PS5 pay to play: Summer-scheduled firmware update should ramp up fan speeds and activate the SSD expansion slot for pricey additional drives
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Bloomberg has reported that Sony is preparing a firmware update for the PlayStation 5 that will finally unlock the console’s M.2 storage expansion port to allow installation of additional SSDs. Many fans were surprised to find out the limitations of the PS5’s SSD, at least in terms of storage, when it was revealed it had an 825 GB capacity with only 667 GB made available to players to store their games on. Apparently, the update will arrive “this summer”, much to the relief of those who have already filled the soldered primary drive.
This will also bring additional cost, and while SSDs can be snapped up at reasonable prices, shoppers will have to be careful to make sure they buy a drive that matches or outpaces the fast PS5 drive. Sony warns that some SSDs might not be compatible with the console and has yet to publish a whitelist of drives that gamers can rely on. Likely contenders include the Sabrent 1 TB Rocket 4 Plus (read speed: 7,000 MB/s) and the Samsung 980 Pro 2 TB (read speed: 7,000 MB/s), but additional necessary storage costs will soon stretch into the hundreds of $/€/£. High demand from the millions of PS5 owners around the world desperate for more drive space will likely see compatible SSD prices rapidly being hiked.
On top of this pro but con situation is the claim that the firmware update will also allow the PS5’s cooling fan to operate at higher speeds to negate the extra heat produced by an additional drive. However, this will also bring higher PS5 noise levels, which is something not many gamers will be particularly pleased about. The situation has led to some fans commenting that they are inclined to wait for a potential mid-cycle product refresh or PS5 Pro model that does away with the numerous teething problems of the current console and also doesn’t fall victim to scalping-related stock shortages.