Customisable PS5 Faceplates Could Finally Be On The Way
When the PlayStation 5 first launched, you might remember all that hype that you'd be able to swap faceplates and give yourselves a customisable console that sings with your personality. So, what happened to it?
Fear not, Sony has had a patent granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, meaning it can now design its own faceplate covers for the PlayStation 5. Yes, that should mean Bruce Wayne will be able to get it in black.
How Can I Get PS5 Faceplates?
At the moment you can't, officially (we'll dive into that a little later), but following the Sony patent, they could be on the way in the future. For those who aren't sure, the faceplates are those white pieces of plastic that surround your PS5 and make it look like a router more than a console. Recently, Sony actually published a video that instructed users how to remove these white faceplates, and now with the news that they have patented customisable ones, it seems they could become available for sale at some point in the near future.
The patent itself was granted recently on November 16, 2021, an entire year on from when they filed for it. Although it's titled "Cover for Electronic Device", the patent also shows diagrams of the PS5 faceplates. Considering the PS6 is likely years off, we can assume it's for their current-gen console.
The description of the patent is an "ornamental design for a cover for an electronic device", which doesn't elaborate on the exact customisation they intend to allow. It can apply to brand-new faceplates or just skins that can put on the existing ones. However, it does confirm that Sony intends to move its way into the very lucrative console hardware customisation market.
How Does This Effect The Customisation Market?
Considering the ongoing battle Sony has had with Dbrand - a console peripheral company - some see it as a reaction and a way of pushing the unofficial faceplate designers off the market. For those who haven't been following the saga with Sony and Dbrand, here's a rundown.
Last February, Dbrand released the Darkplates, which were blacked out faceplates for the PS5 that sold out almost instantly. Later on, Sony sent them a cease and desist letter and posted an announcement that signalled the death of the Darkplates. But last month, Dbrand released the Darkplates 2.0 which they believe are safe from Sony's litigious hands.
In a statement titled "Checkmate, Lawyers", Dbrand said, "You can’t successfully sue someone over an alleged 'design infringement' without a registered design patent. Sony did not have a registered design patent for the PS5’s side panels when we launched Darkplates (or for many, many months following the release)."
They continued: "We didn’t think they’d ever get one. They did. Here we are." The result was Dbrand redesigning the Darkplates completely. "By Creating a brand new design," they continued, "Darkplates 2.0 successfully closes the loop on this dispute and neutralises any future infringement claims from Sony."
Finally, they closed their statement with an answer to the question if Sony will sue them again, stating "Probably. The difference this time is that we’ve created an original design for which they have no basis to allege infringement. If they want to try, they'd better be ready to pay our legal fees." Why can't everyone just play nice and let us enjoy our SpongeBob SquarePants-themed PS5?