The PS5 is getting a major update to its user experience today, with a raft of new features being added to the console. The most obvious of which is that support is now being added for M.2 SSD storage expansion, allowing users to install more PS5 games to their consoles at once.
Users will now be able to buy third-party M.2 drives and add them to a small expansion bay within the PS5. Drives will have to match a stated specification and have a heat sink attached. Even presently it appears that 1TB drives can be had for around £170, that’s less than Microsoft’s official 1TB from Seagate. And prices are bound to fall further over time.
From an industry standpoint, it’s a boon. Games are only getting bigger and that’s especially a problem with the likes of Warzone, which many players will keep installed for the foreseeable future. Having more space for next-gen titles should ease one point of friction at least.
Sony is also beefing up its remote play capabilities. The console update comes alongside a PS Remote Play App update, which will allow players to stream their games over mobile connections. The technology to stream games has existed since the early days of the PS4 but with mobile support (plus new quality options to manage data usage) it can now be utilised anywhere.
Developers will be interested to hear (sorry) that there’s now support for 3D Audio from built-in TV speakers. This will allow many more players to experience the added immersion of such audio, without having to use headphones. The PS5 cleverly uses the microphone on the DualSense controller to measure room acoustics to optimise for their surroundings.
Last but not least are UX enhancements. The Control Centre (the icons accessed by tapping the PS button) can now be reorganised, so we can all move the power button to the start of the menu. In addition, PS4 and PS5 titles are now clearly delineated in menus. Game Base has been upgraded with easier messaging to friends and parties. And there’s some useful new accessibility shortcuts for the Screen Reader controls.
It’s a great update to the console with lots of useful additions. Now if we could just get native support for 1440p monitors…