Do you want a slim PlayStation 5? How about one that’s so thin it could easily slide into your backpack’s laptop sleeve? That’s what one DIYer managed to do with his base PS5, again showing up Sony, which still lags behind in the burgeoning, ultra-mobile handheld console market.
YouTuber Matthew Perks from the channel DIY Perks latest video showed how he managed to take your regular PlayStation 5 console and slim it down by an incredible degree, all while still keeping just as cool as the console is with its massive heat sink, fan, and shell (and voiding his warranty in the process).
What’s incredible about this build is just how much Perks was able to take all the base components of a PS5 and translate them into such a thin form factor. It uses the console’s actual motherboard, which—ignoring the power supply—is pretty much everything the console needs to run as a PS5 once connected to a display. While the outside remained unchanged, the original PlayStation 5 has had marked changes internally throughout its near-four-year lifespan. Most importantly, the motherboard has shrunk over time, while the console’s heat sinks were redesigned to add more heat pipes and remove shielding.
Perks had to rebuild the heat sink and fan design from the ground up, but once he did, he claimed in testing that the CPU was only reaching about 42 degrees Celsius (though it’s likely hotter internally). That was with the fans running at full blast, so the console could easily reach the normal 55- to 60 degrees Celsius it normally does under full load without drowning out the area with fan noise.
It’s also quite a beast. Instead of an LCD panel, Perks went with a 14-inch, 4K OLED display yoinked right off a busted Alienware laptop with two 5-watt drivers on a miniature subwoofer for the sound that comes out of two stereo side speakers.
Now, the elephant in the room is obviously the battery. On average, the regular PS5 draws about 200W at full load, so Perks came out with a 250W power brick and his own custom cabling to complete the job. In that way, the device still needs a full wired connection at all times, though it does he only needs to set up near an outlet to enjoy the full capability of his PlayStation.
What Perks ends up with is a device that could look like any device you could pick off the shelf, but it’s less than 50% as big as even the newer, slimmer PlayStation, all with a high-end in-built screen.
Of course, this isn’t exactly what one might expect from today’s handheld consoles, which are much smaller and much less capable than a full PlayStation 5. However, Sony’s last attempt at portable gaming was the $200 PlayStation Portal, a streaming-only device that—while fine for what it is—hardly ticks any of the boxes of what players expect from today’s portable paradigm. Perk’s product is far bigger than your average Steam Deck, though he did show how his design is better for multiplayer experiences than the small, 7-inch screen usually is.
Sony has long been burned by the PlayStation Vita, its last real attempt at a handheld experience. Remote play doesn’t have nearly the same appeal as a dedicated console capable of playing your PS games offline and on the go. We know that Sony can make such a device, but we have our doubts we’ll ever have one in hand, at least not anytime soon.