External Drives And Other Cool Stuff In The New PS4 Update

External Drives And Other Cool Stuff In The New PS4 Update

System software update 4.50 is live for PlayStation 4 owners now, adding major functionality to Sony’s console. Between enabling external hard drives, the ability to make your own background images and the ShareFactory apps’ new import functionality, the PS4 is a little bit more functional today.

My new custom background. I will replace this with a theme by week’s end, but I like having the option.

First off we have the big one. While the Xbox One and Wii U have been up for the old external hard drive for ages, PlayStation 4 owners have had to satisfy themselves with having to swap out the internal hard disk to make more room. Update 4.50 changes that.

Since my Wii U was traded in towards Nintendo’s Switch, I had a spare one terabyte drive hanging about. I plugged it in, formatted it, and I was good to go.

External drives are automatically assigned as the default location for new games and apps, but that can be changed in settings menu.

Moving an 18GB game from the system drive to the external took about three minutes. Once there, it launched and ran as it normally does.

In case you accidentally disconnect your external drive, which I might have done, the system goes through the same process as it would with the internal drive when you power off unexpectedly.

Our friends over at Lifehacker created a handy guide for installing an external drive on the PlayStation 4, in case you don’t trust plug and play.

Seeing as I had plenty of room on my PlayStation 4 Pro, the most exciting feature in update 4.50 for me was custom backgrounds. Themes are nice, but when you have so many great games with photo modes, why not make your own?

I need to take more screenshots, as most of mine were automatic grabs taken during trophy acquisition. I did have a lovely shot from Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone, so I used that.

Once an image is selected, users can change the basic colour of the boxes and menus on the PS4 to match their choice. There’s also a new option in 4.50 that lets users choose if they want a dark or light drop shadow under menu text, to ensure proper viability with their custom background.

What else, what else? Oh yeah, PlayStation 4 Pro users will appreciate Boost Mode, which can significantly increase performance in non-optimised older games.

Oh, and they have added voice chat for Remote Play, which should be nice for folks streaming PS4 games to their phones or computers.

On top of the update 4.50 changes, Sony’s ShareFactory app updated to version 2.50 today, finally giving users the ability to import their own video clips, images and sounds via USB stick.

I had no USB. Pft.

I had no USB. Pft.

And I cannot understate the importance of the new ShareFactory infomercial theme.

It’s a brave new PlayStation 4 today, ready to be customised, enhanced and shared in bold new ways. Are they things Xbox One users could already do? Yeah? Well the Xbox One couldn’t take screenshots until 2015, so shush.


  • Xbox owners may have had more customization options, but hey, look at their exclusives list lol. They needed something to keep them occupied while they had nothing good to play.

    • Wow, what an idiotic, subjective, fanboy comment with no substance…. Both consoles have exclusives that are amazing if that’s the kinda game you go for. Yes there are people out there that think uncharted and bloodbourne suck.

      I am glad they finally added hdd support, as its a godsend for anyone in australia with a slow Internet connection. You can finally store everything you want without having to redownload

        • Here’s the retail exclusives for Xbox One.

          Crackdown 3 (Microsoft)
          Halo Wars 2 (Microsoft)
          Mystereet F: The Detectives’ Curtain Call (5pb.)
          Natsuki Chronicle (Qute)
          Phantom Dust (Microsoft)
          Sea of Thieves (Microsoft)
          State of Decay 2 (Microsoft)
          Shooting Love Trilogy (Triangle Service)
          Yomi wo Saku Hana (Experience)

          PS4 OBJECTIVELY has better games. There’s enough quality in there to beat out the Xbox One list and the Quantity is objectively enough to make up for it.

