Connect with us

Features

It’s frankly obnoxious how big the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are

Have you ever stopped and thought about just how bloody big the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are? It’s obnoxious. That’s what it is.

Published

on

PlayStation 5 Xbox Series X obnoxious size
Thumbsticks

Have you ever stopped and thought about just how bloody big the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are? It’s obnoxious. That’s what it is.

Over the weekend, a bunch of scale mockups appeared of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X on Twitter. They’re cute and fun pictures, but what they show is not comfortable to look at.

The first batch – all of these are by Twitter user and character artist Kei Sawada – shows how the PlayStation 5 will stack up against a Nintendo Switch, a small figure of a pumpkin and a ghost, and a 30″ television (including feet/stand).

The beauty of making these 3D models is that they can be moved, manipulated and adjusted as required. So the next logical stage was to add a PlayStation 4 into the mix, to see just how much bigger the PS5 is than its older sibling.

Pretty big, I think you’ll agree. But what about when you lie the PlayStation 5 on its side? Is it any less ridiculous?

No. If anything, it’s more ridiculous laid on its side, sitting on that little circular foot. It looks like it’s on a tiny Lazy Susan, a futuristic white train on a too-small turntable.

But this all feels like we’re bashing the design of the PS5 specifically, doesn’t it? Does it make the PlayStation 5 look any less massive when it’s compared to the Xbox Series X?

Slightly. But at least the Xbox Series X is a somewhat regular shape, if a bit square. (And of course, the Xbox Series S is the only one of the bunch that you could comfortably fit under your telly. It’s a diminutive hero in a rogue’s gallery of titans.)

And finally, for good measure, here are all the next-gen consoles placed near various sizes of television, from the original 30″ screen – which is basically the same height as the PS5 – right the way through to a 50″ panel. And another pumpkin figurine. And a handful of PS4 game boxes. And a cartoon cat, obviously.

The scale of the problem

What does all this mean? Well, it means I’m not sad for missing out on the pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, for one thing. (When I say “missing out” I mean to say that I didn’t even try. We have a baby on the way a week before the release of the new consoles, so I will have neither the time nor the finances, but I’m sure the FOMO will hit soon enough.)

The jokes about the big, square Xbox Series X, that it looked like a fridge freezer – it all seemed ridiculous. That Microsoft would bring out a console that big, that you’d struggle to fit under your living room TV, it felt daft. It’s basically a mass-market custom gaming PC in a mid-sized tower case, which is a brilliant value proposition but still, tough to live with on a daily basis.

Then Sony said, “hold my beer,” and unveiled the PlayStation 5.

It’s almost as wide as the Xbox Series X. It is almost twice as deep. It is about a quarter taller. And the PlayStation fanboys mocked the Xbox for looking like (and being as big as) a fridge! The PS5 looks like the world’s biggest internet router, but instead of hiding it in a cupboard, Sony thinks you’ll put it under your television. Well, if you have an entertainment stand that the damn thing could fit into, which I certainly don’t.

Let me tell you: I struggled with the Nintendo Switch, and that’s tiny. The fact that you can’t lie the Switch dock down on its side, that I can’t put it under my TV where consoles are supposed to go, is so inconvenient to me. The Switch dock sits behind my 55″ TV because there’s nowhere else I could put it – save for collecting dust and cat hairs on the floor – where the Switch wouldn’t be obscuring the screen. Occasionally there are issues with the JoyCons pairing because of the interference (caused by all the other devices) between the Switch and the sofa. I have to reach over the top of my telly to dock and undock the Switch; my wife’s arms aren’t even long enough to do it! It’s such a pain for an otherwise incredibly convenient console.

The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it? The Xbox Series S, the Series X’s diminutive little brother, seems like the right choice. You get the benefit of Xbox’s backwards compatibility and Game Pass stance, its next-generation power, and it’s actually smaller than the previous generation’s Xbox One S. You certainly can’t argue with the value of the Xbox Series S. It offers an entry into gaming, with a brand new console in a new generation, at a price not seen since the PlayStation and N64 era. (And that’s not adjusted for inflation, by the way.)

Xbox Series S horizontal

But there are a couple of compromises with the Xbox Series S that are causes of concern.

There’s that 512GB hard drive, for one thing. It isn’t tiny by any stretch, but as the size of games grows forever larger – and with no disc drive meaning everything needs to be downloaded and installed – it could quickly become a pinch point.

And then there’s the lack of native 4K output. Again, that might not be an issue for some on an entry-level console, but I’ve already got a 4K telly. It seems daft, almost wasteful, to be buying a next-generation games console that won’t make the most of it.

So where does that leave me?

I’m not really sure, to be honest. If I throw away all the other consoles under my telly, I can probably just fit an Xbox Series X in there. (While an Xbox Series S would be an easy, straight replacement for the Xbox One S, but those slight niggles are holding me back.)

The PlayStation 5, on the other hand, is never going to fit, and with the all-digital version practically the same size (just without a disc drive) that isn’t going to help, either. And before anyone says it, getting a new entertainment unit isn’t an option as it matches the rest of the living room set.

So where does that leave me?

Let’s be honest: it’s never ideal to be an early adopter of any new technology and games consoles are rarely any different. There are almost always teething problems and false starts and a lack of compelling software, so maybe it’s better waiting. But how long do you wait? Microsoft promises its games will be cross-generational for years to come, but the fate of PlayStation and third-party titles is less clear cut.

I think what I’m really asking for is the mid-generation, “slim” refreshes of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, that offer all the same power and features but in a more sensible chassis. But given both console makers are already offering “lighter” versions of their consoles, right at the start of the generation? I might be waiting a while.

Waiting. Looking at those obnoxiously big consoles. Wishing I could have one, but knowing they won’t fit in my living room. Resenting them.

Stupid, Brobdingnagian monstrosities.


Don’t forget to follow Thumbsticks on Twitter for more gaming insights.

Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.