Sony has released their first PlayStation 5 system software beta, a huge update that delivers on a number of pre-release promises. Amongst the highlights are M.2 SSD expansion support, Tempest 3D AudioTech for speakers, and more customisation options for the main UI.
In an FAQ, Sony has provided details for how to upgrade the PlayStation 5’s internal storage with an M.2 SSD. The PS5 supports drives between 250GB and 4TB in size, but they must have a sequential read speed of 5,500 MB/s or greater. Essentially, while Sony does not provide a list of validated options and does not guarantee that a drive meeting this spec will work, you will be looking at high-end SSDs like the Samsung 980 Pro or Western Digital SN850.
Sony also recommends having “effective heat dissipation with a cooling structure, such as a heatsink,” whether the drive comes with one or you look for an aftermarket alternative. They have some guidelines on how large such heatsinks can be.
Once installed, you can freely select the M.2 SSD as the default installation location under Settings > Storage > Installation Location, can can move items to the M.2 SSD through the Options button menu when selecting a title in the Game LIbrary.
For more details on the M.2 SSD expansion, head to Sony’s official FAQ.
As well as the M.2 SSD support, the PS5 beta software introduces Tempest 3D AudioTech support for built-in TV speakers. If you’re wondering how it works, the console will use the DualSense controller’s built-in microphone to measure the acoustics of the room in order to apply a 3D audio setting, once you’ve selected the option in the PS5 system settings. Smart!
For day-to-day use, the fundamental PS5 software is being enhanced with further customisation options. The pop-up Control Centre will now let you rearrange and choose the controls more freely, and you’ll have quicker access to view and write messages to other people from the Game Base section. Oh, and you’ll be able to see how many friends are online more directly.
After months of mild confusion surrounding cross-gen games and the version of the game you are installing and playing, Sony has decided to throw the towel in and simply have the different PS4 and PS5 versions of games appear as individual entries in the home screen and the game library. The library will also default to the ‘Installed’ tab, so you can more quickly get to the games that are immediately playable on your console.
Oh, and Sony has also ditched the single silliest part of the PS5 interface: horizontal trophy lists. Trophies will now display vertically instead of horizontally, so you can actually see what each trophy is. You can track up to five trophies per game in a new Control Centre feature, which will also let you pin the trophies to the side of the screen when playing.
While Sony has taken their time with system updates since the PS5 launch, this is an absolute whopper, and a great way to kick off the console beta program.