In late Spring 2020, Sony finally unveiled the Playstation 5 to the gaming masses.
The machine that stood before us all was a powerhouse of computing. A console that sported cutting edge graphics, CPU, and storage technologies that, at the time, not even a high-end PC could match.
Gamer’s, in a time when we were consumed in covid lockdown, rejoiced across the world.
But there was one little hitch in the celebrations:
The PS5’s external design was divisive. To some, such as myself, the dual-toned upright design screamed “futuristic”. A personification of the console that breathed athletically as it sprinted to deliver graphics to the screen.
Yet others saw the PS5 design as an aesthetic catastrophe. With its twin white sides flaring up vertically over a black core, many gamers viewed the machine as having an architectural mixture of an overly modernized skyscraper and the “designed in China” looks of a cheap, tacky, and plasticy Wifi Internet router.
Unfortunately, these jokes centered around the PS5’s internet router-like design filled the forums and social channels. This quickly confused would-be buyers of the PS5’s true intent as a games console.
But it was too late. The damage was done. The one question on the lips of confused parents started to clog the internet: Is the PS5 a router?
As an owner of the PS5, I decided I better answer this question clearly and once and for all.
So, is the PS5 a Wi-Fi router? No, the PS5 is not a Wi-Fi router. The PS5 is a games console. A wifi router has to be capable of serving the internet to other appliances such as other consoles, TVs, or Phones. The PlayStation 5 is not capable of doing this. It is only capable of receiving an internet connection for online gaming and digital downloads.
Ok. Now you know that the PS5 isn’t a router, let’s take a look at how that rumor took shape…
Is the PS5 actually a router or can it be configured as a router?
No, the PS5 is not a router and it can’t be reconfigured to be a router in any way.
Sony designed the PS5 to be, first, a console, and second, a media device that plays 4K blue-rays, Normal Blu-rays, DVDs, and app-based media such as Netflix and Disney Plus.
The Playstation 5 was never designed to have router capabilities and was never going to be designed to have them.
The PS5 was, like other consoles, designed to connect to an external router using Wifi 6 or via it’s Ethernet port.
But it can’t serve the internet to other devices in your house. So it may look like a router, in some ways, but it’s definitely isn’t.
Why people thought the PS5 was also a router.
On June the 11th 2020, Sony’s Mark Cerny unveiled the Playstation 5’s external hardware for the first time in a digital-only show (Thanks Covid!).
The machine was a majestic tower that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Dubai skyline as its curves reached toward the sky.
But many didn’t agree.
To many fans, the New PS5, with it’s dual white “antennas” extending from the top, looked like a gigantic wifi router.
Within hours of the PS5’s unveiling, Twitter influencers, graphics designers and Youtubers had started mocking the PS5’s design. Thousands of PS5 memes flooded the Twittersphere, Instagram, and my personal nemesis, Facebook showing the PS5 as a wi-fi router, or comparing it to a router.
Thus, many gamers, who were scouring the internet for data on the PS5 days, weeks, and months later, we’re greeted with thousands of images portraying the PS5 as a router.
The problem was every that for every 1 person who obviously knew there was a difference between a games console and a router, there was another 99 casual gamers, parents, or grandparents who were buying the console for their children who didn’t know, nor care to know, the difference between a PS5 console and router.
They just went with the flow of what social media told them, and confusion set in.
But here’s an example of what an actual Wi-Fi router looks like. Note: it looks nothing like a PS5.
What should I use as a router instead of the PS5?
If you have a broadband package deal, regardless of the country you live in, you have been supplied with a broadband router, such as the Netgear above. That router that your broadband provider throws into the deal will not win any awards for quality.
But it will do the job of pumping the internet around your house well enough so you’ll never think there’s a need for a better router.
So don’t worry, I’m not going to try and sell you one.
In the UK, the two biggest broadband providers, Virgin Media, and BT, both give their customers a Wi-Fi router when they sign up for their service.
The same can be said for broadband providers in the USA. Both AT&T and Verizon provide a broadband wifi router hub for new customers to enjoy their internet throughout their house.
The easiest way to know if you have a wifi router is to check your smartphone. Is it connected to wifi in your house?
If you do have wifi, then you have a router and you are ready to connect your PS5 to the internet.
So in summary:
- The PS5 is not a router
- A wifi router can split an internet connection and serve it to multiple devices at the same time
- Playstation 5 can only receive an internet connection. This is the same as every console that has come before it
- The PS5 can be connected to the internet using either a Wi-Fi 6 connection or a cabled ethernet connection.
- The rumors of the PS5 being a router were started by influencers on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook posting memes of the PS5 looking like a router
- These rumors persisted on social media and were read as truth by causal gamers
- All major Broadband providers give new customers a wifi router to supply the internet throughout their homes
- If you have wireless devices hooked up to the internet, such as a mobile phone then you already have a wifi router ready to use with the PS5
Can the PS5 play online with PS4 gamers? Yes, PS5 gamers can play online with PS4 gamers. Check out my article here for a detailed explanation of how PS5 players can play online with PS4 players.
Does the PS5 need the internet? The all-digital PS5 does need the internet as you’ll need to buy games digitally on the Playstation Network. However, the Disk-based PS5 doesn’t need the internet as you can buy games on physical disks. For a more in-depth explanation, check out my “Does the PS5 need an internet connection?” article.
Does the PS5 have an ethernet LAN port? Yes, the PS5 does have an ethernet LAN port that will let you connect your PS5 to your router with an ethernet cable. Check out my “Does the PS5 have an ethernet port?” article to see how to use the ethernet port on your PS5 correctly and effectively.