PlayStation 4 owners know the pain. You unbox your new console, you plug it into your TV, you go to turn it on, and, wait, where’s the power button? The PlayStation 5’s power button isn’t quite as obscure, but it’s not much better. See above for a closer look.
Simple: The big button is the power button. The small button is for ejecting discs from the disc drive. Look closely, and you’ll see tiny etch marks next to each, but they’re roughly size-6 font and match the colour of the plastic they’re set against. Even the sharpest eyes couldn’t see them at a glance. So it’s best to just remember that “big equals on.”
You could also use the console’s orientation as a lodestar. If you set it up vertically, power’s on the bottom. Lay the thing horizontally, and it’s on the left. Place it horizontally but upside-down (not officially recommended), and it’s on the right. Stand it vertically but upside-down, and you’ll probably need a new PS5. There’s just no viable method for stabilizing the PS5 that way.
Though not as obvious as a penny-sized circle with the universal power symbol, this is still a marked improvement over the PS4’s switch. Sony’s last mainline console, for those who’ve never touched one in the wild, featured two vertical lines just off-centre from the console’s face. The top one controlled the unit’s power, while the bottom operated the disc drive. But they were hard to discern, and even more difficult to press. Savvy players relied instead on the console’s controller to turn the thing on and off.
The PlayStation 5 won’t be available for a few more weeks. Because the units we have were provided by Sony, we can’t yet talk about how it performs, how it operates, or even how these two buttons work. Today, we’re largely limited to showing you what the console looks like. Kotaku’s Mike Fahey also has some initial impressions of Astro’s Playroom, a platformer that comes pre-installed on all PS5 units and, more or less, serves as a tech demo for the new DualSense controller. (Short version: It’s fun.)
When the console launches stateside on November 12 — and globally November 19 — hopefully you’ll be prepared to prevent this barest of inconveniences from tripping you up.
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