Sony Is Finally Adding PlayStation 4 External Hard Drive Support

That wasn’t so HarD, was it?
February 3, 2017, 4:00pm

Above: An upright, slim-model PlayStation 4. Photography courtesy of Sony.

New games are great, aren't they? With their massive open worlds and shiny graphics, compelling multiplayer modes and all that great licensed music. I mean, look at what we've already had in 2017. Gravity Rush 2. Yakuza 0. Resident Evil 7. All three are actually pretty awesome, and you should definitely play them, at some point.

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But they come with a cost to the PlayStation 4 player—hard drive capacity. Those three alone will eat up well over 60 gigabytes of your PS4's internal storage. Which is quite the chunk when a lot of people out there are playing with off-the-shelf 500GB slim or standard models. What else has come out lately? Final Fantasy XV? Over 55GB. Watch Dogs 2? 30GB. Even the over-in-an-hour Batman: Arkham VR is a hefty 8.76GB.

Yes, I'm just going through what's currently on my own PS4 (one of them, at least). I did have Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered on there last week, but I needed the 130GB(!) they were eating up for new things that I can't talk about yet. Point is: get a few of these bigger games together, and you run into problems. You begin to spend an hour a week juggling downloads, figuring out what you can and can't afford to keep instantly accessible.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare screen courtesy of Activision

Or: you find a way to set up two PS4s under your TV, so that you needn't worry quite so much about deleting GTA V, that Metal Gear game you're never going to play, and The Witcher 3, because you're an idiot. Hello!

Well, now I can opt to be an idiot no more—and stop getting into a faff when controllers connect to the wrong console—because Sony is finally updating the PS4's software to accommodate external hard drive support. That's right. The market-leading console has gone the way of the systems it continues to outsell, following the lead of the Wii U and Xbox One in allowing owners to simply stick an 3.0 HDD of their choosing—of up to eight terabytes in size (makes fist, bites it)—into the back or (on the slim model) front, and presto: that 500GB limit is a thing of the past. Overdue, but OMG.

Anything stored on the external HDD will appear as if it was internal, front and center on the dashboard content launcher. Downloads go straight to it, so there's no need to clear what's on your PS4 out to make space, and then shift applications around. Easy. As. Pie.

This welcome information comes to you, through us, from the PlayStation Blog, right here. The 4.50 update, available now if you're on Sony's beta program, and rolling out to everyone "in the weeks to come," also adds custom wallpapers, quick menu refreshing, 3D Blu-ray playback through PlayStation VR, and more, so click the link above for the full rundown. None of it's quite as, well, essential as this long-time-coming HDD support, though.

Nobody tell my wife, mind, or she will make me clear one of these two consoles out from under the TV, and I sort of like the set-up that I've got, to be honest. You understand, I'm sure. We get comfortable with our high-def connections and mountains of sleek gaming machines. No need to disturb them.