In context: After shutting down a few different PS5 faceplate manufacturers for selling unofficial faceplates for PS5 consoles, it seems Sony is finally launching its own official versions. That’s according to a patent filed by Sony, which shows multiple images of what seems to be the faceplate design at different angles.
Named “Cover for electronic device,” the newly found patent was filed by Sony on November 5th, 2020, but only approved on November 16th, 2021. The patent’s description, which reads “the ornamental design for a cover for an electronic device,” is rather vague, but looking at the images, it definitely looks like faceplates.
Looking at the “other publications” segment, there’s an Amazon link of what seems to be unofficial faceplates for the PS5, further suggesting that these are indeed faceplates for the console. We couldn’t find the exact listing shown in the patent, but a quick search on Amazon shows multiple manufacturers are still selling unofficial faceplates for the machine.
However, we can’t eliminate the possibility that this is just a skin or cover for the faceplates. Reading the rest of the description, Sony states that the broken lines on the images in the patent do not belong to the product design. All patent images have these lines designing the plastic fittings that would stick the plates to the console, so if they don’t belong to the design, this would be more correctly referred to as skins or covers for the faceplates instead of the plates themselves.
The unofficial plates are usually sold between $30 and $50, so if Sony wants to start selling official faceplates/covers for its console, pricing shouldn’t vary much from current offerings. However, if Sony wants users to pay a premium for the official product, it should be prepared to lose some sales, as PS5 owners will probably prefer the cheapest option to the official one.
Many knew PS5 would have swappable faceplates even before its launch. Soon after, there were already custom faceplates options, but Sony wasn’t happy with it, leading the game company to threaten plate manufacturers like PlateStation5 and Dbrand. However, soon after pulling the products, the latter launched new faceplates with a slightly different design.
Masthead credit: Charles Sims