Sony will release a redesigned PS5 hardware model next year, and its biggest change will be a detachable disc drive. According to reliable reporter Tom Henderson, writing for a new website named Insider Gaming, players will have the option to connect an UHD Blu-ray disc drive via an additional USB-C port on the back of the system. However, it won’t be required by fans who want to go all-digital.
According to Henderson’s report, the new system will be sold in two permutations: on its own, similar to the existing PS5 Digital Edition, or bundled with the detachable disc drive. Players will also be able to purchase the disc drive individually, should they choose to adopt physical media later down the line – or, indeed, need to replace a broken component.
Fascinatingly, the article claims that the disc drive will match the aesthetics of the redesigned device, meaning you’ll be able to affix it to the appliance so it looks like it’s a part of the original hardware – despite technically being a standalone accessory. It’s worth mentioning that the anonymous sources cited in the story are not signalling there’ll be any changes to the performance of the platform as part of this redesign. It’s not, then, a PS5 Pro.
However, it’s likely that this redesign will also be lighter and smaller than the existing model – regardless of whether you attach the disc drive or not. The new unit is expected to release some time around September 2023, with Sony allegedly ordering 18.5 million units of the new console, and just 12 million units of the current model.
While this is a surprising story on the surface, it does make sense. The PS5 Digital Edition has been generally difficult to find, so by offering the disc drive as an optional extra – either as part of a bundle or as a separate standalone purchase – it would give consumers more flexibility in this increasingly non-physical era.
Henderson has leaked hardware such as the DualSense Edge in the past, so we’ve no reason not to trust his sources – but it goes without saying that this is quite an outlandish rumour, and thus specifics could either be incorrect or subject to change. Nevertheless, it potentially provides us with a fascinating snapshot of Sony’s plans – we’ll contact the manufacturer and see if it has anything to add.