Sony is reportedly planning a new PS5 model which will support a detachable external disc drive.
That’s according to a new report (opens in new tab) from known leaker Tom Henderson, who claims that the new “D” model of the PS5 – not to be confused with the A, B, and C models which saw minor revisions mostly focusing on weight reduction and cooling – is currently planned to launch during the middle of the next fiscal year.
This would put the console’s launch around the start of fall or possibly into the holiday shopping season, which lines up with the November launch dates of the PS5 and PS4. However, Henderson specifies the period “around September,” and this would fit with the September 2016 release of the PS4 Slim – assuming Sony positions this new PS5 as a more significant design revision and product launch, that is.
Despite the addition of a detachable disc drive which connects to an additional USB-C port on the back of the console, the D model PS5 will reportedly preserve the innards of the system with no major hardware changes. It’s also been suggested that its form factor will closely resemble the base and digital-only consoles that we know today, but the exact size and shape of the new version – whether it’s a PS5 Slim, that is – are unknown.
The model D and its optional drive will apparently replace the disc and digital PS5 models that have been available since launch, with Sony instead pushing for a single console that gives users the choice of buying and playing off discs.
It’s unclear how this model would affect the price of the PS5, which recently saw a substantial price hike in many regions. It’s possible the model D will be priced to match the digital-only PS5 and sit closer to the standard disc version once the disc drive is factored in.
Sony will reportedly adjust its production schedule so that the model D represents roughly 60% of the systems it makes in the next fiscal year as the original models are “phased out.” In a sea of unconfirmed claims, this figure is especially tenuous given how unpredictable manufacturing can be. Sony has repeatedly promised a “significant ramp-up” in how many PS5s it produces, but as recently as this May, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan affirmed that Sony won’t be able to match demand until next year.
Another newer, lighter PS5 model has reportedly made its way to Australia exclusively.