Some may believe that digital gaming is the future, but Sony seems content to stay rooted in tradition: the PS5 disc drive has essentially been confirmed. A corporate strategy meeting taking place yesterday detailed the future of Sony’s gaming ecosystem and one of the elements of this presentation highlighted just exactly how they’ll be approaching game distribution for the next generation. Thankfully, a disc drive will very much be a part of the equation.
A slide shown during the presentation highlighted the history of the PlayStation console throughout the years. The PS1 and PS2 only really had a disc drive as an option for game distribution (with the minor exception of the online functionality of the PS2 that was used in a limited fashion). The PS3 and PS4 swapped out CDs and DVDs for Blu-rays and added digital downloads into the mix. The next gen can be inferred to simply add more options rather than removing any, retaining the ability for customers to buy physical copies of their games.
Take a look at the slide that alludes to the existence of a PS5 disc drive for yourself:
Titled “SIE Believes in Gamer Choice,” a table shows “Blu-ray + Download + Streaming” under the column titled “Next Gen.” This is about as straightforward as it gets; Sony is saying that there will be a PS5 disc drive.1
The existence of a disc drive for the PlayStation 5 may be contrary to the strategy of their biggest opponent Microsoft. The Washingon-based software and hardware developer recently released the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, a budget-friendly version of their current-generation console that doesn’t include a disc drive.
Microsoft previously attracted a measure of controversy by stating that they would always require an Internet connection to use the Xbox One. The furor over this decision was amplified by the understanding that the succeeding generation would likely not have a disc drive.
Some may view a PS5 disc drive as a vestigial piece of tech — especially with the popularity of digital downloads in the PlayStation ecosystem — but many gamers throughout the world still do not have reliable access to the Internet. Traveling businessmen, soldiers, and people living in rural communities and poorer nations will surely appreciate that the next generation from Sony is going to have a disc drive.