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PS5 Patent ‘Leak’ Teases Glimpse of Sony’s Plans for Mysterious Showcase

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:58 PM
Thomas Bardwell
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:58 PM
  • A newly-published patent details the cooling solution underpinning the PS5 devkit.
  • It features six fans, a hefty heat-sink, and a vapor chamber design.
  • Reports suggest the final PS5 retail design will feature a “unique cooling solution” that Sony plans to weave into its marketing.

Today, we were supposed to marvel for the first time at the PS5 in action – and possibly steal a peek at the console itself – during Sony’s showcase.

The gaming giant appropriately opted to postpone the event, citing the need to give space to “more important voices” in the wake of the nationwide protests in the U.S.

Yet, as the day comes to a close, Sony isn’t leaving us entirely empty-handed.

PS5 Devkit Patent Leaks (?)

A new patent filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment  with the World Intellectual Property Organization offers a snapshot at the cooling solution underpinning the PS5’s striking V-shaped development kit.

The patent documentation indicates it was first filed back in late November last year, but not published until today.

Talk about timing. I’d wager Sony aimed for the publication to coincide with the PS5’s postponed showcase, adding weight to speculation that the platform holder planned to reveal the console today.

If so, that makes this patent filing a bit like a leak, but without the need for the usual scrutiny.

PS5 Patent Leak Offers Snapshot of Superpowered Cooling Solution
Patent details Sony’s robust devkit cooling solution. | Source: WIPO

According to the patent, the devkit features a vapor chamber design with six fans. Three of these are located on each shoulder of the kit’s distinctive V design. One set cools a hefty heat-sink, while the other cools the power supply.

Much of the document veers heavily towards the technical. Here’s the official abstract for a brief overview:

An electronic device has a plurality of cooling fans for supplying air to a heat sink. The plurality of cooling fans create air flows that pass through the heat sink from a first side of the heat sink toward a second side of the heat sink.

The heat sink is disposed oblique to the left-right direction and the front-rear direction of the electronic device. An exterior member has an intake port formed along the first side of the heat sink and oblique to the front-rear direction and the left-right direction.

There’s little chance the final retail PS5 will resemble the devkit. But elements of such an elaborate design are likely to bleed over into the final version.

A Unique Cooling Solution

The devkit’s design suggests that Sony dedicated significant efforts to create a quiet, yet robust cooling solution, presumably in response to widespread complaints about the (at times) deafening decibels pumped out by the PS4.

We’re likely to see those efforts carry over to the retail design – albeit refined into a cohesive on-brand piece of hardware. During Mark Cerny’s “The Road to PS5” technical deep dive in March, the PS5’s chief architect noted as much.

As for the details of the cooling solution, we’re saving them for our tear down. I think you’ll be quite happy with what the engineering team came up with.

Reports further suggest Sony will market the PS5’s cooling solution as a feature.

In a recent video, tech and hardware YouTuber Moore’s Law Is Dead explained :

What I’ve seen from the cooling patents is that it might have some kind of 3D stacked cooling, which is interesting. This also lines up with another rumor I’ve heard that the PS5 cooling system is really unique, it’s not just expensive because the thing runs at 2.2 GHz.

They put a lot of effort into not making it like a big PC. They are going to use that in their marketing, ‘we made this a slim console,’ again, despite running at these clock speeds.

What’s certain is that the PS5’s cooling is likely to turn heads.

Whether that’s because of a chunky, super-powered solution or an innovation coming out of left-field is still up in the air.