I’m very intrigued by Sony’s revamped PS5 and its removable disc drive. It streamlines the console’s manufacturing process, and the new model is a good amount smaller than the original, even if it doesn’t necessarily look so from every angle. But there might be one noteworthy quirk with the new $499 Disc version: it’s likely you’ll need an internet connection to get the optical drive working with the PS5 hardware it’s attached to.
As noted by Video Games Chronicle, this is according to images of the box for an upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III PS5 bundle that will ship next month. At the bottom of the back, there’s a line that says “internet connection required to pair Disc Drive and PS5 console upon setup.” The going theory, based on how Sony has previously linked its optical drives and motherboards, is that there’s a required handshake between the two hardware components that validates authenticity and creates a unique pairing between them.
Once you’ve done that, there won’t be any need for an internet connection again. But the fact that one exists to begin with has already alarmed some people who are envisioning a time long in the future when Sony inevitably shuts down whatever server was responsible for this disc drive verification. What happens then? Considering that physical media is (tragically) on such a decline, maybe there are bigger worries to deal with first.
Still, any kind of “internet required” fine print will always surface memories of Microsoft’s disastrous Xbox One event. This doesn’t seem to be nearly on that level, but it’s another example of hardware manufacturers locking down their products and making repairs all the more challenging. The Verge has reached out to Sony for clarification on any internet requirements associated with the removable disc drive.
The redesigned PS5 console will be available in November; Sony hasn’t yet confirmed an exact release date. The Disc model will sell for the same $499.99 as the original, while the Digital console is getting a price bump to $449.99.