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PS5 Optional Disc Drive Requires Internet Connection to Pair

PS5's New Optional Disc Drive Raises Preservation Concerns: Requires Internet Connection to Pair

PS5 Optional Disc Drive Requires Internet Connection to Pair
There was so much potential.

In a move that has perplexed and concerned some in the gaming community, Sony's upcoming optional disc drive for the PlayStation 5 will mandate an internet connection for its initial pairing with the console.

This detail, first reported by VGC, was spotted in the fine print on the back of the box for the upcoming Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 PS5 slim bundle. While it's speculated that this internet requirement is a security measure to ensure the legitimacy of the disc drive, the need for an internet connection brings up worries about long-term game preservation.

PS5 Optional Disc Drive Requires Internet Connection to Pair
A slap in the face to preservation?

The internet verification process implies that there may come a time when Sony's servers, required for this verification, could be offline or decommissioned. Though it’s probable that Sony could issue an update down the road in the far (FAR) future removing this requirement, it raises questions about the lifecycle of gaming hardware and the games themselves. The issue extends to how Sony and Microsoft have been implementing anti-piracy measures, aligning with Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which renders it illegal to bypass technological measures that control access to copyrighted works.

The intricacy of this technological handshake between the console's motherboard and the disc drive's daughterboard, as explained in a 2020 Wired article, ensures that each console can only work with its specific paired disc drive. This online verification for the new PS5 disc drive seems to be an extension of this security measure.

Sony's new PS5 model will launch this November in the US and will roll out to other countries in the subsequent months. It comes with a 1TB storage option for both editions. The optional Blu-ray disc drive will also be sold separately for $79.99 / €119.99 / £99.99, giving players the flexibility to add it to the PS5 Digital Edition.

While this approach may address modern security concerns, it also treads into murky waters concerning the preservation of games and gaming hardware. It’s a trade-off that may have long-term implications for collectors, enthusiasts, and even average gamers who may not always have reliable internet access.

Sony has yet to issue an official statement about the internet requirement for its new optional disc drive. With the PS5 continuing to be a hot topic among gamers, this development adds another layer to ongoing discussions about the future of gaming and digital rights.


Credit to VGC for originally reporting this story.

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