Caveat: The PS5 has some very specific SSD requirements
Sony announced ages ago that the PS5 would contain an SSD expansion bay, but also said that the feature wouldn’t be available at launch. Now, more than eight months after the console debuted, storage expansion is finally coming, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced Thursday.
A beta version of the PS5’s next system software update, version 2.0, is now rolling out to select PlayStation users who have previously opted into Sony’s beta test program in the U.S., Canada, Japan, U.K., Germany, and France. Beta users can test M.2 SSD storage expansion on PS5, which will bolster the console’s built-in internal storage of 825 GB (667.2 GB of which is accessible to users). On Thursday, Sony Interactive Entertainment published M.2 SSD storage specifications and installation instructions on the PlayStation website.
Users will be able to add between 250 GB and 4 TB of storage to the PS5. Otherwise, Sony’s requirements appear highly specific. From the PlayStation website:
Cooling structure: Using an M.2 SSD with your PS5 console requires effective heat dissipation with a cooling structure, such as a heatsink. You can attach one to your M.2 SSD yourself, either in a single-sided format, or double-sided format. There are also M.2 SSDs that have cooling structures (such as heatsinks) built in.
Sequential read speed: 5,500MB/s or faster is recommended
Module width: 22mm width (25mm width is not supported)
Form Factor: M.2 type 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110.
These numbers can be found on retail listings for M.2 SSD devices. The first two digits refer to the width, the remaining digits to the length.
Socket type: Socket 3 (Key M)
Total size including cooling structure:
In millimeters: smaller than 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H).
In inches: smaller than 4.33in (L) x 0.984 in (W) x 0.442in (H).
See below for full requirements.
The following M.2 SSD lengths are compatible with PS5 consoles:
30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm, 110mm (corresponding to the form factor type, per above).
A 22mm-wide M.2 SSD module is required.
The total structure (including an added cooling structure) cannot exceed 25mm (0.984in).
The total height of the M.2 SSD and its cooling structure (such as a heatsink) – whether built-in or separate – must be less than 11.25mm (0.442in).
The height must also be in the right place, in relation to the M.2 SSD’s circuit board:
The size below the board must be less than 2.45mm (0.096in). The total size above the board must be less than 8mm (0.314in).
While these specifications are rather limiting, tech sites like Digital Foundry have been able to put together a list of the best PlayStation 5-compatible SSDs. It’s worth noting that Sony warns players in its announcement that features could get pulled from the update, meaning that users could have to uninstall their secondary SSD before the update launches publicly.
The SSD upgrade inclusion is the most notable inclusion in the beta of PS5 system software update 2.0. However, there are also some nice quality-of-life improvements coming in the update.
Players in the beta can activate a new 3D audio setting specifically designed for TV speakers. The system will use the DualSense controller’s built-in microphone to map out the room’s acoustics, enhancing the sound without any surround sound equipment.
The scrolling game library for the PS5 will get clearer with the new update, separating PS4 and PS5 installs of the same game — which should reduce some of the confusion that comes with upgrading game versions. In addition, users will be able to customize the Control Center by moving and removing items, and the Control Center will also get a more accessible party and message system to help players socialize more easily. The Friends tab itself will get an upgrade, too, showing players how many friends they have online, busy, or offline, and allowing for users to accept or decline multiple friend requests at once.
PlayStation Now will offer a streaming test and will let players select 720p or 1080p resolution. The PS5 will also auto-capture a video clip when players beat a personal record in certain in-game challenges. Players can also offer the new “Leader” accolade to other players after a multiplayer match. And finally, the new Trophy Tracker feature lets users select up to five trophies in a given game that will appear inside the Control Center for easy access.
PS5 system software update 2.0 is expected to go live later this year.