From pretty much the moment Sony's PS5 console landed in 2020, rumours about its successor kicked off. Whether we're in for a PS5 Pro or PS5 Slim (or something else entirely) remains to be seen, but perhaps the most tangible leak yet just dropped.
A reputable Sony leaker has claimed that the next iteration of the PS5 will feature an optional detachable disk drive, which will connect via USB-C. It might not sound the most exciting design change, but it could transform the current PS5 line up. As our PS5 review reveals, Sony's small updates and tweaks to the console have maintained its place ahead of Xbox Series X. Likewise, read our PSVR 2 guide and our PlayStation VR 2 developer reaction for more on Sony's forthcoming tech (Feeling lucky? Check out the latest PS5 restock news.
According to Insider Gaming, the PS5 is "set to get a unique overhaul" in the middle of next year, with the next iteration of the PS5 set to either be sold on its own, or bundled with the detachable disk drive.
So why's this big news for gamers? Currently, the PS5 is available in two versions – a digital edition and disk edition. Right now, if you opt for the digital edition but change your mind further down the line, you're stuck. Indeed, forking out for a detachable accessory sounds preferable to buying a whole new console.
And now for the not-so-exciting news. Insider Gaming says this version of the console will feature "almost identical hardware to the existing consoles already on the market." This means, much like the most recent design tweak, we're looking at an incremental upgrade.
We've already heard that Sony is planning a redesign of the PS5 in an attempt to get stock moving again – a shortage of semi-conductors is behind delays to the production, and Sony is keen to "find maybe a secondary resource", or speed things up by "changing the design." But it looks like once again the rumoured PS5 Slim, or indeed PS5 Pro, aren't quite on the horizon.
Still, anything that makes gamers' choices a little easier can only be a good thing – and a detachable disc drive means opting for the 'digital' model doesn't mean getting locked out of physical gaming forever. And even without a massive hardware upgrade, the PS5 is still going from strength to strength performance-wise, with the Unreal 5 engine promising previously unreached heights of visual fidelity. Meanwhile, games like Horizon Forbidden West are sparking unexpected debates about, er, facial hair.