My PS5 Hard Drive Is Already Full

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My PS5 Hard Drive Is Already Full
Image: Demon's Souls

If you’re wondering whether the PS5‘s hard drive space will going to be an issue, I can definitely confirm that that will become the case.

The console isn’t even officially out until tomorrow. I’ve had the PS5 in my house for over a week — the full Blu-Ray version — and already, already, I’ve hit the limit of the hard drive.

It happened so suddenly. I started up by downloading a bunch of things from the PlayStation Plus Collection to see whether they’d get any benefits from the PS5Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Persona 5, Monster Hunter: World. The results there were mixed. Monster Hunter: World definitely gets a big boost from the PS5, thanks to its uncapped frame rates across all of its various graphics modes.

A game like God of War benefits too — if you’re playing in performance mode. Sure, it’s only running at 1080p, but 60 FPS Kratos is a hell of a lot nicer than not-60 FPS (and the game upscales really nicely on my TV anyway).

But after installing a couple of newer games last night — Yakuza: Like a Dragon and the PS5 version of NBA 2K21 — I ran into a very awkward wall:

Image: Kotaku Australia

Oh no.

What the hell. I’ve had the console for a week.

It’s not like I’ve gone ham with installing everything. Quite literally, it’s been one week. And it’s not like I’ve downloaded everything imaginable from my library. I’ve gotten a couple of major titles — Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a big beast — but I’ve also downloaded some smaller games like Wipeout HD CollectionMirror’s Edge Catalyst installed from the drive; I wanted to see how the PS5’s backward compatibility worked, because I knew that game ran at 60 FPS on the PS4 Pro, save for some dips in different scenarios. (It’s still nice and vibrant, still not quite as good as the original Mirror’s Edge, but the frame rate dips are gone.)

Perhaps the bigger note here is that I could comfortably download all of these games within a week and I didn’t have any problems with the PlayStation Network. The PS4’s download speeds were notoriously bad, so much so that users found their own workarounds. But this has been during the review period, and speeds are liable to be much slower later in the week when everyone hits Sony’s servers all at once. And that’s not even factoring in what happens when everyone wants to download updates for games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which is so popular in Australia and such a drain on our national infrastructure that even NBN Co had an official whinge about it. (By the way, if you’re still on a slow-arse NBN plan, you might want to think of upgrading real soon.)

In case you’re wondering, here’s what my hard drive looks like broken down per game:

Image: Kotaku Australia

(I’d thought I’d copied the screenshot of the rest of my page to my portable SSD, but alas I hadn’t. We’ve just started transitioning back into working from the office, so bare with me here.)

Games like Fallout 4, Wipeout Omega Collection and Persona 5 came in under the 30GB mark, with the smallest title on my drive being Sonic Mania (as you’d expect). I haven’t really installed a ton of indies from my library yet, because most of those generally ran at a locked, buttery smooth frame rate on the PS4 Pro anyway. (You’ll also notice how Yakuza: Like a Dragon has the PS4 tag — the game won’t get its PS5 optimisations until March 2, 2021.)

Bloodborne and The Last of Us Remastered are a fraction bigger, so you can see how quickly that 667GB disappears. All in all, I’ve only got 13 games installed on the drive, including Astro’s Playroom which comes pre-installed:

  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Bloodborne
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake
  • God of War
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
  • NBA 2k21
  • Persona 5
  • Sonic Mania
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Wipeout HD Collection
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon

I know there’s good reasons for Sony not publishing that compatibility list yet, but after this I’m pretty damn sure I’ll be getting a new NVMe drive as soon as that list is released.

Comments

  • Yeah. I did some research through a reddit thread that indicated which PS4 games were running with unlocked framerates, and which ones had received dedicated next-gen performance patches, and I quickly realized I wasn’t going to be able to install even a quarter of the list.

      • Whatever you want to play, when the desire strikes you to play it?
        I treat gaming like a buffet, sampling whatever has appeal in that moment.

