Next-gen consoles are coming out in just over a month! This is the perfect time to talk about the “features” of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S. We will start with a theme that has been talked about a lot: storage.

This is the real “leap forward” of this new generation of console. HDD hard drives are replaced by SSD drives, customized by the manufacturers. This is not just any solid state drive, but a state of the art component.

No need to compare the internal SSDs present in the consoles with a 1TB external SSD drive that you plug into USB and that you can find on the market for around sixty euros. We’re not talking about the same performance at all.

Because the “magic” that PlayStation and Xbox promises us will be done in part thanks to the read and write speed of these SSDs, we have to look a little into the question to understand everything. In 3 minutes you will be an expert on the subject.

How much free space is there on my console?

Officially, the PlayStation 5 comes with an 825GB SSD, whether it is the version with 4K Blu-ray player or not. Like any self-respecting disc, this is its total space. To this one must remove the space used by the operating system as well as the space occupied by system files. On PS4, the OS (Orbis OS) weighs around 90GB.

So we imagine that we will have a system that will take up roughly the same space and that the PS5 would allow us to have about 735GB of free space (speculation: 825GB-90GB) to install our games or record screenshots. screen and videos.

If we look at the Xbox Series X, the SSD drive is 1TB. You also have to remove the OS. If we look at the OS of the Xbox One we arrive at 140GB. By repeating the same logic as for the PS5, we imagine that the Xbox Series X would offer us about 860GB of free space (speculation: 1000GB-140GB).

According to the first feedback from the press which currently has test versions of the Xbox Series X, it seems that the OS takes almost 200GB. This takes into account features like the Quick Resume which allows you to switch people without having to reload your game. This is obviously to be taken with a grain of salt, given that this is not the final interface of the Xbox Series X | S either. This could be heavier (or lighter).

Finally, the latest one is the Xbox Series S. At home, we saved on the SSD side and it is only 512GB. TLDR: The Xbox Series S would promise us around 372GB of free space (speculation: 512GB-140GB). We can imagine that the OS could be lightened compared to that of the Xbox Series X with maybe months of games in Quick Resume to reduce the size of the system.

Screenshot of an Xbox Series X test unit

How many games can I install on my console?

Currently, PS4 and Xbox One games weigh on average 40GB to 50GB, when we talk about an AAA. Genshin Impact which has just been released weighs 30Go, Marvel’s Spiderman 70Go, Days Gone 40Go, Forza Motorsport 7 95Go, Gears of War Ultimate 45Go …

There are obviously the behemoths that will break the trend, be it Call of Duty, Red Dead Redemption, The Division 2, Destiny 2 and FF7 Remake. We are close to (and sometimes we exceed) 100GB.

But that was before. This is because due to the use of HDD and not SSD, some data in the game was duplicated to make it load faster. No longer needing this “tinkering”, the installations can be less cumbersome on PS5 and Xbox Series X | S.

This is for example the case for Spider-man Miles Morales which will occupy 50GB on PS5 while it will weigh 52GB on PS4.

If it’s only 2GB on this example, it could be a lot more on Xbox Series S.

Indeed, the Xbox Series S does not aim to display games in 4K but in 1440p. This resolution being lower, the textures installed on the SSD disk will therefore weigh less. Currently we can look at the size of the Xbox One X patches, which contain 4K textures for Xbox One games.

For Halo 5 we are talking about 15GB, ditto for Sea of ​​Thieves. Xbox has also communicated on this point by indicating that the Xbox Series S will be able to run Xbox One games without problem and in an optimized manner (better loading times, increase in fps), but without the Xbox One X patch (textures in 4K).

The games installed on Xbox Series S would weigh 30% less than on Xbox Series X. We are obviously talking about hits and heavy games, not lighter and less greedy games.

