News Article

How Does the PS4 Deal with Those Massive Mandatory Installs?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Largely painless

There was an industry-wide panic attack when Call of Duty: Ghosts’ leaked PlayStation 4 box art revealed that you’ll need 49GB of hard-drive space in order to play the first-person shooter. Installs have been a blight on the PlayStation 3 for the entirety of its seven year lifespan, with some games seemingly taking longer to copy to the console’s hard-drive than to actually finish. Fortunately, that won’t be the case with the manufacturer’s next generation machine.

Speaking at a North American review event in New York City earlier today, system architect Mark Cerny finally took the opportunity to clarify how the mandatory installs will work. As soon as you put a disc into the system, the device will start copying data to its on-board 500GB HDD. In the case of launch title Knack, this process will take ten seconds before you can actually start to play. The procedure will continue while you’re actually in the game, with a total of 37GB being copied to the console in total. Naturally, the numbers will vary depending on the software.

The reason that this happens is due to a Blu-ray limitation. The futuristic format’s disc drive may be significantly faster than Sony’s current generation console, but it’s still not quick enough to read data at the speed that developers want. As a consequence, the manufacturer decided that it would provide a better experience all around if games actually ran off the hard-drive rather than from the disc. In short, then, even if you’re sticking with physical media, you won’t actually be playing any of your releases off the Blu-ray, as they’ll always be copied to the HDD.

Fortunately, you’ll be able to delete any cached data at any time. The company did consider creating an auto-delete function within the system, but decided that consumers would prefer more autonomy over what they do with their data. The good news is that with the majority of the information being copied in the background, you won’t be forced to sit through laborious install screens should you decide to replay a deleted game.

Still, that 500GB hard-drive is going to fill up pretty fast if you’re playing multiple titles, isn’t it? Fortunately, this isn’t an issue that’s exclusive to the PS4, as the Xbox One will also require you to install all of your games. Are you frustrated by this, or do you think that the platform holder’s handled it pretty well? Copy some data into the comments section below.


User Comments (28)



Azikira said:

At least you get 500 gigs to work with, that theoretically SHOULD take some time to fill up, especially if (like me) you constantly weed out stuff you no longer play.



Cyrso said:

I would have liked the auto-delete function for when the HDD is full.

That way, you'll never have to deal with storage management, because it will simply always re-install when the HDD is full. And since it always seamlessly installs on the background while playing, it's still convenient.

It would be nice if we would have the option to enable the auto-delete for when the HDD is full. The only downside, is that when it's full you're going to have to deal with longer initial load times when you switch games.



ShogunRok said:

So disc-reading limitations are the cause of this? Makes sense, but it's still a bit disappointing. Stop being so ambitious, you bloody developers you.



DarkKirby said:

I don't know about other games, but Call of Duty: Ghosts in particular, the 50GB install is totally unwarranted based on the graphics. Battlefield 4 is 35GB (still not great but) but the graphics are there. Ghosts is 50GB but the game looks the same as it ever did.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@ShogunRok: If that's what you want, you don't even want a next-gen console at all...there's simply no way this can be avoided if you want gaming to evolve past current-gen, as they canna change the laws of physics.



Malouff said:

Because Digital & Disc are installed to the HDD.

I wonder if you can have a friend lend you the disc and then buy the digital copy to save some bandwidth if you plan on going with the download option?

Maybe retailers like Gamestop/Best Buy who ever could start selling digital copies but it comes with an install/bandwidth saver disc?



Ginkgo said:

Realistically people are going to need about 2TB in the near future. Hopefully 500GB tides people over until prices come down. 500GB will suffice for a short while.



banacheck said:

It also puts less stress on your blu-ray drive, as the blu-ray will only be installing the game while the HDD plays the game.



drumsandperc92 said:

damn. with all the incredible PSN titles (which are getting bigger and bigger) and even a game as simple as Knack requiring a 37gb install, that 500GB is not going to last past a handful of titles.
It won't be long until i have to upgrade the HDD. it's REALLY too bad that sony isn't supporting external drives as a 2TB external is cheap enough and u just plug it in.
Sure, you could go in and manually delete a game every time you want to play a different game and then reinstall a game every time you play it, but what a hassle.
This is the most disappointing news i've heard about the PS4 :/



GraveLordXD said:

Sooooo the ps4 doesn't support externals and mandatory installs of even physical games hmmm wow good job Sony looks like I'll wait until a 2tb ps4 is available no way is 500 gigs enough who wants to deal with the hassle of deleting and reinstalling games



eLarkos said:

@Malouff No you can't do this, I read this question being asked to Sony (maybe on this website) and they confirmed that if you want the digital version then you need to download it even if you have the "physical" edition installed.



