Ask a Gamer 13: How much is enough storage?

Posted on September 25, 2017

My nephew, Mr J, is saving his pennies for a new console, and he is obviously shopping around as he just asked me:

Ask a gamer 13: How much is enough storage?

Preowned is a great idea as it can save lots of money; just check on the return policy in case anything is wrong with the console when you get it home. Playstation is my choice of console for home (but Xbox is great for the Truck) so it comes recommended by me.

Well this is a great question as storage size is one of the biggest points of difference when choosing a console.  As with everything, it depends on what you are likely to use the console for.

Sometimes consoles are used for media – downloading and playing videos and music, in particular. PS4s are not particularly well-suited to this (the tagline is, ‘this is for the players’ – and it was Sony’s main point of difference from Microsoft in the marketing of the current generation), but if you plan on using it for content like this then you want as much storage space as possible, so 1Tb or even 2Tb would be worth considering. But there are better devices for this anyway – most phones or an iPod (do they still exist?) or other media player would be better suited for this purpose.

Not that kind of console storage

If your main focus is games, then you want to think about how you intend to buy them – on disc or digitally. What I do is buy all my games in physical copy – in Australia this is much cheaper and I like having the discs. Some indie games are only available in digital format though. If you want to buy other, bigger commercial games in digital form then you will find yourself running out of space pretty quickly, so it might be worth going for bigger space from the beginning if that’s the plan. (Buying games online will also take up a large chunk of internet quota so check with Mum and Dad about this first.)

So in short: if you are buying your PS4 just to play games and not for music or movies, and you plan on buying most of your games in disc format, 500 Gb is probably enough space for you. One of the great things is that the PS4 now supports external hard drives, or if you are really keen on keeping your memory internal you can install a new hard drive in the console itself (see below). I’ve done this to upgrade my PS4 to 2Tb which is more than enough space for now. So if you find yourself in the future with space issues you can fix this when it arises.

Now, for your ‘any other advice’ question, yes I do have a few bits of general advice:

  • Remember that as with the Xbox, if you want to play multiplayer online you must purchase PS+ membership which costs about $10 a month (but you get a few free games every month as well so it’s quite worth it);
  • If you do plan to play online, a headset is a good idea and you may not get one with a preowned console;
  • Remember that Playstation controllers are a slightly different shape and size (overall a bit smaller) than Xbox ones so make sure you have used one and they are comfortable enough to adapt to;
  • Remember that some games are only available exclusively on Xbox One or Playstation 4, so make sure your most beloved franchise isn’t Xbox-exclusive before making the commitment;
  • I play mostly on PS4 so make sure you friend me when you get on (F1rst_Pers0n); and if you so go ahead with PS+ membership, I can’t recommend Overwatch highly enough – let’s team up! (As long as Mum and Dad think it’s age-appropriate, of course.)

I hope that helps – enjoy your new console when you get it, and play well!

– Chad

Do you have a burning questions about video games, consoles, or game culture – if so, ‘Ask a Gamer’ by commenting below, email; call Chad on 0433 318 001, or visit our Facebook page!


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