The packaging for the PS5 Slim seems to have been spotted in the wild, and it seems that players will need an internet connection to install its optional disc drive.
The PS5 Slim is due to launch later this year for $499.99 / £479.99 / AU$799.95. And while we don't have official word from Sony on the release date for the PlayStation 5 revision, some details are coming to light ahead of launch.
As reported by Eurogamer, a Twitter user shared a screenshot of what seems to be the PS5 Slim's packaging. The packaging's wording claims that you'll need an internet connection "to pair [the] Disc Drive and PS5 console upon setup."
The news hasn't has well with folks on Twitter. Digital Foundry's John Linneman says the requirement for an internet connection is "highly concerning and very strange."
Uhhhh...if this is the case, that is highly concerning and very strange. Hardware connectivity shouldn't be determined by a server that may not always be available. https://t.co/NT4KU6ShrNOctober 25, 2023
Some have noted that Sony may wish to add an online check to ensure that players are making use of its disc drive and not one manufactured by a third-party. And if that's the case, it wouldn't be the first time Sony has locked down its bespoke tech on PS5. The DualSense Wireless Controller's haptic feedback and adaptive triggers technology can't be used in any of the other best PS5 controllers, for example.
This is slightly different, however; requiring players to hook up to the internet to validate the disc drive - at least for the first-time installation - brings to mind the online check for physical games employed by Microsoft prior to the launch of the Xbox One. Overall, it's not exactly ideal for players who prefer offline play or like to have their systems disconnected from the online ecosystem.
The best case scenario in this regard is if Sony only requires an internet connection for installing the disc drive for the first time. If the discs themselves also need to be validated, then it diminishes the usefulness and longevity offered when buying games physically.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.