Sony’s PlayStation 4 can run many of its next-gen games in full 1080p high-definition and at 60 frames per second, but to achieve that, it installs every game to its hard drive.
In an extensive PlayStation Blog update today, Sony revealed a ton of information about its upcoming system, which debuts Nov. 15 for $400. The company revealed its launch-day lineup and confirmed that the console won’t support external hard drives. Now we are learning that the system will need to install every game it plays to its hard drive — that includes disc-based Blu-ray titles.
“All PS4 Blu-ray disc games must be cached to the hard drive to ensure a smooth gaming experience,” reads Sony’s PS4 blog. “However, certain titles may not require you to wait for the game data to be fully cached before starting gameplay. In order to start playing disc-based games, users will need to insert the game disc into PS4 just like on the [PlayStation 3] system.”
We’ve reached out to Sony to see if it knows which games will support play even while they’re installing. We’ll update with any new information.
This could lead to a situation where players are filling up their 500GB standard hard drives rather quickly. Modern games, before downloadable content, can take up anywhere from 1GB to 50GB, and that could lead to a lot of headaches if the PS4 forces people to start shuffling around data before they can play a new release.
It’s possible that the system could automatically wipe old cache files like a DVR does with old shows you recorded and never watched. Again, we’ve reached out to Sony to determine if this is the case.
This forced-install process does bring up other questions, like what happens if you rent a game and want to buy it after playing it? Couldn’t you just purchase the license and continue playing with the data you installed to the hard drive? That makes sense, but it doesn’t work like that.
“In this [renting] example, you would have to delete the disc-install data and fully install the digital version of the game,” reads the PlayStation Blog.