The past few months have served up all manner gaming hardware to get excited about, whether it be on console or PC, as the promise of next-gen will tempt players to part with their hard earned money come Black Friday and the festive season.

While the new processing power of said hardware is one aspect, so is storage, which is why WD_Black recently expanded its portfolio of gaming-focused drives.

For those unfamiliar with WD_Black, it is the division of Western Digital that designs solutions for gaming consumers in particular, and the three newly added NVMe SSDs recently showcased by the company, are no different.

To that end the SN850, AN1500 and D50 Game Dock have all been added to the mix, although at the time of writing, local pricing and availability are yet to be disclosed.

“As game developers move towards creating immersive titles that require higher performance, consumers need to ensure that they have the best tools to stay up-to-speed,” explains Ghassan Azzi, Africa sales director at Western Digital, regarding the new SSDs.

“Our latest WD_BLACK products have been purpose-built to enable gamers to meet the increasingly high standards of future games and gaming platforms. We’ve optimized these products to not only provide more storage for gamers but to elevate the gaming experience as a whole,” he adds.

So what are these new products sporting?

Starting with the SN850, it features PCIe Gen4 technology to deliver read/write speeds up to 7000/5300MB/s (on the 1TB model). Added to this is the ability to reduce game load times and transfers files faster than its predecessor, using brand new cache technology, according to Western Digital.

The SN850 will be available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB storage capacities, with recommended pricing starting at $130 (~R2 151), but only in the first quarter of next year.

The WD_Black AN1500 NVMe SSD.

Next, the AN1500 is described by WD as a fully bootable plug and play add-in card, along with being one of the fastest PCIe Gen3 x8 solutions on the market, according to the company. This is achieved by having two internal SSDs in RAID 0, along with PCIe Gen3 x8 technology, which yields read speeds up to 6500 MB/s and write speeds up to 4100MB/s (on the 2TB and 4TB models).

Available in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities, the AN1500 will retail starting at $300 (~R4 964), with it expected soon in local markets.

Rounding up the new trio is the D50 Game Dock with heatsink design. WD notes that this SSD Game Dock can transform a Thunderbolt 3-compatible notebook into an integrated and immersive gaming station.

The company adds that the D50 is ideal for players who want to streamline their setup, with rapid speeds available thanks to NVMe technology, greater capacity for games, and multiple ports for accessories. There’s the added benefit that all this is powered by a single Thunderbolt 3 cord, with customisable RGB lighting thrown into the mix too.

The D50 is up for pre-order in selected regions, and will come in a 1TB capacity starting at $500 (~R8 274). There’s also a non-SSD version that will retail for $320 (~R5 295).

The WD_Black D50 Game Dock NVMe SSD.