PlayStation 5 Finally Gets M.2 Expandable Storage Support in September Software Update

Along with a slew of new features.

Fans have been longing for PlayStation to finally unlock the M.2 slot in their PS5s for expandable storage. Sony sort of listened and enabled the feature in beta with a very particular set of requirements few back ago. Still, only a select few were able to test this feature and the general public was sitting duck. Well, it’s time to rejoice as the the system’s second major software update, releasing on September 15th, finally adds M.2 support allowing you to expand your system’s storage. Oh, and, there’s a lot more in this update than just that.

3D Audio for TV Speakers

Before we get into the meat of this pie, let’s brush over the other features Sony has added in this update, and there’s a lot of those. Undoubtedly, the most notable addition is 3D Audio support for TV speakers. Now, you’ll be able to leverage the Tempest Engine‘s power and enjoy 3D Audio on your TV’s native speakers. The latest update will allow you turn audio coming from your dual-channel speakers into a three-dimensional soundscape.

3D Audio for TV Speakers – Source: PlayStation

3D audio has been supported with headsets since launch but tomorrow’s update marks the first time it will be available on TV speakers. To actually use 3D audio, you’ll have to acoustically measure your room, which is basically layman for “room correction“. The microphone in your DualSense controller will be used to measure the acoustics of the room and optimize the sound accordingly.

Pulse 3D Headset EQ

That’s not the only new audio feature in this update. The Pulse 3D Wireless Headset now has EQ functionality! You can go into Sound Controls and access an equalizer that allows you to tune the sound profile to your liking. There are presets for your ease, but if you prefer getting down to the nitty-gritty, manual control is also available. Keep in mind that EQ settings are available for only the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset.

Pulse 3D Headset Equalizer – Source: PlayStation

User Interface Changes

Moving on, there is a plethora of UI tweaks in this update. Let’s check them all off one by one. Firstly, the Control Centre can now be customized with different options. Players can chose which options will be displayed on the top of the screen and which will be hidden at the bottom. You’ll also be able to rearrange the controls and sort them in the order you want.

PS5 Control Center customization – Source: PlayStation

Game Base Enhancements

Secondly, tomorrow’s update adds the ability to message friends and parties directly from Game Base in the Control Center. Moreover, you’ll also be able to see which and how many of your friends are online, busy, or offline in the Game Base, as well as accept, decline, or cancel multiple friend requests at the same time. Finally, if you’re the party owner, you will now have the options to delete the party without having to kick each member individually. And the best part? This particular feature is actually making its way to both PS4 and PS5.

Platform Clarity

For players who own both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the same game, you will now be able to distinguish between them more clearly. The game will be split into two separate tiles in the Installed tab of the Game Library with each tile showing the game’s platform with a small badge indicating whether it’s the PS4 or PS5 version. Same goes for the homepage where the game will appear in two different tiles for each version.

Screen Reader Update

PS5’s accessibility feature, “Screen Reader” is also getting an upgrade in this update. Players will now be able to pause (and resume) the Screen Reader by pressing the PS Button + Triangle. You can also have it repeat anything it just read by pressing the PS Button + R1 bumper.

PS5 Screen Reader functionality – Source: PlayStation

PlayStation Now Resolution Quality

PlayStation Now users can now manually select the streaming resolution for whatever game they’re playing individually. Players can select from either 720p or 1080p depending on their preferred resolution and internet bandwidth. Speaking of which, there’s a new Connection Test option in PS Now as well to help you identify your internet’s streaming capabilities and troubleshoot any network problems.

Leader Accolade Type

PS5’s Accolades feature has always been a standout to me. It’s such a genius and intuitive way to reward the players who’re truly a positive influence in the community without being on the nose about it. So far, there have been only three Accolade types available for players to choose from: Helpful, Good sport, and Welcoming. Tomorrow’s update adds a new type: Leader. Now, if someone you met in a round of Fortnite had been a particularly good commander and lead you to victory, you can award them for their service.

Accolades on PS5 – Source: PlayStation

Automatic “Personal Best” Videos

PS5 already recorded and saved a small clip of your gameplay when you earned a trophy but Sony is taking this feature once step beyond and further building upon it. Now, whenever you achieve a personal best in a game, such as beating a high score or a lap time in a racing game, the PS5 will capture a small video of the action automatically. You’ll be able to share these personal best videos directly from the Control Center, along with the Media Gallery. The feature can be customized and even turned off if you want from the Captures and Broadcast settings.

