I made my own special-edition, Mario-themed PlayStation 5

A red and blue PS5 stands on a table with matching controllers.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

While we can argue all day about which console is best, there’s one PlayStation 5 feature that no other system can claim: customization. On the original PS5, players could easily snap off the system’s faceplates and replace them with new ones. Sony would naturally keep that feature for its slimmer PS5 model, creating an entirely new line of console covers, starting with its Deep Earth Collection.

I didn’t think much of that initially, considering that it was an expected feature. That is, until I turned my PS5 into my own custom, “special edition” Mario-themed console.

As it turns out, the slimmer PS5 has some hidden customization potential that’s now clear with the release of its first official covers. Unlike the original PS5, the new version actually has four different faceplates. There are two on each side of the system, which can be snapped off. When you buy a cover kit, it comes with a set of five panels (accounting for whether or not you have a disc drive). The secret power of that design? You can get very creative with it.

A PS5 slim sits on a table with different colored face plates.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

As soon as I unboxed the covers, I began mixing and matching colors. I started by slapping a different color in each quadrant, giving me an oddball collection of white, blue, red, and gray. The panels can be a little tough to snap off and reinstall, but I was able to get the method down with a bit of practice.

With that knowledge under my belt, I laid out all the panels and started thinking of more sensible ways I could mix and match them. That’s when I noticed how well the Deep Earth red and blue collections mirrored Mario’s color palette. With a little trial and error, I ended up creating a hybrid color scheme meant to represent the plumber’s shirt and overalls. I had my red panels on the top and blues on the bottom. The final result is surprisingly fantastic — and I didn’t have to buy a new special edition system to do it.

A red and blue PS5 sits on a table.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

While that feature shouldn’t have you rushing to trade in your old PS5, it’s an inadvertent perk of the slim model that holds a lot of potential. I’d love to see a world where I can combine some Spider-Man and God of War covers to create a Frankensteined special edition that represents my tastes. Maybe I’ll pick up a few and change my PS5’s look to match what game I’m playing at the time. The possibilities are surprisingly exciting here.

For now, though, I’m sticking with my Mario-themed PS5 until Nintendo’s lawyers pry it out of my hands.

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