Should you use your PS5 vertically or horizontally?

A Sony PlayStation 5 laying flat alongside a DualSense 5 controller
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Can the PS5 lie horizontally on its side?

Best answer: Yes. Although the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition were displayed vertically during their initial announcement, both can lie horizontally. Due to a potential design flaw, using a PS5 horizontally may be the safest way to play on the system.

Can the PS5 lie on its side?

Just like its predecessor, the PS5 can lie flat on its side or vertically, whichever you may prefer. Most Sony marketing materials only show the PS5 standing vertically but the included stand makes it easy to lay the console flat without it wobbling. 

In fact, according to reports by console repair experts, laying the PS5 on its side is the preferred way to use the system. That's because a number of PS5 units — the exact percentage is yet unclear — appear to have a defect in the cooling system.

When it gets very hot during long gaming sessions, this defect can cause the liquid cooling metal to drip out of the seal around the APU and land on other components, potentially causing an electrical shortage.

Does the PS5 need a base to lie horizontally?

Yes, you'll need to use the base to lie the PS5 horizontally. This is due to the curved nature of the PS5's outer shell. Sony includes a base in the box with the console, so you won't need to purchase it separately. You'll actually need to use this base whether you decide to lay the PS5 horizontally or position it vertically, as it helps stabilize the system in both configurations.

If you're not exactly sure how to attach the PS5 base, we've got you covered. It's a simple process that just requires a screwdriver, but you'll need to do it no matter how you choose to position the console.

Can the PS5 stand vertically?

Yes. It requires the aforementioned stand, but the PS5 can also be placed vertically. Good luck finding somewhere to fit it, though, because it's really tall — maybe even too tall for some entertainment stands. As we said before, though, console repair experts don't recommend using the PS5 vertically because of a potential design flaw that could cause your PS5 to short out and have to be sent in for repair.

How big is the PS5?

The PS5 is pretty beefy. Its official dimensions measure at a taller height and longer length than the Xbox Series X.

  • PS5: Approx. 15.4x4.1x10.2 inches (widthxheightxdepth) (excludes largest projection, excludes base)
  • PS5 Digital Edition: Approx. 15.4x 3.6x10.2 inches (widthxheightxdepth) (excludes largest projection, excludes base)

Sideways gaming

While standing the PS5 up looks the coolest because of Sony's unique design, it is likely best to play with it on its side. This is mainly due to the potential design flaw that could cause vertical PS5s to fail after getting too hot, requiring you to send it in for repair if you're one of the unfortunate individuals who end up with a defective system.

Of course, the large dimensions of the PS5 can determine whether or not you need to display it vertically or horizontally depending on your home setup, but it is great to know that you have options. 

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.

With contributions from