Black PS5 warning: don't buy one before you read this

The legalities around PS5 faceplates and scalpers trying to reskin consoles means you should be wary

Black PS2-themed edition PS5
(Image credit: sup3r5.com)

When Sony unveiled the PS5, it raised a few eyebrows with the curvy new form factor and white outer shell that's positively glowing. It wasn't long before the yearning for familiarity kicked in, and black PS5 concepts started popping up all over the internet.  

This was followed by unofficial PS5 faceplates from PlateStation5, which fans were thrilled about, but the buzz was short-lived; Sony's legal team jumped into action, forcing the website to change its name due to trademark issues. It also threatened legal action over the faceplates themselves, as pending patents Sony had filed at the time for PS5 faceplates would make such accessories Sony's IP. 

And so, gamers' dreams of having yet another black rectangle (ish) to add to their collection on the TV stand died, with the newly rebranded Customize My Plates ditching the PS5 faceplate idea and selling skins instead. 

But someone else took up the mantle, going one step further and offering an entire black PS5 console, not just PS5 faceplates. And it ended in disaster.  

At the end of last year, a new website sprang up out of nowhere offering a PS2-themed black PS5.  SUP3R5 reeked of scalpers trying to offload stock, so T3 reached out to get more details and advised gamers to hold off on buying one. And we were right to warn you off.

Just days after going on sale, the website cancelled all of its pre-orders, saying the black PS5 was 'postponed' and promised refunds. Some people on social media claimed to have gotten their money back, but a huge amount were still scrambling to make contact and get their refunds. The situation came to a head this week, with the owners of the website, whoever they were, deleting it entirely (via VGC).

That brings us to the latest attempt at a company trying to sell you a black PS5, and this time its dbrand. The website initially sold PS5 skins, which wouldn't have drawn the ire of Sony, but it upped the ante this week with black PS5 faceplates going on sale.  

Haven't we been here before? Yes, but what does that matter when you've got edgy website copy that reads "Go ahead, sue us" on your product page. If that doesn't scream functioning adults who've done their due diligence, then I don't know what does.

In all seriousness though, dbrand has either got a crack legal team who have all the ammo they need to shoot down any legal threats from Sony around its PS5 faceplate patent, or it's flying by the seat of its pants to drum up publicity, potentially facing impending legal action that will stop the faceplate sales, resulting in yet more cancelled orders for which thousands of people will be wanting refunds for, going by the numbers SUP3R5 shared. 

There's a massive demand for a black PS5, and Sony teased "even more beautiful (and hopefully radical) special editions" last year. We're only three months into the launch, and Sony hasn't given us a crumb when it comes to its plans for special editions, or official faceplates.

We'd advise not splashing out on anything until the inevitable legal fallout happens, and gauging the lay of the land then. Dbrand might be prepared to fend off Sony, and that's all well and good, but if not, it's playing fast and loose with your money. Let's hope it got its ducks in a row before putting the PS5 faceplates on sale so it doesn't end up as another failed 'black PS5 cancelled' story.  

Shabana Arif
Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.