Next-gen is going to give us some of the most expansive worlds and intense graphics we’ve ever seen, but it all comes at a cost. You can’t explore the biggest and best gaming has to offer without the right amount of storage. Game file sizes are already quite hefty, but the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S are no doubt going to usher in some absolutely mammoth titles. Thankfully, both platforms offer ways to expand upon the internal storage offered out of the box.
The PS5 comes packing a 825GB NVMe SSD in every single unit, but that’s not the total storage space you’ll have available. Sony is using up some of that storage for system files, the operating system, and more, which means you’ll only have 664GB of usable memory available. Games like Call of Duty: Warzone can take up 200 GB alone, so there’s little doubt the usable space on the PS5 SSD will be gobbled up quickly.
On the Playstation 5, your best option for expanding storage would be going with a Sony-certified NVMe SSD. This option will allow you to take advantage of the PS5’s super-quick loading when it comes to games and menus. There’s a storage slot inside the PS5 itself, which is where you’ll plop down your newly-purchased NVMe SSD. You can refer to Sony’s official PS5 teardown to see exactly how to access the extra storage slot.
The next option is to go with an external SSD or traditional HDD, but going this route comes with some major caveats. These devices can both store and play PS4 games on your PS5, but it won’t be the same for PS5 games. You’ll have no trouble storing brand-new Playstation 5 games on either an SSD or HDD, but in order to actually play them, you’ll have to move them over to the internal storage on the PS5. In other words, if you’re using these external methods for PS5 game storage, be prepared to constantly shuffle games between the system itself and the external storage device.
Over on the Xbox Series X/S side of things, the system packs 1TB of storage, but 802GB will be usable. The storage expansion solution in Microsoft’s platform is extremely easy, or somewhat limited. It all depends on how you look at it.
While Sony will let PS5 users expand storage through a number of Sony-certified NVMe SSD, Microsoft is offering just one option. The Xbox Series X/S will have a 1TB Storage Expansion Card, which is a proprietary device from Microsoft. Installation of the storage device couldn’t be simpler, as it just plugs into a dedicated slot in the back of the Xbox Series X/S. Slot it into the console and you’re good to go. No need to pull the system apart and find the expansion bay hiding inside.
As far as external storage solutions go, Microsoft is offering pretty much the same features as Sony. The Xbox Series X/S will allow for both external SSD and HDD options, but again, there are limitations. You can use these drives to play original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games without any issue at all. Just plug them into the console and start the game right up. Unfortunately, you can’t use these external options to play Xbox Series X/S games. This means you’ll once again have to constantly move games back and forth between the hardware and your external option.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Microsoft has said some other storage solutions will be available for the Xbox Series X/S, but they haven’t revealed what those options are. They also haven’t mentioned when we can expect to learn those details.