Mark Cerny has provided some clarity on just how the mandatory game installations on Sony’s upcoming PS4 console will work. As you may have already read, games will install large amounts of data to the PS4’s hard drive, but Cerny has clarified that all games will install data, but it won’t be deleted automatically.
Disc-based games will cache data to the hard drive immediately, with Knack letting the player start the game after just 10 seconds for the initial cache. The remaining 37 GB of data will be installed in the background as you play, says Cerny.
Streaming the files from HDD as-and-when they are required – rather than reading from the far slower Blu-ray drive – allows for far more complex operations to be performed in real-time. This, said Cerny, helps alleviate issues raised by current-gen developers regarding the immersion breaking in-game load times we’re used to.
Cerny also said that despite earlier internal discussions to the contrary, all installed game data will stay on the hard drive until the user chooses to delete it, as is the case with the PS3’s Game Utility function.