to take the place of the panels and addresses that attendees would have been able to walk into onsite. Mark Cerny’s talk sounds like it was relatively unchanged from what he would have given at GDC, and it shows a willing refusal by Sony to engage with the different audience that an online live stream for all brings in.

But right now, fans are waiting for the official PS5 unveiling – and Sony needs to stop side-stepping that expectation and banking in on the frenzy of hype currently surrounding the console, when they aren’t yet giving fans the information they want.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.