The PlayStation 5 Slim’s detachable disc player depends on online validation and pairing with the console in order to work. This requirement could make the accessory unusable in the future, if the validation servers are deactivated, as the process needs to be redone whenever the PS5 Slim system needs to be recovered.
Confirmation of this information came through the profile ‘Does it play?’, on X (Twitter), stating that it is not even a complete restore to factory mode. Any formatting of the PlayStation 5 Slim disc desynchronizes the disc reader, forcing the user to reactivate it even when replacing the internal SSD, for example.
All-Digital Standard against Piracy
One of the biggest advantages of physical media on consoles is the possibility of preserving old games. Having a disc reader makes it possible to implement backwards compatibility with titles from previous generations, without depending on them being available on online services, generally with very restricted catalogues.
Apparently, the historical preservation of these works does not even remotely seem to be a concern for console manufacturers. The case of the PS5 Slim is just the first where this becomes more notable, as an entire line of products will lose access to the disc player if Sony disables the validation servers with the arrival of future PlayStation generations.
However, the design update for the Xbox Series X and Series S will supposedly be exclusively digital. Furthermore, leaker “The Snitch” posted on his Discord server that Nintendo plans to launch two models of the Nintendo Switch 2, one of which is cheaper and without a cartridge port.
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The industry has been trying to force the All-Digital model for years, with the premise of making piracy more difficult, and apparently this could happen in the next generation. However, the pressure to limit access, especially to games from previous consoles, is one of the main motivators driving the market for unlocking and breaking protection tools, and the digital format is not expected to change this scenario.