Size Matters –
You know what sucks? The tiny hard drive space in next gen consoles.
In 2015, the standard 500 GB hard drive is simply not enough. Even when Microsoft and Sony announced the included 500 GB hard drive for the Xbox One and PS4 years ago, I knew this wasn’t going to be enough space outright. This space issue has only grown as Day 1 patches and DLC become the norm in modern day gaming. Sony, Microsoft and even Nintendo’s solution to this issue is to purchase and tether a portable external hard drive to these new gen consoles is like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. Worse, even if an external hard drive is used, new gen users need to purchase a model that plugs into an external power source which takes up more energy and another precious wall outlet.
I understand that console manufacturing price is an issue but Xbox Ones and PS4s need to come with at least a 2TB standard hard drive. With the recent inclusion of downloadable Wii games on the Wii U, the standard 32 GB hard drive in the Wii U is laughable especially since Nintendo has been promoting eShop content more and more; at least a 64 GB unit would give gamers a little more breathing room. And even though the PS4 and Xbox One come with a “500 GB” hard drive, the overall useable space is significantly cut down due to initial formatting. So that 500 GB unit is really only around 360 GB of actual useable space. This is unacceptable.
Because most gamers do not want to the hassle of something else to buy and manage, the only saving grace is the ability to download, delete, and re-download content when signed into each corresponding online account: PSN, Xbox Live and the Nintendo Network. However, this is not a great solution either as new gen games can literally take an entire weekend to download due to large file size and slow download speeds. This not only sucks up all the bandwidth, it also increases electric bills as consoles need to be up and running to download all this data. In the Xbox 360 era, consoles would have been overheated from the red ring of death long ago from chugging beefy downloads all day and night.
A great example of the struggling hard drive space is 343’s failed Halo: The Master Chief Collection. With a bulky install fee, numerous patches and the upcoming Halo 3: ODST DLC, the MCC uses over 65 GB of the approximate 360 GB of usable space. This means that one game, which is still buggy and pretty much broken, takes up about one fifth of the Xbox One’s hard drive space. One game = one fifth! And the problem is you cannot just delete a portion of this content; it is all or nothing and makes the re-downloading/re-installing feature moot.
Even the limited edition Xbox One Call of Duty Advanced Warfare 1 TB bundle still isn’t enough space. Yes, this console did carry a higher price point because of the bigger storage space but it was worth it in my opinion. I would rather pay an extra $50-$100 bucks up front to beef up the one included hard drive in my console than have to deal with an additional external unit.
There were many different console upgrades during the last generation as consoles got smaller, more energy efficient, quieter, and included bigger hard drives. While this upgrade is inevitable with new gen units, this change cannot come fast enough. At the same time, consoles have gone the opposite direction with the 4 GB model of Xbox 360, that includes a download code for Peggle 2, that is pretty much useless. Four gigs isn’t enough space to download a full retail released game especially since that 4 GB probably only has about 3 GB of actual useable space. This smaller model is really only used for replacement business but unknowing buyers will be in a for shock when they realize they will have to lay down another $100 for a hard drive so they can actually, you know, do something with their console.
It is only a matter of time before 2 TB+ becomes the standard in the Xbox One and PS4 but will most likely carry a higher price point. When that day comes, I image many people will be heading to Gamestop to trade up to the bigger unit just for the extra convenience factor. Gamers don’t want to wait to play their games and also don’t want to compromise. With current 500 GB hard drives, everyone loses.
… and don’t get me started on Vita memory cards.