Yoshida: Why Sony decided against Microsoft’s no-hard drive policy

Wednesday, 17th September 2008 14:18 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has told VG247 that Sony looked at Microsoft’s choice to make Xbox 360′s hard drive optional and decided against it in an effort to be able to provide “seamless gameplay” and solid digital distribution.

“It’s one of the things we really supported when the hardware specification was decided for PS3,” he said when asked if having increased hard drive space made a difference to PS3′s development plans.

“Like Microsoft did, we could have had an optional hard drive and settled for cheaper combinations of hardware, but if we had done that – from a [development] standpoint – we cannot rely on every consumer to have a hard drive.

“So that really helps us to focus on [the fact that] every consumer has a hard drive. Now we can cache data so that gameplay is seamless.”

Yoshida pointed at one game specifically that relies on PS3′s hard drive to cut down on loading times.

“One example is the Uncharted game we did last year,” he said. “You don’t this, but the game is constantly caching the data in the hard drive so that you don’t have to wait for loading.”

The exec also pointed out that a compulsory hard drive was important for the firm’s PSN plans.

“Also having the space for consumers to download stuff allows us to create games only for digital distribution that are a couple of gigabytes in size,” he added.

Yoshida was speaking at Games Convention last month.



  1. Blerk

    Reasons for including hard drive as standard:

    1. “Microsoft doesn’t have one as standard” tickbox checked.
    2. Blu-Ray too slow for loading games from disc.
    3. Other stuff.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Rhythm

    Re: number 2 – Soul Calibur IV comes with an option to install to HDD. There’s next to no difference in loading whether you install or not :-/

    #2 6 years ago
  3. deftangel


    I still remember all the fanboy debates about optical drives that read at constant velocity vs those they read at variable velocity etc etc etc.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Blerk

    I do think they made the right choice, though. They didn’t get many things right this generation, but bundling an HDD as standard was definitely one of them.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Psychotext

    Right for gamers, for sure. Not necessarily right for their bottom line. It doesn’t help that MS are able to put them into the same position that Sony put the xbox in with the PS2.

    (In terms of price cuts rather than sales)

    #5 6 years ago
  6. DrDamn

    The PS2 was the more expensive console at the end wasn’t it? I seem to remember the XBox tended to come down in price first – maybe I’m wrong though.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Blerk

    I’m pretty sure the Xbox made it to £99 first.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Psychotext

    In the US the xbox’s price cuts generally came about a day after the PS2′s price cuts. Obviously it’s not so clear cut this time, but I expect Sony to react again in the US if the 360 sales increase, even though they can’t afford to do it.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Saigon

    I hate to burst your bubble Blerk, but BR does have an advantage over DVD when it comes to disk reading. The only way DVD will have an advantage is if it is using a single layer disk. If dual layer is used the speeds decrease dramaticly.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. No_PUDding

    Don’t lie, you enjoyed bursting his bubble. I would too, if I were right in saying that.

    But I heard Blu-Ray was slower. So I think I’m gonna go with that unless you want to link me to some evidence.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Psychotext

    Yeah, but seek times are higher on BR discs which is why in the the real world they always end up slower than DVDs.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. No_PUDding

    (Bubble) <— —|


    #12 6 years ago
  13. ecu

    The way I understood it was that blu-ray was a lot faster in finding a single point on the disk, but in terms of constantly reading/streaming data from it, it’s a lot slower. That anywhere close to being right?

    #13 6 years ago
  14. deftangel

    I always thought the key thing was that on *parts* of a 360 disc, the load time would be faster than Blu-Ray whereas Blu-Ray was always a constant speed. Ergo, changing layers on a 360 DVD and reading some other parts of the disc would actually be slower. However, in practice, MS provide tools to make sure the data that needs to be on the fastest parts of the disc always is so the practical average transfer rate that can be relied upon when it matters is higher.

    Or something.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. Psychotext

    hehe… maybe to avoid confusion we should stick to what we know for sure? Without bringing installs into the mix, games load faster from DVD than they do from Blu-Ray.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. No_PUDding


    Some controversy.

    I just don’t want to pop more bubbles.

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Retroid


    /Plays Bubble Bobble

    #17 6 years ago
  18. Entropy123

    I’m afraid that the blueray format has a locked speed that is very low for installing game data. It seems to be designed to keep the sound from the disc’s speed pace/changing from being too audible.

    Unfortunately, this means that installing game data from disk is not practical. Sony is foolish for manufacturing a game system that takes advantage of Blueray and not tailoring it (Blueray) to support its own applications.

    They should have allowed it to run at a higher constant speed if designated by the software, with varying speeds available… one of them including that minimal-noise HD playback they were going for.


    #18 6 years ago

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