PS5 Slim's detachable disc drive comes with a pleasant surprise

Rumours that it was locked to one PS5 are unfounded

PlayStation 5 Slim
(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

The PlayStation 5 Slim is now available in the US and with it comes the first detachable 4K Blu-ray disc drive.

That won't mean much to those buying a new PS5 for the first time and have no plans to remove it, but those opting for a Digital Edition now, with plans to upgrade it later will be thrilled that you can buy the new drive separately as an add-on.

Those with bigger pockets might even consider buying two PS5 Slim models, one standard and one Digital Edition, with an eye on swapping the disc drive between them when necessary. However, some reports suggested that wouldn't be possible as the drive requires an online handshake which would lock it to one machine.

Thankfully, that's proved to be untrue.

YouTuber Mystic (via VGC) has not only found that you can swap a disc drive from one PS5 to another, you can do so easily.

His unboxing video shows that each time you reset one of the new PlayStation 5 models with the disc drive installed, it needs to re-register the drive online. And, while that might seem a pain to some – it won't work without validation over an internet connection first – it means that you can switch it around machines. The validation process remains the same no matter the console.

In many ways, this is like a DualSense controller – you can use the same controller on multiple PS5 consoles, but do need to pair it each time first.

This is also handy if you buy the standard model but decide you don't need the disc drive at a later date, you could then sell it on knowing that it will work on the buyer's PS5.

Why does the PS5 Slim disc drive need an internet connection?

The requirement of an internet connection to use the PS5's new disc drive has proved controversial, but it's not really Sony's call to make. It's to ensure the drive complies with DMCA (copyright protection) guidelines for DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays. We also suspect it's to ensure that it is region locked.

It's likely the hardware itself could support multiple regions, with a downloaded flag setting the region it's based in. That means you won't be able to play Region A (US) discs on a UK player, for example.

Again, this is a requirement set by the studios, which want to control the releases of films and TV series on discs, rather than PlayStation. It's something AV enthusiasts have bemoaned for years, but we've gotten used to it by now.

In all honesty, for all of the worries and complaints, the likelihood of many running a PlayStation 5 offline is, how should we put it?.. Slim.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.