The first big PS5 update will include external storage support, social features and more

Sony has announced its first major update for the PlayStation 5 system.

The update launches on Wednesday and includes external storage support, social features and more, according to a PlayStation Blog post.

There will also be changes for PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation App coming along with the update.

Most notably, the PS5 will now support external USB drives. According to the Blog post by Hideaki Nishino, senior vice president of platform planning and management for PlayStation, the new feature will allow PS5 games to be transferred to storage devices.

However, it’s important to note that games will only be able to be stored on external drives for transfer back and forth when space is needed. PS5 owners will not be able to play PS5 games from the external device. This is because the PS5 is designed to use an ultra high-speed SSD.

By contrast, the PlayStation 4 supports external USB drive storage and PS4 games can be played from those drives on the PS4 and PS5.

“[PS5] games that you transfer or copy back to internal storage will automatically update when applicable,” the post said. “In addition, you can select which game modes you want to install (such as campaign or multiplayer) for select titles that support the option.”

Sony has previously said that M.2 drives, which will be able to be installed inside the PS5, will be available for expanding internal storage space some time this summer.

Another new feature included in the firmware update is cross-generation share play.

“This means PS5 console users can let their friends on PS4 consoles view their game screen, or even try out the PS5 games through Share Play, and vice versa,” the Blog post said. “Options include the ability to share your screen with a friend, pass your controller virtually to a friend, or pass a second controller virtually to play co-op games together.”

There will also be a new option to request to join a game session. This will allow PS4 and PS5 players to jump into sessions with friends.

The PS5’s Game Base section will now allow “quicker access to important content and features,” according to the Blog post. With the new update, players can now easily switch between Parties and Friends for chatting or catching up with buddies. Notifications will be able to be turned on and off for each party as well.

Other new features, as written on the PlayStation Blog, are below:

  • Disable Game Chat or Adjust Players’ Volume. You can now quickly disable in-game chat, which turns off your mic audio and the voice audio of other players. Additionally, you can easily adjust the individual voice chat volume of other players in the same chat so you don’t have to ask your friends to lower or increase their mic volume each time.
  • Game Update Pre-download. Once it’s enabled by developers, title updates for games will pre-download to your console if the “automatic updates” setting is enabled and your console is on or in rest mode. This will let you start playing the latest version of a game immediately after the update’s release.
  • Customize Game Library. With the ability to search your library or hide games from view, it’s now easier to find content and personalize your view of your game library.
  • Screen Zoom. You can now adjust the magnification of the screen to suit your preference from the Settings menu.
  • New Trophy Settings and Stats Screen. The level of trophies that results in automatic capture of a screenshot or video clip can now be customized — so you can now choose to only capture and save images/videos of moments when you earn higher-grade trophies, like Gold or Platinum. We’re also introducing a new player Trophy Stats screen, where you can check out the summary of your trophy level and status at a glance.”

Lastly, new features for the PlayStation App include the ability to join multiplayer sessions on PS5, mange PS5 console storage, compare trophies with friends and sort and filter PlayStation Store products from the app, according to the PlayStation Blog post. These features are said to be rolling out “in the coming weeks.”

As usual, Sony says the features mentioned in the PlayStation Blog post about the PS5’s first major firmware update are “only scratching the surface of the many updates and improvements” included, so be sure to explore the new update and let us know what other features you come across once it launches tomorrow.

By Daniel Wilson

Daniel has been a writer for over 25 years and recently earned his Bachelor's degree in journalism. Portfolio: