PS4: No external storage, PC streaming, MP3s

We already knew that new-generation games are big. Killzone: Shadow Fall is 40GB, brought down from 290 at one point in development. We thought this would just be a problem for people with limited bandwidth or capped plans, but now it seems the impact will be greater: PlayStaion 4 does not support external hard drives.

The PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4

The good news - bear with me - is that you can replace the console's internal hard drive, as long as it fits a number of criteria. It must be no thicker than 9.5mm and larger than 160GB, for a start. This can be used to replace the 5400 RPM SATA II HDD that ships with the console, if you're the sort of person who likes to tinker with things.

...and even if you're not, you might find you have to do it anyway. All PS4 games will use a chunky piece of the hard drive to cache data, providing a smooth gaming experience. Killzone: Shadow Fall is not the only game around that size, either: Battlefield 4 is 35GB, Knack is 37GB, and rumours put Call of Duty: Ghosts at a whopping 49GB. It won't take too many of those to eat up all your available storage space.

Sony's also revealed that while you can rent games on disc, play them and then decide to purchase a copy, it won't be a smooth transition. The disc install data (presumably including any of your progress) must be deleted before you install the new, digital version, which must be downloaded in its entirety.

Other things that are upsetting potential PS4 fans: The new console is stepping away from its predecessor's "media centre" label. You will not be able to play MP3s or audio CDs on your new games machine. It will play DVD and Blu-ray movies, but it no longer features DLNA support, so you won't be able to stream videos or other media from your home PC.

This, combined with the lack of backwards compatibility, is adding up to a whole bunch of niggling factors that might knock the PS4 down a peg or two, even before we get to the games.

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13 Responses to “PS4: No external storage, PC streaming, MP3s”

  1. timmy jordan says:

    noooo!!! don’t go down that path Microsoft stumbled down when it was drunk, come back sony…

  2. Samantha Edward says:

    Odd. I’ve spoken to a few Sony representatives that assured me that DLNA, CDs, and MP3s will be a thing the console supports. One of them even told me the plan is to be able to “jam to your favourite music while playing a game like Minecraft.”

    It’s quite possible the plan is to not offer this yet at launch (we all know they take some time to fine-tune these things) but all of this is rather simple things that could be added in later.

    None of these sound like “gone forever” to me.

    Oh, and PS4s supporting externals may also be in the pipeline of “things to do” for Sony. It depends on consumer demand, really, and how viable it is to read all of that install data off of an external drive. It might not be available for games but might be available for music and video files, for instance.

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