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Sony’s latest PS5 update lets you put games on an external HD but you can’t play them

Hard drives are too slow for PS5 games.

Playstation 5 console and controller
Image: Sony

The first major update is coming tomorrow for the PlayStation 5 and it consists of a few interesting features. Maybe the most notable feature is that users will now be able to add external hard drives to their systems via USB. However, though adding these drives will increase the overall storage that you can have on a PS5, you actually won’t be able to play any PS5 games that are stored on the hard drive.

Even though this update will allow you to move PS5 games to an external hard drive for storage, the games are actually unplayable from the external drive. Because the PS5 utilizes the speed of an SSD, an external drive does not transfer data fast enough to allow for gaming directly from the drive.

Additionally, games cannot be directly downloaded to an external drive. A game must first be downloaded to the PS5’s internal SSD, and only then can the files be transferred to the external drive.

Playstation 5 external usb storage
Image: Sony

The storage expansion capabilities unlocked by this new update are relatively restrictive, but it does offer some level of convenience. It is much faster to transfer game files from an external drive to an internal SSD than it is to completely download the files, so there is some benefit to this feature. Users can transfer games that they are not currently playing from the SSD to an external drive and be able to access those games much more quickly in the future.

The PS5 is getting a few more new features as well

In addition to the new storage option, there are a couple of other interesting new features coming as part of this update. This update brings cross-generation Share Play which lets players see share screens and even gameplay with friends across PS5 and PS4 consoles. Additionally, Sony has tweaked and enhanced the UI and personalization options on the PS5 console.

The entire list of updates can be found on the PlayStation Blog. Sony again reassured everyone that there will be expandable storage on the inside of the PS5 in the form of an M.2 SSD that would allow for gameplay, but there is still no timetable for when we can expect that.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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