Now that we are done with the pre-order debacle of both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, its time to look into the future of these next-generation consoles. The most important aspect of both consoles is their storage solution. Both companies went with their custom solution based on PCIe 4.0. Sony came up with a speedy custom SSD capable of accessing 5.5GB(raw) data in a second while Xbox Series X/S’s can get up to 2.4 GB/s.
These are undoubtedly fast SSDs, and these require custom solutions such as the Velocity architecture backed with the right hardware and optimization to remain consistent at such high speeds. Coming to the storage expansion aspect of the consoles, both consoles offer options to expand storage depending upon the game requirements. Xbox allows both proprietary SSD cards made by Seagate and HDD as expandable storage solutions. The games made for the Series consoles require SSD. However, Xbox One titles that are not yet Series S/X enhanced can be played via HDD. Sony has been more political with its approach by only telling that SSD expansion is allowed, and the SSD requirements will be released soon.
According to The Verge, the 1TB proprietary expansion card by Seagate is up for grabs via pre-orders on Best Buy, and it costs a whopping $220, almost half of the Series X and 74% of the Series S cost. It means the ‘cheap’ low-powered alternative with 1.5TB storage has a potential price of $520. Microsoft has announced that more suppliers and additional sizes will be announced soon. On the other hand, the recently announced Samsung 980 Pro based on the PCIe 4.0 interface may be a perfect match for the PS5 and its 1TB version costs around $230. Another thing to note here is that new products are always expensive. With economies of scale and competition, the prices of these SSDs will come down eventually. Game sizes, however, will keep on expanding.
With a potential consensus on the $70 game price and the huge price of SSDs, it suffices to say that next-gen gaming is going to be expensive.