PS5 Slim packaging suggests disc drive requires online connection to install

It would seem that you won't just be able to slap Sony's optional disc drive on the new PS5 Slim models right out of the box.


An interesting new development has been spotted in the wild regarding Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 Slim models. Where the discless version will now have an option to get the disc drive and attach it later, it seems it’s not so simple as installing the disc drive and booting up the console. Images of the PS5 Slim packaging show that players will need an internet connection to activate the disc drive and make it work with the new models of Sony’s console.

The discovery of the online requirement for the new PS5’s optional disc drive was spotted by CharlieINTEL on packaging in the wild for the console’s upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 bundle. A close look at the side of the box shares the online requirement: “Internet connection required to pair Disc Drive and PS5 console upon setup.” Experts surmise that this is for Sony to be able to check if a disc drive is legit or a third-party knockoff.

PlayStation 5 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 packaging
One of the images of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 PS5 slim bundle clearly shows an internet connection is required to pair the disc drive to the console.
Source: CharlieINTEL

Even so, the existence of the online restriction for installing the PS5 Slim’s new disc drive has some players concerned about games preservation and access. One John Linneman of Digital Foundry brought up that it’s concerning to have hardware activation tied to an internet server that may not always be running forever.

The PlayStation 5 “slim” models were announced in October and are expected to launch this holiday season. They feature a major downsizing from the hulking originals, but one of the new features is the option to install a disc drive on the discless version later if you want. Unfortunately, it seems you’d better have good internet access if you want it to work properly.

It remains to be seen if Sony will keep this online requirement in place forever, but for now, it seems like PlayStation 5 slim purchasers better be ready to access the PlayStation Network if they want to slap a disc drive on.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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