The PS5 and Xbox Series X/S are huge in size when compared to their predecessors. One possible reason is the use of custom hardware based on AMD’s Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 graphics architectures. However, for PS5, Otori Yasuhiro from Sony explained the reason behind the console’s size.
PS5 has two versions; one features a built-in optical disc drive and has a bulge on the bottom to accommodate it, while the other lacks the optical drive. The PS5 version with optical drive measures about 390mm (H) by 260mm (D) by 104mm (W) or 15.4 by 10.24 x 4.09 inches, while the other measures about 12mm less.
To get an idea of how big the PS5 is, the PS4 Pro measures 327mm by 295mm by 55mm, and the double-sided cooling fan(showed in a recent official teardown video) is the reason behind the massive size of the PS5. Check it out:
In an interview with Nikkei’s Cross Tech (XTech) publication, Yasuhiro (leads the team in charge of the PS5’s mechanical and thermal design) explained about the impact the fan had on PS5’s size; the fan measures 45mm in size, making the fan thicker than the one used in PS4 or PS4 Pro. An alternative method was to use a dual-fan design.
“There was a way to make the PS5 smaller than it is now. For example, if you prepare two cooling fans, one for side A and one for side B, you can reduce the size. However, the cost increases because the number of cooling fans increases to two,” Yasuhiro explains (translated by Google)
Yasuhiro also added that the cost was not the only issue as controlling two fans’ rotation is difficult compared to a single fan.
However, the PS5 is quieter due to its large fans. Bigger fans tend to be less noisy than smaller fans because they don’t have to spin as fast to circulate the same amount of air.
Currently, PS5 is Sony’s most powerful console and the biggest console ever.