Maybe you like the PlayStation 5’s distinctive white-and-black look. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’d settle for a Zune-brown and orange model as long as you could find it in stock. But wherever you come down on the PS5’s color, one thing’s for sure: there’s a lot of demand for other options.
That’s what Dbrand was betting when it put its matte black replacement “Darkplates” on sale recently while baiting Sony to sue. Successive waves of the product sold out fast to the point where they’re now almost as hard to find as the PS5 itself; the next batch won’t ship til May, though you can still put a backorder in.
Anyway, I don’t mind how the PS5 looks myself, but since Dbrand sent over a set of Darkplates, I was curious whether they’d change my mind. This afternoon I took off my PS5’s lightplates (?) to see for myself.
The process is quite simple. Here’s Dbrand’s video on how to replace the PS5’s plates:
I found it a little more difficult to take off the stock white plates than this video suggests, but I was reluctant to apply too much force out of fear of damaging my rare-as-hens’-teeth console. Once you do manage to unhook the plates and slide them off, it’s very easy to attach the Darkplates in their place — they just pop right in with a satisfying click. It doesn’t feel like you’re doing anything the PS5 wasn’t intended to do out of the box, so I think Sony is missing out by not selling its own official swappable plates.
Here’s how the PS5 looks on both sides with the stock plates removed:
The Darkplates feel sturdy and of high quality — these aren’t just flimsy pieces of plastic. You’d expect as much for $49 plus shipping, of course. But Dbrand has definitely gone the extra mile to make this feel like a premium product, and this is maybe best expressed by the company’s own spin on Sony’s PlayStation icon microtexture. As on the PS5, it’s difficult to see with the naked eye or to photograph, but it’s there:
Dbrand also sent over a matte black skin to cover the glossy black middle portions of the PS5. These are available in various colors, too. I found it easier to apply than I expected, but it didn’t turn out 100-percent perfect — the skin was slightly lopsided around the USB-A port, though not in any way that’d obstruct usage. But I’m not really convinced that I prefer this look to simply leaving the middle section glossy.
Here are some shots with the skin attached for full matte-black effect:
Finally, I thought I’d compare my newly matte black PS5 to the similarly matte black Xbox Series X. I have to admit, the black finish does seem to have a slimming effect on the PS5:
As mentioned before, the Darkplates cost $49 plus shipping, while the middle skin is an extra $11.95. You can still order now, but they won’t ship until May. Is it a lot to pay to change your PS5’s color? Yes. But if you have your heart set on the idea, I think you’ll enjoy the Darkplates.