One Thing That Both The Nintendo Switch And Xbox One Do Better Than The PS4 – Forbes
Much ado has been made about the Nintendo Switch’s tiny storage space. Certainly 32 GB is awfully meager in today’s world. It was too small for the Wii U and it’s too cramped in a smartphone like the iPhone 7.
Basically no modern device should come with such a diminutive drive.
For a video game console, it’s even more absurd given just how large video games are these days. Since gamers are downloading more and more video games rather than picking up copies at retail, this is even more of an issue.
On the other hand, the Switch does allow expanded memory via SD cards. Right now a 256 GB card can be found as cheap as $70 or so, possibly even less on a good sale. Beyond that size things get a lot pricier, but those prices are steadily falling.
The Switch is compatible with SD cards up to 2 TB, even though cards that size have yet to be released and will be extremely expensive at launch. Still, a couple of smaller cards will do the trick. They’re very portable, making it easy to take them with you on the go. You can easily swap one out for another and store different games on different cards, and pack them up with your physical Switch game cartridges. It may be a little bit more money than buying a single hard-drive (which are still much cheaper per gigabyte than an SD card) but not prohibitively expensive.
If you’re using physical media instead of digital downloads this is even less of an issue, since you won’t need to install each game from the cartridge like you do with the PS4 and Xbox One. (That was the Wii U’s saving grace as well. It had almost no internal storage but at least games weren’t installed in full and could run from the disc.)
Speaking of those two consoles, the Switch and Xbox One share one thing in common: It’s very easy to expand storage. I’ve already detailed how easy it is to add storage to the Switch, but it’s even easier on the Xbox One.
All you have to do is buy an external hard drive and plug it in to the Xbox One’s USB port. Need an extra 2 TB of storage? You can get those as cheap as $75 and then just plug it in and you’re good to go. No muss, no fuss.
The PS4, on the other hand, requires a far more tedious and intimidating process. I’ve expanded my vanilla PS4 to 2 TB, but that involved opening the PS4 case, replacing the drive that’s in there with a new one and reinstalling the operating system (which you have to download onto a thumb drive.) You can transfer all your games and saves, but that’s time-consuming. It’s a much less user-friendly process than simply buying SD cards or an external USB hard drive. It’s far too complex given how easy it would have been to make the system compatible with external drives.
So that’s points for both Microsoft and Nintendo, and a wag of the finger at Sony. Hopefully the next PlayStation makes expanding storage much easier. Hopefully the next wave of consoles comes with at least 1 TB (or preferably 2) to begin with, especially if console manufacturers truly want to shift buying habits away from brick-and-mortar and into their own digital storefronts.
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