Back in the day it was pretty standard to get a cartridge or a disk, insert it into your console of choice and just play - you'd have a memory card to store your save games on, and there were never any game patches... what you got is what you'll always have. I still have my original Playstation 1 in its beige glory with a collection of PS1 games as well as my original memory cards and I still fire it up every now and then to experience the nostalgia. These days however games not only don't fit on a 660mb disk, but as soon as you fire them up you'll likely get a large update taking up multiple gigabytes on your consoles smallish SSD and not long after downloading multiple games on your Playstation 5 you'll likely be like me totally out of space.
PNY however have released a rather compelling solution for this problem knowing full well that PS5 owners can literally buy almost any NVMe SSD within spec and install it into their PS5 themselves... It's great to have that flexibility to add fast storage without any extra tax (sorry Xbox owners!). It's really easy to install yourself and Sony even have a guide to do this Here.
When I got my XLR8 kit for my PS5 it came with a 2tb XLR8 CS3140 x4 NVMe SSD along with a heatsink. I popped this SSD into my PC and ran some read-write tests on it and got an average read AND write speed of 7gb/sec which is crazy quick (the official spec calls for 7,500MB/s Seq. Read and 6,850MB/s Seq. Write) and at that stage I was rather tempted to pop the SSD into my PC and call it a day but my PS5 was complaining it was out of space so the deed had to be done...
Installation, following Sony's guide was crazy simple. Basically remove the PS5's plastic plate, pop the SSD cover off and install the SSD and heatsink (the heatsink is important! You can't skip this unless if you like overheating) - everything you need, excluding the screwdriver is included with the heatsink, the heatsink itself replaces the cover for the compartment:
Once installed and your PS5 is booted it prompts you to format the SSD and runs a quick test to confirm the speed of the SSD is good enough for PS5 gaming - in my case, the PS5 presented me a read speed of 5.5gb/sec which going from the above test is a little slower but there are several factors to SSD speed such as how it is formatted, and how the test is run, it could be quite simply the PS5 doesn't do a long enough test to allow for ramp-up.
The next test came with shifting the game my partner was playing at the time (Farcry 6) over from the internal SSD to the NVMe drive and testing if she noticed any difference - in a week of playing (and not telling her) she didn't notice any difference with game play. In my case I tried Ratchet & Clank a rift apart (one designed for a very fast SSD) along with Astro's Adventure and comparing the internal SSD and the NVMe drive I could not tell a single difference in load times. During gaming the SSD's heatsink remained cool and I did not notice any more fan noise coming from the PS5. In the PS5's interface you're able to shift games easily from the internal SSD to the NVMe drive with ease.
Pricing in New Zealand for the CS3140 SSD appears to be around $649.00. It isn't cheap, but for console gamers it is a great addition if you wish to keep more games installed on your console ready for that rainy day. With titles like Gran Turismo 7 coming out soon which I'd expect to be a rather large game the need for more space for game storage is as important than ever.
You can find more information on the SSD here: https://www.pny.com.tw/en/products-detail/cs3140-m2-nvme-ssd/
And more information on the heatsink here: https://www.pny.com.tw/en/products-detail/PS5-SSD-heatsink/