PlayStation 5 allows parts of games to be stripped out to save space

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,641   +616
Staff member
In context: Sony published a rather extensive FAQ regarding the upcoming PlayStation 5. While much of the information was just a rehash of things we already know, there were a few morsels that Sony had not yet discussed. Rather than list them all, let's dive right into the interesting things we found.

As previously reported, storage on the PlayStation 5 is somewhat limited for the expected size increase in next-gen games. So Sony has a few tricks up its sleeve to make download and storage more palatable.

Like the PlayStation 4, the PS5 will have a "Preferred Install" feature. This mechanism allows you to download and install the first portion of games while the rest downloads in the background. Games that support this feature can be up and running in as little as a few minutes. It also allows users to prioritize which parts of the game get downloaded first (typically single player or multiplayer).

However, Sony expanded the PS5's Preferred Install feature, adding more functionality.

"In supported PS5 games, players can also choose to remove specific modes or content they no longer want in order to free up storage space," says Sony.

So users who never play multiplayer mode in their games could essentially strip it out to save on SSD space. Of course, Sony notes that it is up to developers to implement this feature and decide what content in their titles is expendable.

Another aspect of the PS5's storage system is a little bit disappointing. While we knew that PlayStation 5 games could not run from an external USB drive, it is somewhat surprising that users cannot even store PS5 games on an external storage device.

"Players cannot transfer PS5 games to a USB drive," the FAQ states. "PS5 games must be stored on the console's internal ultra-high speed SSD for gameplay. Explorations for allowing players to store (but not play) PS5 games on a USB drive in a future update are underway."

So much for storing those huge next-gen titles externally until you want to play them, at least for now. However, you can still use an external storage solution for PS4 games.

Another new thing that sony points out is that games are no longer region-locked. In other words, any PS5 owner can play any PS5 game no matter where it was released. In years past, US and UK players have modified their PlayStations, voiding the warranty to play exclusive Japanese imports. Now, these games will play right out of the box as long as you can get your hands on them.

Lastly, the PlayStation 5 will have support for Sony's game streaming service PlayStation Now. This is perhaps a no-brainer since it would not make sense for the cloud gaming platform to be incompatible with new hardware. However, it is still worth mentioning because it dramatically expands the number of titles available on the PS5 at launch.

In addition to the 4000+ PS4 games that the PlayStation 5 can play, PS Now has hundreds (750+ at last count) of PS2 and PS3 titles available. It is a subscription service, of course. Rates range from $10 per month to $60 annually.

I have been testing PS Now about every three months or so and can honestly say it has improved much over the six years it has been in service. Streamed games used to suffer from severe lag in the early days. Over time those issues became less frequent. Sony introduced downloadable PS Now games in 2018, so lag has been a non-issue for the last couple of years. Even when not downloading games, streaming is vastly improved.

If you have any other questions regarding the PlayStation 5, check out the rest of Sony's FAQ. If you can't find your answer there, leave a comment at the end of the blog post, and Sony may answer it in a future FAQ update.

Masthead credit: Aldeca Productions

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Lionvibez

Posts: 2,053   +1,426
They really should have went with a drive double the capacity of 825GB.

After the OS 667GB usable is way to low for a 2020 console.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,746   +3,640
That's definitely a good feature. But we've already been there and done that with games that used to come on two disks: Multiplayer and Singleplayer - and you could uninstall the singleplayer after you were done.

a Whole lot of these singleplayer games aren't worth doing twice and that component takes up unnecessary space.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,048   +1,938
TechSpot Elite
They really should have went with a drive double the capacity of 825GB.

After the OS 667GB usable is way to low for a 2020 console.
The thing is, that would've easily bumped up the cost by around $100 (since cutting edge SSD's aren't cheap). They needed to keep the MRP low, and also the losses low from selling it.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,053   +1,426
The thing is, that would've easily bumped up the cost by around $100 (since cutting edge SSD's aren't cheap). They needed to keep the MRP low, and also the losses low from selling it.
$100 price increase for double the capacity where do I sign up :)
 
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m4a4

Posts: 2,048   +1,938
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$100 price increase for double the capacity where do I sign up :)
Hahaha, if only it wasn't just a guess, as I'd also want a bigger capacity option at launch IF I was buying a console.

Don't actually know why they don't just do so. Best guesses are either it isn't efficient enough to produce both early on (bigger losses), or they want to hold back to sell it later for whatever reason (marketing, better margin, upgrades, ?)...
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,053   +1,426
Hahaha, if only it wasn't just a guess, as I'd also want a bigger capacity option at launch IF I was buying a console.

Don't actually know why they don't just do so. Best guesses are either it isn't efficient enough to produce both early on (bigger losses), or they want to hold back to sell it later for whatever reason (marketing, better margin, upgrades, ?)...
In this current situation I think it will make an expansion m2 drive go from nice to have to almost needed.

Based on current pricing you are probably looking at 1TB $200 for a drive that is Pcie 4.0
 
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amghwk

Posts: 867   +693
I read somewhere that Sony disabled the after-sale storage expansion for the PS5. Can't exactly remember what it is about while writing this. I may be wrong.

