Few serious gamers are unfamiliar with Sony PlayStation-4. After all, PS4 is a much-improved version of Sony’s first three video game consoles, the PlayStation 1 to 3. Loyal PlayStation fans appreciate PS4’s improvements from PS3, such as the redesigned console controllers, better independent game development, increased hard drive capacity, and improved integration of PS4 external hard drives. Since its North American launch in November 2013, Sony has sold more than 40 million units and has shipped over 43 million consoles worldwide.
Despite PS4’s numerous exciting features, most gamers find its insufficient storage capacity a serious flaw. The first line of PlayStation-4 only has only 500GB internal hard drive (HDD), certainly not enough to store all the games and content that users want. Imagine saving the entire Final Fantasy series (or at least those available for PS4) or Call of Duty but having only half a terabyte of storage space. It’s disappointing, to say the least.
In response to user comments, Sony has recently released an updated version of PS4, this time with capacity up to 1TB. While Sony does a good job of listening to its users and improving their products, a 1TB internal HDD is still not enough for avid gamers, especially those who also play media files with their console.
Improving Your PS4 External Hard Drive Storage Capacity
Fortunately, whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting out, you do not have to be limited by PlayStation-4’s inadequate storage capacity. Users now have several options to increase the size of their external hard drive for PS4. These are the following:
- Upgrade the internal hard drive of your PS4
This is the best option if you prefer to keep all of your games and movies in one place. Since you are keeping all your files on the internal hard drive of your video game console, you do not need to go through the trouble of transferring a game back to the console if you want to play. Data access is instant, so you have more time to play the actual game. The downside is that you are basically storing everything in one device, so there is a chance that you may lose all your files if your unit crashes or becomes corrupted. If you think about upgrading your PS4 internal hard drive we strongly recommend you to see our Best PS4 Hard Drives article.
- Get an external hard drive for PS4
If you want an easy PS4 storage upgrade, get an external hard drive. After 4.5 System Software Update, you can install your games on PS4 external HDD.
The good thing about a PS4 external hard drive is that you can bring it with you without taking the whole console and they are much faster than portable external hard drives. So if a friend has another PS4 unit in a different location and you just want to play your saved games or watch a movie, you can bring your portable HDD and leave your own console behind. On the other hand, transferring files from the external HDD back to the game console can be tedious, depending on the transfer speed of your device and the size of your file. Note that you cannot play a game directly from the external hard drive, so you have to set a portion of your time transferring a file back to your PS4 before you can play the game again.
- Upgrade your internal hard drive and get additional storage with an external hard drive
PS4 gamers can opt to do both, but most of them don’t because it becomes redundant. Unless you are a professional gamer or you are very particular about backing up your important files, you do not have to go with this option. The good thing about choosing this, however, is that you can save a copy of the file twice — one in the internal hard drive and another in the external HDD. By doing this to your favorite games and movies, you can easily play them whenever you want, and still, have a backup copy in your external HDD in the event that your console gets broken.
Top 4 Desktop External Hard Drives for PS4
If you do not need to bring your files with you every day, you can choose a desktop external hard drive. PS4 consoles can be stored in a strategic location and connected to the unportable HDD, so it is easy to boot up any game you want to play, anytime.
PS4 Desktop External HDD Comparison Table
Top 4 Portable External Hard Drives for PS4
A portable external hard drive is perfect for people with an active lifestyle. Since it is very lightweight, it is easy to carry in the bag. While you may not need to move your backup often if it only contains PS4 games, you can still consider the portable version if you want your files ready for access anytime you need them. One major plus of portable external hard drives is that they don’t require an additional power cable.
Best PS4 Portable HDD Comparison Table
Choosing an External Hard Drive for PS4
There are two types of external hard drives available for PlayStation-4. These are the desktop (unportable, 3.5-inch drives inside) external hard drive and laptop (portable, 2.5-inch drives inside) external hard drive. Desktop HDDs are designed to remain in one place for long periods of time and therefore are heavier and bigger in size. Laptop HDDs, on the other hand, are best used to store files that you need on the go, because they are quite handy and convenient to carry around.
Of course, using either version comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. To help you decide the best external hard drive for PS4, check out the list below:
PS4 Portable External Hard Drive
PS4 Desktop External Hard Drive
Uses of PS4 External Hard Drives
Once you decide to buy an external hard drive to store your PS4 games and other files, you can now start the actual file transfer. External HDD can be used in the following ways:
Also, make sure you have downloaded and installed the latest PS4 firmware update
- As a drive to install your games and apps
- To set up your external hard drive, connect your hard drive to the USB port of your PlayStation-4. Both desktop and portable HDDs have a USB 3.0 connectivity interface, which is compatible with PS4 and other game consoles.
- Format your external hard drive through the console by going >Settings>Devices>USB Storage Devices>”Your external HDD.”
- Now just click “Format as Extended Storage” and follow the steps.
- You are done! Now you can install your games and apps directly on your external HDD.
- As a backup for the games in your console.
- To start the backup process, connect your hard drive to the USB port of your PlayStation-4. Both desktop and portable HDDs have a USB 3.0 connectivity interface, which is compatible with PS4 and other game consoles.
- Go to Settings and open the System folder. Click on Backup and Restore and then to Back Up PS4.
- Select which items you want to backup and click Next.
- Click the Back-Up button and wait for the system to restart. This should take only a few seconds. The backup will initiate once the system restarts. Make sure you don’t turn off your PS4 during backup as this may cause the files to be corrupted.
- As a media file player.
- Download the PS4 Media Player from the PlayStation online store and install it in your console.
- Connect your external HDD to your game console and load up the PS4 Media Player.
- A Media Player menu will pop up on screen, and from there you can select which media file you want to access.
To Sum up about PS4 external hard drives
Upgrading your internal HDD to a bigger storage capacity has its advantages, but so does buying an extra PS4 external hard drive as drive to install apps and games on and as a backup. It is up to you to decide which option fits your needs better. After system software update 4.5 you can install and play your games on external hard drive, making external HDD an easy way to increase PS4 storage capacity. Do you want instant access to all your games? Do you want the convenience of being able to bring all your files without bringing the rest of your console with you? Just remember: As a gamer, it is important to have a backup of your files, in the event that your Playstation-4 crashes. No gamer wants this to happen, but it’s always better to have a backup of your files and be safe.