Western Digital has announced a partnership with Sony to re-release one of its most popular PS5-compatible SSDs with official branding.
The WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD was originally released in February 2021, and Western Digital stated in July 2021 that it was compatible with the required specs needed to expand the PS5’s internal SSD storage.
Now the device is being rebranded the WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe SSD for PS5 Consoles, and will come in new packaging that makes it look similar to other official PS5 peripherals.
The new branding also comes with a new price point: the 1TB version costs $169.99 and the 2TB version costs $279.99.
On paper this is cheaper than the SN850 was when it was originally released ($249.99 for 1TB and $429.99 for 2TB) but in practice the rebranded version may work out to be more expensive than the standard Western Digital branded version.
Many shops now sell the SN850 at a heavy discount given its current popularity and ubiquity. In the UK the 1TB version is currently only £99.74 on Amazon as part of Prime Day, and is usually only £104.99 anyway.
Meanwhile, in the US the 1TB version is selling for $149.99 on Best Buy, and is even currently $119.99 on the official Western Digital US store, even while the PS5-branded version is selling at $169.99 on the same store.
According to both the model name and the technical specifications on the Western Digital site, both the PS5 branded and Western Digital branded versions of the SN850 appear to be identical in terms of performance and form factor – both have a PCIe Gen4 x4 interface with read speeds of 7000MB/s and write speeds of 5300MB/s.
The only difference, other than the new packaging, appears to be that the PS5-branded version has a light blue LED on the SSD itself instead of an orange one (though since it’s installed internally in the PS5 the user will never see this).
While the newly PlayStation-branded SN850 will no doubt be a more reassuring purchase for those not certain of which SSDs will work with the PS5 console, then, it appears that users may wish to shop around because a standard Western Digital version may be cheaper at some stores despite essentially being an identical product.