When Microsoft debuted the Xbox Series X in late 2019, consumers immediately commented about its form factor. The game system was striking in that it deviated from conventional designs its predecessors came with. Shortly after journalists were given a hands-on experience with the actual unit, some were critical of how it was presented. Now that Sony finally unveiled the PS5, most people lauded its curvy aesthetics and two-tone colourway. However, many are curious as to how big the console really is.

Recently, there is an image of what appears to be an actual PlayStation 5 unit being held up by a factory worker. The photo implies that it could have been taken from an assembly line. It did not take long for someone to come up with a measurement based on the standard length of a Blu-ray disc drive. The results show that it towers over every console that has been released to date.

Others quickly pointed out that the PS5 can be positioned upright and on its side. With the assumption that Sony took into account the average dimensions of standard entertainment centres, it should fit without a problem. Perhaps the most reasonable explanation for its bigger footprint is cooling, as reported by GameSpot. With beefier processors alongside more powerful computing capabilities, next-generation systems are expected to run hotter than before.

This was also confirmed by PlayStation vice president of UX design Matt MacLaurin on LinkedIn in a reply to one commenter. "Thermals. This gen is little supercomputers. While the 7nm process delivers amazing heat performance for the power, the power is very extreme," he explained. Another speculated purpose for the size is the previously rumoured cartridge add-on, which was hinted in a patent document submitted by Sony.

Sony PS5 getting a major UI overhaul
On the other hand, Microsoft hopes to present an optimised version of the existing Xbox One dashboard when the Xbox Series X launches later this year. Photo: Sony

On the other hand, some gamers prefer to view the lighter side of things and describe the PS5 as an oversized router. Meanwhile, the same folks are also suggesting that the Xbox Series X looks like a miniature fridge or smart speaker. Nevertheless, it does seem like Sony and Microsoft are taking efficient cooling methods seriously. Both companies are yet to announce how much their respective products will cost upon launch later this year.