The WD_Black SN850 is PS5’s first officially licensed M.2 SSD

1TB and 2TB drives validated and optimised for Sony's console.

WD_Black SN850 NVMe SSD

WD is aiming to put to bed the question of which SSD is best for PlayStation 5 upgrades. The storage giant has today announced that its high-performance WD_Black SN850 NVMe drive is the first to obtain officially licensed status for Sony’s latest-generation games console.

At the very least, licensed status gives both casual and enthusiast gamers peace of mind in knowing compatibility is guaranteed. As part of of the validation process, WD tested numerous graphically intensive titles in various scenarios, ensuring drive performance meets expectations at all times.

PS5’s spare storage bay has been well documented since release, with concerns the upgrade path may be too complex for mainstream audiences. Getting access to the slot requires removing the PlayStation 5 cover with a cross-head screwdriver, and you then need to ensure your chosen drive is up to speed in terms of both performance and cooling.

Sony officially warns users against using an M.2 SSD without a heat-dissipation mechanism, and lists a minimum sequential read speed of 5,500MB/s over a PCIe Gen 4 interface.

WD_Black SN850 PS5 SSD

WD_Black SN850 NVMe is officially capable of hitting 7,000MB/s and the PS5 model includes an attached heatsink guaranteed to fit neatly within the PS5’s gargantuan frame. WD hasn’t cited any other PS5-specific enhancements, though an optimised firmware would be a logical assumption. Regular PC-oriented WD_Black SN850 drives, meanwhile, will continue to be compatible with PlayStation 5 consoles running system version 21.02-04.00.00 or higher.

“We’re excited for this new journey with Sony Interactive Entertainment and the opportunity to bring the officially licensed drive to PS5 gamers,” said Susan Park, vice president of consumer solutions at Western Digital.

“Western Digital’s WD_Black brand was created to bring high-performance products to gamers everywhere. Combined with this innovative partnership, we aim to deepen our current commitment to developing storage solutions that enhance the gaming experience for all gamers.”

Available to purchase direct from WD starting today, the WD_Black SN850 NVMe SSD for PS5 will initially be offered in 1TB and 2TB capacities, priced at £179.99 and £289.99, respectively. Wider availability from third-party retailers is expected next month.