If you’ve actually managed to get hold of a PS5 you may have noticed the storage can fill up rather quickly. When you only have 667GB of usable space, and games that can be upwards of 100GB in size, managing it all is crucial.
Fortunately, the PS5 will let you expand the storage with off the shelf SSDs, but that’s shaping up to be a costly endeavor.
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Now, Sony hasn't mentioned any official pricing for a PS5 storage upgrade. But the console uses an advanced PCIe 4.0 interface for its internal SSD, which enables it to deliver transfer speeds of at least 5.5.GB/s.
But U.K retailer Scan is selling the 2TB Samsung 980 Pro PCIe 4 SSD for £456, which gives us a hint at how expensive these cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 SSDs are. That price converts directly to around $614, and when we deduct around 20% for British tax, it still means the SSD is around $500; that's basically the price of a PS5.
The 1TB version is a much more palatable $230, though when you look at cost per GB it doesn't work out much cheaper. This all suggests that upgrading the PS5's storage will be a very expensive venture.
We’ve already seen some evidence that a 500GB PS5-ready SSD will cost $115, which isn’t so bad on its own. But that's not a huge amount of storage space, so a larger PS5 storage upgrade seems the most sensible, if expensive, route.
All this was reasonably predictable given the 1TB Seagate storage expansion card for the Xbox Series X, which also uses PCIe 4.0, is a costly $219.99. But that's a more convenient external storage upgrade, whereas the PS5 will need an internal upgrade, so we'd have hoped an additional SSD for the PS5 would be a little cheaper.
PS5 storage upgrade — what you need to know
At the moment it’s not possible to expand your PS5’s storage. An PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD can be installed in the expansion slot under the cover, but your PS5 can’t read it until that particular feature is activated by Sony. We also don’t know which SSDs will be compatible, though it’s now clear that they’re not going to be cheap.
Your extra SSD is going to have to be, at the very least, as good as the SSD built into the console itself. That means it’ll have to have a PCIe 4.0 interface and at least 5.5GB/s transfer speeds. That’s not a small ask, and the speed in particular is down to the physical demands of the games themselves. That’s why you can’t just plug in an external hard drive and play PS5 games off them; though you can transfer games via external storage.
But unlike the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S external SSD upgrade, the PS5's SSD upgrades are expected to be off-the-shelf PCIe 4.0 SSDs any company can make, providing they are also PS5 certified. Those are far from prolific, but we’d hope that the price will eventually go down as the SSD tech gets more widely adopted, especially in the best gaming PCs.
But that actually relies on Sony telling people which SSDs are compatible with the PS5, and updating PS5 consoles so they can read additional storage.
Why this wasn’t available on launch day is baffling, especially since the Xbox Series X's storage expansion cards are readily available. Sony, please get your act together, because we can’t see much reason to wait a second longer!