First came the memes about the PlayStation 5's swooped design, and now people are wondering just how big Sony’s next-generation console is going to be. From everything we’ve seen so far, the PS5 certainly looks like it will be a behemoth—it may even put your old DVD player and the original Xbox to shame. Sony hasn’t disclosed the actual dimensions of the PlayStation 5, but with a little legwork, we’ve got a good idea of its size.
First, we have to make a few big assumptions: that the images of the PS5 we’ve seen are true to scale, and that, while they might be renders, they’re accurate ones. If we make that assumption, then the PS5's size becomes much easier to discern.
First, there’s images like this one that show the PS5 next to the new controller:
If the PS5 were truly a behemoth towering over all other consoles, waiting for Sauron’s eye to light up, then the controller would be much smaller than the console. For reference, here’s a quick photo I snapped of the PS4 next to a PS4 controller.
The proportions are pretty similar, but the PS5 does still look a little larger.
Theoretically, the new PS5 controller could also be gigantic, and this really could be Sony’s attempt to take Microsoft’s crown for “stupidly largest controller and console.” But there are three other tiny clues that give us insight into how swole the PS5 will be.
So you probably can’t see them well in the above pic, but I’m talking about the USB-C ports, disc drive slot, and what appears to be a USB-A port next to the USB-C. When you zoom in closely, the USB-A port looks like it might not be standard. In fact, it may not actually be a USB-A port at all, but an auxiliary port similar to the one found on the PS4 and used for the PlayStation Camera.
To avoid that confusion, let’s just stick with looking at the USB-C port and the disc drive. USB-C ports are fairly standard and have a width, typically, of 0.33 inches (8.38mm). Meanwhile, a UHD Blu-Ray disc, which we know the PS5 supports, has a diameter of 4.7 inches (121mm). I didn’t have a caliper on hand for the most precise measurement, but when using a tape measure found the PS4 to have a disc slot approximately 4.7 inches wide.
Knowing these two numbers, one can hop into an app like, say, Adobe Photoshop, and roughly, quickly approximate the size of the PS5.
It’s about 14 inches (355mm) tall when set on a stand, as in the images Sony has published. For reference, the same dimension in the PS4 Pro is 12.87 inches (327mm) and the original PS4 is 11.34 inches (288mm). So it’s definitely, even with wiggle room from my measurements, at least an inch larger than the largest PS4.
But if it’s 14 inches tall, that means it’s also larger than the Xbox Series X. According to Digital Foundry, the next-generation Xbox is approximately 11.85 inches (301mm) tall.
That’s...honestly a little shocking to me. Both devices are packing similar hardware inside and should, theoretically, be similarly sized. But when we saw the wild-looking PS5 developer console last year, we speculated that the PS5 might have some extreme thermal demands. Given its size and what appears to be a number of ventilation points on the PS5, it seems like those thermal demands will hold true for the final product as well.
But it’s not clear what that could mean for performance versus the Xbox Series X. The PS5 may well be running hotter because it’s running faster. Or perhaps the Xbox Series X, which is designed by the same design group that handles the Surface line of computers—and which launched another AMD product just last year—has a better method of handling all the heat.
We won’t know more about the performance and thermal output of either console until they launch later this year. We’ve reached out to Sony for details on the true dimensions of the PlayStation 5 and will update if we hear back.