The PS5 is confirmed to support the same M.2 SSDs which are used by gaming PCs for external storage, allowing for super-speedy data transfers.
While the PS5 will come with a custom 825GB SSD, the next-gen console will also feature a NVMe slot for expandable storage if you ever feel the need for a larger storage capacity to fit your game library.
This means you’ll be able to buy an M.2 SSD from the open market, rather than being restricted to officially branded PlayStation storage options. This differs greatly to the Xbox Series X approach, which uses proprietary SSDs liscensed by Microsoft.
Mark Cerny did clarify that not every M.2 SSD will be compatible with the PS5, as it depends largely on the component’s size, as well as other factors. Sony did promise it would provide a list of compatible SSDs post-launch though, and so advised prospective PS5 owners to hold off from buying external storage until then.
Enabling PS5 users to pick and choose their own M.2 SSDs would allow for a more competitive market, contrasting the fears that Xbox’s proprietary external solution could potentially be eye-wateringly expensive.
However, there are benefits with Xbox’s approach, namely making it less confusing to buy the correct component and upgrade the console yourself. With console’s main strength over PC gaming being accessibility and simplicity, this benefit can’t be sniffed at.
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However, if PlayStation delivers on its promise to create a list of compatible M.2 SSDs, then that shouldn’t be too big of an issue.
Interestingly, you can’t currently buy an M.2 SSD with the read speeds to match the PS5’s 5.5GB/s performance, which is another reason you should hold off buying external storage right now. This also emphasises how insanely speedy the PS5’s SSD is, which should slice down loading times dramatically.