Dbrand, a tech accessories brand that my roommate described to me as “being for dudes who like new iPhones,” has decided to wage a very loud legal war with Sony Entertainment regarding their totally fine PS5 plates and cases.
A few months ago, Dbrand made their first attempt at making black PS5 plates, called Darkplates, to replace the white ones that the few extant PS5s shipped with. The brand then taunted Sony to sue them for making that product. Sony, unsurprisingly, threatened to sue them. The first set of Darkplates released was just too close to Sony’s originals—too clearly marked with similar-to-but-legally-distinct-from Dualshock button iconography—and was pulled from sale. You’d think that’d be the end of it, but no. Now, a few days and a handful of lawyers later, Dbrand is back with the Darkplate 2.0—now with vents!
The product listing on their website is nothing if not antagonistic. From its sickeningly slick gamer visuals, to its “nah nah you can’t touch this” attitude, the website is giving off truly wild vibes. To quote the “Avoiding Lawsuit” section of the product page:
Imagine this: you’re a ¥15,000,000,000,000 enterprise who just spent a small fortune designing their next-generation gaming console. A privately held corporation run by robots makes it black. The world rejoices. You’re livid. You vent your frustrations to a team of lawyers. They get to work. Now, under threat of litigation, those robots have to redesign their Darkplates... while also funding a legal defense. Needless to say, some corners were cut. You’re welcome.
All of this snark is used in service of describing the handful of changes between the Darkplates, and your standard PS5. The kind-of-ugly and very breakable looking fins are gone, which makes the console’s plates flush with the actual machine itself. Dbrand also added a vent for added cooling that the website claims helps with console temperatures, but without any stats to back it up it may as well just be an aesthetic differentiator to further protect the company from Sony lawsuits. Finally, they’ve added a suite of cosmetic changes including an LED light strip, to further distinguish this dubious legal piece of plastic from the original.
Personally, I am all for console customization. As a mechanical keyboard and sneaker liker, I cannot help but like cool color-ways and unnecessary personalization. Console accessories, and custom controllers, have always existed in a strange, occasionally cracked down upon space but I’ve never seen anything quite as aggressive as the Darkplate. Lawyer taunting is a dangerous game, but I cannot help but wish them luck.