Before the PS5 even launched publicly on November 12th, I had already run out of room on my SSD. Thanks to a smattering of review copies of games and using the SSD to optimize PS4 titles like Destiny 2, the scant 667.2 GB was eaten up rather quickly. Despite many other players coming up against the same limitations since the console launched last week, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan says that the company “isn’t hearing” any complaints from players about the PS5 storage limitations.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Ryan was asked about the PS5 storage space and if it was a problem for consumers. “We’re not hearing that. We’ll obviously watch what happens as people unbox their PlayStations and start to use them,” he said. “We think we’ll be okay. We obviously are able to monitor hard drive usage on the PS4 microscopically and everything that we saw there indicates that we should be fine.”
According to Ryan, data from most players about use of the PS4 hard drive space has led the company to conclude that the PS5’s available 667.2 GB isn’t an issue for players. However, massive game sizes and updates on day one are already leading people to hitting that limit. Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War takes up over 140 GB of space. Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales with Spider-Man Remastered is over 100 GB. Add in other launch titles like Godfall, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Watch Dogs: Legion, and a few others, many of which are over 50 GB, and you can see how quickly storage might be taken up.
PS4 games can be stored on and played from an external hard drive, though they won’t get the same kinds of benefits, particularly with load times, that they would have if installed directly to the SSD. Massive games like Call of Duty Warzone and Destiny 2 Beyond Light will be getting PS5 compatibility updates in December that will require direct SSD installation.
The other major issue is that players can’t use an external hard drive as cold storage for PS5 games—not to play, but to keep the game file on when not in use on the SSD. This requires players to delete and fully redownload games if they want to shuffle PS5 games around on the SSD to make space. Considering the impact PS5 and Xbox Series X are already having on internet data use and players’ data caps, redownloading massive game files is not an ideal solution for many people.
The PS5 will eventually support SSD storage expansions via an internal storage bay, though Sony said this feature is coming with a future update (and will require specific white-listed SSDs that can be used with Sony’s custom SSD controller). Storage expansions are also apt to be rather expensive given the high-end technology required. Most manufacturers aren’t currently making NVMe drives that would even be capable of keeping up with Sony’s PS5 tech.
Ryan defending the PS5’s diminutive storage space by citing PS4 storage data misses the bigger picture of the specific player experience around what limited storage space means. Games are reaching enormous sizes. Constant updates and living online games means it’s not as easy to justify deleting something off of your console. Worrying about whether or not you’ll have enough room for that next update is a stressful experience. Even getting physical disc-based games, you’ll have to install them to the SSD, taking up space.
Granted, the PS5 hasn’t even been fully launched yet. The UK and a few other regions will see their new consoles release this week, and excitement around the console and the launch are at a fever pitch with new games, the DualSense controller, and all of the benefits that the PS5 offers players. In all of that noise, maybe its easy to miss the people who are complaining about PS5 SSD storage limitations, but as the dust begins to settle, I expect talk about the SSD size and players hitting that cap will increase, even if it is just for a subset of people who play tons of games.
Have you reached the storage limit on your PS5? How much space do you have left on the SSD? Are you planning to get a storage expansion once Sony supports them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and help Sony “hear” any complaints about the PS5 SSD storage limits.