PS5 will automatically capture “best of” videos for you – Source: PlayStation

New Trophy Tracker

Finally, we arrive at the last UI enhancement of this update. Usually, it’s best to end on a banger but to be honest, this isn’t the most thrilling of improvements. Sony has added a new Trophy Tracker that will now let you access up to 5 trophies per game at the same time via the Control Center. Again, not exactly the most exciting addition but a welcomed one nonetheless.

The new PS5 Trophy Tracker – Source: PlayStation

M.2 SSD Support

After months of impatient waiting, Sony has heard the fans’ cries and is ready to give them what they want. Almost 10 months after launch, the PS5 is finally getting support for expandable storage. The M.2 slot will be unlocked with this update, opening the door for many storage opportunities. No more deleting and re-installing games, now you can just buy an overpriced M.2 SSD and enjoy your favorite titles right from it. The M.2 SSD will allow you to to downloads, copy, and play PS5 and PS4 games, along with media apps such as Netflix and Spotify. You can either play directly off the M.2 SSD or transfer the games between the internal and external storage to your heart’s content.

PS5 M.2 slot populated with an SSD with a heatsink – Source: PlayStation

Before you go and buy the cheapest M.2 SSD available on Amazon, you need to be well-aware of the requirements. Sony has set a strict code for what qualifies as PS5-compatible and what doesn’t. There are size and performance standard that the M.2 SSD needs to match in order to work on the PS5. You can check out the official requirements here. That being said, Sony’s guidelines seem a bit too stern as many people in the community have tested drives that should’ve been incompatible on paper, yet worked like a charm in real life. I wrote an article about this whole expandable storage debacle, comparing the two starkly different routes Microsoft and Sony had chosen to combat this issue. Check it out to get some insight on why Sony’s approach to expansion is inferior to Microsoft’s, at least for now.

PlayStation App and Remote Play Updates

Before I sign off, I have to talk about the PlayStation mobile apps as they’ve gotten some love too in this update, even though they’re technically not getting this exact update, it’s just the timing that matches—You know what, you get the point.

By far, the most prominent change here is seen in the PS Remote Play app. Now, you can stream their PS4 or PS5 to their phones with a mobile data connection when Wi-Fi is not available. Previously, Wi-Fi was the only connection option for remote streaming, making it impossible to stream if your broadband network was not working. Sony lists a few prerequisites for this feature as well, warning players that a stable connection of at least 15Mbps is recommended for a smooth experience and to manage data caps, you can select your preferred video quality for streaming in the app’s settings.

PS Remote Play app resolution settings – Source: PlayStation

The PS App will be getting a major update starting September 23rd that will allow users to view their friends’ Share Screen broadcasts right from the app. This means that a friend playing on PS5 can broadcast their game for you to view from within the app. You need to be in a Party Voice Chat with the friend who’s going to broadcast their screen in order to watch them play. This feature is only available on PS5 and the Android version of this update will see a gradual rollout, so it can take up to a week before it comes to your Android phone.

PS App Share Screen Broadcast – Source: PlayStation

Sony Didn’t Forget About The PS4

Okay, this is for real the last thing I’m going to talk about. I just had to go over this as all of these changes are linked with the PS5. Sony will be releasing an update for the PS4 (alongside tomorrow’s PS5 update) which will allow you to view your PS5 trophies on your PS4 profile and Trophy list. Likewise, you’ll be able to see other players’ PS5 trophies on PS4 as well. As mentioned before, you will  now be able to delete parties without having to individually remove members first on PS4, along with PS5.

The update containing all these changes and features will be releasing on September 15th for the PlayStation 5 (and PlayStation 4 where applicable). The rollout is not gradual and the update will be released globally at the same time. So, if you don’t get the update right away, keep checking as it should be there. There has been no word on downtime or the update size yet, but we expect there to be pretty much no downtime. As for the size, it’s a system software update, it won’t be that big.

Huzaifa Haroon
Born and raised around computers, Huzaifa is an avid gamer and a Windows enthusiast. When he's not solving the mysteries of technology, you can find him writing about operating systems, striving to inform the curious.