        It is a very weird and alien concept to me to pick one thing – and only one thing – and then sit down and play only that thing until done with it. I don’t think I could do that, I’d go mad.

        • Couldn’t agree more. I have a 2TB HDD on my PS4 and can play anything I want when the mood arises. If I decide I want a quick game of something and then have to wait around for the game to install and download patches I’ll likely have already lost interest and moved onto something else.

          • Yep, this.
            Having gone from a 2TB back to 500GB after a HDD failure on my PS4, I am mildly appalled that the PS5 drive doesn’t even clock in a 1TB. At least there’s the expansion slot, which will be available at [unspecified date] using [unspecified drives]. Good one Sony.

          • Isn’t that your ready-made solution right there, though? Unplug your 2Tb USB drive from your PS4, plug it into your PS5 and play your PS4 games off that, saving the SSD for PS5 games.

        • Having a library of online games installed and ready to go has been probably the best thing about the last gen. Oh, a friend was really late to the party on Resident Evil 5? I can be playing co-op with them in under a minute. Randomly feeling like some Fortnite? No worries. I got a lot more out of Destiny and the Division just by having them installed.

  • Just imagine how how bad it must be on Series S – however, lack of storage for PS5 was also always going to be an issue. It boggles my mind that Sony hadn’t prepared for this… clearly they knew it would be a problem when they designed for 825GB. What is especially egregious is that they didn’t even plan for HDD storage of PS5 games. I am so tempted to hold of buying a PS5 to see if they release a larger capacity version… but I have such little faith in Sony atm that it could be years before they do that. Or next week. Apparently even Sony can out-Sony themselves.

    • Series S has a benefit in that install sizes are smaller on that than, say, the Series X. And I think if you’re going mostly through Game Pass for your games — which you’d have to right now — then there’s also a lot more games under 10GB.

      But then even installing something like COD: BOCW or NBA blows that out of the water. (We haven’t seen the difference in size on XSS, but if Activision’s guidance holds up, COD alone will eat up a third of the XSS’s hard drive.)

      • Your also forgetting you use a USB 3 external device on the xbox consoles. You can also play games of the external devices if you dont want the enhanced version of the game. So if youre on the series S that might be okay?

        You have no options on the PS5, uninstall and re downloads later.

        • While you can copy Series X games to an external USB drive, you can’t run them off that drive. They have to be run off the internal SSD when you’re playing them.

    • Along with the smaller install sized Alex noted, I believe MS has shipped with the ability to archive next gen titles to an external drive, even if they won’t run from it. Means you won’t have to download the entire thing again. Sony apparently hasn’t shipped with this

    • While a lot of other sites have mentioned it, even in this article, it kind of side steps around stating it. Kotaku still haven’t clearly stated “PS5 games can’t be moved or copied from the internal HDD, even shifted to external storage, and if you’ve filled the HDD with PS5 games, deleting them is your only option to free space”. I’d assumed that wasn’t the case, and Sony, being Sony just let everyone run with that assumption.

    • While Series S doesn’t suit my needs, there’s the option to plug in a cheap external HDD and stow your games on there (though this gens games need to be played off the internal SSD) and shift them from cold storage and back across as the need arises – a lot quicker than redownloading them.

      • I mean, we did clearly say this in another article — the PS5 blog post one yesterday — but maybe it’s worth another breakout just expressly spelling it out. There still seems to be a ton of confusion.

  • annoying. but it is what it is, there is no way they could have stayed competitive and launched with a $$$ price tag. Personally I wish they had offered different versions, with different hard drive sizes. Hopefully once we can use the internal expansion hard drive and we can transfer PS5 games to it, or to the external drive, it mitigates the issue somewhat.

    But for me, I have been running a 500gb SDD on my pro for years, and just using the main drive as back up and it has been fine. So this is just the inverse. I think some people get so wrapped up in wanting everything at their finger tips at all times, they never stop to think ‘do I really need that’. Lets say I suddenly decide to replay God of War, I simply start downloading when I go to bed, the next day it is there. Like how many of those games you have installed, are you really playing on a daily or weekly basis?!

