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PS5's SSD storage expansion feature will not be available day one

Published: 21:52, 05 November 2020
PlayStation 5's M.2 bay for expanding storage
PS5's M.2 bay - four sizes supported

Mark Cerny, the man behind PS5, has confirmed that the storage expansion feature will be available after the launch, via firmware update, as Sony dives into the testing of compatible M.2 drives.

As you probably already know, PlayStation 5 is rocking a custom-made Solid State Drive with a total capacity of 825Gb. What we're left with is (only) 667Gb, after the PS5's operating system consumes the rest.

Well, the good people at Sony, with the leading architect for PS4 console and now PS5 Mark Cerny at the wheel, have come up with a solution that is storage expansion in which players can put an M.2 SSD and expand the capacity with the additional space for games, capture files, etc.

The storage expansion in PlayStation 5 is not a cheap option, but it's an option nevertheless. Some gamers love to have many games installed, but triple-A titles these days tend to be very storage-consuming, like recent Call of Duty games. So, if you're one of those people and you were lucky enough to secure a preorder, the idea of purchasing a storage expansion (M.2 drive) perhaps ran through your head.

You'll want to hold off of that thought for now, as Sony have confirmed in a talk with The Verge that storage expansion would not be available on day one. It will be unlocked later on through a firmware update.

Sony Mark Cerny, the lead system arhitect behind PS5 console Mark Cerny, the man behind PS5

Mark Cerny told The Verge that "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."

He explained that not all M.2 SSDs are fast enough to keep up with the PS5, thin enough to fit into the SSD bay, or compatible with Sony’s I/O controller — and Sony promised to do compatibility testing late this year to make sure. 

Cerny suggested off-the-shelf SSDs would need to deliver more than 5.5GB/sec of bandwidth over a PCIe Gen4 connection, and not have a giant heatsink so large that they won’t fit into the PS5’s drive bay. 

Here are the size requirements for some PS5 launch games:

  • SackBoy: A Big Adventure: 32GB
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales: 50GB
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Launch Edition (includes Spider-Man Remastered): 105GB
  • Demon’s Souls: 66GB
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War: 133GB

Storage is not going to be just a PlayStation users' problem, as Microsoft too opted in for solid-state drives for their Xbox Series X (1Tb) and Series S (512Gb), which leaves gamers with 802Gb and 364Gb of storage available for apps and games. There's also an expansion card option for both consoles, with a price of $219.99 (1Tb).

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