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In a blog post, senior vice president of platform experience Hideaki Nishino announced that the second major software update for PS5 will launch tomorrow, September 15. The full rollout follows a lengthy beta period that allowed select users to test the update’s new features.
“The update includes a variety of enhancements to the PS5 console experience as well as 3D audio support for built-in TV speakers,” Nishino writes. “It also features M.2 SSD storage expansion, which enables PS5 players to store and play PS5 games, PS4 games, and media apps directly from the expanded high-speed storage.”
It’s that last point that will be most exciting for many PlayStation owners. Although the Solid State Drive (SSD) expansion bay has been accessible since the PS5 launched, the console’s system software wouldn’t recognise anything installed in it until now.
Given the PS5 only has 825GB onboard storage, and close to 160GB of that is used for system files, that only leaves players with a rather miserly 667.2GB of space to install games on. Although an external storage drive could be used to store PS5 or PS4 games, only PS4 games can be played from one, meaning plenty of frustrating juggling of space to move PS5 games around.
Once the September Update is live, drives between 250GB and 4TB will be supported by the PS5, offering a potentially massive boost in onboard storage space. Unlike external drives, PS5 games will be able to natively run from a new internal drive.
While installing a new M.2 SSD requires a little technical know-how, it’s not the hardest upgrade to perform. Sony has also provided a dedicated guide page to explain how to perform the installation, and details the specifications of the drives players will need to buy. It’s worth keeping in mind that any SSD one might install will need to include a heat-sink to help with cooling.
The downside is that M.2 SSD drives can be pricey, and must be purchased separately. At time of writing, a top-end 4TB Corsair drive is ~£490 ($680 USD).
The PS5 update will also introduce support for 3D audio through TV speakers. Players will need to enable this in the PS5’s sound menu, then measure the acoustics of their room using the DualSense controller’s built-in microphone, optimising the result for each space. Other sound updates include an equalizer for the Pulse 3D headset, allowing for greater audio controls for the wireless earphones.
Smaller improvements include tweaks to the console’s user experience, including a customisable Control Center – the row of icons at the bottom of the PS5 screen – and enhanced messaging through the Game Base app, and a clearer distinction between PS5 and PS4 games installed on the console. Sadly, there’s still no option to turn the console off by long-pressing the PS button on the controller, a missing feature that still baffles.
In other news, Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima has said he wants to make games that “change in real-time”, and that “change based on where [a] person lives, and that person’s unique perspective.”