The PlayStation 5 is famous for being able to be held either in a lying position or in an upright position. Both methods feature in many PS5 advertising campaigns. In fact, the PS5 is most often depicted in an upright position in Sony’s advertisements for the console.
However, new information has surfaced that may have PS5 users wondering if they should keep their console upright for too long. The issue is said to affect the liquid metal used as part of the PS5’s cooling mechanisms.
Is it safe to keep the PS5 upright?
After the release of the PS5 in 2020, many gamers happily kept their consoles upright, unaware that it could damage their systems. However, a number of reports suggest that holding the PS5 upright may not be as safe as gamers first thought.
Ben Montana, owner of specialist repair shop ILoveMyConsole, took to Twitter to cite a theory that keeping the PS5 upright could cause problems with the liquid metal used to help cool the system.
Ben Montana backed up his claims with photos showing that the system in question was damaged by liquid metal spilling or pooling inside the PS5 when it was idle.
At the same time, Montana said that the work described is not isolated, he has repaired many consoles affected by this type of damage.
Popular YouTuber TheCod3r has also experienced the same problems caused by liquid metal shifting inside the PS5 console, and believes the damage is Sony’s fault as a result of a critical design flaw.
The PS5 doesn’t use a conventional thermal pad or high-end thermal paste to help with cooling. Instead, it uses liquid metal. This liquid metal is an alloy made of metals such as gallium and indium that remain liquid even at room temperature.
This liquid metal mixture is extremely effective at cooling and is held in a small pocket inside the PS5 that is responsible for keeping the accelerated processing unit at a cool and stable temperature. Whether liquid metal or thermal paste is the best cooling option is hotly debated. Liquid metal can transfer heat very well, but it has its drawbacks. Especially in this case, the fact that it is liquid.
What happens if you hold the PS5 upright?
Unfortunately, the laws of gravity still apply to our precious PS5s, and holding the console upright can cause liquid metal to clump together. In some severe cases, the liquid metal gasket can be damaged, allowing the liquid to spill out and cause extensive damage to console components.
The liquid used in the PS5 console is a metal conductor. If a conductive part comes into contact with something in the system that it shouldn’t touch, it can cause a short circuit. If this happens, your PS5 could be significantly damaged.
While liquid metal leaking into your PS5 system is possible, it seems like the worst possible scenario. But the fact that the liquid metal collects in one place instead of spreading evenly across its surface can reduce the accuracy of the cooling mechanism and make your console more prone to overheating.
Keeping your console horizontal may be the best option
While this is pretty disturbing news, especially for those who bought the PS5 console at launch and have kept it lying around ever since, Sony has yet to answer the question.
Sony has not yet confirmed whether holding the PS5 upright is harmful to the PS5. But if the solution to avoid this problem is to simply put the console down, it’s probably worth keeping it that way.