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.