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Oct 10

Oct 10

PS4 Designer Tetsu Sumii: Every Angle Matters

Fred Dutton's Avatar Posted by

SCEE Blog Manager


There has been a huge amount of discussion across the media about the inner workings of PS4 since its unveiling back in February. You’ve heard about its speed, its power, its storage capacity, and so forth. And in many cases, system architect Mark Cerny has spoken candidly about why it was built that way.

However, there are, of course, two sides to hardware design: a system’s interior, and its exterior. Until now there hasn’t been too much talk about the latter. Duly, last month I spoke with Tetsu Sumii, the chief designer of the UX Platform Design Group — the man responsible for PS4’s external appearance — to learn a little bit more about the design principles behind the new system.

“When we started the product design for PS4, we didn’t start by thinking about what the shape would be. It was more about how we were going to create a new brand identity through the product,” he explains.


Without offering details, Sumii tantalisingly admits that his first concept was “totally different” to how PS4 has eventually ended up. That said, his core philosophy for what the PS4 should be remained consistent, and is clearly evident in the bold, striking lines and contours of the final design.

“I just wanted to make a simple object for the living room. Sometimes products are a little too exaggerated. It should be simple. That’s my thinking,” he states.

Moreover, Sumii explains that he put emphasis on ensuring the machine looked good from every angle, whether gamers chose to display it flat on its belly, or upright in its stand.

“I think about the horizontal, not just the vertical,” he says. “I think about the 360 degree view. The reverse should be beautiful, too.”

While PlayStation heritage certainly wasn’t thrown out the window (veteran PlayStation gamers might be able to spot some PS2 DNA in PS4’s look), it’s a brand new hardware generation, and accordingly warranted a fresh approach. Sumii, who joined the project from Sony’s mobile phone division and is a newcomer to console design, brought a new perspective with him.


“One of my tasks is to create one single PlayStation identity. I wasn’t just thinking about the console but also about the DualShock 4, the DualShock 4 Charging Station, the Vertical Stand, the Mono headset, PS Vita — everything,” says Sumii.

“I think the PlayStation brand image needs to be changed a little bit, as it’s a new console, and we have to show what we’re pointing towards for the future. So I thought it should be one of the most smart, cool, and intelligent products from Sony. Not just from Sony Computer Entertainment, but the company as a whole.

“This should be one of the best, coolest, most sophisticated products we’ve created. That’s what we were striving for,” he reiterates.

Handling the striking, compact PS4 hardware immediately after our brief conversation, it’s hard to disagree that he’s pulled it off. And with launch now less than two months away, it’s not long until you’ll get to decide for yourself.

Add Your Own

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leechunzhang said:

October 11th, 7:59 am

$PS4$ 我们在等你了!!!

Catcher_BR said:

October 11th, 8:09 am

i want mine ASAP !!!! counting on the days.

Bloodios said:

October 11th, 8:25 am

That’s cool but I want more details for the internal design, please. Also, I still want to know if PS4 has SATA II or III.

Swordfish--1 said:

October 11th, 9:16 am

will the new system play disc? or is it just down loadable context

GhosT__ said:

October 11th, 10:35 am

What’s the thing next to the controller on the right?

Bloodios said:

October 11th, 11:51 am

@55 If I’m not mistaken, that’s part of the headset.

Welmosca said:

October 11th, 11:58 am

PS4 design is really a beast of a design…amazing…but DS4…Jesus Christ get that thing out of here…whoever had the idea to make DS4 that ugly…worst idea ever.You ruined the best controller for video games EVER.

roxyfanboy said:

October 11th, 4:34 pm

I heard a rumor that the current gen ps3 headset will not work on the Ps4. Is that true?

Bloodios said:

October 11th, 10:28 pm

I don’t know about ugly, but it definitely wasn’t “ruined” by any stretch of imagination. The DS4 felt nice and tight in my hands, every button felt much better, and the triggers are a huge improvement. It felt better than DS3 to me, by a mile.

EBRH said:

October 12th, 1:53 pm

Ahh perfectionism [:

IRA_RIOS said:

October 12th, 8:06 pm

Looks beautiful. No need for any kind of “slim models” in the future.

Warped said:

October 13th, 2:37 pm

Hey Everyone,
any info on a PS4 bundle for North America? It a month away and still no info on that bundle with a camera and game coming.

johnnymom07 said:

October 13th, 4:45 pm

that is very interesting

UglyMo said:

October 14th, 1:47 pm

The system looks good, but what about the important cooling? What was done to keep everything nice and cool? I haven’t seen any articles related to cooling. I can’t wait to start playing my PS4, this wait is tough :)

N3TS-- said:

October 14th, 9:55 pm

Can’t wait to get mine…1 month!!!

CommandingTiger said:

October 15th, 1:34 pm

The PS4 should have 2 HDD docks, one with an 500Gb HDD and another empty for additional memory.
(More memory for the customers, means more purchases from the PS Store, means more money for Sony)

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