Technological progress tends to come with a variety of other issues or shortcomings. As far the PS4 is concerned, the size of certain impending games might register as a problem for some people. Given that the standard PS4’s hard drive is going to be 500 GB (a fairly large drive to say the least) and the demands of the Blu-ray format, the need to upgrade might quickly become an avenue worth exploring. Just imagine installing several 50 GB games, soon enough your entire hard drive is packed with data.
Naturally, the next logical step here would be to just upgrade the entire unit, perhaps replacing the standard drive with a 1TB model. Of course without having direct access to the actual version of the console (and having to rely on descriptions originally relayed in German) this guide will deal with a “developer console”. In other words, certain specifics are subject to change in the final design, so we’ll just stick to the basics…
First off, you’re going to want to begin attempting to remove the console’s glossy top panel. Of course you’ll need a set of Torx screwdrivers to achieve this, it’s probably best to just pick up a small set (they’re also useful for other things within the video game hardware world). Once you peel off the panel, you’ll see the metal bracket system which holds the hard drive in place, horizontally. Simply remove the hard drive and then stick your new one in, boot up normally and follow the directions.
In case you don’t already know, one of the coolest things about the PS4 is that it’s more or less standardized in terms of its hardware. Quite simply, you can replace most of the components with off-the-shelf PC hardware, which means the console is a very consumer (perhaps even modification) friendly machine which makes things fairly easy for most users to work with. The hard drive situation is no exception in this department either, as any standard SATA interface drive will be fully compatible with your PS4. Moreover, this also means that you’ll be able to throw in a nice solid state drive too, if you want. For most purposes it’s probably best to pick up a replacement drive with at least 1 TB of space and possessing a speed of at least 5400 RPM’s. Also, don’t worry about size as drives as tall as 12.5mm will fit inside.
So, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way the question to ask might be what kind of person would actually want to go to the trouble of actually replacing their original drive? Believe it or not, the ease with which the hard drive in the PS4 can be swapped out is quite noteworthy. In short, even novice gamers should have no problem opening up their consoles and changing a drive. It almost seems as if Sony is intentionally making it easier for people to switch things up (yet another reason why they’re lauded as darlings by the mainstream gaming community right now). Conversely, the Xbox ONE is going to be just as stubborn as its predecessor, the Xbox 360 in granting access to gamers.
Taking an objective look at things, it would seem that Sony is going to end up building a more dynamic and vibrant fan base of individuals who might even begin sharing various types of mods with the PSN community. Even if that doesn’t occur, the fact remains that services which record and socialize gameplay videos more easily is coming the PS4 and once people begin making their own modifications, others will most certain become interested. It’s very likely that people will start sharing their consoles alterations through social media as well, meaning that companies in turn will begin preparing specialized products to better serve the market. Of course things might just as easily take off in another unexpected direction, perhaps jump-starting a movement where gamers people start to modify the core PlayStation GUI itself, adding it to a mammoth drive size in excess of a few Terabytes.
So, what does this mean, exactly? Does this imply that a great deal of PS4 owners might be expected to take advantage of the ease with which a hard drive can be replaced? At this point everything’s up in the air, anything could happen. The point is, it’s logical to assume that if a standard drive won’t hold more than 10 or so titles people are very likely to start ripping out the regular hardware in order to add something more robust. After all, we do have the legacy of the PS3 to look at in this instance, and lest we not forget, that console also relied on a SATA drive as well.
As far as basic advice in this department, it’s recommended that you try to stick with your standard drive for as long as possible simply because that particular choice represents the “path of least resistance”. You know the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it” – one might argue that this old phrase rings true in this instance. In other words, if you can get by with simply installing and uninstalling games as you go through them, you should probably do that. Additionally, the longer you wait the better selection of proven hard drives you’ll have to choose from, letting everyone else do the testing until a top 5 list of fully compatible drives is whittled down.
With each and every new console release there are always certain unexpected contingencies to deal with – issues that the manufacturer never considered prior to release (the recent Bluetooth headset compatibility issue being one of the more recent examples that springs to mind). If you can exercise some patience you’ll most likely be rewarded with a much better (and perhaps cheaper) replacement drive in the end. However, if you end up deciding to change it you can rest easy knowing that’s it’s a fairly routine procedure.