PS5 Slim leak reveals a disappointing flaw — here’s what we know

ps5 slim digital and disc drive models on gray background
(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5 Slim launches in just a couple of weeks, and this slimmed-down model is set to become the default PS5 over the next few months. However, it appears that prospective owners without a reliable internet connection may want to rethink their purchase as the console’s package has seemingly confirmed a downgrade. 

PS5 Slim consoles are now being shipped to retailers ahead of its November launch. Naturally, this means that images of its outer box are appearing across social media. There’s usually nothing very interesting about a cardboard console box, but in this case, the printed small print seems to have revealed a less-than-welcome surprise. 

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The text reads: “Internet connection required to pair Disc Drive and PS5 console upon setup.” A one-time installation that needs internet is unlikely to be a problem for many users, but for those without access to a stable connection, it could pose more of an issue. It also raises concerns about the console's longevity as there could be a future date when Sony disables the servers required to verify the disc drive. 

Assuming the requirement is legitimate — Sony has yet to officially confirm the news — the PS5 Slim will be a machine that is initially reliant on an internet connection to function. Whereas, the original PS5 model released in November 2020, can play disc-based games right out of the box without the need for a one-time installation.   

As for why Sony has decided to implement this requirement, it may be in order to prevent third-party disc drives from being paired with the PS5 Slim. Presumably, only officially licensed peripherals will trigger the installation process. It could also be a symptom of the console’s more modular design. The Slim’s disc drive is detachable, whereas the original PS5 launched in two models, with a disc drive and without one. 

The PS5 Slim launches this November for $449 as a digital-only console or $499 with a disc drive. If you'd like to add a disc drive at a later date it will cost you an extra $79. Additionally, a vertical stand will set you back another $29. The redesigned PS5 will be 30% slimmer, but it’s been downgraded in other ways from the launch model, and that’s why I recommend buying a PS5 now instead of waiting for the Slim. 

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.