PS5 firmware update with M.2 SSD support and 3D audio for TV speakers goes live Sept. 15


Maybe wait for the prices to come down first

Every new generation of game consoles is a chance to get a user-interface refresh, but often, features we’ve grown super accustomed to don’t make it over, and getting them implemented again can feel like a drip-feed. PlayStation 5 owners know this all too well.

After beta testing the “second major” PS5 system update — the one with expanded SSD support, 3D audio support for built-in TV speakers, and a vertical trophy tracker list — it’s now ready for a wide release. The update will roll out on September 15, 2021.

Here’s a video recap from PlayStation:

For those of you with (a lot of) money ready to go for a supported M.2 SSD, with this update, it’s time. I’m already running out of space with the built-in storage, so it’s on my mind, but I’m not ready to drop hundreds to give my games more breathing room. It’s still early days. For further reading, Eurogamer has some drive recommendations.

On the UX front, I’m stoked about being able to tweak the Control Center, aka the little menu that pops up when you hit the PlayStation button. You can move the icons/buttons around, and even hide the ones you don’t want to see. Control Center is also getting a new at-a-glance trophy tracker that can access up to five trophies per game.

With the update, any PS4 and PS5 versions of the same game that you have installed on your PS5 will appear separately on your home screen and the “installed” tab of your game library, so if you’ve got Sackboy‘s PS4 and PS5 versions downloaded, there will be two icons, and they’ll be labeled. This change is going to be too heavy-handed for some users, especially folks who obsess about game icons, but it’ll save a lot of people headaches.

Installing an M.2 SSD into a PS5Y’all ready for this?

As for the 3D audio upgrade, “this feature transforms standard two-channel TV speaker audio into three-dimensional sound, heightening the sense of gameplay immersion,” so you don’t have to use a headset. During the setup process, you’ll use your DualSense controller to measure your room acoustics, which isn’t something I knew it could do.

A few other bits of housekeeping that won’t impact everyone equally, but will make a certain subset of players very happy:

  • The ability to disband a Party rather than go player by player (on PS4 and PS5).
  • Support for PS Remote Play over mobile networks.
  • Pulse 3D Wireless Headset owners are getting equalizer settings.
  • The ability to view Share Screen broadcasts on the PS App (starting September 23).

And there’s one more weirdly huge-to-me update as someone who still plays on their PS4 Pro and PS5: you can view your (and other players’) PS5 trophies on a PS4.

So, two big updates down. What’s next on the gotta-have-it feature list? Themes, right?