          Subjectively the Xbox One might be a better fit for you, but objectively even if every game on the PS4 was a 7, and every game on the Xbox One was a perfect 10, the variety of PS4 makes up the difference and then runs laps.
          428: Shibuya Scramble (Spike Chunsoft)
          13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (Atlus)
          A Certain Magical Virtual-On (Sega)
          Akiba’s Beat (XSEED Games)
          Anonymous;Code (5pb.)
          ArmaGallant: Decks of Destiny (Maximum Games)
          Birthdays the Beginning (NIS America)
          Blue Reflection: Sword of the Girl Who Dances in Illusions (Gust)
          Chaos;Child: Love Chu Chu!! (5pb.)
          Cladun Returns: This is Sengoku! (NIS America)
          City Shrouded in Shadow (Bandai Namco)
          Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (Activision)
          Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online (Idea Factory International)
          Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (NIS America)
          Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (NIS America)
          Dark Rose Valkyrie (Idea Factory International)
          Days Gone (SIE)
          Death Stranding (SIE)
          Detroit: Become Human (SIE)
          Disaster Report 4 Plus: Summer Memories (Granzella)
          DJMAX Respect (Neowiz Games)
          Dragon Quest Heroes II (Square Enix)
          Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time [Console Ver.] (Square Enix)
          Dreams (SIE)
          Earth Defense Force 5 (D3 Publisher)
          Exile Election (NIS)
          Farpoint (SIE)
          Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix)
          Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (Square Enix)
          Gendai Daisenryaku 2017: Henbou Suru Gunji Kinkou! Senritsu no Power Game (SystemSoft Alpha)
          Genkai Tokki: Castle Panzers (Compile Heart)
          God of War (SIE)
          God Wars: Future Past (NIS America)
          Granblue Fantasy Project Re: Link (Cygames)
          Gran Turismo Sport (SIE)
          English] Gundam Versus (Bandai Namco)
          Hakuoki Shinkai: Fuukaden (Idea Factory)
          Happy Manager (D3 Publisher)
          [Import] Hotch Kiss (TGL)
          Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary (Square Enix)
          Killing Bites (Nex Entertainment)
          [Import] Kiss Bell (TGL)
          Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix (Square Enix)
          Knack 2 (SIE)
          The Last of Us Part II (SIE)
          The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III (Falcom)
          Megadimension Neptunia VIIR (Compile Heart)
          MLB: The Show 17 (SIE)
          Musou Stars (Koei Tecmo)
          New Hot Shots Golf (SIE)
          Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon (Koei Tecmo)
          Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Bandai Namco)
          Omega Labyrinth Z (D3 Publisher)
          Persona 5 (Atlus)
          Project Awakening (Cygames)
          Re:Zero – Starting Life from Zero- Kiss or Death (5pb.)
          Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada (Koei Tecmo)
          Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash (XSEED Games)
          SG/ZH School Girl/Zombie Hunter (D3 Publisher)
          Shenmue III (Ys Net)
          The Silver Case (NIS America)
          Song of Memories (Pure Wish)
          Spider-Man (SIE)
          StarBlood Arena (SIE)
          Sudden Strike 4 (Kalypso Media)
          Summon Night 6: Lost Borders (Gaijinworks)
          [Import | English] Super Robot Wars V (Bandai Namco)
          [Import] Taiheiyou no Arashi: Shijou Saidai no Gekisen Normandy Goubousen! (SystemSoft Alpha)
          Tokyo Xanadu eX+ (Aksys Games)
          Touhou Genso Wanderer (NIS America)
          Touhou Kabuto V: Burst Battle (NIS America)
          Toukiden 2 (Koei Tecmo)
          Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (SIE)
          Urban Legend in Limbo (Twilight Frontier)
          Utawawerumono: Mask of Deception (Atlus)
          Utawawerumono: Mask of Truth (Atlus)
          V! No Heroes Allowed! R (SIE)
          WipEout Omega Collection (SIE)
          The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 (NIS)
          Yakuza: Kiwami (Sega)
          Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (Sega)
          Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (NIS America)
          [Pending] YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world. (5pb.)
          Zero Escape: The Nonary Games (Aksys Games)

  • You didn’t even mention the fact you can now watch 3D Blurays in Playstation VR…. which, I always wondered if that would ever become a feature since I got the VR, or if it was even technically feasible. But they did it! Yay! Now I need to find a 3d bluray.

    Playstation has been nailing it recently.

    I think the only thing I’d want is the PS media app to play 4k streams (from my media server primarily). As far as I know that’s not a feature yet.

    As a public service: Those who aren’t aware of media servers should download the excellent Universal Media Server: http://www.universalmediaserver.com/ based on the excellent now defunct Ps3media server application.

    Simply run it on your PC, and if your PS4 or PS3 is connected to the same network, you will be able to watch or listen to the content on your PS4 through the Media Player. Or your tv if it supports DLNA.

    • Yes! The VR 3D player, it was the feature I didn’t know I wanted till they announced it I have a 3D copy of Kubo & the Two Strings set aside for this exact use

    • You can also use Plex. The media server is free for your PC and so is the app for the PS4.

      I used the Media Player a year or so ago and I found it really clunky and didn’t play every file (not sure if this has changed?)

      Plex sorts out your media nicely and plays pretty much any video format.

      • Using a DLNA media server gets around the file format issue as the files are transcoded

        • That really depends on which DLNA server you use. As far as the protocol is concerned, the server advertises streams in a number of formats and the client picks the first stream it knows how to play.

          Some servers only offer streams in the original format for the file. While others might offer streams that transcode the content on the fly. And different servers may do better or worse jobs at transcoding.

  • Does anyone know if playing games installed on the external hard drive reduces performance at all? USB connection seems like it’d be somewhat of a bottleneck.

    • If it is anything like the Xbox one, it might actually be a slight performance boost (if you get a 7200 rpm drive or ssd) as USB 3 is actually faster than the sata 2 connection in the Ps4. There are comparison videos around of the performance on the Xbox one with an external drive.

      • Cool thanks for the info. Truthfully I didn’t even think about SSD as an option, but i’ll definitely look into that now. The 500GB hard drive that came with the console is driving me crazy, constantly having to delete games to make room for new ones.

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