PlayStation 5’s messy SSD expansion options should clear up quickly

Sony confirmed this morning that its new PlayStation 5 beta software enables console owners to upgrade their storage. This activates the built-in M.2 SSD expansion slot, so you can bring your own NVMe PCIe Gen4 drive to the system. And while it’s exciting to have the potential for more fast storage on your console, Sony’s messaging makes the process seem messy and potentially dangerous to your PS5. But these warnings are probably just Sony’s lawyer covering its butt.

PS5 owners are concerned about a few key things. First, even if you have NVMe PCIe Gen4 SSD with the recommended read speed of 5,500MB per second, it may not work. Also, Sony suggests that you use a heatsink with your SSD, and that may not fit into the PS5’s enclosure. If you don’t use a heatsink, you may risk your PS5 getting dangerously hot.

And yes, that all sounds a bit more intense and intimidating than you want from a console. Sony’s expansion options also look even more confusing when compared to the one official 1TB expansion option for the Xbox Series X/S. And it’s not like one is much cheaper than the other, either. The Xbox expansion card is $220, and a 1TB NVMe Gen4 SSD starts at around that same price. And even worse, Sony says that your SSD may not perform as well as the internal drive even if it’s fast enough. That is not an issue with the Xbox option.

What all of this comes down to is a lot of variables, exceptions, and uncertainties for a component that will cost you hundreds of dollars. But instead of worrying, I would suggest you simply wait.

Let others do the testing for you

I expected Sony to come out with a whitelist of approved SSD drives alongside this update. It’s strange that it didn’t, and that’s a big reason people are feeling lost right now. But the reality is that you don’t have to do your own research, and you certainly shouldn’t randomly buy blind. The PlayStation 5 community should crowdsource this effort quickly.

Some PS5 owners have already begun to test SSDs. Over on Reddit, a megathread is tracking known compatible drives. So far, it has two: the Corsair MP600, and the Seagate FireCuda 530.

But expect that list to grow. And by the time the PlayStation’s new software is out of beta, we should all know the widely accepted go-to drives. I even plan to do some testing myself if Sony accepts me into the beta. For now, however, I’m not sweating it. I’ll continue deleting my games, and I’ll buy a drive once the wisdom of the crowd settles on a clear winner.

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