PlayStation 5 beta users can now try out expanded SSD storage

The process is more than a little complicated, though

PlayStation 5

PlayStation beta testers in Canada and the U.S. can now try out the first PS5 system update beta, which includes the long-awaited addition of SSD storage expansion.

This means that selected beta registrants can use an M.2 SSD to upgrade their console’s storage capacity. Previously, only external hard drive support was available to store extra games but lacked the ability to play PS5 games due to their optimization for the faster SSDs.

There are requirements for which SSDs can run on a PS5, however; you’ll need a PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe model that is at least 250GB. Up to 4TB SSDs can be used.

PlayStation has a detailed (and decidedly convoluted) breakdown of everything you need to know about installing an SSD. But essentially, you’ll need to remove the PS5’s side plate using a screwdriver and attach the SSD using the black screw found within. PlayStation says SSD expansion requires “heat dissipation with a cooling structure,” such as a heatsink. It’s important to note that some SSDs come with one built-in, while others are sold separately and can be attached.

Unfortunately, PlayStation’s explainer on SSD expansion doesn’t list specific SSD or heatsink brands that you can check out, so you’ll need to do some research. To that point, the company even says that “you should carefully review drive specifications prior to purchase and contact the vendor or manufacturer if you need further information.”

Notably, this is a more complicated process than on Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S, which simply use “Seagate Expansion Cards” that simply plug into the consoles’ exterior.

External SSD support isn’t the only addition in the PS5 system software beta, though — it also includes another anticipated feature, 3D Audio support for built-in TV speakers. The immersive audio feature was previously limited to supported headsets like PlayStation’s Pulse 3D headset.

Additionally, the beta offers a number of UX improvements, including more Control Center personalization options, direct access to messages from Friends and Parties in the Game Base, listing different platform versions (PS4 vs. PS5) of the same game separately on the Home screen and a resolution selector for PlayStation Now (choose between 720p or 1080p in supported games).

PlayStation hasn’t confirmed when this system software update will roll out to all users.

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