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DF Direct Weekly: Does the Xbox Series SSD work in PlayStation 5?

Plus: whatever happened to the cheap 1080p graphics card?

PlayStation 5 was recently updated to support NVMe-based PCI Express 4.0 storage upgrades - so what happens when an Xbox Series S SSD is ripped out of the console and inserted into PS5 instead? That's just one of the many topics covered in this week's DF Direct Weekly where I'm joined by my friends and colleagues John Linneman and Alex Battaglia to cover off a vast array of tech chat - including the Abandoned real-time trailer debacle, the arrival of the RX 6600 XT and the endangered existence of the valuerific 1080p gaming GPU.

But without digging into the video, I'm sure you'd all like to know what happens when an Xbox SSD is placed into PlayStation 5 because here's the thing... it should work. Based on our tests, the console will work with any PCIe gen 4 NVMe drive. The only guidance is that you should be looking for read speed minimums of 5500MB/s. Of course, the theoretical bandwidth of the Xbox drive is much lower (circa 2400MB/s) but the point is that lower speed drives work - Sony just doesn't recommend using them.

And indeed, putting a Series S drive into PlayStation 5 initially looks promising - the drive is recognised by the system and we're invited to format it. Game on! The only problem is that the formatting never completes - we get to 13 percent complete and then the PlayStation 5 hard resets, then needs to have the drive removed, whereupon the system comes back to life, albeit in 480p mode, before the drive database is rebuilt and we're back in business. It's been tested on two different drives now but the bottom line is that we've bricked a Series S to give you the news here. And it's a shame as we would have loved to have seen how Ratchet and Clank would have played...

DF Direct Weekly emerges for a 24th time, this time perpetrated by Rich Leadbetter, John Linneman and Alex Battaglia.

If you're looking to skip ahead to specific parts of the show, enjoy these carefully curated time-codes.

  • 00:00:00 Introduction
  • 00:01:15 Does the Xbox Series SSD work in PS5?
  • 00:05:14 The Abandoned situation
  • 00:15:03 Radeon RX 6600 XT Misfire - and what happened to cheap 1080p gaming GPUs?
  • 00:34:08 Xenoblade Chronicles 3 accidentally revealed?
  • 00:37:42 Anton Kaplanyan joins Intel
  • 00:45:56 A500 Mini announced
  • 00:51:18 Control on Series X fixed?
  • 00:54:40 Black Frame Insertion update
  • 01:04:41 Future guest hosts for DF Direct Weekly?
  • 01:06:36 DF Supporter Q1: Would you guys do a deep dive on eGPUs over Thunderbolt?
  • 01:10:50 DF Supporter Q2: what should be the benefit of adaptive sync enabled vs disabled for a situation where the game is rendering at ~100 FPS on a 144Hz monitor?
  • 01:14:16 DF Supporter Q3: Are there any current or emerging technologies in the PC space that you see as providing a superior experience that simply isn't possible on today's consoles?
  • 01:18:34 DF Supporter Q4: Whether a game using upscaling/reconstruction techniques should be considered or called 4K even though its not being rendered natively at 4K?
  • 01:25:19 DF Supporter Q5: What are you guys' thoughts on so called AI upscaling for things like full motion video content?
  • 01:30:37 DF Supporter Q6: Would Digital Foundry be interested in doing a deep dive into render latency reduction?
  • 01:35:27 DF Supporter Q7: Does Rich miss being in the office with other team members in any way?
  • 01:43:20 And now, the conclusion.

Moving on, the team and I discuss the bizarre situation with The Abandoned's real-time trailer download from the PlayStation Store. Is there anything real here? It is all a massive trolling exercise? What about all of the conspiracy theories? Even after a 5.0GB that delivers a sub-10 second teaser (!) we are left none the wiser about what this game is about. More importantly, we talk about the disappointment of the recent Radeon RX 6600 XT and the general state of the market for 1080p gaming GPUs.

Here's the thing. AMD and Nvidia have positioned RX 6600 XT and RTX 3060 products as 1080p gaming GPUs - but in actuality, both offer performance in the RTX 2070 to 2070 Super range. From our perspective, they're actually 1440p-class products with price-points to match - though in particular, the $379 asked by AMD is not an enticing proposition. So what's going on with decent 1080p gaming GPUs below $300/£250? We know Nvidia has the silicon ready as we've seen RTX 3050 Ti in the laptop space, and paired with 8GB of RAM, it could be a really decent product. And what is it with the 'concertina' effect, where high-end performance gets cheaper, but 1080p gaming products do not?

Remaining on the topic of graphics, we talk about Intel's move into the dedicated GPU space, and its recent capture of Anton Kaplanyan, one of the pioneers of Nvidia's RTX line. Will Intel come out of the gates with a competitive gaming GPU? Just today the Arc branding was revealed along with a gaming trailer.

That's this week's DF Direct Weekly - and as you can see from the timecodes above, this is just the tip of the iceberg in over 100 minutes of chat, Q+A and 'more'.

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About the Author
Richard Leadbetter avatar

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.