Sony is delivering the first major update to owners of the PlayStation 5 console today. The ‘April Update’ delivers several enhancements to gamers. As well as the headlining extended storage enabling update, there are new social features and enhanced control and personalisation options – plus an update to the PlayStation app.
The PS5 storage update is somewhat of a letdown. While the update FAQ lists a series of restrictions regarding what USB drives will work with the new feature, it is limited to backup duties.
In brief, you can transfer downloaded games to the external USB storage you have plugged in, but you can play titles stored on the external driver. You can’t download games directly to the USB drive either. What you can do is “seamlessly copy your PS5 games back to the console’s internal storage when you’re ready to play,” which will be faster than downloading from the internet or from the DVD drive. Interestingly games that you shovel onto your extended storage will “automatically update when applicable,” so they should remain ready to play after a fast transfer back to the primary storage.
Sony provides the excuse of extended storage not being as fast as the internal drive for all the clauses above concerning the use of plug in USB storage devices. Last but not least it asserts that it is still planning to “support storage expansion via M.2 drives in the future”.
Moving onto the new social features, probably the most important is the Cross-generation Share-Play feature allowing PS4 and PS5 players to Share Play together while chatting in parties. The feature extends as far as letting PS4 gamers try out PS5 games through Share Play and vice versa.
Another social addition in this update is that Sony has enabled requests to join in your friends’ joinable game sessions. A selection of enhanced control and personalisation options for PS5 consoles includes; a tweaked Game Base menu for quicker access to important features, being able to disable game chat or adjust player voice volume, an option to pre-download game updates (if available), and more.
Lastly the PlayStation App (iOS and Android) has been updated with “a myriad of new features” such as wish lists, friend notifications, and change your online status. Further app updates are promised for the coming weeks.