As the PS5 review embargo lifts around the world, we’re getting tons of information about Sony’s next-gen console. To round it all off, the PlayStation 5 is an excellent console that provides a true next-gen experience that the Xbox Series X sorely lacks at this point. With that said, both the Xbox Series X and PS5 take a very different approach to the next-generation of console hardware.
While the Xbox is all about the seamless transition and blurring the lines between generations, the PS5 draws a clear line in the sand. With a brand-new UI, a completely redesigned controller, and a different design direction, PlayStation is the place to be if you want a traditional next-gen experience at launch. However, despite a great start to the PS5’s life, the console comes with some strange caveats that just don’t make any sense.
The PS5 storage solution is still a mystery at launch
One of the major points of contention for this generation has been the storage solution for both consoles. Even though both the Xbox Series X|S and PS5 carry blazing-fast SSDs inside, the one on the PlayStation 5 has been touted to be on another planet. With speeds that are even faster than most high-end PC SSDs, the PS5’s SSD has been showered with praise.
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Conversely, this cutting-edge performance of the PS5 SSD leaves it in a strange position. Since there aren’t many SSDs out there that match the PS5 spec, you can’t really expand the new console’s storage. Sony has already confirmed that you won’t be able to add an additional SSD to your console’s bay at launch due to compatibility reasons. And, with the measly 664 GB that’s left for you to play with after OS reserves, there isn’t much space left for games.
In addition to that, the promise of next-gen games being smaller in size hasn’t materialized either with games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War going the opposite direction. Keeping this in mind, Microsoft has allowed Xbox Series X players to store their next-gen games away in an external HDD. And even though these games cannot be played directly off the HDD, this somewhat alleviates the hassle of having to delete and redownload games over and over again.
Sony’s decisions with the PS5 can sometimes be baffling
On the PS5 side though, things are much uglier. Initially uncovered by Shannon Grixti at Press Start, we have confirmation that you cannot store your PS5 games on an external HDD even if you wanted to. This means that if you’re running out of space and want to temporarily make space for something new, you’d have to delete your game. There is literally no way for you to preserve that game in any external storage for visiting later.
Not being able to run your PlayStation 5 games off an external HDD is reasonable. However, not even allowing players to store those on any external media is just an extremely bizarre move by Sony that just doesn’t make any sense.
What makes all of it even more baffling though is the fact that external HDDs do work for PS4 games, both as storage and as playable media. So, the capability of storing games externally is present there but for some reason, Sony has decided to block it off to players.
And, with no option to purchase any external storage at launch and limited 664 GB space on the internal SSD, it looks like shuffling through your game library is going to be a pain on the PS5.
Perhaps Sony doesn’t want people to dig into PS5 game files and break DRM protection, or maybe they’ve blocked this feature for an entirely different reason. The fact of the matter is that this just sucks for players who want to keep more than 4 games on their PlayStation 5 at a time.
Missing features could turn into dealbreakers for many
In spite of being a very capable console, the PS5 just comes with these little annoyances that tarnish the magical next-gen experience. It doesn’t just stop at the storage confusion either. For instance, the PlayStation 5 seemingly doesn’t support Variable Refresh Rate either which is just utterly astonishing since the AMD tech inside the console is fully capable. With more and more next-gen games trying to achieve that 120 FPS mark, not having VRR is just insane and it just doesn’t make any sense at all.
Not only that, but the PlayStation 5 also hasn’t really shown its faster SSD advantages over the Xbox Series X either with the latter actually managing to launch most third-party games faster. And, that metric doesn’t even factor in the advantage that Xbox has with its currently exclusive quick resume feature. Furthermore, the PlayStation 5 doesn’t support 1440P output either which is a bummer for everyone gaming on a monitor.
Individually, all of these feature omissions may not seem much and you may think that these complaints are superfluous ramblings of a fanboy. However, the fact of the matter is that these things do add up and they will eventually affect your gaming experience one way or another.
Having said that, a lot of these issues are very much fixable and I hope Sony doesn’t just ride the wave of unbridled confidence and actually listens to its player base to make things right.
Is any of these missing features from the PS5 a dealbreaker for you? Let us know down in the comments below!