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Sony now lets you store — but not play — PS5 games on external hard drives

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The April update also adds new social features

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Sony has released its April update for the PlayStation 5, adding several key features to the next-generation console, including the long-awaited ability to store — but crucially, not play — PS5 games on an external hard drive.

The PS5 only offers 825GB of storage (with just 667GB of usable space when formatted with the operating system and other essential files), which means that even just a few massive next-gen games can quickly eat up your entire SSD. Sony has attempted to alleviate the issue by allowing players to stash backward-compatible PS4 titles on external drives, but until now, it hasn’t offered the same option for PS5 games.

Unfortunately, unlike PS4 titles, Sony won’t allow players to actually play those PS5 games from an external drive. “Because PS5 games are designed to take advantage of the console’s ultra high-speed SSD,” the company explains, you’ll still have to copy them back over to the console’s main SSD before you can play them. Still, Sony does say that the local data copy should be faster than reinstalling it from the internet or copying games from a disc.

All of this is still a stop-gap measure until Sony manages to enable the PS5’s M.2 expansion slot, which will eventually allow players to add usable extra storage that can both store and play next-generation games. There’s no news on that update in Sony’s announcement, but an earlier report from Bloomberg says that it’ll arrive this summer.

Along with the new storage option, the April update also adds several other key features to the PlayStation 5. There are better options for quickly disabling in-game chat on a system level — something that should help prevent the kinds of issues that dogged Destruction: AllStars at launch. Users can also adjust overly loud or quiet players individually.

Sony is also adding the option for players to search their library of purchased games, as well as the option to hide games in their library, which should help organization. There’s also a new feature for developers that will allow games to pre-download updates when the console is in rest mode for faster updates.

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