    • It’s just nice to have the option to play any game you own at any time, without waiting 5+ hours to redownload it.

      If you get relatives or friends come round, you never know what they’ll want to play.

      Not sure about PS5 but on Xbox it’s hard to keep track of games you own if they’re not installed. Out of sight out of mind, you might not play games you’ve bought!

      Plus even with all the “keep console up to date even when off” options in the world, you still get slugged by updates when you go to play a game, so it’s handy to have alternatives installed.

      Finally with game pass, you get access to heaps of games you want to try, it’s easier to get a few at once just in case you don’t like them.

      So a few reasons there, it’s good to have the option of extra storage even if not everyone uses it.

    • That’s fine if you’re willing to wait a day. What happens if a friend comes round and says “let’s have a game of X”? Starting the download and then going to bed would make you a very bad host.

  • How many games can you play at once?
    I have 2-3 bigger games installed, depending on solo play sessions or multiplayer, and then a few small ones like Tetris effect for short bursts.
    I regularly remove games I have no intent on playing again soon and if downloads are good the just re-install when you want to play again.

    I am an old fart and I don’t have a pile of shame. When I play a game I tend to thrash it and then not play it again for quite some time, if I have the time.

    So I get it, if you want every game available all the time it may be an issue. For gamers like me who need space for only 5 or 6 games, including some smaller indies, the hard drive is probably going to be a non-issue.

  • This won’t be a problem for me fortunately; since I have so little time for gaming nowadays (work, kids, etc) I find I get depressed and frustrated if I have more games than the time they deserve to have devoted to them, so I tend to just focus on one at a time till I’ve exhausted it of everything I want to do.

    Games I plan to keep long-term (racing games the kids will play too, etc) I’ll occasionally keep on the drive and just remove if I hit the limit, but then I’ve more or less handed over my older consoles (360, PS3, and Wii) to the kids, so along with the SNES Mini and their iPads they’ve got more than enough to keep them busy within the limits of their screen time so they don’t use my PS4 that often, and I expect the same will be the case with the PS5.

  • Understand people saying, just play a couple of games at a time, but generally this is what I have installed.

    One “live service” game, such as Destiny 2 or Rainbow 6 Siege to dip in and out of, one FPS like Modern Warfare, Battlefield V or Hunt to play with my brother, one single player game on the go for myself, a couple of sports games like FIFA, F1 or NHL to again play with my brother, and a couple of kids games to play with the family like Rocket League or Fall Guys.

    So on the PS5 I will most likely need to keep all the PS4 games on my external HDD (losing the load time benefits), and be a lot more selective on what I buy on PS5. Size of games will become a determining factor if I buy a PS5 game or not (already so, as I won’t buy Cold War due to its size).

  • Don’t want to be all “fanboy-ish” but this is an issue for both…the Sx literally has only 140gb more storage – which is one extra AAA game!

      • I heard you can just unplug your external from your PS4 and plug it straight into the PS5 and it should work. It’s written on the box.

        • Yes, but you can’t transfer downloaded PS5 games to it to be able to play later. You run out of space on that internal SSD , and it’s filled with PS5 games, your only option is to delete them, saves and all, which unless you’ve got PS+ for cloud saves, could be problematic for some users.

    • I don’t know why this is such a common response – the whole “I don’t have an issue so why does anyone have a problem?” thing is a little tiring. If you are an isolated introvert that is OCD focused on completing one game at a time then great! this works wonders. But lets acknowledge the fact that this is not what the average consumer is… I presume.

      I have a partner who likes different games than me, I have two kids that also have different likes. With AAA titles coming out in the 150GB range of size it doesn’t leave a lot of room to have choice.

      Having the ability to choose what I want to play is the main underlying problem here. I want to be able to play 5 different games at once, but so does my partner and so do my kids…. they don’t all want to play indie games that are only 10GB so its difficult to manage.