In summary, if we do total speculation, we imagine that we could store 11 AAA games on PlayStation 5 in addition to Call of Duty (11 * 50GB + 200GB = 750GB). In the same logic, we would install 12 AAA games on Xbox Series X in addition to Call of Duty (12 * 50 + 200Go = 800Go) and it would be 6 AAA games on Xbox Series S in addition to Call of Duty (6 * 35Go + 140GB = 315GB)

Another promise from PlayStation and Xbox is the ability to partially install games. This is an option already available on Xbox One and on PC, which allows if the developer gives us the possibility to install only part of a game. For example only the multiplayer mode of Call of Duty, or only the Gears of War solo.

It is a feature for the developer, it is not an action made by PlayStation or Xbox. We imagine that we could go even further and install only parts of a gigantic single player mode (the first two days of The Last of Us Part II as long as we have not advanced enough).

I voluntarily chose Call of Duty because it is a greedy game but which is installed by a lot of players. If you want to download all the games present on the Xbox Game Pass (more than 250), you will need more than 4.5TB, so you will have to find another solution.

Another information to take into account is the space required to install a game (at the time of installation). When you download a game, the installer file takes up part of the console storage. Once the game is installed, this file is deleted. On the other hand, while the installation takes place, it is present.

It is for this reason that when you download a game and the file weighs 40GB and the installation will take 100GB, you need 140GB when you start the download / install process.

For the smart kids who think that physical support saves them space, I’m going to smash your dream. The games are fully installed on the internal drive of the console whether you own them in physical or digital version. The “CD” only serves as a “key” to validate that you own the game. It is not used for anything else after you play.

Can I replace the internal SSD?

Can I replace the internal SSD?No. The internal SSDs of the PlayStation 5 (left) and that of the Xbox Series X | S (right) are soldered. We will probably have to do with it, but at the same time we are talking about a component which is today at the cutting edge of technology. It would be difficult to replace them with more efficient SSDs for a price that would not be exorbitant.

How is it going to add storage?

The two manufacturers have decided to take different paths when it comes to additional storage. To play next-gen games, be it the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X | S, the additional storage needs to be at least as good as the internal storage.

For next-gen games on Xbox Series X | S, you will need to purchase a “storage expansion card”. Currently only Seagate manufactures them. This is a format made specifically for the Xbox Series X | S. The card will offer 1TB of free space and it officially costs € 269.99 ($ ​​219.99). You can use it in a “plug-n-play” way without having to restart the console.

On the PlayStation 5 side (again for next-gen games), the console has a free NVMe port. This means that you just have to remove the front cover, and insert an SSD drive directly into the console. You should not use just any disc and for that PlayStation will communicate on the recommended (certified) discs.

For the moment, everyone agrees that the Samsung 980 Pro which costs $ 229.99 for 1TB is a first option for the PS5, but we are awaiting confirmation from PlayStation.

But it’s all just for playing next-gen games.

You can use an external drive (HDD or SSD), connected by USB to your console:
+ to play PS4 games on PlayStation 5
+ to play Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games on Xbox Series X | S
+ to store your Xbox and PlayStation games in order to move them later to your internal SSD

Because the first feedback for the Xbox Series X on the time it takes to copy a game from the internal SSD to external storage is very good. At VentureBeat we measured the times and we end up with very good values ​​to move Assassin’s Creed Origins (49Go):
+ External SSD in USB 3.0 to internal SSD: 2 minutes and 18 seconds
+ External HDD in USB 3.0 to internal SSD: 7 minutes and 46 seconds
+ Internal SSD to external SSD in USB 3.0: 4 minutes and 33 seconds
+ Internal SSD to external HDD in USB 3.0: 10 minutes and 36 seconds

2 minutes to copy a game from an external SSD is faster than downloading it again from the store and installing it (for many gamers). You will have to get used to using the console interface to copy games from one device to another, but it saves on the cost of external storage.

It is also more practical to transport for the PlayStation 5, compared to the solution of the additional internal SSD).

You are now an expert on the subject (or almost enough to make a Youtube video without saying too much nonsense) and you will no longer be trapped by controversial subjects such as “additional storage is much too expensive” ( this is one of the reasons for the price of the console) or even “PlayStation and Xbox are hiding things from us on the available space”.