PlayStation 5 users who have already all but tapped out the internal SSD storage on their new next-generation console can now breathe easier knowing that relief is now in sight, but it appears as though they will still have to hang in there for at least a few more months, according to Bloomberg. The website is reporting that Sony will open up the PS5 to support third-party M.2 SSD expansion cards via its already built-in and easily accessible expansion slot, ultimately providing gamers with the ability to push the console’s storage capacity beyond the 667GB currently available out of the box. With next-generation versions of games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 demanding 133GB of installation space alone and most games requiring approximately 40GB of space, a modular storage solution can’t come soon enough.
It’s no secret that the 9th Generation of consoles has an inherent storage problem, as both the new next-generation machines and their launch variants offer less than ideal options off the shelf. Even when accounting for total capacity rather than actual useable space, The PlayStation 5 (Disc Edition and Digital)’s custom-built SSD falls well short of the 1TB that had become all but standard in its predecessor the PS4 Pro, and the “just barely good enough” 1TB of the Xbox Series X and the woefully-constrained 512GB of its lower-priced sister console, Series S have also left much wanting in terms of standalone capacity.
That said, the storage predicament that the PlayStation 5 currently finds itself in is unique due to the direction in which Sony has chosen to forge ahead with in regards to the design of its latest console. The lighting-fast, custom-designed SSD in the PlayStation 5 demands an equivalently speedy M.2 SSD to ensure the same performance, and as of this writing not a single third-party SSD expansion product has yet been approved by Sony for use with PS5. This isn’t really a problem for older PS4 games running on PS5 via backwards-compatibility, as these games can run on PS5 via an external USB 3.0 drive in order to save space. PS5 games however, which are designed to leverage the speed of the console’s internal SSD to its fullest, can only be stored on and run from the internal SSD; they cannot be stored on an external USB drive even if it’s only for safekeeping. This means that the only current option for many PS5 power-users that wish to play multiple next-gen-games is to frequently delete, re-download and/or re-install games in order to make space for new ones.
It has also been reported that the long-awaited SSD expansion update will boost the speed of the console’s internal fan, in order to compensate for the additional heat that an M.2 SSD card will most certainly generate when installed. It’s unknown at this time if the fan-speed increase will result in more fan noise.