For the first time ever, a home console will require mandatory game installations for all games. Which means that once you pop in your game disc, it automatically starts transferring data to the internal harddrive. This is exactly what the PlayStation 4 does, and PS4 creator Mark Cerny recently revealed some of the details behind that logic.
The big reason that games have to be installed on the harddrive is that it’s simply faster to access things from the harddrive compared to the Blu-ray drive. Despite the fact that the Blu-ray drive in the PlayStation 4 is 3 times faster than the one in the PS3, it’s still no match for the harddrive.
Game developers also complained to Sony about long loading times, so Sony simply went ahead and made sure that all games on the PlayStation 4 install automatically to the harddrive. The process happens automatically and runs in the background. According to Cerny, players will have to wait about 10 seconds the first time they start playing. After they start playing the transfer happens in the background while the game runs.
For example, Knack will take up 37 GB of disk space on the PlayStation 4, but players won’t have to transfer all of that at once. It happens seamlessly in the background as the game goes on.
As for storage space, Cerny says that they thought of automatically deleting the cache on the harddrive, since it takes up so much space. But they decided against it, and instead left it up to the user to delete game content on the console.
Most games seem to take up 30 to 50 GB of disk space on the console (Battlefield 4 takes up 35 GB, for example). Which means the 500 GB internal harddrive in the PlayStation 4 could get filled up pretty quickly.