Although increasing graphical fidelity and ever-growing open worlds are a welcome product of improving technology, these luxuries often come at the cost of precious storage space. As such, in this gaming generation we have seen video games reach staggering sizes. Red Dead Redemption 2, a massive open world game developed by Rockstar Games, is listed as having a file size of 89.19 GB on the PS Store. But this problem is not limited to open world games. The Last of Us Part II, developed by Naughty Dog, is a linear game yet is listed as having a file size of 93.37 GB. Fortunately, the next-gen consoles might bring a solution to this problem by allowing you to delete unwanted sections of a game.
In a recent interview, the director of PM for Xbox, Jason Ronald, discussed the ways the Xbox Series X and S will allow gamers to economize on hard drive space. In addition to explaining how SSD compatibility will work, Ronald also revealed that for games that support it, there will be the option to “selectively uninstall different components of the game”. As an example, Ronald said that if you are done with a game’s single-player campaign and wish to focus on the multiplayer, you can uninstall the single-player campaign portion of the game. This, of course, is contingent on the game developer supporting it. As Ronald points out, this will allow you to “get the most benefit out of the available storage that you have”. Call of Duty players will probably find this to be very good news, considering the fact that, as PC Gamer has noted, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare no longer fits on a 250 GB SSD.
If you have your eye on the PS5 instead of the next-gen Xbox, do not despair. Sony has its own solutions to give you more control over your storage space. In a 2019 interview with Wired, Mark Cerny, PlayStation system architect, explained a bit more about how the PS5’s SSD will impact next-gen gaming. Due to the major speed differences between the SSD and the optical drive, game installations will be mandatory. However, installations will be more configurable. As Cerny explains, they are no longer “treating games like a big block of data” but are instead allowing for “finer-grained access to the data”. Explaining further, Wired reveals that this approach creates the opportunity for you to “install just a game’s multiplayer campaign, leaving the single-player campaign for another time, or just installing the whole thing and then deleting the single-player campaign once you’ve finished it”. This is certainly a convenient solution to the problem that the increasing size of games pose.
The option to do partial installation of games and to delete unwanted sections of games is a feature of next-gen consoles that is worth looking forward to. It gives more control to gamers, and will allow us to free up storage space that seems to be growing increasingly scarce.