May 22, 2022

We need to talk about next-gen storage size

With the release of next-gen consoles mere months away and many gamers debating which console to get, expanded storage and game size (including any future updates) are going to play a very big part in that decision.

With the Xbox Series X touting 802GB of its 1TB hard drive and the PS5 offering 664GB of its 825GB hard drive for the player to fill, that seems like quite a lot. But with PS5 games reportedly starting at the 50GB size, expanded storage will be the way to go in the long run. But unfortunately, your options may be limited and costly as the only way to get expanded storage for the next-gen… is through SSDs (Solid State Drives).

Reminds me of the old GameCube memory cards

Xbox has announced its Seagate 1TB Expansion Storage Card (You can use 920GB of that) at an eye-watering £220, whereas Sony has yet to say which SSD’s will be compatible with the PS5, as current SSD’s do not meet the PS5’s speed requirements, so best to wait and see what Sony say, but they won’t come cheap.

What about my Current-gen externals??

Hello old friend… your days are sadly numbered

Both Sony and Microsoft have said that for backwards compatibility, your externals are fine, but for next-gen gaming its a no go, as the games have been optimised for SSD performance and will require an SSD for them to run.

What could this mean?

So how would this play out? Let’s take a stroll into the not so distant future and take a look at the worst offender of update sizes… it’s Satan himself… Call of Duty.

Their latest edition, Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, will reportedly have 100.04 GB on release…that’s before: Zombies, Multiplayer AND any possible future updates/Bug fixes/Warzone integration. (For those keeping score that’ll be 564GB left in your PS5 and 702GB in your Series X).

Doesn’t seem much right? But think about this. You’ve just brought your shiny next-gen console, AND COD: Black Ops Cold War right. That’s 100GB gone from your Xbox Series X and PS5 respectively. Doesn’t seem much, but in the long term, that’s 12% of your original storage gone from both consoles.

call of duty cheaters header
Live look at Call of Duty coming to assault your storage

Now, all this would be fine… if current-gen players weren’t already forced into updating Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for 100GB (For Warzone back in April) and its most recent update (Season 6) for the following :

PlayStation 4: 19.3GB
Xbox One: 22.66GB
PC: 57GB (Modern Warfare owners) and 25.5GB (Warzone only owners) (But you PC guys have endless storage #MasterRace).

A sizeable and frustrating update for console owners who will have already had to move most of their library to external hard-drives to accommodate the update size.

Storage Town… I see what you did there Activision

Considering both consoles have been around for 6 years, and we’ve had EIGHT Call of Duty titles in that time (Excluding COD: BO Cold War) if this trend continues into the next-gen our only hope is that the new SSDs drop dramatically in price over the life of both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, otherwise tough choices will have to be made.

Is there any hope?

Maybe.

Recently confirmed by Xbox’s Director of Program Management Jason Ronald, a new feature on the Series X will allow players to uninstall different parts of a game:

“Even beyond the hardware, we’ve actually made user interface improvements to make it easier for you to manage your storage. As an example, one of the new features that we’re adding is actually for – if a title chooses to support it – the ability to selectively uninstall different components of the game.

“So, let’s say you play a campaign as an example, and then you want to focus exclusively on multiplayer. If the developers chose to support it, you can actually uninstall the campaign itself so you can be more in control of how you’re actually using your storage, so that you really get the most benefit out of the available storage that you have.”

This will only apply to games that support this feature and it’s unclear which games will have this feature. But with most games using single-player features in their multiplayer, just how feasible will this feature be?

So the console war may have started yet another conflict… The Storage War… it will be a costly battle.


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