PS5 system software beta adds M.2 SSD support, 3D audio for TVs, vertical trophy lists & much more

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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.

You’ll have to pop the side off your PS5 if you want to install an M.2 SSD expansion.

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.

The PS5 Control Centre will have more customisation options.

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.

Source: The Verge, Sony

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  1. Yeeeeh bizzle.

  2. So with all the problems with the PS5 UI, they’ve decided to fix a few little bits, add support for SSDs nobody will be able to afford just yet, and clog up the library with 2 versions of the same game when it was already quite clear which version you were playing and easy to switch between them? But not added useful things like folders?

    It’ll be interesting to see how the 3d audio from TVs works. And what it will do if you try it with a proper surround sound system. Can’t see why it wouldn’t work that way too.

    I like the idea of pinning trophies to the screen and tracking them. Useful for those “kill far too many of something” trophies.

    • The 3D audio on TV will simply output two channel audio with fancy processing to make it sound 3D wherever it is that the controller is. If that’s piped through to a surround sound system, it’ll be whatever that system does with basic stereo.

      • Surround sound systems can do odd things with stereo. As long as it’s just doing stereo, and not using the center speaker or the rear speaker (or any other odd combinations if you’ve got more than 5.1), it should work.

        Although people tend to put the speakers a lot further out than the TVs built in speakers. Would that screw it all up? I guess the calibrating with the DualSense mic might help. Probably find it works fine, but only if you’re sat in the right spot.

  3. I’d really like to see the option to sort trophies by game name, alphabetically. I wouldn’t have thought it would be too difficult….

    Oh, and folders, obviously.

  4. Awesome, been in need of the hard drive expansion since day one. Just a question of 1TB extra or 2? hmm

    • Yeah, I ran out of space pretty quickly but price is going to dictate which one I plump for. Most likely 1TB at most. These things are EXPENSIVE.

  5. I can’t really get excited about those minor fixes but i’m happy to see them begin rolling out improvements for the UI.

  6. Unfortunately good enough SSDs are too expensive so I won’t get one for now.

    Really pleased with the 3d audio for normal speakers. I like the 3d audio but don’t particularly like to game with headphones on.

    I’m quite pleased with UI changes.

    But the one and only thing I truly care about is to be able to put the PS5 in rest mode during a PS5 game and have it actually work. Currently it crashes the system half the time.

  7. It’s about time they do something about that rubbish PS5 UI. Hope it goes in the right direction, even if it sounds like being minor improvements only.

    • They’re ignoring the things people have been asking for, fiddling with a few little bits and adding a neat little feature with the trophy tracking.

      And going in completely the wrong direction with the cross-gen games. Currently, if you’ve got the PS4 and PS5 version installed, it’s clear which version you’re launching, and you can easily switch between them by pressing the options button (or whatever we’re supposed to call it now it’s just 3 lines) and using the menu that pops up. Now we’ll have 2 separate entries in the library (and on the homescreen if you’ve played both recently), and the order will presumably change depending on which version you’ve played most recently. The chances of launching the wrong version have just dramatically increased.

      All because some people allegedly have been confused by how complicated it is. Which it isn’t. It’s clearly marked with an icon to show you if you’re about to launch the PS4 version, and you get a clear choice of 1 or both versions to download when you buy a game on the store.

      At least we get a choice of which version to download and play. Which is nice to have, and necessary for VR games. No forced upgrades with Smart Devilry from Sony. And MS were supposed to be the ones good at backwards compatability.

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