When Sony introduced the PlayStation 5 (PS5) back in June 2020, many die-hard fans disliked the console’s white colour scheme. It marked a departure from the traditional all-black design from previous generations. Sensing an opportunity, Dbrand announced Darkplates, a new matte black custom-made faceplate for the PS5.
The Toronto-based company is best known for making custom skins and cases for popular devices from the latest iPhones to the Nintendo Switch. Dbrand explained on its website that the Darkplates is not a skin that you stick on the PS5’s white faceplate.
Instead, they are entirely new components that can be used to replace the side and middle faceplates of the PS5. Back in October 2020, Sony demonstrated how easy it was to remove the faceplates of the PS5 in a teardown video.
Dbrand is offering two versions of the Darkplates with one designed for the disc edition while the other is for the digital edition. Though the company’s website lists customisation options for both variants, only the disc version is available now. Meanwhile, the digital edition faceplates are listed as ‘coming soon’.
The company is very confident with its latest product to the point they dared Sony to sue them for making the custom parts. Even the subheading on Dbrand’s landing page for the Darkplates reads, “Go ahead, sue us.” Presumably, this is a call back to the time Sony threatened legal action against a UK company for selling aftermarket PS5 faceplates last year. This resulted in the company ultimately cancelled all its orders.
When asked if Dbrand was worried about potential legal issues with Sony, the famed Dbrand robot replied, “We encourage them to try”. Another person also asked Dbrand what’s their plan for not getting sued, they replied, “Nice try, Sony”.
To differentiate its offering from Sony’s trademarked plate design, Dbrand’s Darkplates features a different pattern that is inspired by the PS5’s button icons found on the underside of the original faceplate. The company cheekily describes it as “a familiar-but-legally-distinct apocalyptic spin on the classic PlayStation button shapes.” This is probably done to circumvent intellectual property concerns and making a product that doesn’t look 100% identical to the Sony produced faceplates.
Dbrand stated that the Darkplates come exclusively in matte black. The disc edition variant retails for USD 59 (RM239), though it is currently marked down to USD 49 (RM198), which includes shipping, should you pre-order it. Dbrand also offers centre faceplates that cost USD 19.95 (RM81). Besides being offered in matte black, it is also available in matte white and neon yellow.
The full price of replacing both the side and middle panel of the PS5 is USD 68.95 (RM279).
Demand for the Darkplates is high as Dbrand has already sold out the first three waves of the product that were set to ship in February, March, and April. The earliest time you can expect to get the Darkplates is to pre-order the fourth wave for May 2021.
Originally, Dbrand offered a solution for the PS5 that utilised its custom skins to cover the console. Prices for the skins, where each piece was sold separately to fit different parts of the console, started from USD 9.95 (RM40) and ran up to USD 14.95 (RM60). The cost to fully skin the PS5, including its base, with this method would have run up to USD 52.80 (RM213).
Unfortunately, Dbrand cancelled all pre-orders as they were not satisfied with the final look of the skinned PS5 as no matter how you warp the console there will always be bits of white exposed. In the end, Dbrand decided not to proceed selling the PS5 skins because it believed users would find it too difficult to apply and would only result in more customer complaints.
Even though Dbrand’s Darkplates are more expensive, as they are a single piece of plastic that easily attaches and detaches from the PS5, they should be much easier to install as compared to skinning the entire console.
YouTuber MBKHD recently demonstrated how to install the Darkplates on a PS5 console. View the video below to see how it’s done.
That being said, the PS5 is still difficult to come by several months after its official launch in Malaysia in December 2020. Just recap, the PS5 digital edition is priced at RM1,869 and the Ultra HD Blu-ray drive version is priced at RM2,299.
So, what do you think? Does Dbrand’s Darkplates actually make the PS5 looks better in black? Or do you prefer it in white? Let us know in the comments section below.