Sony Engineering Director Leads a PS4 Teardown

Sony Engineering Director Leads a PS4 Teardown

There's one week left until the PS4 launches, and now we finally get to see the innards of the PS4.

It's a careful operation. Sony engineering Yasuhiro Ootori dons a pair of white gloves as he carefully dissects the PS4 for pictures and a video posted by Wired. He reveals the inside of the PS4 for the first time.

Four screws and two seals stand in the way of opening the next-generation console. Ootori mentions the seals are there to discourage people from dismantling the PS4, and judging by the broken seals, it will be obvious when the PS4 has been taken apart. With the lower part removed, you can see the fan and the optical disc drive. Next, Ootori removes the power supply unit. Next he removes the Bluetooth antenna, disc drive, and cover of the hard disk drive unit, which requires the unscrewing of only one screw. Ootori takes the PS4 apart further, revealing the motherboard. Ootori explains each part of the motherboard succinctly.

Sony decided to use an x86 chip similar to processors used in personal computers instead of the PS3's complex Cell microprocessor. The PS4's x86 chip should make the lives of developers easier when building games.

"Things have gotten a little more standard, in layman's terms," Chris Zimmerman, co-founder and director of development of Sony-owned Sucker Punch Productions. The designer is working on next-gen title InFAMOUS: Second Son. "The Sony hardware, historically, has been very quirky. If you were willing to put the effort in to take advantage of those quirks, you could do some incredible things, but there was a lot of effort involved to just get to the point of getting everything running. That's less the case with this [console] generation."

Ootori lays the pieces out for display, and you can see the many pieces of the hardware that fit into the compact, black box of the PS4. I hope he had a great time putting it all back together.

Source: Wired (photos by Ariel Zambelich)

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Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how...spacious the motherboard is?

Wow, that's a lot less parts than I expected... But hopefully than means less things that can go wrong.

"You can replace the HDD with a bigger one"

And instantly lose my warranty... I don't think you thought that one through entirely. Maybe have an access hatch for the HDD so we CAN swap them and don't have to break the seals that void the warranty.

Wait, a company is actually going out there and showing off the internals of their product?
And going into detail on how it's put together, and what each part actually dose within the system as a whole?

Damn, Sony's actually using their heads.

Plus I'm glad to see that the PS4 seems to be as easy, if not easier, to work on than the PS3. It makes fixing the dodgy first generation PS3's ribbon cable for the network card relatively easy.

roseofbattle:
Next, Ootori removes the power supply unit.

Internal power supplies in next gen consoles bother me. Let's take something built to be as small as possible making adequate air cooling difficult and stick the hottest part of it inside the case. Now granted, even when you don't have the power supply in the case, thing's can still be prone to overheating such as with the 360, or you can have them internal, produce a ton of heat, but be sturdy enough to take it like the PS3 usually was, but it just seems like a silly design choice to me.

Take them out, make the console smaller, cut down on the overall heat being produced inside the case, and make it much easier to cool so long as you haven't hired Microsoft engineers.

1337mokro:
"You can replace the HDD with a bigger one"

And instantly lose my warranty... I don't think you thought that one through entirely. Maybe have an access hatch for the HDD so we CAN swap them and don't have to break the seals that void the warranty.

This video outright states that only two of the four seals are to tell if someone has opened it and voided the warranty. It looks to me like part of the top panel that covers the HDD can easily be removed without totally disassembling the console. You're not going to void your warranty by changing the HDD in this any more than you'd have voided the warranty in a PS3 if you did it.

Vie:
Wait, a company is actually going out there and showing off the internals of their product?
And going into detail on how it's put together, and what each part actually dose within the system as a whole?

Damn, Sony's actually using their heads.

Plus I'm glad to see that the PS4 seems to be as easy, if not easier, to work on than the PS3. It makes fixing the dodgy first generation PS3's ribbon cable for the network card relatively easy.

Wait wait... how the hell do you screw up IDE cable?

MCerberus:

Vie:
Wait, a company is actually going out there and showing off the internals of their product?
And going into detail on how it's put together, and what each part actually dose within the system as a whole?

