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You can't install PS5 games on external storage [Update]

PS5 has a killer limitation that may prove problematic if left unresolved.

Update: Following the publication of this story, Sony published an updated FAQ covering everything the PS5 offers. In it, the platform holder confirmed that it's looking into allowing players to store PS5 games on external USB drives.

"Explorations for allowing players to store (but not play) PS5 games on a USB drive in a future update are underway," the blog post reads.

This is good news, though we do hope the feature arrives sooner rather than later.

You can read the original story below.

Original story: Drive space is at a premium for both PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Microsoft's solution allows players to essentially use slower external drives as cold storage; moving rarely played games to them and copying them back when they want to play them.

Sony's solution, well, there isn't one. As we've noted in our PS5 review, PS5 only has 667GB of usable storage out of the box. The internal drive is meant mostly for PS5 games, but you can install PS4 games onto it.

The kicker, however, is that PS5 games cannot be moved onto the external drive. The console UI only lets you move PS4 games back and forth, but that transfer menu doesn't even list PS5 games.

It's possible that this will change when Sony allows us to install NVMe SSDs into the expansion slot sometime after launch, but even then, NVMe prices will likely keep many away for years.

Supporting cold storage is going to be increasingly necessary the deeper into the generation we get. Players with metered connections, and those who shuffle a bunch of games will find it very hard to stick only with internal storage.

Xbox Series X/S, of course, both offer that ability on day one, so it's disappointing to see Sony miss out there. The good news, for now at least, is that your PS4 games could go on the external drive, so you should have a couple of hundred gigabytes free for more PS5 games.

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Sherif Saed avatar

Sherif Saed

Staff Writer

Whether it's news, reviews, or interviews - Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He plays shooters more than a sane person should, and occasionally has the skills to show for it.

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