Sony might have a clever new spin on the PlayStation 5’s hardware coming down the pike.
According to a new report from Insider Gaming, Sony is working on a new revision of the PS5 console that could launch around September of 2024. This new PS5 would come without a built-in disc drive, but users would be able to attach an external drive using a new USB-C port on the back of the console. Currently, the PS5 is available in two models: A discless, all-digital version for $400 and a disc-enabled version for $500.
Inside Gaming’s report also said that customers would be able to buy the console either without the detachable disc drive, or bundled with it. Perhaps most importantly, the disc drive would also be sold separately, meaning there would be no headaches (as long as it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg) if the one you have breaks over time.
It’s not clear yet how much or even if this new PS5 would differ in appearance from the…distinctive look of the current models. It’s also unclear if people who own the existing discless PS5 would be able to attach the new drive using an already-available USB-C port on the front of the console.
This is fascinating for Sony on a number of levels. First, it would simplify manufacturing, as Sony would only have to produce one model going forward instead of two. The Insider Gaming report indicates Sony would stop producing the current models eventually. Second, it would give the appearance of a price drop, as suddenly there would only be a $400 (or maybe even less by late 2023) model on store shelves, with the option of buying a disc drive either bundled with the console or separately.
That last point would perhaps be most significant outside the United States, as Sony recently upped the price of the PS5 in basically every major non-U.S. market. Ask any PS5-hungry gamer what the biggest problems are with the PS5, and their answers will probably be its price and its availability. If Sony could simplify production by zeroing in on a cheaper model, that might put a lot of PS5s under a lot of TVs in the future.