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A PS5 Hardware Revision Should Make Expanding Storage Easier

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 15:25 PM
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With the PS5, Sony improved the convenience of console storage expansion, but things could be made easier with future hardware revisions.

p>Since the PS5's release in November 2020, it has enjoyed widespread success and popularity. According to Sony, the console had the largest launch in PlayStation history, outpacing the PS4 which sold 2.1 million units in just under two weeks. In late 2021, Sony announced that the PS5 had managed to sell over 13 million units worldwide by September 2021. Since its launch, the PS5 hardware has remained largely unchanged so far.

Any future PS5 hardware revisions should address more common issues that would make living with a PS5 easier. Most notably, Sony should make it simpler for gamers to expand console storage, an issue that will get bigger as the PS5 gets older and gamers are forced to expand storage to accommodate their growing libraries.

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The Problem With the PS5's Storage Expansion

Gamers can upgrade the PS4's storage, but it can be a tedious process depending on which route is taken. External storage can be expanded by connecting an external hard drive via USB, but then fans lost out on the advantages of an SSD this way. Expanding internal storage is a tad tricker, and it requires a few tools. Adding an internal expansion is not necessarily difficult, but exposing the guts of a console can be an intimidating experience for some.

The PS5 does make some improvements on the PS4, and expanding storage feels a little less like surgery. Gamers can attach an external HDD or SSD via USB, or the internal storage can be expanded using the PS5's NVMe M.2 SSD expansion slot. Accessing internal storage is easier on PS5, as the console's faceplates are simple to remove. Once the back faceplate is removed, the storage slot is easily located.

In an era where consumers demand user-friendliness from products, it is surprising that Sony still requires fans to open up their console. It's a big ask for those who are less confident or are nervous about messing up their console. This problem is made worse when one compares the PS5 to the Xbox Series X/S, which offers a far simpler solution.

How the Xbox Series X/S Makes Storage Expansion Easier

Microsoft makes storage expansion incredibly easy with the Xbox Series X/S. Gamers can expand storage using an external SSD or HDD via USB, or they can expand internal storage using a proprietary SSD expansion card that can be slotted into the back of both versions of Microsoft's current generation consoles. Unlike the PS5, there is no need to remove any external cover, nor do gamers have to fiddle with the hardware in any way.

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Although the Xbox Series X/S' storage expansion options are far more convenient than the PS5's, some criticisms can be waged against Microsoft's prices, with the 2TB SSD card carrying a lofty tag of $399. This takes away a lot of freedom from gamers, as with the PS5, gamers can choose between budget SSDs or pricier SSDs that promise better performance. Nevertheless, Xbox Series X/S' simplicity when it comes to storage expansion is impressive, and there is a lot that Sony can learn from its competitor.

How Sony Can Make Storage Expansion Easier

Outside of releasing a new version of the PS5, there is not much Sony can do to drastically change how the console handles storage expansion. However, there are a few minor yet effective changes that are possible with future PS5 hardware revisions.

Ideally, the PS5 could emulate some aspects of the Xbox Series X/S and make use of proprietary cards that can be slotted in. Given that many players have invested in different SSDs already, it would be necessary for Sony to support both the traditional method of storage expansion and the new proprietary-based expansion method. Admittedly, this option likely lies beyond the realm of a mere console revision, but it would be a way of providing an easier means of storage expansion while still allowing gamers to make use of other SSD manufacturers if they choose.

By default, the PS5 comes with 825GB SSD internal storage. This initially seems like plenty of room, but there are some points to consider. Firstly, not all the PS5's storage space is available, so only 667GB is usable. Secondly, while it may be sufficient at the beginning of one's time with the PS5, game libraries naturally expand which necessitates greater storage space. Many are running out of space already, or they will soon. Consequently, more and more gamers will find themselves needing to expand the PS5's console storage, and they will run into the inherent fear of cracking open a $500 console.

Future hardware revisions are a given as Sony discovers ways to make minor improvements and manufacture PS5s cheaper and more efficiently. There have also been rumors of Sony planning a new version of the PS5 which sources easier to manufacture parts to alleviate the global stock shortage. While the relatively new PS5 might not need a PS5 "pro" just yet, a new version release would keep with Sony's pattern of releasing "slim" hardware upgrades a few years into a console's lifetime. Whatever Sony decides to do with future versions of the PS5, some attention should be paid to storage expansion convenience, an aspect of the console which feels more complicated than it needs to be.

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