February has been such a disappointing month for PlayStation fans who have been dying to see Sony’s PS5 announcement, but the coronavirus outbreak is partially responsible for tons of delays and cancellations when it comes to tech events and product launches. The Japanese tech giant is now two moves behind Microsoft, which unveiled the next-gen Xbox’s name and design in December and then stunned the world earlier this week with a surprise Xbox Series X hardware announcement. Sony might not be ready to make any PS5 announcements and the company won’t be present at PAX East or GDC this year, but we do have a huge new leak for PlayStation 5 fans following yesterday’s news that GameStop confirmed some important PlayStation 5 specs: The first PS5 accessory might’ve just been uncovered, and it appears to confirm even more key PS5 specs.
We’ve been looking at PS5 specs leaks for months, and we still don’t have a definitive answer to our biggest question: how much storage will the PS5 have? We know the PS5 will feature a custom next-gen SSD from Sony that will run at insanely fast speeds. That’s one of the biggest upgrades for the console, as it’ll significantly reduce game loading times and improve the entire PS5 experience. It’s also the kind of spec that will have a direct impact on the final price of the console. Common sense dictates that the PS5 will have 1TB of SSD storage at minimum, and some rumors said that Sony has been looking at 2GB options as well. But SSDs are still expensive, no matter how affordable they might seem compared to a few years ago.
Thanks to the other monstrous specs of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, game developers might be tempted to significantly increase the size of games, and we’ve already given you an example of a 100GB title that’s about to launch. Therefore, one of the first accessories you might buy for your PS5 will be an external SSD, especially if the PS5 disappoints when it comes to the amount of built-in SSD storage. Now, it turns out that a third-party accessory maker is going to demo one such product that seems to have been made specifically for the PS5.
That’s Patriot Gaming’s Viper PXD M.2 SSD PCIe 3.0 4x drive — the name is a mouthful, I know, but those details are important. This drive can support read and write speeds of up to 1GB/s over NVMe 1.3 with a USB-C connection, according to TweakTown.
Patriot will test the new Viper drive on a PS4 at Pax, and that’s already confirmed:
The brand-new Patriot PXD m.2 PCIe Type-C External SSD, the next generation of portable storage solutions, will be showcased and tested on the PlayStation 4 with Marvel’s Spider-Man video game. This PCIe m.2 based SSD over USB 3.2 Type-C connectivity brings superb speed and stability utilizing the Phison E13 PCIe controller, capacities from 512GB to 2TB.
But here’s the thing: there’s no USB-C port on the PS4, which means the drive has to connect to the console via USB-A. The PS4 only supports 625MB/s data transfers, which accounts for just 62% of the PXD’s capabilities. What’s going on here?
Getting back to the PS5, the console is rumored to feature a PCIe 4.0 SSD, which is even faster than PCIe models like the new Viper PXD. Theoretical speeds over PCIe could reach anywhere from 3GB/s to 6GB/s. Combine that with Patriot Gaming’s announcement, and it sure looks like the PS5 will have to feature at least one USB-C port on board. That’s right, it’s pretty clear that this device is meant to be a PS5 accessory as opposed to just a PS4 add-on.
Considering that storage space might be a growing concern on consoles in the coming years and that some companies are targeting gamers with gaming-only SSD drives, it would make sense for Sony to use USB-C on the next PlayStation for data transfers. Hopefully, USB-C will also be used for DualShock 5 battery charging, but that’s an entirely different subject.