The Noisy Issue
Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been a staple of my gaming set-up since its release back in 2013. One gripe that has always persisted is just how unwelcomely loud the machine is. I still own the original PlayStation 4 model because it satisfies my gaming needs in every other department. With that being said, if a genie was to grant me one wish for the next console (not the usual three for the sake of emphasis) I would use that wish on the PlayStation 5 being a quiet machine.
When the PlayStation 4 was first revealed I marveled it as a feat of engineering brilliance. I hailed Mark Cerny and the engineers at Sony for building such a beautiful machine. The sharp edges and sleek aesthetic immediately impressed me, especially compared to the competition. In fact, it was a reason behind my choice, and ashamedly a rather important one. However, it since emerged that design was achieved at the sacrifice of a much more functional component: the fan.
When I supplemented my gaming setup with the Xbox One, I was pleasantly surprised by the noise it made, or lack thereof. The machine is virtually silent. If these two are teaming up on cloud gaming then I hope Microsoft take it one step further and share their secrets on how they made their silent gaming system with Sony.
Before I get the typical “you need to clean your fan” response let me say I have done so, repeatedly, to no avail. Immediately after completing a sugeon-like operation to clean my PS4 the machine runs maybe a mere few decibels low before it is back to sounding like a jet engine. Further, by cleaning your PS4 you also void its warranty which is a problem within itself.
Sony has taken steps to solve this issue. Namely, the newer PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro iterations make access to the fan much easier without the need for a screwdriver, thus making it a far more convenient process. Further, reports suggest the Slim model does feature a quieter fan and various tests on YouTube confirm this.
One such test by Mystic demonstrates the difference in machines when playing Uncharted 4:
Personally, as someone playing through Uncharted 4 currently my base PS4 is noticeably quieter than in the video above. This is strange as it is quieter than other games I have played, many of which are far less graphically demanding. That aside, it shows us that the PS4 Slim shows signs of improvement. It seems to be one step forward, two steps backwards however with the PS4 Pro. Reports and tests show that the PS4 Pro suffers from the same noise issue as the base PS4.
Youtuber Chorizo Machine made a detailed video on this issue:
It seems Microsoft has done a much better job with their upgraded console, the Xbox One X; a review from Eurogamer states that:
Xbox One X is a beautifully designed little box that does the job assigned to it without taking up much space or making much noise – the latter being our biggest bugbear with PlayStation 4.
This may seem hyperbolic to some people and I am sure there are plenty of PlayStation 4 owners who do not suffer as I and many others do. That being said, for us who do suffer, it is a problem worthy of protest. Most times I am forced to plug in headphones to enjoy games on my PlayStation 4 due to the noise problem. Whilst not enough to turn me away from playing the console, it is certainly an inconvenience.
I’m not hardware expert by any stretch of the imagination but it’s possible as we’ve seen with the XB1X and so far PS4 Pro at least becomes extremely loud as I’m sure many are aware of. It gets so loud that once my mum asked me if I was hoovering.
It’s most recently doing it while I play Days Gone and I’ve had to turn the volume up higher than I like and put subtitles up for when it gets loud which feels pretty often.
So all I want from the PS5 isn’t 8K (which would still be nice when this is more accessible) or even the most powerful console but a console that is so quiet that I forget it’s even turned on rather than one so loud I think it’s either going to blow up or take off.
The post received over 11k upvotes and was met with a lot of support from other users with the same hope. Scouring the internet, reading this post and its comments, confirmed I am not alone. Moreover, that I am not the only one trying to bring more attention to this issue. After all, if we were all as loud as our PlayStation 4’s, Sony would have no choice but to listen.
All in all, the loud fan issue is one that seems to have haunted the PlayStation 4 throughout its life cycle and its iterations. The PlayStation 4 is a brilliant gaming machine boasting amazing exclusive game, a slick design and otherwise almost faultless bar this one issue. Therefore, it is my one wish that the next generation PlayStation 5 solves this problem once and for all. If the engineers at Sony can pull that off then they will have an early adopter of the PlayStation 5 in me.