Sony is now enabling the M.2 SSD slot on the PlayStation 5 via beta update for select users. The beta program is available for select users on select regions and will allow internal M.2 usage with an M.2 SSD.
The PlayStation 5 was announced with built-in expandable M.2 slots but since launch, it has been disabled, leaving PlayStation 5 owners to manage its relatively tiny 660GB of usable game storage out of its total 825GB. While not as fast, Playstation 4 games can be loaded off a USB3.2 Gen2 device, preferably an external SSD but PlayStation 5 games are limited to the internal storage as they take advantage of the PS5’s proprietary SSD controllers which allowed it to perform at very high speeds.
Sony delayed unlocking the M.2 internal expansion slot for compatibility testing with mainstream market SSDs. To buy time, Sony allowed users to move their PS5 games from the internal drive to an external drive, be it SSD or HDD, to mitigate issues. This does pose a potential risk of degrading the internal SSDs as large games like COD: Warzone and its extravagant installation size can wear out drive TBWs when done on a regular basis albeit would still take years but done with multiple games, can be a big factor.
Sony’s compatibility testing seems to be concluding as it now enters beta stages with users now being allowed to test the M.2 expansion feature. As regional restrictions apply, I’ll wait out the final version but I’m happy to report that we have PCIe Gen4 drives both 1TB and 2TB capacities for PS5 testing once it comes out.
Sony is recommending first-gen Gen4 SSDs with 5GB/s sequential speeds but Sony has not officially revealed any licensed or compatible SSDs but Seagate and WD have published press releases announcing their products as PlayStation 5 compatible.
You can read up more and apply for the beta program here. Please be mindful of the drive requirements particularly on cooling as most Gen4 SSDs that have 7GB/s ratings can go upwards of 80*C and may throttle or crash when used without proper cooling or worse.
Another consideration is the slot size. Sony is very precise about slot dimensions and cooler height with total SSD size limited to 11.25mm and the module width at only 22mm. Some drives with a thick heatsink will easily breach these dimensions like the AORUS copper shroud or the removable heatsink of the Corsair Force MP600.