The PlayStation 5 will feature the ability to expand its internal SSD storage with off-the-shelf NVMe SSDs, but the feature will not be supported when the console launches on November 12.
Sony confirmed the news to The Verge, saying that it plans to introduce the functionality in the future via an update. This shouldn’t be surprising if you’ve been following Sony’s plans with regards to SSD expansion since March, where Sony’s Mark Cerny made it clear that the company would have to verify consumers’ SSDs for viability in the PS5.
“It’d be great if that happened by launch, but it’s likely to be a bit past it, so please hold off on getting that M.2 drive until you hear from us,” Cerny said in the Road to PS5 briefing from GDC earlier this year.
The PS5 features a custom I/O interface that consumer SSDs need to be check against for compatibility, outside of the 5.5GB/s minimum speed requirements that only some PCie 4.0 SSDs are starting to reach. Sony will also need to ensure that the SSD fits within the enclosure the PS5 features for NVMe expansion, considering that many come with heatsinks that might be too high for the slot. According to The Verge, Sony has yet to start testing any SSDs for viability.
This might present some problems for PS5 players who plan to play multiple games soon. All PS5 games needs to be installed to the internal SSD to play, while PS4 titles can be stored and played from external HDD or SSDs. With the PS5 also reportedly only having just over 650GB of useable storage and games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War taking up 133GB already, you might have to get used to uninstalling and reinstalling games as you play them before expansion becomes viable.
The Xbox Series X and Series S both support expandable storage via an SSD expansion card developed in partnership with Seagate, which slots into the back of each console and acts as storage identical to the internal SSD. That expansion card currently costs $220, which is around the same price of current PCie 4.0 SSDs that could potentially be compatible with the PS5 in the future. For more on the next generation of Microsoft consoles, check out our Xbox Series X review.
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