      • Calling someone an isolated introvert for not needing 13 games installed is as silly as assuming someone who needs 13 games installed has ADHD.
        Some folk don’t have a family where each member needs their own 5 individual games with no overlapping.

  • Can the Playstation plus collection games be stored on a external hard-drive as they are PS4 games?

    Also a question – is it possible to firstly store PS4 games on the PS5 storage and transfer to an external hard-drive at a later date?

  • I did a clean this morning of any games I’m not going to immediately want to play, dropping from about 700 to 300 gig.
    Basically have Warframe, ARK, KH3 and Final Fantasy Remake left on there.

    I’m no stranger to carefully managing my console space but this might be the first time I end up grabbing additional storage down the line, will see how we go.

  • i’d consider that list a large list. how many did you have installed on ps4?
    if its so quick to download games now its not really an issue, if you filled the SDD within a week.. you could easily play a few games and download a few more.
    you are just downloading alot of games to test the difference between ps4 and ps5.. once that’s settled down. you’ll only likely to have a few active games at any one time.

    • About 25 (on a 1TB PS4 Pro). I wasn’t actively playing most of them, of course, but I also didn’t need to actively think about deleting them to save space, because that was really never an issue.

  • Why do people want to get a new PS5 and load it up with old PS4 games?
    I know they will look better but if you’ve already played them??
    I plan on keeping the PS4, and playing all those new PS5 games that also have PS4 versions. Then in a year or two when PS4 support stops, then buy a PS5 ( cheaper slim maybe? ) and start playing the PS5 only games, on the PS5.

    • I’m getting an XSX next year when they’re widely available, main reason for playing older games on new console is they run better.

      Better graphics, quicker load times on a faster console, can’t wait! With 2 kids I don’t get much game time so these faster consoles are worth hopping onboard for even with minimal interest in playing new gen games!

  • Its a really annoying situation. I wouldn’t mind that the storage is only 667 gb if the PS5 games could be backed up to an external drive instead of having to be redownloaded. But having both the storage be the size its is, plus it lacking an archiving feature is not ideal.

    Hopefully archiving is something that can be (and is) patched in fairly quickly, since we’re at the mercy of waiting for SSD drives are PS5-ceritified.

  • Is this how most people use consoles though? I for one will install the game i’m playing and sure it may stay installed for a little while after I finish the game, just in case I go back for it, but they only ever sit there long enough for maybe one or two more games to get installed and then they get deleted off the back end. I get through a lot of games in a year, but i’m only ever playing one single player game and maybe one multiplayer game at a time. I don’t see that many people would need a whole hard drive filled up with games to choose from at any moment. But I could be wrong!

    • I’d be curious to know what the average is. I’ve got about 5TB of games currently installed on my One S, that’s half my 360 games, all my xbone games, 6 years of games with gold and a handful of game pass games!

  • Its 135GB less than the series x. Its enough to fit what, a single cod game more?

    Actually that doesn’t even fit the new cods base campaign install. Which is 136 GB.

    But sure, you were about to write that article next yeah?

    • On the XSX you can archive your XSX games to an external drive, preventing you from having to redownload them. You can’t do this on the PS5 with PS5 games, meaning once the storage is full, you have to delete and redownload if you want to play again.

      Also, the XSX and XSS already have 1TB expandable storage cards you can buy. No real indication from Sony when the PS5 will be able to expand its storage.

      This is a big oversight from Sony, it has a smaller HDD and less options on how to expand or store your PS5 games.

  • “I still have no idea what a teraflop is and I refuse to learn”… Seriously, you are tasked to provide a tech review for one of the most anticipated pieces of consumer electronic products of the year and you stubbonly refuse to learn what the the basic unit of computing output is?

  • Some of the games are stupidly large for no good reason. I sometimes think their using it as a tactic to be the only game on your SSD.

    COD I hear is 250GB! its like they just don’t even bother with data compression at all, everything must be in RAW uncompressed format, lmao

    • Its a technique to improve performance with hard drives…..

      But with next gen consoles being SSD’s, they are just being lazy.

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