The first major PS5 console update has been detailed in a new PlayStation Blog post (opens in new tab), giving us a first look at several new features coming to the console.
The flagship addition is the ability to store PS5 games on USB extended storage. But other features include tweaks to the user interface, cross-gen Share Play, and a refreshed mobile app.
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The update is scheduled to roll out globally tomorrow (April 13), with the biggest new addition being that you can now transfer PS5 games between a USB extended storage device and the system’s internal SSD hard drive.
One of the PS5’s biggest weaknesses is its relatively paltry, albeit super fast, 825GB SSD, made worse by the fact only about 670GB of it is useable space. However, this update will make this far less of a problem.
Due to PS5 games requiring a super speedy solid-state drive you still can’t play native PS5 games from an extended drive, it can only be used to hold games while you're not actively using them. However, transferring games between hard drives works out significantly quicker than deleting and then downloading or copying from a disc at a later date.
PS5 titles also can’t be directly downloaded onto a USB extended storage device, they must first be downloaded onto the console’s SSD and then transferred across. Thankfully games will still automatically update no matter where they’re stored.
The PS5 will support full storage expansion via M.2 drives at a future date that's yet to be announced. But for now, this new feature is the ideal stopgap and will come as a huge relief to PS5 gamers with hard drives already groaning under the hefty install size of multiple next-gen games.
Storing games on USB extended storage is also something that the Xbox Series X has offered since launch, so it’s about time that Sony added this feature to the PS5.
What else is in the April PS5 console update?
The April PS5 console update doesn’t just expand the console’s storage options, it’s also adding a new load of new features that have been much requested by the PlayStation community.
Share Play will now work between PS5 and PS4. This means you can chat and screen share with friends on Sony’s previous generation machine. But in even more impressive news, PS4 gamers will be able to try out PS5 games via Share Play.
Improved social features include the ability to request to join a game session, as well as a refined game base system which should give you easier access to parties and your friend’s lists.
Smaller, but very welcome, tweaks include developers being able to allow players to preinstall upcoming game updates, better library sorting (including the much-needed ability to hide games from view), the ability to set an increased screen zoom, and new trophy settings as well.
Sony is also giving the official PlayStation app a refresh. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to join a multiplayer session, manage your console storage and compare trophies with friends all directly from the app itself.
All in all, this seems like a pretty substantial update that will add plenty of useful features, as well as making some much-needed tweaks to the system UI.
If you’re still after a PS5 console yourself, then make sure to bookmark our where to buy a PS5 guide for the latest stock information as we get it.