Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida recently tweeted that next-generation PlayStation titles would not “install”, but rather “cache”, to the system’s hard drive – a solution, many assumed, to the forthcoming software’s 40 or 50GB file sizes, coupled with the PS4’s 500GB storage space.
Today, however, the PlayStation 4’s lead architect Mark Cerny has provided some clarity on just how the mandatory game installations on Sony’s next-gen machine will work. The crux of the matter here is that all games will install considerable chunks of data to your HDD, and no, it won’t be automatically deleted.
The confusion regarding “caching” seems to have arisen around the way Sony are choosing to install this data. Rather than waiting indefinitely for a title to load at various points, as is often the case now, disc-based games will instead begin caching data immediately, and after a nominal wait the game will begin. Knack, says Cerny, will see players wait only 10 seconds before getting into a game. After that, the remainder of the game’s 37GB will be installed intelligently in the background, as you play.
Streaming the files from HDD as-and-when they are required – rather than reading from the far slower Blu-ray drive – allows for far more complex operations to be performed in real-time. This, said Cerny, helps alleviate issues raised by current-gen developers regarding the immersion breaking in-game load times we’re used to.
Cerny also said that despite earlier internal discussions to the contrary, all installed game data will stay on the hard drive until the user chooses to delete it, as is the case with current-gen machines. Microsoft’s Xbox One will, unsurprisingly, also require installation from Blu-ray, although the use of game-caching or pre-loading as Sony have mentioned is currently unknown. Regardless, It seems we’re going to be swapping out our 500GB stock hard-drives sooner than first thought.
PlayStation 4 launches in the US this Friday, November 15th, before coming to EU shores two weeks later, on November 29th.