The feather in the cap of Sony’s new PlayStation 5 console is the custom architectured solid state drive (SSD) and SSD controller, but an SSD as the default storage solution makes storage expansion a difficult prospect. While the PS5 teardown video may have given us a look at Sony’s SSD storage expansion solution for the new console—an internal SSD storage bay that can accept multiple different third-party SSD storage options—this feature won’t be available at launch. Players will have to wait for an update from Sony to get more SSD space on their PS5 consoles.
Sony confirmed this news to The Verge, saying, at least in part, “this is reserved for a future update.” Back in Mark Cerny’s Road to PS5 tech talk in March, he confirmed that few if any SSDs existed on the public market that could match the speed requirements of the PS5’s custom SSD controller. Due to Sony’s custom work done on the SSD, not just any M.2 SSD will slot in, and with few options available right now that could even conceivably work, Sony is opting to leave the SSD expansion bay inactive until a future update enables it.
The idea is that any expansion SSD used will need to have a minimum of 5.5 GB/s bandwidth, a PCIe Gen 4 connection, and be the right size and shape to fit into the expansion bay. The Verge reached out to all manufacturers of PCIe Gen4 stick drives that they could—noting that there really aren’t many right now—and none of them were able to confirm compatibility with the PS5.
Currently there’s no reported timeframe on when this update may be available. Sony has previously stated that they would offer a list of compatible SSD expansions once the company had commenced testing to ensure fit and function, and hopefully this update comes sooner rather than later. Recent rumors have suggested that the PS5’s 825GB onboard SSD could have as little as 667GB of usable space. Given reports of games like Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War taking up 133GB, and Sony’s own Spider-Man Miles Morales taking up anywhere between 50GB and 105GB (with Spider-Man Remastered Edition), players are going to be in need of PS5 SSD storage expansion options soon.
This limitation doesn’t apply to external hard drive and SSD storage for PS4 games played via backwards compatibility. This feature will be available out of the box and not require an update, so you’ll at least be able to free up SSD space by putting all your PS4 games on an external drive.
Will you be filling up your PS5 SSD quickly? When do you think Sony will finally enable the SSD storage expansion option on the PS5?