The PlayStation 5 will support internal storage upgrades beginning this summer, Bloomberg reported Friday, which should come as welcome news to players coping with AAA-games’ ballooning file sizes and storage demands.
Bloomberg cited unnamed sources who had been briefed on Sony’s plans. It’s an important step, because external storage on the PS5 can only be used for PlayStation 4 games; PS5 games must go on the new console’s internal drive. About 667 GB of it is actually available to store games, apps, captures, and other content.
Bloomberg said that after the firmware update, players can simply remove the cover of the PS5 and install a new drive (compatible with the console’s hardware, of course). A Sony spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company was “working to enable M.2 SSD storage expansion for PlayStation 5,” but had no further details to share.
The Xbox Series X has a 1 TB internal solid-state drive; the PlayStation 5’s is a custom 825 GB SSD. Xbox Series X (and Series S) owners cannot upgrade their internal storage, but they have more options than a PS5 owner does currently.
An external USB 3.1 drive can be used to play Xbox One and older games on a Series X, and Xbox One games that have been optimized for the Series X may be installed to and run from the external drive. But native Xbox Series X games can only run from the internal SSD; they may be moved over to inoperable “cold storage” on an external drive to free up space. There’s also an external SSD memory card for Xbox Series X that adds another terabyte of storage, and fully supports the newest games; it’s $219.99 though.
The PlayStation 5 has none of those options. If a game was developed or optimized for PS5, it must be installed to the internal SSD. There is no “cold storage” option, either. And there’s no proprietary external memory card or stick, at any price.
Bloomberg’s report also noted that the firmware update enabling storage expansion will also unlock higher speeds for the PS5’s cooling fan. On the whole, the PS5 has been a quieter machine than the PS4, but evidently better airflow is necessary to keep the unit from getting into overheating trouble.