This article has been sponsored by Optus.
I’d wager most people buy games digitally these days, particularly on PC. I’m not sure I can remember the last time I physically purchased a PC game. And while consoles are likely keeping that market alive, larger storage capacities and faster internet connections have those days numbered.
Being a Very Lucky Boy with a fast cable connection, downloading something like a 40GB game only takes about an hour and a half. It makes the act of going outside to physically buy a game (at a higher price, mind you) way less convenient. Plus, reinstalling games via a single button is way easier than than fumbling around with multiple CDs or DVDs.
In other words, the majority of my games are purchased via platforms like Steam that facilitate this convenience.
If I’m ever in need of some quick hard drive space, I’ll look to my library of Steam games, find a few things I haven’t played in a while and uninstall them. After all, it won’t take me long to reinstall them later on. I generally only have between 20 to 40 games of various sizes installed on Steam at any one time. If I go above that — especially with any modern AAA game that eats up 60GB or more — then I start to run low on space.
Right now, I have 37 games installed on Steam, totalling 453GB of space. Almost half a terabyte, and that’s not counting games installed through Epic Games or Battle Net (both of which include some very hefty titles).
It got me thinking — how much space would I need to install my ENTIRE Steam library?
I’ve had Steam since 2004. I remember this because it was the year Half-Life 2 came out and if I wanted to play it, I had to install Steam. Classic Valve. Since then, I’ve amassed a total of 168 games and counting, which is definitely too many to have installed at any one time. I highly doubt anyone could — or even want to — have that many games on the go.
I did a little snooping around to see if I could find an easy way to add up the total size of my 168-game library and came up with pretty much nothing. One site seemed promising, but it was either broken or my Steam ID is too old, so I was left to manually add everything up in a spreadsheet. Please recognise the effort this took.
So, after tallying everything up, my entire Steam library is 2.43 terabytes in size. That’s a lot of hard drive space. I simply do not have the willpower to add up the libraries on my other game platforms, but I’d estimate it would send that total well into three terabytes, maybe four.
In any event, there’s absolutely no way I could download all of this in a single session, even if I wanted to. I could buy enough hard drives to facilitate the space, but I’d also go way over my internet data cap, which isn’t at all ideal.
If you do find yourself needing to reinstall a bunch of games, make sure you have a data plan that facilitates it or a telco with some decent optional perks. Optus, for example, will let you get an Unlimited Data Day* add-on for an additional $5, which, as the name suggests, will let you ignore your data limit for that day.
*For use on mobile phone devices in Australia only. Fair Go Policy applies. Not for commercial use. Add on may be withdrawn from sale without notice. Full terms and conditions here.