If you’re a gaming purist, you know wired controllers are better. Or if you play competitive games, like fighters, you might have friends also plugging in to play with you. Well, when you do, you might want to think twice about using the port on the back of your PS5. It might melt your controller’s USB connector.
As reported by Kotaku, that’s exactly what happened at Evo 2023, a huge fighting game tournament where players battle it out in games like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and Tekken. Because Sony bought Evo back in 2021, the default console to play these tournaments on is, of course, the PS5, while older games are played on PS4. Keeping the tournament exclusive to PlayStation consoles has raised skepticism in the past; Kotaku highlights how it limits the use of controllers and peripherals that PCs would be able to connect to.
But no matter, as far as Sony is concerned: It’s the PS5s the pros play on at Evo. That seemed to have worked out fine in 2021 and 2022, but this year, something went wrong. After a full day of running PS5s non-stop, players noticed something concerning: Their wired USB controllers were melting at the USB port.
It seems safe to say most of us haven’t had an issue with our consoles melting the USB jacks on our wired controllers before, so what’s going on here? As CNET notes, PS5s only have on USB-A port in the front of the device. If you’re playing a multiplayer game, as you’d expect to do at Evo, you might plug extra controllers into the back of the console. And if you didn’t know, the PS5 gets hot, especially when left running for hours. All that heat exists the system through the rear of the console, where those USB plugs connect. As such, it seems possible that these PS5s were reaching temperatures capable of melting the USB connectors, to the point where some were fusing with the PS5’s USB port itself.
There are still a lot of unknown factors here. Maybe the players were using adapters or unlicensed equipment; maybe the USB ports were from problematic PS5s, and are not emblematic of the console as a whole.
That said, there are steps you can take to lessen the risk of this happening to you. First, make sure your PS5 is set up somewhere well ventilated. The console truly heats up quick, and if contained in an area with poor ventilation, that heat has nowhere to go. In addition, try to stick to plugging your controllers in to the front ports on the console, where they’ll be far away from the largest heat source.
Need a new controller? Sony’s DualSense controller might not be wired, but it also won’t melt on you: