Sony unlocks PlayStation 5 M.2 SSD expansion bay, but only for beta testers

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,518   +132
Staff member
Not so fast: Sony in a newly published support page has outlined the steps necessary to utilize the PlayStation 5’s internal M.2 SSD expansion bay. Before rushing out and picking up the first drive you see, however, there are some requirements you need to be aware of.

First and foremost, the expansion port is currently only accessible to users participating in the PS5 system software beta program (technically, anyone can physically access the port, but you’ll need the right software to make it work).

At present, the PS5 supports PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSDs with a capacity range between 250GB and 4TB. A sequential read speed of 5,500MB/s or faster is recommended. Sony on its support page has a detailed list of specifications that must be met, and even then, there’s no guarantee that the drive you select will work with the console. Sony says it “assumes no responsibility for the selection, performance or use of third-party products.”

After loading your system with the beta software, the next step is to physically install it. Sony recommends a well-lit room with a table to work on and a #1 Phillips or cross-head screwdriver (a flashlight is optional). Full details on how to do this can be found over on Sony’s website and for the sake of brevity, we’ll skip those here.

Notably, Sony encourages users not to install their new M.2 SSD without a heat spreader.

Once successfully installed, users will be able to freely move games between the PS5's default storage, a connected USB external drive and the added M.2 SSD.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,140   +2,171
I really can't wait for these official M.2 drives to be tested against regular ones so we can finally put most of the Sony's ridiculous marketing bs about these super drives.

It probably won't die among Sony "diehard" fans that will keep mentioning it until Microsoft implements the tech for storage under Windows (Probably 11) but there was distinct lies about how incredible these M.2 drives and those are about to get debunked.
 

VariableSpike

Posts: 65   +85
I really can't wait for these official M.2 drives to be tested against regular ones so we can finally put most of the Sony's ridiculous marketing bs about these super drives.


It probably won't die among Sony "diehard" fans that will keep mentioning it until Microsoft implements the tech for storage under Windows (Probably 11) but there was distinct lies about how incredible these M.2 drives and those are about to get debunked.
I thought the marketing was more so directed towards Sony's equivalent to Direct Storage and how they can process compressed game data quickly due to their custom chip?
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,297   +6,025
I don't think the reasons for buying a Gaming PC could be any clearer than the garbage we've been fed by Sony and Microsoft. There are no killer apps for either. The Original Playstation had a superior release - as did the original Xbox.

While ya'll are waiting for your M.2. to be unlocked, I'm rocking an 8TB Samsung SSD which actually cost less than they are claiming these special M.2 are gonna cost.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,140   +2,171
I thought the marketing was more so directed towards Sony's equivalent to Direct Storage and how they can process compressed game data quickly due to their custom chip?
Overall yes but there was some pretty inflammatory quotes about how their SSD was faster than any other on the planet when it really was just this direct storage technique and the fact that it's an nvme ssd which is dramatically better than mechanicals in the past consoles.
 

dangh

Posts: 283   +396
Overall yes but there was some pretty inflammatory quotes about how their SSD was faster than any other on the planet when it really was just this direct storage technique and the fact that it's an nvme ssd which is dramatically better than mechanicals in the past consoles.
People don't understand Direct Storage, they understand: it is fast.
And it is very good, actually. With build in compression it is a nice thing to work with, and I do enjoy new games. Working from home made my holy pc gaming bit tiresome, so enjoying console on the couch ;) and it is simply fun, and I do not think about ssd speed or whatever.
Getting prepared for total war warhammer 3. Can't wait. Will toss work laptop out and wont let him spoil my desk anymore;)
 

fps4ever

Posts: 725   +968
I don't think the reasons for buying a Gaming PC could be any clearer than the garbage we've been fed by Sony and Microsoft. There are no killer apps for either. The Original Playstation had a superior release - as did the original Xbox.

While ya'll are waiting for your M.2. to be unlocked, I'm rocking an 8TB Samsung SSD which actually cost less than they are claiming these special M.2 are gonna cost.

Actually you are about as clear as mud. What do you mean special M.2's? The reason they are doing this is to allow off the shelf M.2's for expansion. Many 1TB drives are $200 or less that meet the requirements. I imagine your entire pc rig is quite expensive and 8TB ssd's are not cheap at all. I don't want to call trolling but.....
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,916   +1,116
I really can't wait for these official M.2 drives to be tested against regular ones so we can finally put most of the Sony's ridiculous marketing bs about these super drives.

It probably won't die among Sony "diehard" fans that will keep mentioning it until Microsoft implements the tech for storage under Windows (Probably 11) but there was distinct lies about how incredible these M.2 drives and those are about to get debunked.
I'll laugh if they legitimately end up being faster than anything else on the market, even when you hack them into a proper desktop (not saying they will be, just that I would find it amusing).
 

Jpe1701

Posts: 72   +69
I don't think the reasons for buying a Gaming PC could be any clearer than the garbage we've been fed by Sony and Microsoft. There are no killer apps for either. The Original Playstation had a superior release - as did the original Xbox.

While ya'll are waiting for your M.2. to be unlocked, I'm rocking an 8TB Samsung SSD which actually cost less than they are claiming these special M.2 are gonna cost.
I don't think the reasons for buying a Gaming PC could be any clearer than the garbage we've been fed by Sony and Microsoft. There are no killer apps for either. The Original Playstation had a superior release - as did the original Xbox.

While ya'll are waiting for your M.2. to be unlocked, I'm rocking an 8TB Samsung SSD which actually cost less than they are claiming these special M.2 are gonna cost.
Well supposedly directstorage will be able to take advantage of the higher speeds of fast storage in streaming assets for the game. Your 8 tb qvo drive won't work for that, it has to be nvme.
 

fps4ever

Posts: 725   +968
Well supposedly directstorage will be able to take advantage of the higher speeds of fast storage in streaming assets for the game. Your 8 tb qvo drive won't work for that, it has to be nvme.

QVO 560MB read vs pcie4 5500-7000MB read so yeah.
 
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yukka

Posts: 993   +155
Gaming PC linked to monitor for PC gaming. Series X linked to TV for 4K instant on quick resume games and general sofa gaming.

Good on Sony for starting to open this up. The 1TB seagate expansion drive for series X/S is silly money
 

DCOCA

Posts: 10   +6
I really can't wait for these official M.2 drives to be tested against regular ones so we can finally put most of the Sony's ridiculous marketing bs about these super drives.

It probably won't die among Sony "diehard" fans that will keep mentioning it until Microsoft implements the tech for storage under Windows (Probably 11) but there was distinct lies about how incredible these M.2 drives and those are about to get debunked.


Not sure if all of it was BS, here is a statement from anandtech:

“Sony disclosed that their SSD uses a custom controller with a 12-channel interface to the NAND flash memory. This seems to be the most important way in which their design differs from typical consumer SSDs. High-end consumer SSDs generally use 8-channel controllers and low-end drives often use 4 channels…. Sony's use of a higher channel count than any recent consumer SSD means their SSD controller will be uncommonly large and expensive, but on the other hand they don't need as much performance from each channel in order to reach their 5.5GB/s goal. They could use any 64-layer or newer TLC NAND and have adequate performance, while consumer SSDs hoping to offer this level of performance or more with 8-channel controllers need to be paired with newer, faster NAND flash.”