PS5 USB ports reportedly ‘melted’ at Evo 2023 esports tournament

Sony runs the fighting game competition, which was held in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images

Evo 2023 fighting game tournament attendees reported problems with damaged PlayStation 5 USB ports over the weekend. Participants took to social channels (via Kotaku) to show and tell accounts of USB accessories that seemingly got too hot and “melted” when plugged into the event’s numerous PS5 consoles.

Current Google (and former Meta and Microsoft) AR engineer Eduardo Cuervo, who said he attended the event for the first time this year, posted on X (formerly Twitter) the photo below of a controller’s USB plug that included melted pieces of the PS5’s blue port. “Mine was not the only controller that [melted] down,” he wrote. “This is just terrible. You need to do something about that lack of heat dissipation, especially if you are going to use PS5s in tournaments.”

Closeup of the plug of a USB controller accessory with pieces of blue inside the part of the plug meant to be hollow.
Eduardo Cuervo / X

The incident appeared common enough that multiple users echoed his complaints. “After my [Street Fighter 6] set, my opponent courteously took out my cord for me and out came with it the PS5 USB receiver,” Reddit user u/SyrupyCereal posted. “Broke my Junkfood cable right then and there! Didn’t find out until I had my first match for [Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising], and feeling like an idiot that I couldn’t plug in my cable to the PS5. Lo’ and behold, the guy took who yanked it out earlier also took a souvenir from the other PS5.”

It isn’t clear what was behind the apparent overheating. This is far from the first esports tournament to use PS5 systems, and there haven’t exactly been similar widespread complaints about melting ports before. Of course, competitions like Evo include highly unusual conditions that most console owners will never face, including countless systems lined up nearby with rear USB accessories (located next to the console’s exhaust vents) plugging in and out throughout the frantic weekend. In addition, some attendees speculated that people plugged in unsupported USB converters, allowing them to use incompatible controllers, which may have damaged the console ports.

“Not all device USB ports are created equal in terms of quality,” u/xeleion, who says they attended the event, posted to Reddit. “And for PS5, some people [were] reliant on converters like the Wingman as their sticks aren’t natively PS5 compatible.” They also estimated that the convention area sat around a comfortable 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit the entire weekend and that event organizers took no chances in the championship rounds. “At the finals, every time there was an ad break, they were swapping out the PS5 for a different unit, probably just to minimize concerns.”

Engadget contacted PlayStation and Evo 2023 (acquired by Sony in 2021) via email for comments, but we haven’t yet heard back at the time of publication. We will update this article if either responds.