Sony was planning to expand the PS5 M.2 SSD before Gen4 SSDs hit the market
Sony started planning for M.2 external SSD support for the PlayStation 5 in 2018, roughly 2 years before the console launched.
There was a time when Sony was unsure whether the PS5 would support PCIe 4.0 SSD expansion. In fact, Sony was planning support as early as 2018, before the first PCIe Gen4 M.2 SSD hit the market. While he was designing the PS5 Marvell Titania 2 12-channel custom memory controller, high-speed configuration and advanced decompression technology, the game maker took a bet and decided to allow storage drives that did not yet technically exist in an effort to perpetuate the PS5. The bet worked, and the PS5 now supports super-fast PC-grade SSDs exceeding 7 Gb / s.
“We knew that whatever capacity we put in the machine as storage, one day you will hit capacity. We wanted to offer options. It was important for us to allow users to upgrade the capacity. We designed the M.2 SSD feature in 2018. At that time, we weren’t sure whether Gen4 SSDs were coming or not, but we thought they were, “ SIE SVP of Platform Experience Hideaki Nishino said in a PlayStation Blog Interview.
“We [Mark Cerny, Nishino, and the rest of the team] debated and discussed. We finally decided, ‘yes, let’s do this.’ This will open the door for users to expand and improve the capabilities of the PS5. So that’s the behind-the-scenes conversation that we’ve had internally, and I’m glad we can deliver it now for the holiday season. “
Support for PC-grade Gen4 SSD will ensure the PS5 has durable, reliable and lightning-fast storage solutions worthy of a passionate console. This way the PS5 looks more like a PC and while there is technically no need to insert a super-fast SSD like a Firecuda 530 or a WD_Black SN850 for now, future games should take advantage of all the the power and flexibility of Gen4 storage.