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PlayStation 5 heat when gaming: Using a thermal camera to see how hot the PS5 gets

Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X kick out some serious heat. Here's what that means for the long-term health of your big-ticket console purchase.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Expertise Smartphones, Photography, iOS, Android, gaming, outdoor pursuits Credentials
  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Andrew Lanxon
2 min read

Sony's PlayStation 5 is packed with powerful components to make your next-gen games look better than ever. That kind of power tends to generate a lot of heat, however, so I wanted to see just how hot the console gets in use. 

I pointed the CAT S62 Pro phone at it, which has a built-in thermal imaging sensor made by industry expert Flir Systems. I previously used the same phone to test the heat-generating capabilities of the new Xbox Series X, which peaked at around 121.9 degrees Fahrenheit (49.9 degrees Celsius) while playing Gears 5

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

When the console was idling on the home screen I clocked a temperature of 66.7 F (19.3 C), roughly in line with the Xbox's 68.7 F (20.4 C). I started by firing up Astro's Playroom, the game Sony preinstalled to show off some of the new console and controller features. It hit a temperature of 83.4 F (28.6 C).

Next, I launched the Final Fantasy VII remake and played for about 40 minutes. The temperature actually dropped in this time to around 78 F (25.6 C). That's likely because FFVII isn't as demanding on the console, as it was built for previous-generation machines. Playing Bugsnax brought that temperature up to 88.1 F (31.2 C), but it was Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales that saw the temperature peak at 95.1 F (35.1 C). 

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The Xbox Series X clocked a temperature of 49.5 degrees Celsius at its peak.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

That's a reasonable heat, but it's quite a bit below the 121.9 F I observed on the Series X. I was playing more demanding games on the Series X, however, and there simply aren't that many power-hungry titles yet on the PS5.

How both consoles will fare when big-name games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Resident Evil 8 arrive remains to be seen. 

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X heat test


PS5Xbox Series X
Peak temp 95.2 F (35.1 C)121.1 F (49.5 C)