PS5: Sony makes cosmetic changes illegal

PS5: Sony makes cosmetic changes illegal


A little less than a year after the release of the PS5, Sony has not yet launched aesthetic variants of the console. For the first time ever (except for the first PlayStation), the Japanese company has launched its own platform in white instead of black. A change of direction that has allowed some manufacturers to launch the plates (however removable without voiding the warranty) of the black version of the console. One of these lines was that of Dbrand, which unfortunately ceased operations during the night.

As reported by The Verge, in fact, Dbrand is not a common accessories brand. In its history it has launched houses, cases, tempered glass and much more with digs at companies. In the case of AirTags, for example, the product description sounds like “Never losing things has never been so expensive”. The same company sold black version plates for PS5, with the product description inviting Sony to report them. Said and done: the Japanese giant has in fact proceeded to send a letter from its lawyers over the last few weeks, inviting Dbrand to remove the article. And of course the outcome was positively answered.

Currently, in fact, it is absolutely impossible to buy the plates in the dark version from the Dbrand website. The page dedicated to PS5 now shows only a slew of articles reported by different newspapers, where you can do a sort of virtual press review, from the announcement of the product to the articles that report the cessation of sale. In one fell swoop, therefore, Sony made cosmetic changes to its console illegal.

Now, it is clear that anyone who wants to buy (perhaps on eBay or other sites where you can order from China) alternative plates for the PS5 is still free to do so. Nevertheless, those of Dbrand were unique and represent a particular case. It is true that the textures that recalled the PlayStation logos in this case had been heavily modified, but the letter that The Verge was able to examine clearly states that all the production was illegal and clearly replicated Sony's intellectual property. With these tones, a decidedly dangerous precedent has opened, which risks putting the customization market out of action.

Fortunately, the protective cases for the DualSense are not yet illegal: you can buy one HERE.

Dbrand declares its PS5 Darkplates 'are dead’ after Sony threatens legal action

PS5 © Provided by TechRadar PS5

Earlier this year, Canadian company dbrand started selling matte black faceplates for Sony’s PS5 console, calling them ‘Darkplates’. Now, dbrand has announced it’s pulling Darkplates from sale after receiving a cease and desist letter from Sony Interactive Entertainment. 


Dbrand made the announcement in a post on its subreddit, inviting Redditors to visit the product page which no longer offers the Darkplates for sale. Through the rest of the post, dbrand quotes the cease and desist letter highlighting that Sony takes issue with the way the Darkplates “replicate [Sony Interactive Entertainment]’s protected product design” as well as dbrand’s version of the PlayStation button icons engraved inside the plates.

The letter closes with Sony asking that dbrand “promptly and permanently cease and take down all marketing and promotion for and cease all sales worldwide of faceplates featuring the product configuration of SIE’s PS5 faceplates or any similar product configuration, including without limitation all faceplates currently for sale at” Dbrand also says in the post that “a couple of months from that original Cease & Desist” it has been advised by Sony’s legal team that “a patent had been issued in Canada which purports to cover the shape of the PlayStation 5's side panels.”

It probably doesn't come as a huge shock that Sony has sent this cease and desist letter. Back in October 2020 another company attempted to sell PS5 faceplates before its operation was swiftly shut down. In fact, when dbrand itself announced its line of Darkplates back in February, it was pretty forward with the slogan 'Go ahead, sue us.' 

Dbrand wraps up its post by saying that it’s complying with Sony’s request, though it adds “for now” in bold, suggesting this might not be the last we hear of it.

With its size and bright white casing, there’s no denying the PS5 has a tendency to stand out in an entertainment center. While there are plenty of PS5 owners who love that aspect of the console, for those who don’t, swapping its plates is an easy route to happiness. And easy really is the operative word here—instructions on how to remove the faceplates of the PS5 can be found in Sony’s own teardown video of the console. TechRadar’s own John McCann tried replacing the plates on his PS5 and found the whole process pretty simple.

The ease with which it can be done has led many to believe that Sony has plans to release official faceplates of its own. Sony’s recent announcement of two new DualSense colors (Cosmic Red and Midnight Black) and a Midnight Black Pulse 3D Wireless Headset show it’s not averse to a pop of colour this generation. Even last generation it released a line of official PS4 custom faceplates. With all that in mind, an official line of PS5 faceplates doesn’t seem totally outlandish. In fact, dbrand itself speculates in its Reddit post that first-party faceplates could be Sony’s next step. But Sony itself hasn’t said a thing and we can’t know for sure until something official is confirmed. 

Naturally, though, worrying about the ability to make changes to a PS5 is a luxury reserved for those who’ve actually been able to get their hands on one. Stock is still fairly hard to come by amid ongoing shortages but we’re regularly tracking retailer stock at TechRadar. Readers in the US still on the lookout for a console can follow our dedicated PS5 restock tracker as well as TechRadar's US Editor-in-Chief Matt Swider, who has had plenty of success in helping people secure consoles.

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