PS5 software beta finally allows SSD installation and 3D audio on TVs

Be warned: upgrading your PS5's SSD takes a lot of steps

A new software beta update on PS5 will finally allow users to make use of console functions that should have been available at launch.

Of all the updates, the most significant one is being able to make use of the PS5’s M.2 SSD expansion slot, which means more storage can be added on top of the console’s base 825GB storage.

It should be noted that upgrading storage is not as straightforward as the expansion cards for Xbox Series X|S, which plug in similarly to classic memory cards.


Playstation 5
PlayStation 5. Credit: Ben Walker / Sony Interactive Entertainment

On the official PlayStation website, users are given a thorough guide on how to add an M.2 SSD to the PS5, which first requires a well-lit room with a table to work on, a #1 Phillips or cross-head screwdriver, and a small flashlight (optional), before detailing a 12-step instruction guide on how to install the SSD.

Without an official SSD available, users will have to look for off-the-shelf providers. However, there are also very specific requirements, notably that the SSD needs a read-speed of 5.5 GB/s or faster (therefore matching the PS5’s internal SSD) to make it compatible with PS5 games.

SSDs will also need to be fitted with a heatsink to prevent overheating which also needs to be able to fit into the slot provided in the PS5, the total height not more than 11.25mm.

Fortunately, third party manufacturers are beginning to confirm which products are compatible, including Seagate‘s FireCuda 530, as well as Western Digital‘s WD_BLACK SN850, both which come attached with a heatsink.

Upgrading the PS5 storage is also expensive, with the cheapest 500GB SSD priced around £140, while 1TB storage is over £200.


PlayStation 5 3D Pulse Wireless Headset. Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Another addition in the update is that PS5’s 3D audio technology will now also work on external speakers, which will use the DualSense controller’s built-in microphone in order to map out the room’s acoustics and create the sense of immersive sound without any surround sound equipment.

3D audio had previously been limited to headphones, which would nullify the use of audio coming from the DualSense controller.

Other improvements include more personalisation in the Control Center interface, while PS5 users can view and write messages to friends and parties from the Game Base in the Control Center.

After some confusion over PS4 and PS5 versions of games, the update will also list these versions separately in the home screen and game library, indicating whether it’s PS4 or PS5.

These updates are currently only available for users who have registered for the PS5 software beta.

Elsewhere, Horizon Forbidden West is reportedly “leaning toward” a delay to 2022.