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PS5 Firmware Update Changes How Discs Work

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The latest PS5 system software update arrived yesterday, and with it came a number of welcome additions and tweaks. The headline features for the 07.00.00 update include Discord integration, VRR for those using 1440p displays, expanded Game Hubs and Voice Commands (for US and UK users), among others. But a more below-the-radar update adds another convenience while potentially making physical disc users see their collection in a new way.

Essentially, Sony has made the lives of those using physical discs a bit easier (via Pushsquare). But there are two sides to it. Let's go through the first side, which is perhaps the more niche part. Say one user of your PS5 has bought a digital Game, but you haven't. If you then buy a physical copy of the same Game, and insert the disc, the PS5 will play the Game on your profile without needing any further installation. That's neat, but the second side to the update is maybe the one that'll affect more users, and could even potentially be lucrative. (Those wanting to read the full patch notes can find them on the PS Blog here.)

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The second part to how the new firmware update has changed the way PS5 handles discs could be a Game-changer for convenience. Here's the official patch note:

  • Similarly, if you've installed a game using the disc, and you've purchased the download version of the game, you can now play the installed disc version of the game without inserting the disc.
The slayer of demons standing outside a towering building in Demon's Souls PS5

It means if you've installed a Game on your PS5 via the physical disc, then purchased the digital version of the same title, you can now play it without having to insert the disc into your console. While this might seem strange for someone to buy a digital version of the same Game, it makes more sense once you factor in PS Plus subscriptions.

On PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium, the subscription service offers many Games to download. Many of them are PS5 versions of Games, such as Death Stranding or Ghost of Tsushima, or even exclusive to the PS5, such as Returnal or the Demon's Souls remake. If you download these, you won't need to insert the disc of these Games any more. In addition, you could even sell the physical copy of the Game, since you won't be needing the disc once you've downloaded the Game. You won't lose access to the Game as long as you keep your PS Plus Extra or Premium subscription.

It's a neat update that adds that little extra convenience, while offering the option to those who have the necessary PS Plus subscription to potentially offload their physical copies as long as the digital version exists on the service. But we all know that some of you are just very attached to the physical copies, and there's nothing wrong with that.

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