The PS5 Slim Disc Drive registration isn’t as bad as it seems (it still isn’t great)
The PS5 Slim has been raising concerns with its “disc drive online registration” model, in particular regarding the longevity of the hardware if the authentication servers end up going down. Popular Youtube channel TronicsFix have looked a bit deeper into the issue, by trying to register a single disc drive with two separate PS5s.
Although it’s not entirely surprising that one could remove the external disc drive and re-attach it to a new PS5 (at the very least a requirement if you want to be able to sell the disc drive separately from the console), what is more unexpected is that registering the disc drive to a new PS5 does not un-register it from the previous PS5. Basically, after registering it on PS5 #1, then registering it on PS5 #2, TronicsFix (and most of the audience, myself included) were expecting PS5 #1 to be “unregistered” from the disc drive, and ask to register it again when the drive gets brought back from PS5 #2 to PS5 #1.
This either means that the registration is only recorded on the PS5, not on the drive itself (in which case both PS5#1 and PS5#2 are pointing to the disc drive as “theirs” and will gladly use it once it gets plugged in back), OR, that the disc drive can hold valid registration for multiple PS5s simultaneously (a 1:* relationship instead of a 1:1 relationship, if you want).
Independently of how this is handled technically, this is good news for people who were expecting for example to have 2 PS5s in a single household, and share a single disc drive for them: it appears this model will work.
TronicsFix point out a few caveats however, and I agree with their assessment: First of all, this is Sony we are talking about, and this could be an oversight, or a feature they’re just testing for now, which could eventually be removed.
Secondly we do not know if there are limitations to this system. This isn’t really tested extensively in the video, so it’s also possible this only works if the two PS5s are owned by the same PSN account, for example (in which case the disc drive is registered to a PSN account rather than a machine).
Last but not least, there remains the long term problem that eventually, 10, 20, or 30 years from now, the registration endpoints will cease working, at which point the detachable disc drives that aren’t registered yet could become useless trash.
Thanks to @Roc6d for the tip!