Now that PlayStation Plus has updated its subscription service to a tiered model, a lot of you might be wondering how you’re going to download so many stellar games into what’s now looking like an itty bitty internal storage size of 667GB. Well, that’s why we’re here to tell you why it’s so worth investing in a speedy SSD for your PS5.
In case you haven’t heard, PlayStation has revised its Plus subscription to include three new tiers: Essential, Extra and Deluxe. While you can sign for a minimum period of one month, three months or a whole year, you’ll find that each of the benefits differ depending on which tier you choose.
The Essential subscription offers the same benefits that members get today, starting from $11.95 for a single month. However, the Extra subscription includes all of the current benefits, plus a catalogue of up to 400 PS4 and PS5 games that you can download to play. Meanwhile, hardcore PS fans can choose the Deluxe sub, which will give you all of the aforementioned benefits plus a catalogue of nostalgia-inducing games from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations. If you want to know exactly which games are available to download, check out the list that David wrote here.
Cool, so what does all this have to do with an external drive? Well chums, while the PS5’s hard drive has an internal SSD of 825GB, it actually only has 667GB available for games. That can fill up pretty quickly, and assuming that many of you will upgrade your subscription to the PlayStation Plus Extra tier (at the very least), you’re probably going to spend days downloading as much as possible to your internal library.
Those who live on a diet on AAA games (special mention to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for consuming a whopping 130GB of my storage), it’s a no-brainer that you can fill up that storage space pretty quickly.
If you want to save as much of the PS5’s precious ultra-high-speed space as possible, then storing your games on a portable SSD is something you should look into. Luckily, there are a few solid options out there.
How to store your games on an SSD?
If you’ve been lucky enough to own a PS5 since launch, then you’ll know that this feature wasn’t available right away. It wasn’t until a software update in April 2021 that you were able to transfer your PS5 games to an external drive for storage
In the announcement for this software update, Sony did note that it’ll be “faster to reinstall PS5 games from USB extended storage than to re-download or copy them from a disc.” You won’t be able to play your PS5 from an external drive, however.
But you can both store and play PS4 games from an external drive. If you’re looking to move any PS4 or PS5 games over to your new console you’ll need to format your portable SSD as Extended Storage, which you can do through the PS5’s Storage settings.
A few SSD options for your PS5 games
If you’re looking to grab a portable SSD, but aren’t sure what’s worth picking up, we’ve collected a few suggestions below. Even if you don’t currently have a PS5, they’re a handy thing to have in general.
Before you buy a portable SSD, you should consider the type of games you usually play. If you’re someone who needs all of the big AAA titles, a 1TB SSD might not go as far as you’d like. As mentioned before, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War clocks in at a huge 130GB, while the PS5 version of NBA 2K21 is 114GB. That’s almost a solid quarter of your SSD full in just two games. It’s better to have the space and not need it, than need the space and not have it.
As a general rule of thumb, always go with the SSD option over a HD. While you can get a portable HD with more storage for cheaper, you’ll be sacrificing some crucial transfer speeds. You’re better off buying an SSD, because they’ll effortlessly outperform any HD – especially if you plan on playing PS4 games directly from the drive.
While you can go for the cheaper Samsung T5, it only has read and write speeds of up to 540 MB/s and 520 MB/s, so if you want something a bit speedier to cut down on transfer times, Samsung’s T7 range might be the go.
When it comes to buying a portable SSD, Samsung’s T7 is a solid, reliable choice that won’t blow out your wallet. You can currently grab the Samsung T7 with 2TB of space here for $369.
The Samsung T7 is the upgraded version of the T5, with read and write speeds of up to 1,050MB/s and 1,000 MB/s. This is a very good price considering that most other Australian retailers sell this drive for somewhere in the range of $499 to $599.
Be it internal or external, WD Black are always a safe bet when it comes to SSDs. The P50 Pro Game Drive SSD packing 500GB is $259, while the 1TB one has much better value at $284. Either way, both are optimised to be used as game storage. With read speeds of up to 2000MB/s, you’ll get some super fast transfer and loading times . This WD Black SSD is currently on sale through Amazon for $284, so you can save yourself around $80 to $180 when compared to other retailers.
This article has been updated since its original publication.