Transform Your PS5 With These Blackout Accessories

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

When the PlayStation 5 first launched back in 2020, it was only available in its distinctive white, popped-collar look. Any thoughts on the console itself aside, some users didn't really care for the blindingly-bright white panels and sought alternatives. Third-party manufacturers like dbrand and Customize My Plates (formerly known as Platestation) offered standalone replacement plates in various colors, with one of the most popular choices being matte black.

However, Sony threatened legal action against multiple third-party manufacturers of PS5 plates and covers on the grounds of intellectual property violations. Dbrand was one of the manufacturers that wound up under Sony's proverbial eye, which wasn't especially surprising since its advertising literally dared Sony to sue it, leading to the end of sales and manufacture of its Darkplate replacement plates. With the competition in this niche sector definitively stymied, Sony got to work establishing itself as the best possible source of manufacturer-approved plate replacements for PS5s. 

Sony offers its own black PS5 cover

Following that legal scuffle, Sony launched its own line of PS5 plate replacements at the end of 2021. This line includes six different snap-fit colored plates, including Gray Camouflage, Starlight Blue, Galactic Purple, Nova Pink, Cosmic Red, and of course, Midnight Black. These plates are all Sony-branded and can only be purchased directly from its digital storefront for $54.99 a pop. They are available for both the disc drive and digital versions of the console, though the price is the same.

Shape-wise, these plate replacements are entirely identical to the usual white ones, with the usual exaggerated popped collar look. Getting replacements straight from the manufacturer is a good way to ensure quality, as Sony is willing to stand by any product with its personal branding. If you've ever been burned by third-party replacements, Sony's console covers are a sensible option. However, don't go counting the third-party manufacturers out just yet, because one company didn't take that legal threat lying down.

The Darkplates strike back

After getting Sony's cease and desist letter, dbrand brainstormed ways to bring the Darkplates back from the dead, both for its own sake and as a less-than-subtle jab at Sony for its legal threat. The result was Darkplates 2.0, released shortly before Sony's official plates. These redesigned plates slice off the raised corners on top of the PS5 console, making it smaller overall. Additionally, as another means of distinguishing themselves from Sony's plates, dbrand added a pair of ventilation grills to both sides of the Darkplates to improve console airflow.

The base version of the Darkplates 2.0 for either a disc or digital PS5 costs $69.05, and comes in Matte Black, Retro Gray, and Classic White. For additional cash, you can also add one of 12 patterned skins to the middle of the console, as well as one to two RGB light strips to the console's front. These plates are only available on dbrand's online store, though it does offer free shipping to the U.S. and Canada. While the Darkplates are a bit pricier than the stock Sony PS5 plates, you can't deny the added vents and customization options are appealing. Not to mention, even if you like Sony, there is something distinctly appealing about buying something a major corporation doesn't want you to buy.

Meanwhile, if you're on a tighter budget and not afraid of buying an alternative from a random company, there are a number of cheaper options available on Amazon, including the $35 option from Frusde that enjoys high ratings from buyers.