• A new PS5 leak suggests that the console might have sides that are completely removable and can be replaced with new colors or styles.
  • When Sony revealed the PS5’s design in June, a PlayStation executive hinted that the PS5 would be “customizable in ways previous gens weren’t.”
  • Preorders for the PS5 could begin as early as next month.

Sony certainly turned some heads with the reveal of the PlayStation 5’s design in June. Not only was the reveal itself an unexpected surprise, but no one could have guessed that the design would be so striking. If Sony’s mission was to get people talking, mission accomplished, as the internet has been filled with discussion and speculation surrounding the size, weight, and look of the PS5 ever since. Until we actually see a PS5 in the wild, all we can do is speculate… or hope that components of the console leak online, which might have happened this week.

On Monday, a ResetEra user shared a link to a Chinese video game forum where someone had posted what appear to be photos of the white plates that encase the PS5. Seeing the shell gave us a sense of scale that we hadn’t been able to determine from the reveal video, but it also sparked a whole new round of theories.

Shortly after the PS5 Future of Gaming event in June, the PlayStation VP of UX design, Matt MacLaurin, hosted an impromptu question and answer session on his LinkedIn profile. His teases might have been more revealing than he intended, as he has since deleted everything he said, but while responding to fans that day, he noted that the PS5 is “is also customizable in ways previous gens weren’t.” He did not go into detail about how it would be customizable, but this new leak might suggest that the sides of the PS5 can be removed and replaced.

PS5-faceplateImage source: A9VG

PS5-coverImage source: A9VG

PS5-faceplatesImage source: A9VG

Swapping out faceplates on a console was popularized by Microsoft with the Xbox 360, but this generation was all about the special edition consoles, from the PS4 20th Anniversary Edition to the Xbox One S Fortnite Battle Royale Special Edition to the Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition. If you wanted a unique console this generation, you needed to buy a new one or go the DIY route and risk damaging it.

That might not be the case for the PS5. If the shell that comes preinstalled on the PS5 can be easily removed, custom faceplates could make a comeback in 2020 and beyond. And I’m just spitballing here, but with the rise of free-to-play games and cosmetic purchases over the past decade, it’s not hard to see how there could be a market for cosmetic additions to the console itself. If you’re willing to spend $10 on a skin in Fortnite, you might be willing to spend $20 or $30 on a faceplate for your brand new PS5. If this is indeed Sony’s plan, we should learn about it soon, because with the console launching this holiday season, preorders have to be imminent.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.