You Can’t Install PS4 Games To External Hard Drives

Space might be a bit of an issue in the next generation, with bigger games perhaps pushing downloads closer to 50GB in some cases. While the PS4 will come with 500GB of internal storage, I can see this becoming problematic in a few years.

It’s a shame, then, that you won’t be able to expand the game storage of the PS4 with an external hard drive. This comes, once again, from the brilliant Shuhei Yoshida on twitter, who responded to the question – as he usually does – with a quick “no”:


Presumably you will still presumably be able to store music, videos, photos to view on the system, and even copy over game saves as you can with the PS3 currently. You can, however, upgrade the internal hard drive of the system.

The Xbox One will support external storage for everything that the console does, including games, and the Wii U (at only 32GB internally) allows for storage of games on an external hard drive. Are Sony missing a trick here?



  1. You have to remember the PS4!s HDD can be changed, so if you fill up the HDD you can buy one as big as current technology allows, so in a few years you’ll be able to swap in a 2TB HDD, and not need an external device making things look ugly.

    • Sony absolutely aren’t missing a trick. The encrypted internal storage (that uses ZFS and is locked to the hardware key) has ensured that the PS3 is the only console that is virtually piracy free this gen.

      I’m perfectly happy that it supports user replaceable hdd and external drives for my own content on the same way the PS3 is.

      • I was thinking the same. They’d only go and remove the feature further down the line once someone gets homebrew games running from it.

        Better the keep the feature out from the word go

  2. Provided they make upgrading the internal drive as easy as they did on PS3, I’m happy with continuing that system.

  3. Isn’t the use of external HDD for xbox n wii one of the reasons pirating on those devices is easier than ps3? If so then I don’t blame them for keeping it to the console’s mandatory reformatting.

  4. Hardly surprising when you take into account HDD read speeds compared to USB read speeds – although the PS4 does have USB 3.0 doesn’t it? But I guess that’s still about 1 Gbit/s slower than SATA 3 reads.
    I guess also it could make it easier to pirate/mod games if you can install them to an external HDD and then connect that straight to a PC.

    I wonder what effect SSD’s will have on the next generation, if Sony have thought about it using it as a larger flash memory-based cache.

    • Nah, the PS4 will use a 2.5″ HDD and probably still at 5,400rpm, at that! That’s quite a slow HDD, but still miles faster than the optical drive, which even at 6x is only pushing 27MB/s of data, theoretical, which isn’t going to give even USB 2 much trouble.

      • Could’ve sworn I saw on neogaf ages ago confirmation it was SATA 3 at 7200rpm…

        But after digging around on google it seems those were unfounded :(

    • You have to consider latency once you start going with external devices aswell, and other variables.

      And you talk of SATA 3, do we know the PS4 has this and not SATA 2 like the Xbox One?

      • Looks like I was wrong sorry, stupid speculation on gaf I thought was real!

  5. But can you play games from the external hdd on the Xbox One? Storage is one thing, and I’m sure PS4 can store the games, just not play them from external hdds.

    • Yes, the Xbox One can do this.

      • Actually. No the xbox one can’t do this. MS have admitted that this feature will not be available at launch and have no time scales as to when it will be added.

      • Pity it turned out that way… :\

  6. I hate re-downloading games to play them again, so as soon as is necessary I shall buy a huge internal HDD for my PS4 as I’ve done with my PS3s, and I’ve had ample storage ever since. Also, I would find an external HDD annoying and it would always have to be connected. And imagine you were playing something and you accidentally pulled the USB cable out!! :O You could corrupt your data or something!

    I guess an external HDD would be a nice option, but I don’t not having the option as much of an issue.

  7. you can find hard drive for as low as 80 bucks off newegg and stuff,
    and somtimes you can catch there sales.
    by next year 2tb will be cheap and you can use your 500gb on somthing else. so i don’t mind sony is doing this

  8. 1tb for as low as 80 bucks

  9. If it makes it more difficult to pirate games, do it, I say. I’m sure they’ll make it simple enough to upgrade and I’d rather have it all hidden away inside the box anyway.

  10. As long as we can move a game off to storage and back, that’ll work

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