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New PS5 Memory Confirms Our Worst Fears

When it comes to the next-gen consoles, storage space has turned into a hot topic as of late. Both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will include speedy SSDs, and for the moment, those internal drives are much faster than anything widely available on the market.

This has led Microsoft and Sony to approach storage expansion in different ways. Microsoft, for instance, teamed up with Seagate to produce a plug-and-play expansion card that rings up at an astounding $220 for 1 TB. Sony, on the other hand, opted for a more open approach, enabling users to install their own expansion drive so long as it meets the minimum speed requirements.

PlayStation fans hoped that Sony's method would result in cheaper storage prices. After all, proprietary typically means more expensive, right? Vita owners know that all too well. As it turns out, however, PS5-compatible storage may cost more than many previously expected.

The Western Digital SN850 is an NVMe SSD that, according to an image shared by Push Square, appears to be compatible with the PlayStation 5. By the looks of it, it hits all the marks necessary to keep up with the PlayStation 5's insanely fast I/O speeds. It seems this is definitely something you could drop into your PS5, so long as you're okay with opening the console up and installing it yourself.

What's catching a lot of people off guard, however, is the drive's price. It comes in three flavors: 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. If you want to expand your drive by the same 1 TB Microsoft offers in its Xbox Series X expansion card, the Western Digital SN850 will run you $230. Yes, that is $10 more expensive than the Series X's proprietary solution.

There's no reason to expect drives like this one will stay expensive forever. As Push Square helpfully points out, "as the market matures, competition between manufacturers will drive prices down considerably." That's how these things typically go. As time passes and these drives become cheaper to manufacture — and as more competitors get into the mix — prices will likely come down.

Still, for those who thought they'd simply jump on Amazon and order a reasonably priced SSD for their PlayStation 5, this has to be a little bit jarring. You can't blame Sony for requiring top-of-the-line SSD speeds for its new console, as games will benefit tremendously. But some gamers almost certainly had the expectation that, because Sony was being more open with storage expansion, the act of actually upgrading storage wouldn't cost as much.

All is not lost as of now. Western Digital is the first company out of the gate with what appears to be a PS5-compatible SSD, but others could come out with their own products in the near future. Depending on how things shake out, competition could heat up fairly quickly, and perhaps the cost of these drives could come down as a result.

There's also room for Sony to try and come up with a solution of its own if SSD prices remain high. Even if it simply purchased a bunch of storage drives from another manufacturer in bulk and slapped the PlayStation logo on them, it could potentially offer those at a cheaper price than what'll be available from Western Digital and other companies like it.

It's possible console storage will continue to be a topic of discussion as both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 gear up for launch. With the next-gen consoles targeting 4K right out of the gate, games could end up consuming a lot more storage space than owners of the base Xbox One and PlayStation 4 models are used to.

It's worth noting, though — if these higher-speed SSDs seem too expensive — that both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will support USB external drives for game storage only. If you're okay with keeping your next-gen game collection on an external drive, moving titles to internal storage when you want to play them, you can get around having to buy the latest-and-greatest SSD.

In fact, if you want to move your games to one of the next-gen machines after they launch, using such a drive might not be a bad idea. You can transfer titles from your old machine over to your external drive, transfer them from that to your Xbox Series X or PS5, and save yourself a whole lot of downloading.

We'll have our eyes peeled for more info on compatible storage drives for the PS5. Until then, stay tuned.