If there's one thing PlayStation fans have asked for out of the PS5, besides just having enough stock to satisfy those that want one, it's the option for a black console. And while Sony hasn't offered a dark version of the PS5's bold new design, there are third-parties willing to fill the hole in the market, including custom skin manufacturer dbrand.
Right now, dbrand is offering a set of black faceplates for the PlayStation 5, something fans have previously had to fashion themselves through custom paint jobs. Of course, some fans have managed to create stellar looking custom PS5 consoles, but few will manage to look as official as dbrand's "Darkplate" designs do, which resemble what one would expect from an official black PS5 design.
Shaking things up a bit, however, is dbrand's attitude towards Sony. In the past, Sony has threatened legal action against manufacturers producing custom PS5 faceplates, resulting in one company having to rebrand and cancel sales entirely. Dbrand, however, is essentially challenging Sony through some of the language on the Darkplate's webpage, stating in one spot that the company has taken Sony's "monumental achievement in bad design" and "fixed it."
Another excerpt from the website, under the heading "totally legal," asks what the texture on the Darkplate resembles, going on to say "If your answer is 'a familiar-but-legally-distinct apocalyptic spin on the classic PlayStation button shapes,' you might be one of our lawyers." This is a reference to the subtle texturing on the official PS5 faceplate, which is shaped after the PlayStation Symbols.
On top of the "totally legal" faceplates, dbrand is offering a custom replacement for the center of the PS5, for those that want to match the Darkplate's matte black design with a matte black surface to cover the glossy middle of the consoles. All told, the Darkplates make for a sleek-looking console, one that won't stand out nearly as much on entertainment centers. For many, the large, striking design has been a drawback more than a good thing, as it's difficult to get it to blend into most environments.
The ball is in Sony's court now, at least as far as potential legal action goes. It isn't clear if Sony would have any case against dbrand, and it seems that dbrand is comfortable in the legality of its position, judging by its attitude. Black versions of the PS5 have been a popular demand from fans, and taking away those options would doubtlessly be an unpopular move. With that being the case, Sony may just want to let this slide.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect nearly every industry in America, including the successful sales of the 9th generation of consoles. But sales of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 have also been plagued by a mass of scalpers who have bought up more console units than ever before. In the latest story of scalpers doing their worst, a scalper bot called Carnage has apparently bought up 2,000 PS5 units from a recent restock for UK retailer GAME, and then the bot took to Twitter to brag about it.
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