Are 500 GB enough for Xbox One and PS4?

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 10, 2013
Updated • Nov 10, 2013

Both Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's Playstation 4 will be released this month and in time for the Christmas season. If you have followed the news so far, you probably know which games get released on launch day and before Christmas, what features both systems offer, and also what hardware the companies have selected to power the systems.

Both systems ship with a 500 Gigabyte internal hard drive as main data storage. The storage space is not exclusively reserved for games though, as it is also used for system updates, apps, multimedia contents and other data that users download or transfer to the system.

That may sound like a lot of storage space if you compare it to the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, especially when they launched with their 20, 60 or 80 Gigabytes of storage. High quality titles on the other hand reached 50 Gigabytes on the Playstation 3 while games on the Xbox 360 stayed well below the 10 Gigabyte mark for the most part. There were exceptions though, like The Witcher 2 which shipped on two 7.7 GB discs, Star Ocean: The Last Hope which shipped on three discs, Rage which used more than 20 Gigabytes of storage, or Lost Odyssey or L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition which shipped on four.

One question that arises is if 500 Gigabytes is enough for this generation of systems, or if it is likely that -- at least some -- users will reach the limit fairly quickly.

PS4 vs. Xbox One hard drive space

xbox one

What we do know is that games need to be cached or installed on the hard drive before they can be played. Sony's Playstation 4 does not require full game installations on the hard drive though, as it uses the PlayGo system so that users can play from disc with select contents being cached to the hard drive during play for faster loading times.

Xbox One games on the other hand need to be copied to the hard drive before they can be played.

While we do not know anything about PS4 game sizes with certainty, Xbox One game size information have been leaked in the last days thanks to some systems being shipped earlier than expected to customers.

Of all the tested games, NBA 2K14 occupied the most hard drive space with 43 Gigabytes, followed by Call of Duty: Ghosts with 39 Gigabytes and Just Dance 4 with 22 Gigabyte. The average storage requirement for the ten launch games was 20 Gigabytes.

If you take that figure into account, it is safe to say that you can place about 20 full price titles on the Xbox One hard drive at the same time if you use it exclusively for games.

It is likely that the storage average will go up over time so that we may end up with a figure closer to 30 Gigabytes in one or two years. This would still mean about 13 game installations at the same time.

While it may not be that comfortable to uninstall games before you can install a new one, it is certainly the best possibility considering that Xbox One gamers cannot replace the internal hard drive of the system like PS4 owners can.

We need to take into consideration that other contents are transferred or saved on the device as well. If you add HD movies for example, you may notice that the drive is filling up rather quickly. And that is not taking 4K movies into account which will be available during the lifetime of the gaming systems.

Closing Words

So, is 500 Gigabyte enough? If you do not install more than a couple of full priced games yes, it is enough. If you buy a lot of games and use the console for multimedia as well, you will quickly reach the limit of what you can store on the system.

Microsoft did update the internal hard drive of the Xbox 360 several times over the course of its lifetime, and the same will happen for the Xbox One. I would not be surprised if a 1TB Xbox One is already in the makings to be released next year.

It is clear that Sony's Playstation 4 is better suited to cope with the 500 Gigabyte hard drive. Not only can you play games from discs to save hard drive space in the process, it also allows you to replace the drive with a larger one.


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  1. Adam said on April 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Hahaha what can we do for the Xbox live and plus free games each month? the 500GB is not enough for more than 10 full games

  2. Joe said on January 1, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I am no tech whiz kid. I don’t know the lingo or the internal dimensions of the technology. But I had a Playstation 3 about 100 GB and it supported everything I wanted to do with my system. I watched net flix played any game I wanted to play and enjoyed it. So I don’t honestly know what average folks will do on the game system that would ever take up 500 GB. Last time I checked mod folks only played one game at a time, not multiple games at once. I think game console companies are making a mistake when they leave behind the primary purpose of a game console. Hear is all I want my game system to do for me. First I want it to be an awesome game playing system. I would like it to play movies in high quality and if they can throw in some online movie services thats ok. But I have no need to record movies on my video game system. I just would like the option to watch the movie. If I want to record it I’ll do it on my DVR. So if you don’t record things on your PS4 or Xbox one I don’t see any issues. Good Day

