With a major new update that’ll (finally!) let players store games on a USB drive, a new chapter in the unfolding Final Fantasy VII Remake saga, and an all-new sci-fi title on the horizon later this month, spring is starting to heat up for real on the PlayStation 5.
Sony has just announced the PS5 is getting its first big firmware update this week; one that’ll deliver on pre-launch promises Sony has been teasing since last summer. The big new feature will give space-starved players some relief, thanks to a save feature that’ll allow for games to be stored on a compatible plug-in USB drive.
“With this feature, you can now transfer your PS5 games to USB extended storage from your console’s internal storage. It’s a great way to extend the storage capabilities of your PS5 console, and you can seamlessly copy your PS5 games back to the console’s internal storage when you’re ready to play,” Sony’s Hideaki Nishino explained. “It is faster to reinstall PS5 games from USB extended storage than to re-download or copy them from a disc.”
While extending the PS5’s 825GB of storage beyond its SSD drive comes as a welcome perk, it also comes with a caveat: Sony does still have plans to at some point make PS5 games playable via enhanced M.2 USB storage, but that feature is still in the future and isn’t part of this week’s update.
Instead, USB storage for now will be just that: cold storage where players can move installed games off the PS5’s native SSD drive, clearing precious gigabytes to make room for new ones. But the games that go onto USB storage — at least for now — won’t be playable until they’ve been reinstalled onto the PS5’s SSD drive. “We’re currently working on this [playable M.2 drive] feature and will keep you posted with any updates,” Nishino wrote.
The other big update will allow PS4 and PS5 players to intermingle within the same game, thanks to the PS5’s new cross-generation Share Play feature. “This means PS5 console users can let their friends on PS4 consoles view their game screen, or even try out the PS5 games through Share Play, and vice versa,” Nishino explained. “Options include the ability to share your screen with a friend, pass your controller virtually to a friend, or pass a second controller virtually to play co-op games together.”
For a full rundown of everything new coming in the PS5’s April update, check out the details at the PlayStation Blog.
Meanwhile, the PS5 games keep coming, and Square Enix has just dropped new details on what players can expect from the upcoming bite-sized, in-between chapter that’ll connect Final Fantasy VII Remake with its full-scale successor. A previous announcement already had revealed that fan-favorite Yuffie, the shuriken-wielding Wutai warrior from the PS1 classic, would be starring in her own new episode — and now that episode has a name, new images, more story details, and an English voice cast.
Yuffie’s playable new episode is called Final Fantasy VII Remake EPISODE INTERmission, and comes on the same date as the PS5-enhanced launch of FFVII Remake titled Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade (hey, Square Enix does love its long game names.) INTERmission gives Yuffie next-gen fighting powers to fit alongside her “signature battle style” from the PS1 days, all set within a stealth quest to “infiltrate the shadowy Shinra Corporation to steal a powerful materia and restore glory to her homeland,” according to Square Enix's release.
“As a member of Wutai's elite corps of ninja operatives, her Unique Ability allows her to throw her iconic massive throwing star at enemies. During that time, she is able to attack with long-range ninjutsu that can be augmented with her Elemental Ninjutsu ability, which can change its affinity to fire, ice, lightning or wind.” We’re pretty sure Yuffie’s Elemental Ninjutsu ability is what we’re seeing in the first of those two images above. Yuffie’s also getting a pair of additional new powers, including “Banishment” (which ramps up depending on how much ATB charge she has) and “Windstorm” (which blows enemies toward you instead of away).
The mystery is also beginning to clear from new-to-the-series character Sonon Kusakabe, who’ll be Yuffie’s partner in (literal) crime through EPISODE INTERmission. Sonon’s “a warrior hailing from Wutai” who “harbors a deep resentment” toward the sinister Shinra company for all the devastation it’s caused in his homeland, according Square Enix. He’s “essentially” Yuffie’s boss in the story setup, with a “serious, grounded nature” that’s meant to complement — and probably rein in — Yuffie’s go-for-broke attack style.
Both INTERmission and Intergrade are set to release on June 10, with INTERmission a $20 standalone DLC purchase for anyone who already owns a copy of the base game on both PS4 and PS5. Before that, though, the PS5 will be getting another all-new exclusive in the form of Returnal, a sci-fi survival horror shooter from in-house developer Housmarque. Returnal is set to release as a PlayStation exclusive on April 30.