PS5 Remote Play Companion Device & Removable NVMe SSDs

Update 3/18/2020: The Road to #PS5 – RGN’s Breakdown of PlayStation 5’s Custom Integrated Circuitry

PlayStation 5 could launch with a portable device that only does remote play / cloud streaming rather than being a full-fledged console on its own. This could provide PS5 owners with the best of both worlds in terms of portability and access, without Sony risking anything financially in terms of striving for market share in the handheld market against Nintendo. Equally interesting, Sony could be addressing the issue of large game installs on their new high-speed hard drives by offering proprietary housing on expansion cartridges with the same high-speed drives for players to buy.

After the long standing rumor of another portable PlayStation device, could these rumors be pointing to a cloud-only tablet-style companion device for the PS5? It has been suggested before by leaks anonymously coming from the PS5 development team, and while the idea may have changed or been killed off entirely, more evidence has been emerging.

The features of this device are rumored to include PS5 Remote Play for playing your PlayStation 5 games while you are on the go – through a WiFi or 5G internet connection, PS Now cloud-based game streaming support, and access to the PlayStation Network including Groups, Feeds, Messaging, and Voice Chat w/ Friends. Matchmaking could even be possible with PS4 players as well.

This strategy allows Sony to attempt to compete with Nintendo Switch on its hybrid portability promise without compromising the in-home experience of the PlayStation 5 and without having to make another attempt at producing a dedicated handheld device for the time being. It would appear that this strategy would give Sony just the right amount of leverage without taking on the risks.

Some gamers may have been confused lately into thinking that Sony was actually developing a genuine, full featured portable PlayStation system again, and that’s not without reason. A recent patent seems to be misinterpreted by most who come across it. Sony has patented a number of “game cartridge” designs which have led many to this belief and even sparking rumors of a “PSP3” or “Vita 2” project being in the works. At this time, our inside knowledge has no confirmation of such a device but instead leans towards the existence of a PlayStation 5 Cloud Companion Device – internally known as the PS5 Remote Play Portable.

What many have deduced by now about PS5 is that its games will be huge, and storage may be a real problem. Even launching with 100GB Blu Ray discs won’t help if they aren’t fast enough at read / write operations to avoid installing full game titles (which may number over 150GB as standard with modern updates). For the PlayStation 5 a 1TB base model NVMe SSD will likely be all the storage we get given the exotic pricing of such hardware at this time. That amount may only fit 5 or 6 large games and a handful of smaller titles, making the need for a storage expansion urgent!

However, with PS5 relying heavily on the speed boosts gained from using NVMe SSDs, meaning that games will not run properly on IDE / SATA drives. So then, standard external drives are out of the question and allowing users to take apart their PS5 to remove the fragile NVMe SSD to replace it also seems like a bad idea. Therefore, these “game cartridge” patents which have shown up are likely accessories created to address this problem providing convenience factor and another form of profit to sell PS5 storage expansion cartridges.

Let’s hope that the artist renderings were off on the actual storage amounts though, as 3tb, 6tb, and 12tb nvme ssd replacements using a cartridge-style housing and high-speed i/o would be far more appropriate, albeit extremely costly! If the drives are very easy to hotswap and Sony has fixed up their operating system’s handling of expansion storage though, maybe we can deal with having lots of smaller ones – but that could become a hassle.