The PlayStation 5’s new SSD storage extension capability has been tested, providing a hopeful glimpse into the system’s future for gamers with huge game libraries.
The PlayStation 5 finally has a beta version of a software update that permits NVME SSDs to be utilized for storage expansion after being without it since its introduction in November 2020. So far, the critical response to this long-awaited feature has been overwhelmingly favorable, with tests revealing promising results compared to the system’s internal storage.
The PS5 will do a read speed test after installing the SSD before allowing games to be transferred to and installed on the SSD. The speed of PS5 games is identical in Digital Foundry’s tests with a Samsung 980 Pro SSD, and loading times are even faster off of the expansion for select titles.
Because PS5 games are created with the system’s unique hardware capabilities in mind, the similar performance is good, and the loading improvements are a pleasant surprise. In most situations, it merely reduces loading speeds by a few seconds, but the fact that they are improved at all is remarkable given the PS5’s already lightning-fast load rates.
These benefits come at a cost: the end-user will need certain equipment to install the SSD in the first place, as well as money to purchase the costly update. The M.2 SSD, unlike the Xbox Series X storage solution, does not just connect to the system; it requires the removal of the device’s casing and the removal of a few screws to get access to the port in the first place. It’s also good to put a heatsink on the SSD because they like to heat up a lot when they’re accessed, which will happen a lot during games.
Aside from the previously intriguing third-party SSD support, the next system software will also include quality of life enhancements such as a redesigned UI that will better compartmentalize PS4 and PS5 games into their respective areas.
However, SSD support is the major emphasis of this update, and with game file sizes continuously rising, PS5 users will appreciate the ability to store more on the system at once. Removing games to make room for new ones may be quite annoying, especially if you have a poor internet connection and games might take several hours to download.