PS5-Compatible SSD Storage Will Only Be Ready “A Bit Past” Launch

During Sony’s very technical and equally insightful stream revealing the specifications of the PlayStation 5, lead system architect Mark Cerny stated that external SSDs that will be compatible with the new console likely won’t be ready until sometime after launch.

During his explanation of the custom SSD that the PS5 uses, Cerny explained that PCIe 4.0-based drives with the bandwidth required to match that of Sony’s aren’t available to the consumer market yet. By his estimations, drives will be fast enough by the end of the year, but even then, the PS5’s reliance on specific architectural requirements might mean they still won’t be suitable.

Specifically, PCIe 4.0-based drives that deliver only two priority levels to developers, as is standard with the current NVME specification. The PS5 SSD, by comparison, offers six priority levels, with Cerny explaining that vetted third-party SSDs will need to meet certain speed thresholds to be compatible. As a result, it might be a while before you’ll be able to expand your SSD storage.

“It would be great if [SSD compatibility testing] would be done by launch, but it’s likely to be a bit past it,” Cerny stated. “So please hold off on getting a M.2 drive until you hear from us.”

It’s not only the speed and technical architecture of the SSD that Sony needs to test, but it’s form-factor too. SSD drives get extremely hot under load, which is why many feature custom heatsinks and even fans that might not fit into the PS5 slot. Sony needs to test a variety of consumer SSD drives to list comfortably which will work with their console, which will take time.

In addition to its SSD, Sony also spoke about PS4 backwards-compatibility and its limitations, how install and patch delays are a thing of the past, and more.