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Did PS5 Clone This PC?

We finally know what the PlayStation 5 looks like, and it's definitely something we haven't seen before from Sony. The new console is predominately white, unlike the black and grey of previous generations. It also have sleek curved edges, giving it a very different shape from the more rectangular PlayStation 4. Reactions to the console's design have been rather mixed. Mixer star Shroud even said that the PlayStation 5 looked more like a router than a video game console.

However, there is one company that seems to think that Sony copied one of their designs while making the PlayStation 5. That company is computer hardware manufacturer ZOTAC. In a post made to ZOTAC's Italian Facebook page (translation via Wccftech), the company asked its followers to spot the differences between a picture of the PlayStation 5 and a picture of ZOTAC's MEK1 gaming PC. There is a noticeable resemblance, particularly when viewing the PC tower and a standing PS5 from the front. 

What's especially interesting about ZOTAC's apparent accusation is that it's not the first time that this has happened. It's not even Zotac's first time pointing out that one of the next-gen consoles resembles one of its own products. Back in December of 2019, shortly after the official reveal of the Xbox Series X's design, Zotac suggested that it looked like one the company's Zbox mini PCs. 

The resemblance was pointed out in a post by the official ZOTAC UK Twitter account. It was illustrated with an image of three Zboxes stacked on top of one another. The caption read, "I knew I'd seen Xbox series X somewhere! More like Zbox series Z, emirate?"

While this original post was seemingly much more in jest, it appears as though this is starting to happen more frequently than ZOTAC would like.

ZOTAC UK recently retweeted the "Zbox Series Z" photo along with a side-by-side comparison of the PS5 and the MEK1. This time, the caption read, "First Xbox and the Zbox, now Sony and the MEK1, not sure if we should be flattered or..."

In other words, it's starting to look like this situation is not quite as amusing for ZOTAC as it once was. A reply on Zotac's post even suggests that the company may have legal grounds to sue Sony.

From looking at Twitter, fan opinions seem to be split on this issue. Some people appear to believe that the resemblance must be on purpose. One user referred to the PlayStation 5 design as a "complete copy and paste job," while another said that the ZOTAC MEK1 was markedly uglier than the PS5. Still another person floated out the theory that Sony had actually consulted with ZOTAC when designing the PlayStation 5. However, if this were the case, then it wouldn't really make any sense for ZOTAC to be calling the resemblance out in a public forum.

It is also worth noting that ZOTAC isn't the only company to see a resemblance between one of its products and the PlayStation 5's design. On Twitter, Thermaltake North America shared a photo of the PlayStation 5 next to one of Thermaltake's PC towers, writing, "We've seen this somewhere before." 

However, the Thermaltake tower doesn't really look a whole lot like the PS5, other than sharing a similar white and black color scheme. In the comments on that post, Thermaltake seemed to get a kick out of followers posting memes making fun of the PS5's design. 

Meanwhile, tech analyst Anshel Sag seemed to take issue with Thermaltake's dig at Sony. Sag expressed his belief that Thermaltake wasn't exactly innocent when it came to producing PC cases that resemble other products. He tweeted, "While I love Thermaltake, I've seen them rip off enough cases that I don't really think they deserve to do this."

Adding onto this was a reply to Sag's tweet that pointed out that the PS5 bore a greater resemblance to — you guessed it — the MEK1.

While it seems unlikely that the PlayStation 5's resemblance to the MEK1 is on purpose, it makes perfect sense that people would jump on Sony's case. People tend to get up in arms over clones of popular video games. In the last few years, we've also seen console clones like Soulja Boy's bizarre SouljaGame systems go under almost immediately for copying other companies' work.

Either way, the PlayStation 5 is still slated to release in the upcoming holiday season. It will be interesting to see if ZOTAC pushes this issue any further in the near future, or if the company is just having a bit of fun.