External hard drives not supported for PS4

PS3 had Xbox 360 beat hands-down when it came to storage flexibility; PlayStation users could replace their hard drives with generic PC components and plug in external hard drives for extra space as they needed it. Those handy features will now be split across both upcoming systems, according to a PS4 FAQ posted on the PlayStation Blog today.

PS4 won't support external hard drives of any kind. However, users will still be allowed to replace the built-in 500GB hard drive with any other SATA II drive no thicker than 9.5mm and larger than 160GB.

Xbox One, on the other hand, won't let users replace its 500GB built-in storage--but it will let them connect external hard drives to its USB 3.0 ports and use that storage for anything non-OS related, including game installs.

If you were planning on getting one system over the other, will these changes affect your buying decisions?

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  • sternparez - October 31, 2013 6:06 a.m.

    I hope I can still transfer videos from USB HDD or just watch videos off them, pretty lame otherwise Sony.
  • GOD - October 30, 2013 10:22 p.m.

    Considering that on the FAQ it says that you can do the day one update by USB, I think this only means that you can't use an external hard drive for expanded memory. I would hope you're still allowed to use USB ports to create a backup of your system if you want. Sure there's cloud saves, but not everyone is going to be using their PS4 online.
  • Eightboll812 - October 30, 2013 10:41 p.m.

    I think that is probably the case then. The FAQ make it sound like even thumb drives won't work. But when I read some of the tweets that people quoted leading up to this new FAQ, they seem to be clarifying that you can't save DRM protected content (games, movies, etc) to the external. Which is just like it is today with PS3....
  • GOD - October 30, 2013 10:54 p.m.

    Well you can 100% use a thumb drive to update the system, so I think they were just too general with their answer there.
  • jesse_lee - October 31, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    Well that sucks, everything i have downloaded for my 360 is on 2 16gig thumb drives... i plan to do the same with the Xbone. so your telling me if i wanna download DLC or save games i am forced to use the HD? that kinda sucks Sony
  • CrashmanX - October 30, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    From the way it reads you won't be able to save DRM content to the external. I.E. Can't save game-data or game-saves to the external. Which is nothing new. Besides, you can upgrade your HDD, who cares? Upgrade to a 1TB HDD. Ta da. What are you storing on your PS4 that's going to take up 500GB anyways? 100 full 40GB games?
  • Shinn - October 31, 2013 2:28 a.m.

    Yeah, I dunno about that man. My steam library is almost two terabytes, I have a dedicated terabyte hardrive for origin and steam games I'm 'currently' playing. If Microsoft and Sony want their digital distribution to take off outside of America (I.E places like NZ where re-downloading a game can take an extraordinary amount of time), then this sort of basic support simply needs to be in place.
  • Funkzillabot - October 30, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    Then what's the point of putting USB plugs on it at all? No thumb drives? What if there's a crash? The Playstation has been known to do that.
  • abhorerofmoppets - October 30, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    I don't have a problem with this. I had a 60GB PS3 and never used an external hard drive. I just upgraded the internal hard drive. Also, since there is online storage for my saves, transferring those over was no problem. Seeing as the PS4 will still allow somebody to upgrade the hard drive, there should still be no problem.
  • BladedFalcon - October 30, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    ...Again, what the hell Sony? Far as I know, the PS3 allowed this just fine, so why is this being blocked? 500 GB sound like a good bunch at least... until you then start realizing that next gen games are inevitably going to become increasingly larger in size the more the generation moves forward. If downloaded AAA games eventually require you to have 50+ GB installs every time, this will become a very annoying issue.
  • larkan - October 30, 2013 6:50 p.m.

    It's called shitty optimization on their part. There is no reason any PS4 game should have an install of 50GB, they need to learn to optimize their shit. Nintendo does one thing right, their in house games are tiny.
  • Eightboll812 - October 30, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    We don't know how much of a disk based game has to be installed on the HD yet, and that is still up to the dev/pub, not Sony or MS. Bladed was referring to the install of downloaded game, which is obviously the full size of the game. You can't get around that, optimization or not. I agree with you on the nature of bloated software today, but you can't blame the console for how much bloatware a third party puts out there.
  • BladedFalcon - October 30, 2013 7:14 p.m.

    True, it is rather preposterous for file sizes to become that large. And yeah, Nintendo is very good at that... although in return, both the 3DS and the Wii U came with pretty shitty default storage sizes.
  • jesse_lee - October 31, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    i remember when the Ps3 and 360 first came out, at the time a 30gig HD was considered huge... how times have changed, four years from now an average game is gonna be 100gigs not too mention the DLC and the saved games and inevitable apps... 500gigs is gonna go really quick, mark my words
  • mbavalo - October 30, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    I'm really hoping they change their minds about this.. like the original Six Axis controller without vibration
  • Eightboll812 - October 30, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    I've read that Xbone won't support external HD at launch either. I'm confused by the Sony revelation. If it is as black and white as that, I'm not too happy. But from reading reports of tweets over the last couple months, and common sense, I'm not sure it is that simple. If you cannot connect external HD, then you can't even connect a thumb drive to install firmware locally like you can with PS3. For PS3's that are so borked you can't boot to get online, a thumb drive is the only rescue you have. So if that is the case, I'm surprised. I'm also surprised that it seems Sony has no way of backing up your current internal HD in order to swap in a new one. These things lead me to believe they will clarify that the external HD is supported in the same way it is supported for PS3. If that's not the case, then I think Sony is starting to screw up what was so far a well played launch.

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