Earlier today, reports surfaced of Sony’s difficulties with locking down a PS5 price. While Sony was quoted earlier this month as waiting to see what price Microsoft will land on for the Xbox Series X, additional details suggest that scarce and expensive parts are also part of the issue. One of those parts is a pricey cooling system. Most companies spend less than a dollar, but the Bloomberg Tech report indicates that Sony opted for a more “lavish” PS5 cooling system, costing a few dollars each.
Many of gaming consoles’ biggest issues can be traced back to cooling problems with the powerful components inside. Both the Xbox 360’s infamous “Red Ring of Death” and PS3’s “Yellow Light of Death” (RROD and YLOD, respectively) could be attributed to overheating and issues with the heatsink compound on the internal components. This generation hasn’t had nearly as many of those devastating console crashes, but PS4 owners are all too familiar with their console sounding like a jet engine when it gets overworked. The PlayStation 4’s relatively basic fan cooling system goes into overdrive as the console heats up, often when overworked by games that require a lot from the system. This happens to varying degrees with all models of the PS4, but is particularly noticeable for those who are still running launch systems.
PS5 Cooling System – What Will it Be?
The Bloomberg report doesn’t go into any further detail other than saying that “Sony opted to lavish more on making sure heat dissipation from the powerful chips housed inside the console isn’t an issue.” It’s notable, however, that this isn’t just a slightly more expensive unit. It’s a component that Sony is spending “a few dollars” on, where most manufacturers would choose a cooling system that costs less than a dollar per unit. That seems to be a significant upgrade. Given the expected power of next-gen consoles, the PlayStation 5 is expected to put off a lot of heat. Sony has also clearly heard the complaints from consumers about just how loud the PS4 fan can get when running particularly demanding games.
With those things in mind, we expect that the PS5 cooling system will not only provide more efficient and reliable heat dissipation but will also run much quieter than the current generation of consoles. Of course, until Sony decides to say more about the PS5, we won’t know much about the PS5 cooling system. In fact, we may have to wait until it’s in the hands of consumers to know just how quiet the system runs.
The report does indicate that most of the internal components are already locked down, including this “lavish” cooling system. The current estimated cost of the PS5’s components is about $450, which is creating some internal struggle on where exactly to set the PS5 price point. By comparison, the PS4, which launched at $400, cost $381 to manufacture, not including additional costs like retail overhead. Sony is waiting to see where Microsoft lands with the Xbox Series X price to evaluate what kind of loss it may need to take to compete. However, Microsoft doesn’t see Sony as a direct competitor in the gaming space anymore, now targeting companies like Google and Amazon for cloud gaming and subscription service ecosystems beyond the console box.