PS5 Can Use Off-the-Shelf Drives For Expanded Storage, Once They're Cleared By Sony

PS5 Can Use Off-the-Shelf Drives For Expanded Storage, Once They're Cleared By Sony

They're not proprietary, but there's still some red tape.

Video games are getting bigger, and that means more storage space is needed to hold them. Today we got a lot of new details about the PlayStation 5, including just how it will let players add more space for games, and it's notably different from Microsoft's approach.

In a breakdown from Digital Foundry based off a stream premiered today from PlayStation architect Mark Cerny, Sony says the PlayStation 5 will use an NVMe slot for solid state drives. This can add on to the internal proprietary 825 GB drive the PlayStation 5 will come with.

So storage boosts will be possible, but the drives aren't exactly cheap. They'll need to fit within Sony's specifications for speed and form factor. Cerny notes during the presentation that Sony will need to test and announce which M.2 drives will be compatible with the console, and that information will likely come after the launch of the PS5. As Digital Foundry's John Linneman notes, compatible drives are not readily available at the moment, so don't go rushing out to grab some storage ahead of launch.

"That commercial drive also needs to physically fit inside the bay we created in PS5 for M.2 drives," Cerny told Digital Foundry. "Unlike internal hard drives, there's unfortunately no standard for the height of an M.2 drive, and some M.2 drives have giant heat sinks—in fact, some of them even have their own fans."

The drives will connect through a bay on the unit, so that can externally expand storage much like the Xbox Series X. However, the Xbox Series X makes use of proprietary cards for expanded space rather than off-the-shelf solutions. While Sony's option may not make it for launch, it will be open to the developing hardware market.

You can also use a standard external hard drives, which will have a slower read/write speed than an NVMe drive but could be an effective way of backing up backward-compatible games to play.

With today's info dump for the PlayStation 5 and last Monday's breakdown of the Xbox Series X, we're starting to get a solid, tangible idea of what the next generation of consoles will look like. Keep an eye out here for more info from today's breakdown of the PS5.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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