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PS5 SSD's biggest weakness could be fixed this summer — here's how

PS5 SSD
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you're struggling to manage the storage space on your PS5, there’s some good news. 

According to a report from Bloomberg, Sony is set to activate the console’s SSD expansion feature this summer. Hopefully, that'll mean an end to relying on the fast but cramped built-in 825GB storage. 

The PS5’s built-in SSD only has 667GB of usable space out of the aforementioned 825GB, and that can fill up quickly if you’re not careful — looking at you Call of Duty. So the ability to expand your storage is going to be invaluable to gamers as more and more PS5 games get released.

The PS5 has had a spare M.2 expansion slot since day one. So there’s already space to install an extra SSD under the faceplate. The problem is that Sony hasn’t activated the feature yet, so any extra drives you try and add will be completely useless, though you'd need Sony-approved PCIe 4.0 SSDs anyway that aren't available yet.

You can plug external USB drives into the PS5, but they will only let you play PS4 games. It’s useful for saving space, especially if you’re playing a title that requires over 100GB of storage; games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

PS5 summer upgrade coming

Sony has already confirmed that SSD expansion will arrive as part of a future PS5 firmware update, and now we know some more details. Aside from a summer launch, Bloomberg reported that it will also increase the speed of the PS5’s cooling fans. 

That makes sense when you think about it. Since PS5 games will only run on an SDD of equal or greater speed to the console’s internal drive, that’s going to generate a lot of heat.

A Sony spokesperson didn’t comment on the summer rollout when asked by Bloomberg. Instead, they simply confirmed that the PS5 would be getting M.2 storage expansion at an unspecified point in the near future. Still, if Bloomberg’s sources are correct, we don’t have very long for Sony to get its SSD upgrade process in place.

Unfortunately having a launch window is only half of the story. Sony still needs to announce what kinds of third-party SSDs will be compatible with the PS5, which companies will develop them, and how much they’re going to cost. 

Hopefully, we shouldn’t end up in the same situation as the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Microsoft’s consoles already let you expand your SSD storage, but only via $220 proprietary “Expansion Cards.” As far as we know Seagate is the only company making these cards, which means you won’t get multiple companies trying to undercut each other on price.

Everything we’ve seen suggests the PS5 is not using a proprietary design or handing off expansion duties to a single third-party company. That means as time goes on, and more PS5-compatible drives arrive on store shelves, the price should slowly decrease.

But we actually need to be able to use the drives first, and it’s still not clear why Sony didn’t make this feature available on day one. Still, not long to wait now. Assuming you've been able to find where to buy PS5, that is.

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.