Since the PS5's release in November 2022, it's enjoyed widespread success and popularity. According to Sony, the console had the largest launch in PlayStation history, outpacing the PS4 which sold 2.A million units in only under fourteen days. In late 2022, Sony announced the PS5 had managed to sell over 13 million units worldwide by September 2022. Since its launch, the PS5 hardware has remained largely unchanged so far.
Any future PS5 hardware revisions should address more common problems that will make living with a PS5 easier. Especially, Sony should make it simpler for gamers to expand console storage, an issue that will get bigger because the PS5 ages and gamers are forced to expand storage to support their growing libraries.
The Problem Using the PS5's Storage Expansion
Gamers can upgrade the PS4's storage, but it could be a tedious process based on which route is taken. External storage could be expanded by connecting another hard drive via USB, however fans lost on the benefits of an SSD by doing this. Expanding internal storage is a tad tricker, also it needs a few tools. Adding an internal expansion is not necessarily difficult, but exposing the guts of the console is definitely an intimidating experience for some.
The PS5 does have improvements on the PS4, and expanding storage feels rather less like surgery. Gamers can attach another HDD or SSD via USB, or even the internal storage can be expanded using the PS5's NVMe M.2 SSD expansion slot. Accessing internal storage is simpler on PS5, as the console's faceplates are simple to remove. When the back faceplate is removed, the storage slot is definitely located.
In an era where consumers demand user-friendliness from products, it's surprising that Sony still requires fans to open up their console. It's a large ask for those who are less confident or are concern about messing up their console. This problem is created worse when one compares the PS5 to the Xbox Series X/S, that provides a far simpler solution.
The way the Xbox Series X/S Makes Storage Expansion Easier
Microsoft makes storage expansion incredibly easy with the Xbox Series X/S. Gamers can expand storage using an external SSD or HDD via USB, or they can expand internal storage using a proprietary SSD expansion card that can be slotted in to the back of both versions of Microsoft's current generation consoles. Unlike the PS5, there is no need to get rid of any external cover, nor do gamers have to fiddle using the hardware in any way.
Although the Xbox Series X/S' storage expansion options are far more convenient compared to PS5's, some criticisms could be waged against Microsoft's prices, using the 2TB SSD card carrying a lofty tag of $399. This removes lots of freedom from gamers, as with the PS5, gamers can pick between budget SSDs or pricier SSDs that advertise better performance. Nevertheless, Xbox Series X/S' simplicity when it comes to storage expansion is impressive, and there is a lot that Sony can learn from its competitor.
How Sony Can Make Storage Expansion Easier
Outside of releasing a new form of the PS5, there is not much Sony can perform to drastically change how the console handles storage expansion. However, there are a few minor yet effective changes that are possible with future PS5 hardware revisions.
Ideally, the PS5 could emulate some facets of the Xbox Series X/S and utilize proprietary cards that can be slotted in. Considering that many players have committed to different SSDs already, it might be necessary for Sony to aid both the traditional approach to storage expansion and also the new proprietary-based expansion method. Admittedly, this option likely lies beyond the realm of only console revision, but it will be a way of providing a simpler way of storage expansion while still allowing gamers to utilize other SSD manufacturers when they choose.
By default, the PS5 includes 825GB SSD internal storage. This initially appears like plenty of room, but there are several points to consider. Firstly, not every the PS5's space for storage is available, so only 667GB is usable. Secondly, while it might be sufficient at the outset of one's time with the PS5, game libraries naturally expand which necessitates greater space for storage. Most are running out of space already, or they will soon. Consequently, more and more gamers will discover themselves needing to expand the PS5's console storage, and they will encounter the inherent anxiety about opening a $500 console.
Future hardware revisions really are a given as Sony discovers ways to make minor improvements and manufacture PS5s cheaper and more efficiently. There have also been rumors of Sony planning a new version of the PS5 which sources simpler to manufacture parts to alleviate the global stock shortage. As the relatively new PS5 may not need a PS5 "pro" at this time, a new version release would keep with Sony's pattern of releasing "slim" hardware upgrades a couple of years into a console's lifetime. Whatever Sony decides to do with future versions from the PS5, some attention ought to be paid to storage expansion convenience, an element of the console which feels more complicated than it needs to be.