Damn, Sony's actually using their heads.

Plus I'm glad to see that the PS4 seems to be as easy, if not easier, to work on than the PS3. It makes fixing the dodgy first generation PS3's ribbon cable for the network card relatively easy.

Wait wait... how the hell do you screw up IDE cable?

Wait wait...They're still using IDE cables? Last time I checked IDEs been made redundant for years now.

Dr.Awkward:
Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how...spacious the motherboard is?

Hmm you think?

PlayStation motherboard
http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/KXoeo2CeeJCGEOAL.huge

Launch PS2 motherboard
http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/EEaFM4MJTk24LDO1.huge

PS2 Slim motherboard
http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/juEoPZQoEtlRIejJ.huge

Launch PS3 motherboard
http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/ErNJ5L4UPidBAARV.huge

PS3 Slim motherboard
http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/MuPTJIOYOSj5AxLl.huge

PS3 Super Slim motherboard
http://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/oOIMhGDFxxneKkvQ.huge

PS4 motherboard
http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2013/11/ps4-gallery#slideid-86211

So vote which one looks emptier!

The board looks bigger than the PS2 launch motherboard but I will agree it looks the most "clean".

I would love for someone to do a side by side comparison of them all.

Great, it doesn't look too hard to get at everything. I had a fun time try tearing apart my phat PS3 a year ago to fix the Blu-ray drive and a usb port. Trying to find all these little screws hidden all around is a pain. It would have been nice to have a HDD access cover though.
At least the PS4 power supply is in the back. The PS2 and PS3 ones, if I remember correctly, are sitting on top of the motherboard conducting heat to components underneath.

'The total is 8GB, and the bandwidth is 176 Gbps.'

Goddamn... I forgot how sexy the memory they used for it is.

Vivi22:

1337mokro:
"You can replace the HDD with a bigger one"

And instantly lose my warranty... I don't think you thought that one through entirely. Maybe have an access hatch for the HDD so we CAN swap them and don't have to break the seals that void the warranty.

This video outright states that only two of the four seals are to tell if someone has opened it and voided the warranty. It looks to me like part of the top panel that covers the HDD can easily be removed without totally disassembling the console. You're not going to void your warranty by changing the HDD in this any more than you'd have voided the warranty in a PS3 if you did it.

Yeah, there will be a video out soon that will let people know how to replace the drive. I can see replacing the HDD with an SSD creating a huge difference with this console. And yes, they're compatible.

After taking apart a 360 and a ps3 It definitely seems like in my opinion that the ps3 was put together way better every thing is all snug and fitting and nice. The 360 was just a box with a metal box filled with things inside.

Dr.Awkward:
Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how...spacious the motherboard is?

What about it? Motherboards don't need to be large, and with it being built to spec, it doesn't have a lot of the extras a PC motherboard has. What takes space is the actual components being plugged into it, as well as the space needed for the airflow.

joeman098:
After taking apart a 360 and a ps3 It definitely seems like in my opinion that the ps3 was put together way better every thing is all snug and fitting and nice. The 360 was just a box with a metal box filled with things inside.

Yeah, the 360 had its GPU and tiny heat sink right under the DVD drive with plenty of space in front of and behind the CPU. They could have moved components around to get better cooling for both processors and held off or solved the RRoD.

"I hope he had a great time putting it all back together."

Lol, me too Carly!!

This actually makes me happy. I'm one of those guys who like to open up tech to see what's inside. I could not stand having a PS4 and not knowing what's inside it. I couldn't wait for my PS3 warranty to expire to open up that sucker. There were no satisfying screenshots online at the time.

Vivi22:

roseofbattle:
Next, Ootori removes the power supply unit.

Internal power supplies in next gen consoles bother me. Let's take something built to be as small as possible making adequate air cooling difficult and stick the hottest part of it inside the case. Now granted, even when you don't have the power supply in the case, thing's can still be prone to overheating such as with the 360, or you can have them internal, produce a ton of heat, but be sturdy enough to take it like the PS3 usually was, but it just seems like a silly design choice to me.

