At the recent Evolution (Evo) tournament in Las Vegas, PlayStation 5 (PS5) systems raised eyebrows due to a significant issue. As per reports from Kotaku and cnet.com, gamers experienced the melting of USB ports during extended gameplay sessions. This issue emerged as players from around the globe came to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase their skills in fighting games like Street Fighter 6, Tekken 7, Guilty Gear Strive, and more.
System Overheating: A Recurring Issue
Console overheating is a longstanding problem across brands, though modern advancements have somewhat mitigated the occurrence. But with the constant use of consoles at a significant event like Evo, the risk of overheating is heightened, especially when the system’s heat exhausts are compromised.
For the PS5, one primary USB-A port is located at the front. Many players, due to the high demand for ports during the tournament, connected their fighting game controllers to the rear ports. As the PS5 dispels heat from the back, these extended sessions likely elevated temperatures enough to melt the plastic inside the USB ports. Some gamers even reported their cables fused with the USB ports, leading to the port detaching when forcefully removed.
There’s an added complexity to the situation. A fraction of competitors, adapting their old PS4 fight sticks to the PS5, used unlicensed converters owing to the cross-system compatibility issue. These unlicensed converters might have contributed to the USB problems, although it’s unclear if the affected USB ports belonged to defective PS5 units.
Sony’s Dominance in the Gaming Sphere
Sony, in collaboration with RTS, a streaming and event management entity owned by streamer Imane “Pokimane” Anys, acquired Evo in 2021. This acquisition has cemented PS5’s position in the competitive fighting games arena. With nearly 40 million PS5 units sold since its 2020 launch, Sony continues to overshadow competitors like Microsoft. Notably, during a trial concerning its Activision Blizzard purchase, Microsoft emphasized Sony’s dominance as a key argument.
Tips to Protect Your PS5 and USB Cables
For PS5 users and enthusiasts, here are some preventive measures to safeguard against USB melting issues:
- Front Over Rear: Always prioritize using the front USB-A or USB-C port. The rear is adjacent to the heat exhaust, making it prone to overheating.
- Cooling Off Period: If using the rear USB-A port, ensure the console has sufficiently cooled before reconnecting.
- Unlicensed Converters: Given the recent events, it’s advisable to refrain from using unlicensed converters until Sony or the third-party hardware manufacturer issues an official statement.
- Ventilation is Key: Store your console in a well-ventilated space, ideally elevated, ensuring it remains cool from all sides.
- Rest Periods: Regularly shut down your system for breaks, especially during extended gaming sessions.
As the gaming industry continues to grow and consoles evolve, manufacturers and users must be vigilant about potential system issues. The recent incident at the Evo tournament serves as a reminder of the need for system care and the importance of using licensed peripherals. While the competitive spirit should be encouraged, it shouldn’t come at the cost of compromising the integrity of our gaming systems.