One of the biggest questions surrounding the PlayStation 5 SSD has been how that will translate to external storage solutions. Standard disk-based hard drives on current USB protocols simply won’t be able to keep up with the speeds required. Games designed with an internal SSD in mind will require similar specs for any external option. Patriot may be demoing of the first-ever PS5 external SSD options at PAX East this weekend.
Patriot Gaming is getting ready to showcase the Viper PXD M.2 SSD. It’s a PCIe 3.0 4x m.2 form-factor SSD that can reach up to 1GB/sec read/write speeds on the NVMe 1.3 protocol thanks to Phison’s E13T memory controller. In layman’s terms? It’s fast, one of the best external SSD solutions available. The Viper PXD uses a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C interface, which is where things get interesting.
Is this the first PS5 external SSD?
Patriot is planning to test out its Viper PXD M.2 SSD at PAX East using a PlayStation 4 and Marvel’s Spider-Man. The PS4 Pro only uses a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port (peaking at 625MB/s), which means the Viper PXD will only be operating at about 62.5% of its maximum data speeds, capped by the PS4 Pro’s hardware and port limitations.
What’s even more curious is that Marvel’s Spider-Man is the game Sony has consistently used to showcase the faster loading times for the PS5’s internal SSD, both behind closed doors in the original Wired reveal and again when the footage was released to highlight the faster loading times.
In a press release announcing the Viper PXD’s showcase and PS4 demo at PAX East, Patriot called it “the next generation of portable storage solutions.” According to the spec sheet it “bridges the gap between USB 3.0 flash drives and high-speed PCIe based SSDs,” bringing a higher speed solid-state storage option to plug and play external drives. It will come in capacities from 512 GB to 2 TB.
Patriot Gaming’s Viper PXD isn’t quite going to reach the speeds of the Samsung 980 QVO SSD that is rumored to be the internal PS5 SSD, but it’s a first step into the next generation of portable SSD solutions that will be required on next-gen consoles. If developers are making games with the presumption that every console has an SSD with certain read/write speeds available to utilize, the average current-gen external storage solutions just aren’t going to cut it. Sorry, that 2TB Western Digital portable HDD you got on a Black Friday deal probably isn’t going to be compatible with the speeds required for PS5 external storage solutions.
While it’s far from confirmed, Patriot’s Viper PXD showcase at PAX East could be setting us up for next-generation console external storage solutions, showing off the very first PS5 external SSD before the PS5 itself has even been revealed. The drive itself launches in April 2020, and while it will obviously be compatible with current-gen based on its PS4 showcase, this could very well be a future-proofed PS5 solution that will continue to function with the speeds required from next-gen gaming.