PlayStation is not forcing you to get a SSD for your PS5

All weekend, I’ve been reading, and hearing is the sounds of gamers getting frustrated over the price of NVMe M.2 Gen 4.0 solid-state drives or SSDs for short. For those who haven’t been paying attention, a few months back, PlayStation had announced it was working on an OS update beta that would be available to a select few.

One of the features of this beta was enabling the dormant M.2 slot in the PlayStation 5. Every who had access to the beta claimed it was the best thing since sliced bread, and suddenly, everyone wanted it. Then as of September 15th, 2021, the OS update was made available to everyone. Suddenly everyone started looking for those magical SSDs in stores and released that those drives were damned expensive. Some even going as far as to blaming PlayStation for the insane prices.

Usually, I don’t subscribe to these pieces and tend to leave situations like this alone. However, in this instance, I find it utterly unacceptable that the number of people are going off like this is something new. So, here comes the salt — yes, it might be unhealthy for you or me.

FireCuda 530 Gen4 M.2 SSD header - PlayStation is not forcing you to get a SSD for your PS5

FireCuda 530 NVMe Gen4 M.2 SSD

They’re freaking expensive, yes they are. Why is that, I’m sure you’re wondering? Well, it’s new technology; NVMe M.2 Gen 4.0 SSDs have only recently been available on the market for a few months. Unlike what people believe, these SSDs aren’t just for the PlayStation 5; they’re used in PCs. Do you think it’s rough for console owners? You should talk to a PC gamer if you aren’t one. Even PC gamers had to look at those ridiculous prices, and now they’re competing with everyone who wants an M.2 drive for their PS5 and vice versa. And thanks to the current market, the current pandemic, and even people looking to make a quick buck by having people pay more than they should, it’s getting worse.

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Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for checking out the latest and greatest in tech. I live for that stuff. But don’t go around crying that PlayStation somehow screwed you over. Or that PlayStation is forcing you to get an expensive SSD for your PS5. That’s not the case at all. You don’t need to get that drive; it’s not the end of the world. Sure, it’s nice to have, but it’s not a must-have. You can wait, and I do recommend that many of you do wait.

Samsung 980 Pro NVMe M.2 Gen 2 SSD 1 e1632148375354 - PlayStation is not forcing you to get a SSD for your PS5

Samsung 980 Pro NVMe M.2 Gen 2 SSD

I’m sure by now you’re screaming at me and calling me all sorts of names, or maybe you agree with me. It makes no difference; either way, I’m just dropping some helpful knowledge here. The PS5 already has a built-in hard drive, and games run off it just fine. Yes, it’s not as large as it should have been, especially in this age where most games are purchased digitally. That, I blame entirely PlayStation. At the same time, they did it to keep the cost down, so there’s that. 

You can keep installing PS5 games onto the hard drive and uninstalling them when finished. That’s the beauty of having a digital game library. While the ugly side is games that are larger than they should be. There’s no getting around that either, as games are being released with high-def assets, making the games look amazing. We’ve come a long way from having 20GB games that we had back in the Xbox 360 and PS3 era, and that’s just the way it is. Don’t like it? Well, you’re stuck with it. Even physical games still need to install onto the PS5, so there’s no getting around this. Of course, digital games can be downloaded repeatedly, and as long as you don’t have a broadband data cap, you should be fine. If you do, then you’re pretty much stuck. 

WD SN850 770x513 1 - PlayStation is not forcing you to get a SSD for your PS5

Western Digital Black SN850 NMVe M.2 GEN 4 SSD

Lastly, and this is something I want to point out. Just because you may end up with a super expensive SSD, don’t assume your storage woes are over. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve upgraded my PC with larger hard drives and still ran out of space. Between my Steam, Epic Games Store, and Bethesda launcher, that 4GB drive was begging to be put out of its misery because I had installed everything I could. In the end, I still had to remove games when needed. A practice I still do to this day, and it’s something that console gamers should be used to by now. Bigger drives do not solve storage woes — trust me on that.

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Heck, compared to Xbox Series X|S owners, PS5 owners have it better. To upgrade the storage on an Xbox Series X|S, you need to spend $200 or more for just 1TB of space. You can pick up a 1TB NVMe M.2 Gen 4 SSD at that price, having multiple favors. Not to mention having spent less at the end. Think about that for a bit.


It’s not like PlayStation is holding a gun to your head and saying, “Buy it!”However, if you are in the market for an SSD for your PlayStation 5, check out our PS5 SSD buyer’s guide

About The Author

Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grind. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Yes, I am a black gaming journalist. Follow my antics on Twitter @Shadowhaxor.