PS5 could have been smaller, but two fans would have been too costly, says Sony

A bigger, single fan is cheaper and easier to control.

Image via PlayStation

PS5’s sizeable design is due to its large fan, according to the details revealed by Yasuhiro Ootori – EVP, Hardware Engineering and Operation, Sony Interactive Entertainment – in an interview with Nikkei.

Ootori states that the platform owner opted for a single-fan solution as opting for two would have been more costly and make it harder for engineers to handle two fans at the same speed and performance all the time.

PlayStation 5’s main board was conceptually split into two different sides, Side A and Side B, where Side B alone is said to be producing more heat than the entire PS4 SoC.

This is why the console needed a bigger fan – or two fans, with one covering a side and the other another one.

The fan that ended up being adopted is 120mm in diameter and run by a similar system to PS4, where it increases its speed as soon as one of the two sides increases the amount of heat it outputs.

It’s still centrifugal, like those in PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, as an axial fan, like in most PC configurations, could have been an option only if the static pressure would have been low, which is not the case.

As it features high speeds, the fan is surrounded by two dust catchers voids, which gather debris produced in cooling the console and prevent dust from becoming too much of an obstacle.

PS5 measures 390mm x 260mm x 104mm, which is larger than the PS4 Pro (approximately 327mm x 295mm x 55mm), and makes it for the most sizeable PlayStation console ever.

Sony didn’t try and hide that, embracing how big the console actually was with a bold design, said to have been decided two years ago, together with the specs. However, opposite to the original PS3, PlayStation 5 won’t luckily host an entire old-gen console inside its case while being almost fully backwards compatible.