  3. Constance Trevino said on November 14, 2013 at 5:26 am

    It’s nice that the PS4 has a relatively low minimum storage size, but swapping a 500GB hard drive for a 250GB unit would be madness for several reasons. When using a disc-based game, the PS4 requires you to cache gaming data on your hard drive before playing. And the size of some of these games is huge. Sony’s Killzone: Shadow Fall, for instance, will require 50GB of storage, according to Gaming Blend .

  4. Krystof said on November 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Microsoft has stated that they will support external HDD, just not at launch. This doesn’t bother me. By the time I have enough games to worry about it, I’ll be able to connect a hard drive to my Xbox One.

  5. Kieran said on November 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Doesn’t anyone remember the last gen, Xbox 360 launched with 20GB for the Pro version, and PS4 with 40GB. Now they both have 320GB options. I’m pretty sure that They’ll be some 1TB versions heading towards the 4TB by the end of their lives. Possibly even 16TB versions.

    500GB will be more than enough for a year or so. Since they both have Play as you download too It’s not such an issue to delete things is it?

  6. MadridKing said on November 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    What kind of nonsense misinformation are you giving people here?

    Xbox allows you to use any external hard drive via USB 3 where the ps4 wont. Plugging in a HDD via USB is more user friendly than buying and installing a bare HDD.

    Both systems don’t have full functionality at launch, and its highly doubtful people will fill the drives in the first month before the software patches come through. So as it stands both systems are in the same boat.

    Time will tell which is more capable of handling storage, but till then its highly premature to settle on your conclusions. Both systems have a lot of awesome tech and features that have yet to be discovered.

    If you were already intended on getting the Sony, then just say so, no harm no foul, just don’t give misinformation based on your personal preferences.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      First of all, if you hang around a bit on my site you will notice that I do not favor any company. If they do something stupid or great, I will write about it.

      AS far as external hard drives are concerned. Last time I checked, it won’t be supported by launch. If you have updated information about that, let me know and I add those to the article.

      Even if you can add an external drive, it means buying one which adds to the cost of the console. Just saying.

  7. fokka said on November 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    i won’t buy an xbox one, nor a ps4, but i think 500gb is a healthy number for a 400/500$ console. of course more is always better, but i wouldn’t expect sony and ms to include a bigger, more expensive drive from the beginning, if they are already selling the gear without much profit. also, they surely want to keep themselves the option to “generously” upgrade the internal storage later on, to give sales another impulse.

    i personally have the last 3 generations of consoles, but mostly i was playing only one game at a time, so there wouldn’t be a need for me to have dozens of games installed. ymmv.

  8. Rayn said on November 10, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Doesn’t XBOne support external HDD, while PS4 wouldn’t?

    1. regina falangie said on November 10, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      does no one read anything about the consoles? just like ps3 you can replace the one on the ps4

  9. Jhallen said on November 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    The Xbox One allows u to connect an external hard drive, which u cannot do on the ps4. So I think I should be ok with my Xbox. Also, I’m pretty sure you will still be able to play off the disc on the Xbox. Not 100% tho

    1. regina falangie said on November 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      you can upgrade internally on ps4 so, its not a big deal for it either.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Not available during launch it seems, unless that changed recently:

  10. Paul Underdown said on November 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I opted to download(instead of buy a hard copy) of Call of Duty:Ghosts last week on my PS3. 11GB file. It went exceedingly well and the playback has been flawless. The 500GB for me is more than enough for the few games I will would use on the PS4. But I originally purchased the PS3 as a media server(and then got into gaming). Is it accurate that I wont be able to transfer my local movies and music to the PS4 via my home server or even access my home server from the new console?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      According to Sony’s FAQ, it won’t support client functionality for media servers. Sony did state however that it will “explore possibilities”.

      1. Anonymous said on November 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm


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