The Steam Deck further emphasizes how the PS5 needs upgradable storage
The announcement of the Steam Deck marked a new entry into the handheld gaming space from Valve. While the fast internal storage can't be upgraded, users can add SD cards to make room for extra games, in a very similar vein to upgrading storage on the Nintendo Switch.
With this in mind, the PS5's lack of internal storage options continues to stick out as a sore spot, as every other major console or gaming device has options expanding your overall capacity for games.
Sony has the games lineup figured out, delivering quality experienes in the first half of 2021 such as Returnal and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. The company has made strong moves for Sony Worldwide Studios recently, acquiring teams that continue to position PlayStation for success.
However, one of the PS5's big sticking points has been its limited storage. It has an 825GB SSD, which translates into fast loading times and smooth performance, but fills up quickly. Unlike with the PS4, there was no way at launch to expand that storage. Back in April, Sony added support for storing games on external hard drives, which does help a bit. While it prevents players from having to redownload massive games they previously deleted, moving games from an HDD to an SSD isn't a quick process and being able to just expand the actual storage space will go a long way in saving time and preventing frustration.
Sony was clear before the launch of the PS5 that the ability to add SSD drives for direct storage wouldn't be available at launch. Even so, seven months after the console's launch, there's still no official timetable as to when we'll even get an update on this feature's availability.
As I'm going through the best PS5 games available, I find myself constantly uninstalling games the moment I'm down just so I can make room for what's next. There's always going to be limitations but I don't like not being able to keep at least a handful of games installed for long periods of time. I love taking friends through Demon's Souls, but massive chunks of space are extremely important right now, especially as games get bigger.
Microsoft figured this out from launch with the (admittedly expensive) Xbox storage expansion card for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Nintendo and Valve's use of SD cards for their hardware mean that right now, the PS5 is the only major gaming device on which players have to juggle what games are installed.
A report from Bloomberg earlier this year indicates that Sony is planning to enable SSD support sometime during the summer. Even without that report, I assume and hope that it's coming soon. Price isn't the factor here — any solution for super fast storage will be expensive — but just having the option can't come soon enough. I know I'm more than willing to drop plenty of cash on an SSD to expand my PS5 and I'm sure plenty of others are as well.
Sony has a big slate of upcoming titles, with 25 games in development for the PS5 right now, including Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7 and the next God of War. The sooner Sony solves the current storage limitation, the sooner players can breathe a sigh of relief instead of resignedly deleting yet another game the moment a new one arrives.
Less is more
Faster speeds for your games
While you can't play PS5 games off of an external SSD, you can store PS4 and PS5 games on one, freeing up your internal storage for next-gen titles that need it. 500GB is a lot less storage than 8TB, but SSDs are dramatically more expensive than HDDs.
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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on PlayStation on Android Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert