PS4 game installs can be playable in tens of seconds – report

Monday, 11th November 2013 21:43 GMT By Brenna Hillier

PlayStation 4 installs are mandatory, but you could be playing the game almost immediately after whacking the disc in.

Although install times will vary from game to game, lead system architect Mark Cerny told Kotaku that Knack, the game he created for launch, is playable “tens of seconds” after beginning the install.

Speaking to Polygon, Guerrilla Games managing director Hermen Hulst said that Killzone Shadow Fall takes less than three minutes to get started after you insert the disc – 2 minutes 44 seconds, in fact, including introductory cinematic and profile creation.

“The experience when you have a disc and you put it in the PlayStation 4 is so much more seamless compared to that of current-gen gaming. There’s no more loading screens between levels, and I think that’s a massive technical achievement. When we commenced this project, we actually weren’t convinced it was going to be possible,” he said.

Cerny gave Kotaku an overview of how the system works PS4 review event in New York last night. The PS4 begins caching a disc as soon as you put it in the console, saving a varying amount of data to the hard drive. When this amount is smallish, as with Knack, you can leap in to playing really quickly – and as you do, the console will continue with the rest of the install, for parts of the game you’re not ready for yet.

Knack’s mandatory install is 37GB; this is noted on the game’s box. When you buy a new game you should check the figure against your available HDD space and consider if you have any older games you might like to uninstall; the PS4 won’t auto-delete old install data, a decision Cerny says Sony made consciously.

Installs mean games will load faster, reducing wait times, Cerny said, and the console is not designed to stream off discs.

The PS4 launches on November 15 in North America, and in Europe and beyond on November 29.



  1. monkeygourmet

    As much as the install size seems batshit crazy (both Xbone & PS4), this isounds a lot better than the Xbone (waiting 15 mins to install COD for example).

    These consoles seem stuck between 2 worlds, digital and physical. I honestly wish they had both waited and created more rounded machines in some respects.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Djoenz

    The console is not designed to stream off discs? Maybe to avoid bluray lense failure rates and/or going digital in the nearby future?

    I dont understand tbh. Why only 500gb then? because its cheaper aye. . .
    Donkey balls.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Diingo

    The storage should be at least 2 terabytes. Most people are going to have to constantly delete their games stored on their hardrives. This generation of consoles will suck.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. ddtd

    I wonder if the games have to be designed in order to take advantage of the install as you play features Sony and MS are touting. It’d be interesting to see if all these cross-gen launch games have similar install times across both systems.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Obernox

    37GB for Knack? eh, played it at a kiosk, extremely simplistic and rather dull.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    I have a 60Gb PS3 and it pretty much sucks for PS Plus (can’t be bothered to get a bigger HD though).

    Now, although the PS4 has a 500GB drive, with games installs being 30 / 40Gb +, that’s going to get full very quickly just like my PS3.

    It makes a drive upgrade almost essential really.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Obernox

    500GB is ridiculous considering the install size. Hopefully we’ll see a TB bundle soon.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Fin

    1 positive

    You guys are cynical fucks. We need an up/down voting system.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. polygem

    sure you can swap the internal hdd on the ps4 but why not external. it works perfectly for me on the wiiu. i hope they´ll allow that later. i mean do they want people to buy digital or not? if so why making it hard for people. i´d love to go digital but two things need to get fixed: a. digital pricing should be cheaper than retail, b. affordable hdd options.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Phoenixblight


    I had 80GB HD and only updated to a 500GB back in January this year. I am not fussed with needing to install and delete games as I play them. I did the same thing with the Xbox 360. I have been doing the exact same thing for PCs especially since a lot of publishers aren’t fussed with compression on the PC as they were with current gen consoles. This is a non issue.


    1 TB you can get for less than 100$ for the PS4. So you can imagine it will get cheaper within a year.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Clupula

    @9 – Sometimes, I wish this site had articles that had nothing to do with gaming, just so I could see how you’d turn the conversation into about how great the Wii U is. ;)

    “England versus Germany in the World Cup? I won’t be watching because the Wii U offers me plenty of other things to play instead.”

    #11 1 year ago
  12. monkeygourmet


    I think it had something to do with blocking piracy?

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Rikki

    Well it’s a good thing you can upgrade the PS4s HDD. I have a spare 1TB hard drive anyways, I’ll just be tossing that thing in soon as I get my PS4.

    On anther note, I really like that you can play the games while downloading. Super awesome feature.

    Also, FUCK DISCS! Download everything, man! I don’t have space for more discs in my life!

    #13 1 year ago
  14. TrickyAudio

    Upgradable HDD’s FTW.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. polygem

    @11: well…what can i say. i have that external hdd connected to that thing and it was plug in and play. loved it ;)

    “England versus Germany in the World Cup? I won’t be watching because the Wii U offers me plenty of other things to play instead.”

    that´s actually true as well, i am not watching sports at all – i´d rather play a game – must not be on wiiu though.

    @10: sure, those will probably be very cheap in a year or two when i might need one.

    thing is, if it really is as easy and convenient to donload and instantly start playing, like they say, then it´s not really a problem to delete stuff anyway. if this really works you might not even need to upgrade the hdd. you just go to your downloads list, press “download again” and start playing.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Phoenixblight


    Right which is what I said in the other article is what I will be doing but instead of downloading again I will have the physical disk as I don’t feel like downloading 40-50GBs everytime. Not until google fiber comes out here. :P

    #16 1 year ago
  17. DeVitowned

    Hey Clapula, the Wii U IS great! :D

    #17 1 year ago
  18. nintendotim

    Considering the Vita, if I delete install data, will this also delete my save progress? Yes, I’m fully aware this isn’t the case for the PS3.

    Because that’s the stupidest goddamned thing about the Vita (I “understand” Sony’s reasoning, tho).

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Phoenixblight

    That’s not the case. As the saves and the games go in completely different areas of the HD just like the PS3.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. noamlol2

    that’s a pretty solid feature

    i was always pissed how much time it took PS3 games to load compared to my PC

    glad to see they improved it

    #20 1 year ago
  21. DannyB513

    I will be swapping out the HDD as soon as the Samsung Spinpoint M9T goes on sale to the public. Right now they are only shipping it to OEM’s. It is the world’s first 9.5mm tall 2.5in HDD that will hold 2Tb.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. syng

    How long would the install take anyway? It is installed as you play, what if it takes 1 hours to install says 50GB, but you decide to quit playing and swap out the disc before the full install is finished, does it corrupt the incomplete install? Also, is it smart enough to choose which part to install based on how far of your progress in your save data if you already deleted the install and decide to re-install a game. Say you start playing Knack in level 1 and the disc installs the data for the first few levels. You saved your data at level 10. You deleted Knack to make space for other games. After a month, you delete more games and re-install Knack back. How long do you have to wait for the data to install before you can start to play from your SAVED DATA? It won’t be 10 seconds though since you had a saved data halfway through the game, not at the beginning levels.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Legion

    “Hermen Hulst said that Killzone Shadow Fall takes less than three minutes to get started after you insert the disc – 2 minutes 44 seconds, in fact, including introductory cinematic and profile creation.”

    Misleading… this does not include the install time of the game onto the HDD.

    And as discussed… each game will be dependent on how much of the game will use the HDD install to enhance it’s gameplay. So some games can simply play directly from the disk insertion with little time lag between install and play time. While others will require much larger install portions to be installed prior to starting of game.

    I notice they don’t bring up CoD which requires a huge portion of the install to be on HDD prior to play.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Phoenixblight


    When I read that I didn’t think that line was about the entire installation just enough to get you playing. The full installation is still up in the air.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Lv01

    @23 it does include the install time, as the game is being installed in the background whilst you are creating your profile and watching the opening cinematic. @24 gets it, as the remaining full installation time is unknown. which makes @22s point very worthwhile.
    as we dont know how long the full installs will take, and if there is a risk of corrupting the install should we stop playing before it finishes and remove the disc (which would make sense), will the ps4 tell us when the install has finished? so we know when it is safe to remove the disc?

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Phoenixblight


    I suspect that MS and Sony wouldn’t be stupid enough to not say as much when a game is installing especially if it has a chance to corrupt.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Lv01

    @26 thats what im hoping too! like a little notification, similar to when you background download things now, just saying, ‘installation of KILLZONE: SHADOW FALL now complete’.
    im also assuming, that if you do stop playing, while the install is still going, that u can open another app, like lovefilm or something, and the disc carry on installing.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. Phoenixblight


    Yeah I hope it does allow installing while using Netflix or Hulu. Thats one thing that has annoyed me with the Ps3 especially the installation and download speeds.

    #28 1 year ago

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