Sony will soon sell an optional PlayStation 5 Blu-ray disc drive that can be used in conjunction with new, all-digital PS5 slim models coming later this year, but it appears the disc drive will require an internet connection when pairing the device with a console for the first time.
News about the internet connection requirement came via images of an upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III PS5 console bundle, which includes the updated PS5 hardware. The fine print on the back of the console box reads “Internet connection required to pair Disc Drive and PS5 console upon setup.”
Sony has not yet issued an explanation for the internet connection requirement, but as Video Games Chronicle points out, it’s likely to prevent piracy, preventing users from modifying or potentially replacing or repairing the disc drive. It also likely ensures the device can only be used with one console at a time.
The internet connection requirement has alarmed some fans who worry about game preservation, as there will come a time when the servers needed to verify the disc drive and console pairing may no longer function, rendering the disc drive practically useless. While Sony could in theory remove the online pairing requirement via an update in the future, it’s unclear if or when that would happen.
The new model of the PS5 that supports the $80 disc drive will launch in November in the US at $450 (a $50 price increase from the current all-digital model), giving players who purchase the all-digital version of the console a way to transition back to discs if desired. An updated version of the PS5 with a disc drive already built in will also be available. Both consoles sport 1 TB SSDs, and the size and weight of the consoles themselves have been reduced compared to that of the original launch PS5. Each version will come equipped with a horizontal stand, with the option to purchase a new vertical stand separately for $30.
“To address the evolving needs of players, our engineering and design teams collaborated on a new form factor that provides greater choice and flexibility,” SIE senior director of content communications Sid Shuman said in an official PlayStation Blog post.
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