The next revision of the PlayStation 5 could include a removable disc drive, potentially letting you play games using a drive connected via USB-C, according to Tom Henderson of Insider Gaming. The report says that we could see this new model of PS5 around September 2023.
The PS5 currently comes in two versions: one with a disc drive built in and a “Digital edition” that can’t read discs, even if you plug a USB drive into it. It sounds like Sony’s trying to do away with that digital / disc divide, instead selling the same console with or without the drive bundled in. Hopefully, this means that you’ll be able to upgrade the console with a disc drive later on, even if you opted to save some money when you first bought the PS5 — that option would especially be appreciated as the console is getting more expensive in several countries like the UK, Canada, and Japan. Insider Gaming reports that the drive will be sold separately, which would also make it far easier to fix your console if it stops reading discs.
The PlayStation 5’s internals have changed significantly since its launch in November 2020. In 2021, a new version started rolling out with a lighter heatsink, and earlier this year, the console got a new motherboard and cooling system. Despite those changes, the console has remained the same on the outside.
At this point, it’s hard to say exactly how the addition of an external disc drive would change the PS5’s polarizing aesthetics — in theory, the next revision could just end up looking like the current PS5 digital edition, except with an extra USB-C port on the back. According to Insider Gaming, the revision will “completely replace” the chassis that are on sale today but will have “almost identical hardware.”
It sounds like it’ll be a bit of a wait before this option becomes available, but that’s understandable given that Sony’s also working on another major hardware launch right now, with the PlayStation VR2, a next-gen virtual reality headset meant to pair with the PS5. While we’ve gotten to test it out, the release date and price for the PSVR2 currently haven’t been announced.
Correction September 19th, 5:10PM ET: A previous version of this article stated that the PS5 with a removable disc drive was rumored to be coming in 2024, while the Insider Gaming report states that it’s coming in 2023. We regret the error.