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PS5 SSD / HDD support explained: Here's what going on with additional PS5 storage

PS5
(Image credit: Future)

PS5 storage support has certainly been a topic of conversation since the full PS5 review coverage went out. When it comes to internal and external PS5 storage options for expanding the internal 825GB PS5 SSD - only 667.2GB of which is actually accessible to players. Let's take a quick run through what exactly the score is after the latest system updates.

PS5 compatible SSD for internal upgrades

While there is an SSD storage expansion slot within the PS5 that will take M.2 SSD stick drives, Sony has said that the slot itself will be disabled at launch. Support for this slot was recently confirmed as coming in summer 2021.

"It's likely to be a bit past [launch], so please hold off on getting that M.2 drive until you hear from us," said PS5 architect, Mark Cerny in his GDC talk back in March.

In that same talk, Cerny explained that PS5 compatible SSD would need to deliver over 5.5GB/sec of bandwidth over a PCIe Gen4 connection, and be thin enough to fit into the PS5 SSD expansion bay. Of course, it will also need to be compatible with Sony's I/O Controller to boot, so it's definitely going to be quite a specific list when Sony does confirm the full spread of PS5 compatible SSD drives for internal upgrades. We've started compiling a list of potential candidates and external options over on our PS5 SSD guide.

PS5 external hard drive support

SSD vs HDD

(Image credit: Future)

As we've talked about on our guide to the best PS5 external hard drives, from day one, you could plug any external hard drive into your PS5 and use it for additional storage. You can even take your old PS4 external hard drive and then just plug it straight into PS5. It'll recognize all your games and then queue up any patches or updates they might need - handy that. 

I personally bought a brand new SSD - a 1TB Samsung option - to set up as a dedicated PS5 drive, and internally we've also tried a number of HDD drives, including those already stuffed with PS4 titles, so can confirm it's a seamless transition. 

Until a recent system update in April 2021 you could only store PS4 games on an external PS5 hard drive, but that has now thankfully been fixed and you can now move PS5 games over too. You can only play PS4 games direct from an external storage solution though, you'll have to move PS5 games back onto the external SSD on PS5 as even today's best SSDs for gaming aren't quite up to the spec of the PS5's as far as giving you all those next-gen benefits go.

What you can do though is make sure you head to the settings menu > Storage > Extended Storage and set all PS4 games to automatically install to the external drive (if you've got one connected), to make sure you're using all that internal space for pure PS5 gaming. If you have any spare space though, we've found PS4 games load much faster when played directly on the PS5.

For more information check out the below:

PS5 review | How to eject a PS5 disc | Transfer games to PS5 hard drive | How to use a PS4 controller with PS5 | Where is the PS5 power button | PS5 standby mode explained | Upcoming PS5 games | How to download PS4 saves on PS5 | PS5 deals | Best PS5 headsets

Sam Loveridge

I'm the lady in charge of GamesRadar, but also getting all the reviews up on the website, so you can thank me for all those shining stars – or blame me for a lack of them. I also spend my time working my SEO magic to try and coax the Google Juice to flow in our favour.