With the release of the newest PS4 firmware update, version 4.5, PS4 gamers were finally able to upgrade using an external hard drive. This is one of those features that I’ve been waiting for. The 500GB that came with the system was never enough. With games becoming larger and larger as technology advances and games just become bigger overall, 500GB can be filled with just a couple of games not to mention patches that come with games along with unrestricted DLC sizes. When it comes to go big or go home, I usually go big and this time I did too by upgrading to the largest size external hard drive that the PS4 allows. But the real question is, was it worth it?
While I could have upgraded to an internal hard drive a long time ago to fit the amount of games that I have, I never felt comfortable doing so. This generated a lot of laughs because “it’s so simple,” and “I thought you knew what you were doing when it came to computers and stuff.” And while I do know what I’m doing when it comes to “computers and stuff,” I never felt comfortable popping open the top of my PS4 and removing the hard drive. For that reason, I lived with the fact that when I wanted to play games I basically had to wait until I finished one in order to remove it or wait until I got tired of not playing a certain game and just start rage deleting a bunch of games in order to fit the game I wanted to play. It was a way of life for me until February.
In February, it was announced that the next big PS4 firmware update would allow the use of an external hard drive. This meant I didn’t have to open up my system and could just connect a hard drive using a USB port and be on my way. Since then I’ve been looking into all of my options and finally decided on one just as version 4.5 was released.
Finally deciding on the Seagate 8TB Expansion, I placed my order and eagerly awaited its arrival. Dreaming of all the games I would finally be able to play, reality struck when I finally got my external hard drive. First of all, the thing is huge. It’s this huge, heavy, rectangular box, that I had to be creative and find a hiding place for. Second of all, there is now this really ugly USB wire sticking out of the front of my PS4 leading down to where I hid the box kind of messing up the ascetics of my gaming setup. And then finally, the thing is so damn noisy. It’s constantly making some kind of clunking type noise that differs depending on if a game is downloading to it, a game is being played off of it, or if it’s just on.
Other than all that though, it was a pretty easy install, even though I had a WTF moment when I first plugged it in and a little message popped up saying that this drive wasn’t supported. While part of my brain knew this meant it had to be formatted, the other part of my brain went into panic mode because this thing was not cheap. Maybe a message change is in order? Instead of saying that the drive isn’t supported maybe it should say that the drive needs to be formatted? Just a suggestion. Since it was blank the format didn’t take all that long and since then I’ve been adding as many games as possible on while my PS4 isn’t in use.
So far I have four disc games on there, Dragon Age: Inquisition (including all of the DLC),Horizon Zero Dawn, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and Mass Effect: Andromeda along with over 50 downloaded games that range from a couple of hundred MB to almost 40GB each. With all of this, I’m at a capacity of almost 400GB. These aren’t all of my games though and I still have a bunch more, and I do mean a bunch, to add, this isn’t half bad.
Looking at this as a kind of a long term investment, I’m pretty happy with the 8TB. Sure it’s a lot and it might not even see all 8TB be filled up, but I feel like it was worth it. This huge strain has been lifted off of my shoulders as I no longer have to worry about storage space and what the hell is wrong with my PS4 because it won’t go under 25GB. Overlooking the fact that it’s huge, clunky, has a wire sticking out of my PS4 permanently, and is noisy I would say it was totally worth it.
While the 8TB might not be for everyone, I will say that if you’re like me and find it a huge taboo to pop open the top of your PS4 in order to change the internal hard drive, then external is the way to go. If you’re like me and don’t want to worry about storage space ever, then 8TB is the way to go, but if you’re the more casual gamer then I would say that anywhere between 2TB and 4TB would be sufficient enough.