The PS5's design means it requires a screwed-in stand to be placed vertically in your living room, which Sony has detailed today in a teardown video on the hardware. While PlayStation consoles have previously offered a stand for this purpose going back to the PS2, this has strangely become the subject of intense discussion on social media.
Even Microsoft and Xbox are getting in on the action with one unit of light banter at the PS5's expense – which probably required sign-off from a brand manager:
How to switch the Xbox Series X from vertical to horizontal ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/efnCoBPWTWOctober 7, 2020
To be fair, like the PS5, the Xbox Series X does look a bit nicer when it's stood up. Sony is just getting a little more scrutiny on this because a strangely long part of the PS5 teardown video – more than 30 seconds – is dedicated to explaining how it works in slow detail. A lot of attention is drawn to the stand. It's the first thing discussed in real depth.
Here's the video sped up, as Sony's Mechanical Design Department VP Yasuhiro Ootori discusses the removable stand:
Switching the PS5 from vertical to horizontal (x1.25 speed) pic.twitter.com/8rSqGdb3TOOctober 7, 2020
Considering this is our first intimate look at the PS5, it's no bad thing that Sony is being granular about this stuff. People want to know everything about the PS5 before its November launch – this video answers a whole bunch of lingering questions about expandable storage and ports on the console.
As the video explains, the single screw can be removed and placed in a compartment inside the stand when it's not being used, with an end piece replacing the screw in the PS5 when you're ready to place it horizontally. As long as you don't misplace the stand, you should be okay.
Is this actually a big deal?
How much does this actually matter? Well, it's arguably a complication for any kids who get the console for the holidays and don't want to mess around with tools to set up their PS5s – but it doesn't actually look that hard to get the screw off, based on the video. We'd bet a coin will do it.
The fact that the stand is packed in is a good thing – for PS4, it's a separate purchase, although the shape of that console meant that you could pretty safely stack it vertically without any worries. The PS5 is a taller console – 390mm (or 15.4 inches) versus 304mm (12 inches) for the original PS4. The stand is ultimately there to offer players flexibility and safety.
Sure, it's not as simple as just turning the console vertically or horizontally at will – but adding or removing a screw isn't the end of the world, either.
- PS5 games we know about
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Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.