The PS4 gets a new firmware update today, and it’s a big one. With today’s 4.50 firmware update, the PS4 gets some nice new features like custom themes, the ability to watch 3D Blu Ray movies with Playstation VR, and Boost Mode for PS4 Pro which improves the graphics on some older PS4 games. But the crown jewel of this update, in my opinion, is the addition of external hard drives to store games on.
Most PS4’s come with 500GB of memory, although some of the newer models do have 1TB of hard drive space. Either way, for me this has not been enough. The accessibility and pricing of digital games has improved so much over the last five years that a 500GB or 1TB hard drive fills up quickly if you buy when games are on sale, which they are frequently. Many games these days are pushing 100GB when you factor in patches and DLC. This update allows you to add up to 8Tb of external storage with a 3.0 USB hard drive. That’s plenty of space, right?
Some people may scoff at the need for that much hard drive space, and that’s certainly fair. Not everyone is like me and collecting games, buying things as they go on sale to play down the road one day when I have a lot more free time. But for those of us who want the option to fill up terabytes of hard drive space with games this is great. And I’d even take it a step further and say this is another assertion of PS4’s dominance in this console generation. The PS4 already has a massive sales lead over Microsoft’s Xbox One. But the Xbox One has allowed external hard drives for quite sometime. While this additional feature probably won’t sway many buyers towards the PS4, it is something Sony can point to and say “hey, we do that too” when comparing the PS4 to the Xbox One.
For me personally, this will impact which console I use for multiplatform titles, although I recognize I am probably in the minority. I have been using a 4TB external hard drive for my Xbox One which has about 100 games installed on it (many are Games with Gold or backwards compatible 360 games). Having that extra space has led me to pick the Xbox One over PS4 on a few multiplatform games out of fear that I would run out of space on my PS4. But now I will likely pick up a 4TB drive for my PS4 which makes that a non- issue. I know, I know. #FirstWorldProblems. Again, I realize I am the outlier here who buys tons of games on sale and most people don’t do that. Either way, this is a great update because if nothing else it gives the consumer more options, and having more options is always a good thing.