Earlier today reports broke out the PlayStation 5's front-facing USB Type-A port would be charging-only, but it actually supports both power and data.
The PlayStation 5 has two front USB ports: A SuperSpeed USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) port that's available for newer peripherals, faster charging, and quicker data transfers of up to 5Gbps as denoted by the trident symbol; and a USB Type-A 2.0 port for charging legacy hardware and transferring files/data.
The confusion surrounded the USB-A port's spark symbol (not to be confused with the Thunderbolt symbol, which is a lightning bolt with an arrowhead on the end), which users thought was charging-only. But actually the symbol denotes power pass-through, which means the PS5 can charge devices even when it's powered off.
There's no indication the USB Type-A port won't also deliver data as well because it hasn't been marked as charging-only.
Charging-only ports that don't deliver data have a different symbol, one that shows a battery with a spark or a cord with a spark, and are often colored red or orange to get your attention. These include Qualcomm's QuickCharge ports.
So rest assured, the PlayStation 5's front USB-A port will indeed supply power and enable data transfers. So you'll be able to hook up your legacy hard drive to the front and load your PS4 games from it.