Anyway, I guess, it's better to download a couple or more games that I have decided to play, and then play them until finish and then remove or store them in external USB drive, like we do in PS4, and download the next batch of games to overcome this nuisance.

But really, games have been mercilessly using the storage space, like the one of the CoD's 250GB requirement. Seriously?? Most of the space used up in current games are for so-called hi-res textures and audio. 50GB seems to be the norm nowadays. Big space hogging games, but empty feeling on the inside.

I just was replaying Worlds of Ultima : Martian Dreams, a RPG game by Origin, a DOS game, in Dosbox, which is less than 10MB.... (that's megabytes for millenials).... and gives immense pleasure for days, if not weeks. Anyway, it's another story.

Just thinking where and for how much to sell my PS4 Pro to reduce the overhead cost of my PS5 purchase.
 
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m4a4

Posts: 2,048   +1,938
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Why not just buy a 1 or 2TB m.2 SSD and add it to the machine? There is an m.2 expansion for precisely this reason.
I read somewhere that Sony disabled the after-sale storage expansion for the PS5. Can't exactly remember what it is about while writing this. I may be wrong.
@amghwk is correct, they have disabled it until a future update. Which is pretty lame to not at least have it as an option at launch (with a list of SSD's that will be supported).
Pretty sure it's because Sony rushed the launch...
 

Edster

Posts: 69   +51
Is a little disappointing Sony haven't implemented external storage for games, it would save a hefty amount of time and bandwidth for those who play a lot of different games, but there isn't that many games to play at launch.

The launch does feel rushed, probably to match the Xbox launch.
 
"Another new thing that sony points out is that games are no longer region-locked. In other words, any PS5 owner can play any PS5 game no matter where it was released. In years past, US and UK players have modified their PlayStations, voiding the warranty to play exclusive Japanese imports. Now, these games will play right out of the box as long as you can get your hands on them."



.........Sony consoles have been region free since the PS3, with both handhelds also being region free.
 
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0dium

Posts: 138   +149
The thing is, that would've easily bumped up the cost by around $100 (since cutting edge SSD's aren't cheap). They needed to keep the MRP low, and also the losses low from selling it.
2020 is almost over. It's more a 2021 console actually
 

OortCloud

Posts: 471   +290
They really need to sort out the external storage issues - currently you cannot park a PS5 game in the slower USB storage. Yes it makes sense you can't play them directly from external storage, but not being able to move them there is crazy. What this means is you have to delete the game completely and then re-download it to play it again. Given some games now weighing in at over 200GB this needs to change fast.
The Series X allows exactly this - you can move a game to USB drive, then move it back if you want to play it again. Clearly moving a game from a USB3 external drive to internal SSD is going to be a LOT quicker than downloading again.
 

BSim500

Posts: 706   +1,500
Games devs really need to make more flexible installs with all games in general on PC as well. Aside from making 4K textures optional, some games also waste GB's on foreign languages. I think Prey (2017) takes up around 22-23GB normally, yet deleting the foreign langs you don't use reduces it to 18.1GB. That's a 20% saving in itself. Now multiply by a ton of other games you have installed and it all adds up. There's no technical reason why modular installs shouldn't be the standard these days (in both clients and offline GOG installers), just laziness.
 

loading88

Posts: 49   +46
Pretty sure the PS5 has an m2 expansion slot, however it won't be ready at launch and said it would be enabled later. Probably still working out the software or they'll have an "approved list" of compatible SSD's.

I would have liked to get one but didn't get a pre-order in like most people. By the time the console is more available they'll probably have a larger capacity version anyways. Although missing out on the Demons Souls launch is going to be a bummer.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,145   +2,785
TechSpot Elite
It's pretty clear that the software is still in early stages and they have a ton of work to do. the PS5 OS will prolly be completely different in a year or two.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 125   +50
I think it's pretty clear xbox has landed their console launch properly for the most part and what they've said and promised they've delivered (outside of halo).

Sony on the other hand has had nothing but controversy and setbacks for weeks now as more and more information made its way out of the very tight lipped company.

I think them being so tight lipped is mainly because they weren't ready for what xbox was bringing. I think the rumor that Sony planned to launch last year but delayed when they got word what Microsoft was doing is true.

I think it shows in the change in specs frlnthe confirmed accurate leak of performance from December last year and what they announced. Xbox was spot on and Sony was suddenly a bit faster and closer to Xbox and now with a higher but variable clock speed.

I think they had aimed for a bit lessar of a console amd was forced to try and match a xbox that was much more powerful but also designed later (hence why xbox dev kits were much later than ps5) but I believe this led to a situation where trying to match xbox actually put them back a bit in development and allowed xbox the chance to pull ahead in the final release.

Where xbox was set in stone and ready to be shared excalty when they did Sony had to quickly do some damage control had to stay tight lipped while they did and ultimately came up a bit short when it finally got down to the wire.

It all just makes too much sense for it not to be this.

Sony was out the gate first and really focused on just pure loading speed and when xbox started throwing around "most powerful console" and "12 tflops" I think they panicked into trying to match and just couldn't quite deliver the original plans along with the changes required.