In context: Sony published a rather extensive FAQ regarding the upcoming PlayStation 5. While much of the information was just a rehash of things we already know, there were a few morsels that Sony had not yet discussed. Rather than list them all, let’s dive right into the interesting things we found.
As previously reported, storage on the PlayStation 5 is somewhat limited for the expected size increase in next-gen games. So Sony has a few tricks up its sleeve to make download and storage more palatable.
Like the PlayStation 4, the PS5 will have a “Preferred Install” feature. This mechanism allows you to download and install the first portion of games while the rest downloads in the background. Games that support this feature can be up and running in as little as a few minutes. It also allows users to prioritize which parts of the game get downloaded first (typically single player or multiplayer).
However, Sony expanded the PS5’s Preferred Install feature, adding more functionality.
“In supported PS5 games, players can also choose to remove specific modes or content they no longer want in order to free up storage space,” says Sony.
So users who never play multiplayer mode in their games could essentially strip it out to save on SSD space. Of course, Sony notes that it is up to developers to implement this feature and decide what content in their titles is expendable.
Another aspect of the PS5’s storage system is a little bit disappointing. While we knew that PlayStation 5 games could not run from an external USB drive, it is somewhat surprising that users cannot even store PS5 games on an external storage device.
“Players cannot transfer PS5 games to a USB drive,” the FAQ states. “PS5 games must be stored on the console’s internal ultra-high speed SSD for gameplay. Explorations for allowing players to store (but not play) PS5 games on a USB drive in a future update are underway.”
So much for storing those huge next-gen titles externally until you want to play them, at least for now. However, you can still use an external storage solution for PS4 games.
Another new thing that sony points out is that games are no longer region-locked. In other words, any PS5 owner can play any PS5 game no matter where it was released. In years past, US and UK players have modified their PlayStations, voiding the warranty to play exclusive Japanese imports. Now, these games will play right out of the box as long as you can get your hands on them.
Lastly, the PlayStation 5 will have support for Sony’s game streaming service PlayStation Now. This is perhaps a no-brainer since it would not make sense for the cloud gaming platform to be incompatible with new hardware. However, it is still worth mentioning because it dramatically expands the number of titles available on the PS5 at launch.
In addition to the 4000+ PS4 games that the PlayStation 5 can play, PS Now has hundreds (750+ at last count) of PS2 and PS3 titles available. It is a subscription service, of course. Rates range from $10 per month to $60 annually.
I have been testing PS Now about every three months or so and can honestly say it has improved much over the six years it has been in service. Streamed games used to suffer from severe lag in the early days. Over time those issues became less frequent. Sony introduced downloadable PS Now games in 2018, so lag has been a non-issue for the last couple of years. Even when not downloading games, streaming is vastly improved.
If you have any other questions regarding the PlayStation 5, check out the rest of Sony’s FAQ. If you can’t find your answer there, leave a comment at the end of the blog post, and Sony may answer it in a future FAQ update.
Masthead credit: Aldeca Productions