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PlayStation 5 finally gets its first officially licensed M.2 SSD in the form of the Mark Cerny-approved WD_BLACK SN850

The WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5 even has a blue LED for those who keep the console's side panel removed. (Image source: Western Digital/Sony - edited)
The WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5 even has a blue LED for those who keep the console's side panel removed. (Image source: Western Digital/Sony - edited)
Sony has finally officially approved an NVMe M.2 SSD for its PlayStation 5 console. The chosen unit, unsurprisingly, is the WD_BLACK SN850 from Western Digital, which offers up to 7,000 MB/s read speed. Mark Cerny, the lead architect for the PS5, previously posted about his own particular preference for the WD_BLACK SN850 back in 2021.

It has taken a while, but there is finally an officially licensed M.2 SSD for the Sony PlayStation 5 console. The WD_BLACK SN850 has been selected as the drive of choice, with Western Digital rapidly rebranding the units as WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD for PS5. The console was released near the end of 2020, so it has taken this long for Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) to offer its stamp of approval on a drive that can keep up with, and even exceed, the fast storage found inside the PS5. Apparently, a slower drive simply does not cut the mustard in this case, even if it actually works.

The PS5’s drive is capable of dealing with raw data at up to 5.5 GB/s, with a theoretical higher speed of 8-9 GB/s made possible by the inclusion of utilities such as the Oodle Kraken data compression tool. The 1 TB variant of the WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5 can offer a very high sequential read performance of 7,000 MB/s while delivering a write rate of 5,300 MB/s. The 2 TB WD_BLACK SN850 matches the 7,000 MB/s read rate but is a little slower in write at 5,100 MB/s. Users will have to make sure their PS5 is updated to system software version 21.02-04.00.00 or higher.

Mark Cerny may have had some say in this approval, as the PS5 project’s lead architect tweeted about the WD_BLACK SN850 back in August 2021, stating “Couple of awesome options for 7000MB/s, ended up putting my $$ down on this one. Going to be SWEEET!!!” above a picture of the Western Digital drive. The official price for the WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5 with 1 TB is US$169.99/£179.99, and the 2 TB model costs US$279.99/£289.99. The officially licensed SSD comes with its own all-in-one heatsink and can be used for storing and playing PS5 and PS4 games.

Buy the WD_BLACK SN850 1 TB SSD (pre-license variant) on Amazon

WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5. (Image source: Western Digital)
WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5
WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5. (Image source: Western Digital)
WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5
WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5. (Image source: Western Digital)
WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5
WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5. (Image source: Western Digital)
WD_BLACK SN850 for PS5

Source(s)

Western Digital (1/2) & YouTube (Western Digital) & @cerny

San Jose, Calif. - July 11, 2022
Western Digital Corp. and Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC ("SIE") teamed up to deliver the industry's first official PlayStation®-licensed M.2 SSD for PlayStation® 5 (PS5™) to gamers across the globe. The WD_BLACK™ SN850 NVMe™ SSD for PS5 Consoles1 enables players to expand the high-speed storage capacity of their PS5 console and gives them peace of mind knowing that their new and favorite titles are stored on a drive that's been battletested to take on the most intensive PS5 gameplay.

Optimized for the newest-generation console, Western Digital validated drive performance through multiple scenarios to ensure the drive has been fully tested for the PS5. This process included hundreds of hours spent rigorously testing some of the most graphic-rich titles across various genres to ensure that with games stored on the drive, gameplay is fast, smooth and visually immersive.

"We're excited for this new journey with Sony Interactive Entertainment and the opportunity to bring the officially licensed drive to PS5 gamers," said Susan Park, vice president of Consumer Solutions Product Management, Western Digital. "Western Digital's WD_BLACK brand was created to bring high-performance products to gamers everywhere. Combined with this innovative partnership, we aim to deepen our current commitment to developing storage solutions that enhance the gaming experience for all gamers."

With the WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD for PS5, gamers can store and play both PS5 games and PS4™ games directly from the drive. The drive's attached heatsink also makes installation quicker with its all-in-one design. Gamers can cut down on long load times with PCIe® Gen4 technology, reaching up to 7000MB/s2 read speed to get them in the game fast so they can focus more on gaming.

Availability
The WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD for PS5 retails for $169.99 USD (1TB3) and $279.99 USD (2TB3) and is now available for purchase exclusively at Best Buy (in stores and online) and on the Western Digital online store. It will be available for purchase from other select retailers, etailers and resellers starting mid-August 2022.

For more information on these products, or to learn more about the full WD_BLACK portfolio of gaming solutions, please visit www.WDBLACK.com or follow the brand on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Twitch where you can tune in to a livestream launch celebration with the WD_BLACK team beginning at 2 p.m. PT/ 5 p.m. ET today.

About Western Digital
Western Digital is on a mission to unlock the potential of data by harnessing the possibility to use it. With Flash and HDD franchises, underpinned by advancements in memory technologies, we create breakthrough innovations and powerful data storage solutions that enable the world to actualize its aspirations. Core to our values, we recognize the urgency to combat climate change and have committed to ambitious carbon reduction goals approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Learn more about Western Digital and the Western Digital®, SanDisk® and WD® brands at www.westerndigital.com.

Western Digital, the Western Digital design, the Western Digital logo, WD_BLACK, and the WD_BLACK logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries. "PlayStation," "PS5," and "PS4" are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. NVMe is a trademark of NVM Express, Inc. PCIe is a registered trademark of PCI-SIG Corporation. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Product specifications and components subject to change without notice. Pictures shown may vary from actual products.

©2022 Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

1 For PS5™ firmware compatibility, please visit wdblack.com/SN850HS-PS5
2 1 MB/s = 1 million bytes per second. Based on internal testing; performance may vary depending upon host device, usage conditions, drive capacity, and other factors.
3 1GB = 1 billion bytes and 1TB = one trillion bytes. Actual user capacity may be less depending on operating environment.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 07 > PlayStation 5 finally gets its first officially licensed M.2 SSD in the form of the Mark Cerny-approved WD_BLACK SN850
Daniel R Deakin, 2022-07-12 (Update: 2022-07-12)