Your PS5 storage space might fill up slower than on Xbox Series X – here’s why

(Image credit: Sony)

With only 667GB of usable space available, your PS5 storage might have already reached full capacity – and with Sony yet to approve any expandable NVMe SSD drives, it’s not exactly a great situation for those who like to flick between multiple games at a time.

However, if you’ve hooked up some external storage to Sony’s new console, like an SSD, you might have noticed a particularly pleasing advantage the PS5 has over Xbox Series X in the way it handles some backwards compatible games.

A number of PS4 titles have recently been upgraded for PS5 by either removing a previous 30fps frame cap or by adding in a new performance mode. Three titles that spring to mind are Ghost of Tsushima, God of War (2018) and Days Gone.

Interestingly, even though these games now look and play better than ever before on PS5, they're not actually classed as native PS5 games. That means you can store and play them off an external drive, without sacrificing any precious space on the PS5’s internal storage. With God of War and Ghost of Tsushima adding up to a combined 97.8GB alone, that's a considerable saving. 

This isn’t always the case on Xbox Series X, however. When a game gets upgraded, the vast majority are classed as ‘Optimized for Xbox Series X|S’, which means if you want to play it, you’ll need to have it installed on the Xbox Series X’s internal drive. There are a few exceptions, of course, like Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, which seem to operate the same way as the PS4 games listed above.

Tight squeeze

(Image credit: Future)

So what’s going on here? Well, this is probably a happy accident because of the way PS5 handles PS4 games, and specifically backwards compatibility. Rocket League developer Psyonix has previously shared the differences between updating an Xbox One or PS4 game.

“Enabling 120Hz on Xbox Series X|S is a minor patch, but enabling it on PS5 requires a fully native port due to how backwards compatibility is implemented on the console, and unfortunately wasn’t possible due to our focus elsewhere," Pysonix said. 

It appears that if a developer returns to a PS4 title to remove a frame cap or simply improve resolution, then, it might not require a native port. It's still technically being enhanced, but it seems there is a line that developers need to cross before a PS4 or Xbox One title truly becomes 'next-gen', so to speak. 

Memory game

Xbox Series X game list

(Image credit: The Verge)

While this is an unexpected bonus for PS5 owners, Microsoft still has three major advantages over Sony’s system when it comes to storage. For a start, if you desire more Xbox Series X|S storage, you can literally go out and buy it today as the Seagate 1TB Storage Expansion Card is available now. You can also store Xbox Series X|S on an external hard drive, and move them onto the internal drive when you want to play them. Neither of these options are available on PS5, and there’s no ETA of when they’ll arrive.

The Xbox Series X also comes with 802GB of usable space thanks to its 1TB hard drive, which is 135GB more than you get on PS5.

Space is at a premium on both consoles, then, but if you’re struggling for space on your PS5’s internal hard drive and want to revisit some classic PS4 games that have been improved on PS5, we recommend grabbing yourself an external hard drive.

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.