It was reported a few days ago that Sony filed certification documents which seem to prove that a 1TB Sony-manufactured console is soon on the way. Previously, the only way to have more than 500GB in your PS4 was if you installed a larger drive yourself.
It would appear from the documents filed with the FCC that the rumor is more than likely true. At first blush, the 500GB hard drive size of the new-gen consoles seemed like a solid idea…until we heard that the average install size of a disc-based game hovers around the 50GB mark.
Add to this the 5GB to 10GB patches that aren’t uncommon in most large releases, and that hard drive starts to rapidly whittle away.
When you start thinking about all those nifty digital-only games, you get to the real problem: the space just isn’t enough. Let’s just assume none of that 500GB is taken up by the operating system (even though we all know a good chunk is), you could only install ten disc-based games on your system of choice. That happens pretty rapidly. In these cases, you have to start deleting either install data or game data off your system, and neither seems like it should have to happen in the first year or so of a console release.
Then you have all the digital-only games available through the PlayStation Store or Xbox Live, and that creates a larger problem. You may be able to download and delete those games at will, but what happens when a company decides to remove a particular game, or, let’s say, a super popular demo (SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE SILENT HILLS SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE), from said service?
You are then faced with a weird dilemma: that game, or demo, only exists on the hard drive of your device. What happens if you wanted to upgrade your system to another one? What happens to all those games that will one day not be supported?
If a game (or demo) is removed from the online store, you can’t very well redownload it.
It puts this whole push to digital downloads of games in a weird light. If Sony and Microsoft (and even Nintendo, to a degree) are going to push the digital future on us, why not offer us the opportunity to purchase a console with at least 2TB of data? Sure, it would cost more, and that’s expected, but to think that a 500GB hard drive (respective to the size of the data files involved) would be suitable for long-term use is a bit naive.
One could speculate that these companies could use this tactic in an attempt to drive up console sales by postponing a larger hard drive size for those of us who didn’t want to risk an install themselves (that would be me), though I can’t really imagine this to be true.
I say this because, if Sony really does announce a 1TB system at E3 in less than two weeks, I’m already on board. I’ve had to juggle data on the system so much already, it would be a welcome announcement if the larger system was going to make an appearance at retail sooner than later.
That being said, I genuinely wish they would just make the leap to 2TB. If they announce that, I will put in for my pre-order immediately.
I don’t think day-one patches (or general patches) are going anywhere anytime soon. Game install sizes are likely only going to get bigger over time. Digital-only games are coming out more and more often. DLC is a common practice. Add to these the fun new functionalities like screenshots and such, and you can eat through a 500GB hard drive in no time. It would be nice if, even through greater expense, these systems were built with longevity in mind.
I suppose we will, ultimately, have to wait until E3 to find out for sure what Sony and Microsoft have up their sleeves regarding these consoles.
Speaking of E3, I wanted to remind everyone that I will be live-Tweeting about the E3 press conferences beginning with Bethesda’s highly anticipated first-ever press conference on Sunday, June 14th, at 7:00 PM PST. To hear my overjoyed thoughts on all things E3 via Twitter, please find me at: @rebekah_lang
I wish each of you a glorious weekend, and please be safe out there. And now, off I go to delve further into the Master Chief Collection.