BlueProxy said:

Sounds like it could get old quick if you have to do it regularly. We'll just have to try it and see. They may figure out a better solution after a while, but I hope we have the option to turn on auto delete for certain titles. That would help.



rjejr said:

Just out of curiosity, anybody know what is actually available on the PS4 500GB? I think when I installed a 500GB into my PS3 it was about 475Gb. I never cared w/ the PS3, I've always had about 180GB free, but this does sound like it could become a serious issue in a year.



TheLZdragon said:

I've always wondered why these games are so ridiculously large when Nintendo can make a big game in only less than 5 GB



Scollurio said:

People that moan about this: calm down. There WILL be support for external drives coming, like sammy once said most likely hardware sold with a sticker saying "PS4 ready" or something, making sure the bus of the external drive can provide the full USB 3.0 bandwidth this making it up to par with an internal drive, there gotta be some quality control there. Just imagine you stick some old external hard drive onto your PS4 and the game performance suffers, who would most people blame? Right, Sony!

And for the internal, I just bought 1TB for 59 euro OFF There really isn't much to worry about. Situation, all in all is much better than on Xbone!



Sutorcen said:

My PS4 will get a 1TB drive on day one... and the 500GB will go to my PS3. It is a necessary move. A 1TB HDD is not too expensive these days.



FullbringIchigo said:

@DarkKirby 50gb for COD????? glad I got the WiiU version of that game because it has no install at all

man the PS4 and XB1 HDD's are going to fill up really fast, makes me wish that auto-delete option was there or if the game was just a temp install and only on the HDD while you were playing the game



Reverend_Skeeve said:

I'm not surprised that install/caching is mandatory...and I don't mind...500 Gig will last me for a while and Samsung just recently announced a 2TB HDD that is compatible with the PS4 specs, so I'm gonna swap a few month down the road. My savegames will be saved in the cloud anyway, thanks to PS+ and having to re-download some PSN Games once after swapping the discs is bearable for me, so I'm good.

Actually, I appreciate the installs...less noise, more speed and less wear on the Blu-Ray drive...I always chose to install games to HDD on my 360, so this is nothing new or annoying for me.



EyeDeeNO76 said:

It would have been nice if Sony put a 50GB or more solid-state drive (SSD) and the 500GB hard drive as well in the PlayStation 4 to combat the Blu-ray speed limitation.



EyeDeeNO76 said:

1.5 or 2TB 2.5'' hard drives are 15mm (just a bit less than 5/8 inch) high larger than standard 2.5'' Serial ATA size hard drives and will NOT fit into laptops/notebooks... will they fit in a PlayStation 4?



Reverend_Skeeve said:

@EyeDeeNO76 Samsung announced a 2TB 2.5" HDD with a hight of 9.5mm very should be available soon...and there's already several HDDs with 1 or 1.5TB available that fit into the PS4.

But you're right, HDDs with 15mm hight will not fit into the PS4. As Sony stated in a FAQ on the Playstation Blog, the HDD has to have a hight of 9.5mm to fit. But as I said, there's already several available and the 2TB model will be released soon. And 2TB is what I'm aiming at when I upgrade.

@TromboneGamer I beg to differ...with the game on a physical medium, you at least still have access to your game, should the digital version being pulled of the server for some reason. Plus, personally, I like a nice box in my shelf.



Reverend_Skeeve said:

@EyeDeeNO76 Ayup, that's the one...and yes, I guess it will be quite pricey after it launches...but I have time to wait a while...and there's also affordable 1 and 1.5TB drives that fit the PS4s specs, so we should be good.

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