Take them out, make the console smaller, cut down on the overall heat being produced inside the case, and make it much easier to cool so long as you haven't hired Microsoft engineers.

PS1, 2 and 3 all had internal power supplies without issue. Remember this isn't Microsoft quality :-P

1337mokro:
"You can replace the HDD with a bigger one"

And instantly lose my warranty... I don't think you thought that one through entirely. Maybe have an access hatch for the HDD so we CAN swap them and don't have to break the seals that void the warranty.

You don't need to break the seal to change hard drive, it is under the top shiny plate plastic plate which you simply slide off and doesn't require to break the seal, he just started with the sealed part first.

I can remember seeing videos of the PS3 being taken apart and the thing reminds me of a modern car engine. It's almost like they designed the PS3 to look good while being taken apart. The PS4 seems to continue that trend

1337mokro:
"You can replace the HDD with a bigger one"

And instantly lose my warranty... I don't think you thought that one through entirely. Maybe have an access hatch for the HDD so we CAN swap them and don't have to break the seals that void the warranty.

If its anything like the PS3, there will be. It looked as though there was a section of the case that could be removed to reveal only the hard drive bay, though I could be wrong.

1337mokro:
"You can replace the HDD with a bigger one"

And instantly lose my warranty... I don't think you thought that one through entirely. Maybe have an access hatch for the HDD so we CAN swap them and don't have to break the seals that void the warranty.

Swapping hard drives in the PS3 didn't void warranty. I specifically checked this with their tech support before I did so.

This looks remarkably easily dissassembled. i had way more trouble dissapsembling laptops when in some models you actually need to fish for wires though holes in the shield plate in order not to snap them. It looks made for easy assembly and dissasembly. Though the "only 4 screws at the back" and the snap sound when he tok off the cover makes me thing it has that plastic snap on tightenings. you know, the things that break apart after your first disassembly and leave you with floppy tops.

Dr.Awkward:
Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how...spacious the motherboard is?

Well, the motherboard acts as a Wifi Antenna as well. Also it seems to be sort of hlding frame for all other parts. ANd lets not forget that GPU and Ram is integrated within when in regualr PCs they are taggen on top of motherboard. Also more spaceous design allows easier cooling, which is very important in small high power boxes. To be honest it doesnt look that much bigger than my laptops motherboard.

Vivi22:

Internal power supplies in next gen consoles bother me. Let's take something built to be as small as possible making adequate air cooling difficult and stick the hottest part of it inside the case. Now granted, even when you don't have the power supply in the case, thing's can still be prone to overheating such as with the 360, or you can have them internal, produce a ton of heat, but be sturdy enough to take it like the PS3 usually was, but it just seems like a silly design choice to me.

Take them out, make the console smaller, cut down on the overall heat being produced inside the case, and make it much easier to cool so long as you haven't hired Microsoft engineers.

It shouldnt. All Paystations have been oing fine with them. As well as all PCs for decades have been fine with them. Theres really nothing wrong with internal pwoer supply.
The reason such supplies are outside for laptops is usually becuase laptops are made too slim for them. PS4 had to be high enough anyway for other parts, from the position you could ahve maaybe have 5 centimeters shorter, which really wont make much difference, and thne you would ahve to find an extra space for the power supply, and thats annoying.

Now the real question....how long before it's modded by hackers? The PS3 lasted for years, something no other system to date managed AFAIK. Often one of the most compelling reasons to get a console at launch is that the earlier models tend to be the most exploitable.

BTW, talking about modding, not piracy which is generally legal in most countries (except under DMCA in the US).

X86 is a good move for developers. Lack of changeable hard drives is a step backward. I wonder how long we'll get out of this gen and what kind of treats we can expect. Hopefully bigger zones, better AI, bodies that don't disappear after 2 seconds and better textures at the very least.

I am quite impressed that Sony did this. They know full well that videos like this will be made roughly three minutes after the first PS4s get sent out, so they are showing that they have nothing to hide.

Dr.Awkward:
Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how...spacious the motherboard is?

Nope. As soon as I saw it, I noted its emptiness. Looks like Sony might have forgot about three things.

 

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