Sony Patent Hints at Slim PS5 with Detachable Disc Drive: Mid-Gen Upgrade in Sight?

It’s hard to fathom, but by the close of 2023, the PlayStation 5 (PS5) will have been on the market for a full three years. This suggests that the console is approaching the midpoint of its life cycle, and that PlayStation is likely developing a mid-generation upgrade. Amidst ongoing rumors about a slimmer or Pro version of the PS5, Sony has submitted a patent resembling the speculated detachable disc drive.

SegmentNext was seemingly the first to notice the patent (credit to Push Square), providing information and illustrations from the document. Although the PS5 isn’t explicitly mentioned, the filing describes the novel device as “an optical disc drive that can be mounted in electronic equipment such as a game machine, personal computer, or audio-visual (AV) equipment.” While not confirmed, this development might indicate that PlayStation is moving closer to unveiling a detachable disc drive for their next console iteration.

Speculation about a mid-generation PS5 upgrade featuring a detachable disc drive has been circulating since 2022. It was initially proposed that the disc drive would be sold separately; however, recent reports suggest it may not be compatible with original PS5 models. While one of the original models already includes a disc drive, the digital-only version does not. For the time being, it seems unlikely that digital-only console users will be able to play physical games.

The newly filed patent also implies that the upcoming PS5, if it materializes, will be a slim version of the console. An Australian website was spotted last month with a prepared page for when PlayStation eventually announces the hypothetical new console and opens pre-orders. This is a prudent move, given the turmoil surrounding the initial PS5 pre-order period and the subsequent two years.

Thankfully, the frenzy and semiconductor shortages have subsided enough that PS5 consoles are now widely accessible. This has led to scalpers, who caused chaos for so long, selling their stock at a loss – a well-deserved victory for those who legitimately purchased a single PS5 without buying multiples to resell at inflated prices. Regrettably, scalpers will likely still be present whenever PlayStation launches its upgraded PS5, and they will probably make substantial profits in the process.

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