Kingston’s Focus on Simplicity and Reliability in Console Upgrades for BGS 2023


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The word “upgrade” is usually associated with the PC market, but in the current generation, it has become a greater need than ever for consoles as well. With games increasingly demanding in terms of disk space, hard drive expansions have become essential, with Sony, of PlayStation 5e a Microsoft, do Xbox Series X|S, adopting very different paths. For partners, such as Kingston, the route is to follow specifications and provide an appropriate choice for the customer.

After all, above the purchasing decision itself, there is also another element that brings the video game market closer to PCs — models with different formats. Plugged into the USB port, they are used to run old games, store saved games and perform backups, while the famous internal SSDs do the hard work of more modern games, a power that also needs to be present in the expansion components.

“In our official communication, we focus on what is unambiguous. We speak clearly and guarantee compatibility [dos SSDs internos do PlayStation 5]”, explains Iuri Santos, technology director at Kingston in Brazil. In his view, simplifying initial information is the best way for players to find what they need and understand what they can run on each device.

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Kingston’s Focus on Simplicity and Reliability in Console Upgrades for BGS 2023
Customer perception led Kingston to increase the SSD heatsink compatible with PS5, generating a visual guarantee that cooling is present in the product (Image: Disclosure/Kingston)

For those looking for more information, Kingston has a network of partners and influencers that, as Santos explains, does things in a much more user-friendly way that would need to be informed by an asterisk on product packaging. According to him, the fine print doesn’t help and, for those looking for more details, experts are the way to go. “We don’t want to leave the customer hanging, so the goal is to be as simple as possible.”

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To exemplify this journey, Santos cites the first generation of M.2 SSDs for the PlayStation 5, which according to him, was ready to hit stores even before the release of the console update that allowed the expansion. Initially, the model was thinner and more compact, but users’ perception meant that the design had to be changed for the second generation, also accompanying a redesign of the brand’s RAM memory line.

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“The public had difficulty understanding that an aluminum and graphene label, at the top, served as a heat sink,” he said, in an interview with Canaltech during Intel Gaming Garage, the processor manufacturer’s pre-BGS 2023 event. “People wanted to see the component to feel confident in cooling. That’s why we’ve now opted for a taller format.”

When entering the console upgrades segment, there is an increase in reach that brings more individuals into this universe. Just like in the case of PCs, we have experts and laypeople alike, who want to see components working in a box. Given this, once again, Kingston prefers to focus on simplicity in communication, while having a network of partners and influencers that help with more advanced communication.

The more technical details, Santos points out, are for them and also for those most interested in the aforementioned asterisk. In reviews, users find out which HD models run backwards compatible games, for example, or those most suitable for advanced tasks on each platform, so that the final choice is safe and, in a word that the Kingston executive used a lot during the chat, trustworthy.

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On the other side of the counter

Returning to the beginning of the development of the expansions, Santos also cites a synergy between Sony, manufacturer of the PS5, and companies like Kingston even before the console arrived on the shelves. According to him, this is a marketing reason since, by defining the specifications of the external SSDs early, the company was able to focus on the other technological aspects of the platform.

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“The PlayStation 5 was born with an eye on upgrading. Sony was open, but demanding, regarding the components to be placed there”, explains the executive. One of the central points of this approach was the choice of a format that, while it has some speed and performance parameters, is the same one used in PCs and notebooks, which also made life easier for manufacturers. “The result is that today, [o jogador] There is no difference in loading time and speed whether you are using the internal memory or the expansion”, he concludes.

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Kingston closes the year by highlighting compact external storage models, such as the XS1000, which also works on the Xbox Series X|S (Image: Disclosure/Kingston)
Kingston closes the year by highlighting compact external storage models, such as the XS1000, which also works on the Xbox Series X|S (Image: Disclosure/Kingston)

In the case of the Xbox, the story is somewhat different and Kingston still does not have SSD expansions for the console. According to Souza, this is mainly due to the choice of format, with the option for cartridges and some additional restrictions brought about by this decision, which end up limiting manufacturers and reducing the list of options on the market.

On the other hand, the Kingston executive points out that Microsoft also facilitates the use of external hard drives and even pendrives on the Xbox Series X|S, using these devices to install backwards compatible titles or simpler options, available on Game Pass, for example. This is also what makes the company focus on external storage for the Microsoft platform only, while doing the same with SSDs focused on the PS5 and also on the PC market, without conflicts between the green and blue sides of the market. .

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