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We finally know why the PS5 is so huge

Sony is going big in a lot of ways with the PlayStation 5, and that includes the console's literal size. The PS5 takes up quite a bit of space for a dedicated gaming machine, but as Sony detailed in a recent interview, that decision is an intentional one. It's being done to ensure that, in a few years, your PlayStation 5 will not have melted like that copy of Knack 2 you tossed in the fireplace.

The news comes courtesy of Yasuhiro Ootori, the Sony employee you saw dismantling the PlayStation 5 in a video a few days back. Ootori spoke to Japanese website Nikkei Xtech and offered some insight into why Sony ultimately went with a larger PS5 design.

According to Ootori (as translated by IGN), the fan needed to keep the PS5 cool is what ultimately dictated how large the console would be. The lone fan in the machine has a 120mm diameter and is 45mm thick, and the PS5 had to be designed in order to accommodate its placement inside the console.

Ootori and Sony did apparently toy with the idea of using multiple smaller fans, thus potentially allowing for a smaller console design. However, as IGN puts it, that method was "more costly," and "controlling two fans is more difficult than focusing on one."

Even if you aren't a fan of the PS5's size, perhaps you'll at least find comfort in the fact that what Sony's doing here isn't unusual. Anyone who builds PCs will tell you that temperatures are easier to manage in a larger case versus a smaller one. And there's some precedent for this approach in the console space. Microsoft designed the Xbox One to be much larger than the Xbox 360 not because it liked the look of a giant black box, but because it was afraid of running into cooling issues.

Of course, the girth of the PS5 does come with a few drawbacks, and one of them might be placement. If you have a PS4 Slim or a PS4 Pro sitting pretty inside your entertainment center right now, the PlayStation 5 might not fit in that same location. It's possible you'll have to find another spot for Sony's new console, though that's not exactly "end of the world" terrible when compared to, well, outside.

Another downside is portability. Yes, the PlayStation 5 isn't meant to be a Nintendo Switch-esque on-the-go console. Still, some people do enjoy traveling with their game systems, and the size of the PS5 could make it more difficult to simply toss in a bag before you hit the road for a week.

Still, these trade-offs may be worth it in the long run. Thanks to Sony focusing on functionality first, then form, you'll likely get to play Spider-Man: Miles Morales without your PlayStation 5 sounding like an industrial vacuum. Because Sony was willing to make the console larger to allow for more airflow, the act of playing Demon's Souls in 4K won't be akin to the PS5's internal components being ruled by Targaryens.

Will there be a smaller PS5 at some point in the future? If history serves as a guide, then yes, probably. Almost every console released in the past two decades has received some sort of "Slim" or "S" version later on. There's no reason to believe Sony won't reach that stage a few years into the future.

For now, however, the PlayStation 5 is what it is. The system is a little larger than some would like, though Sony didn't design it in that manner so it could say, "Look how large our console is!" Rather, there's a method to the madness. Its larger size could help ensure the PS5 works as intended for years to come, and if you're dropping $399 or $499 on a piece of tech, that's not a bad thing.

With the PlayStation 5's launch just weeks away, there'll undoubtedly be more news about the machine itself, as well as the games you'll be able to play on it. The aforementioned Spider-Man: Miles Morales will arrive day and date with the PS5, as will Demon's Souls. But don't forget about titles like Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Bugsnax, Godfall, Bugsnax, Astro's Playroom, and also, Bugsnax. These are confirmed launch games you'll get to experience on Sony's next-gen machine when it hits stores Nov. 12, 2020.

Before then, Sony has an opportunity to show off some more of what'll set the PS5 apart from Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Series S. Hopefully the company uses the time remaining to do just that.