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PS4 and Xbox One Don’t Support External Hard Drives

A new generation of consoles is incoming. With the Wii U having been released first, it is soon going to be Sony and Microsoft’s turn with their PS4 and Xbox One consoles respectively. Offering updated graphics, new controllers and new interfaces, these are brand new devices that are sure to sell millions. With only a few months to release, it’s not long until consumers will get their hands on the consoles and a wealth of exciting games.
Internal storage on consoles has become increasingly important over the years. In the past, it wasn’t possible to download games directly to your consoles. One of the main reasons you needed storage for was for save games and often this was supported only through memory cards. However, as technology advanced, newer consoles let you install games off the disc and also download them from online stores. As such, it has been important for consumers to have large amounts of storage on their console hard drives.
As the PS4 and Xbox One release dates draw nearer, it has been revealed that neither console will support external hard drives at launch. Let’s take a look at how this was announced and what it means.
Both consoles come with a 500 GB hard drive, but there is a difference. Microsoft use propriety drives, meaning that they’ve been designed specifically for that console. Sony, however, use a drive that is available on the consumer market. As such, you can unload the drive from the PS4 and put in any other drive and it’ll run it. In that sense, it works much like a computer would. The same thing isn’t possible on the Xbox One (plus if you do it’ll void your warranty) and that’s why external storage is even more important.
Additionally, both consoles have USB 3.0 ports, so it’s not like the hardware facilities aren’t there to support external drives. It seems that it’s just a software option to not support external hard drives. But why is this?
Larry Hryb from Microsoft was speaking at the Penny Arcade Expo and said that the team are “working on other things” that they need to get out the door before external hard drive support.
Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Worldwide Studios at Sony, simply told a Twitter user “no” when he was asked if external hard drives can be used to install games.
Indeed, that doesn’t mean that external drive support for both consoles could appear down the line. Plus, bear in mind that 500GB is a lot of storage space and will go a long way. Users can always delete games and redownload them in the future if necessary. Of course, if Sony ramp up their integration of cloud gaming (through their Gaikai service) then the internal hard drive could become even less of a concern for the PS4.
Although the Wii U does support external hard drives, the premium version of that console only comes with 32GB internal storage and that won’t get you very far.

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