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Sony trumps Microsoft on storage upgrades with its PS3

When Microsoft announced its Xbox Live Video service that would allow gamers to download high-definition movies and television shows, it started getting some serious flak for the smallish 20GB HDD included with the Xbox 360 Platinum. Sure, the drive had been criticized in the past as it only had about 13GB of useable space from the start; but adding downloadable movies to the mix along with the already abundant game demos and trailers just makes matters worse.

Microsoft didn't make matters any better when pressed on the issue of a larger hard drive being added to the Xbox 360's arsenal in the future. Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg suggested that gamers buy an additional 20GB Xbox 360 hard drive and a 64MB memory card to alleviate storage concerns.

Sony is making things a bit easier for gamers with its PlayStation 3. Sony encourages its customers to upgrade their hard drives and even gives them instructions on how to do so in the PS3 user manual. The HDD used in the PS3 is a standard 2.5" SATA unit, so just about any drive should work should you crave more storage space.

Sony has a serious leg up on Microsoft in this aspect of the PS3's design. A quick trip over to Newegg shows that a 120GB Toshiba drive will set you back $100 while a spacious 160GB Hitachi drive will cost you $165. A second 20GB Xbox 360 hard drive will cost you $100 and the rumored 80GB drive would more than likely top the $200 mark.

Stay tuned for more in-depth PS3 and Wii coverage from DailyTech in the day…

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By Hypernova on 11/12/2006 2:48:15 AM , Rating: 2
I guess pritty soon we will have people pin mod the connectors to attatch larger 3.5' to that. If sony don't care about what kind of drive you stick to it.

Suprisingly open of SONY on this matter (And is thus far the only good news I am aware of regarding PS3). But I wonder how this combined with Yellow Dog linux will affect copy protection since all this just makes it alot easier.

RE: Mod?
By Xeronix on 11/12/2006 3:09:18 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Mod?
By Scabies on 11/12/2006 4:52:32 AM , Rating: 2
Weird, SATA data, MOLEX power? I didnt know that existed? Ignorance on my part?

RE: Mod?
By Xeronix on 11/12/2006 5:13:51 AM , Rating: 2
Some SATA HDD's come with both SATA power and Molex.
such as this one

RE: Mod?
By xsilver on 11/12/2006 8:32:36 AM , Rating: 2
that power actually comes from another external power pack I think.
it will be a little more difficult to make it truly professional looking but if you crave the space - eh what the hell ;)

RE: Mod?
By Golgatha777 on 11/12/2006 4:34:51 PM , Rating: 3

A totally passive external enclosure that would actually go pretty well with the PS3.

RE: Mod?
By xFlankerx on 11/12/2006 4:42:00 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, yeah, I agree, it's really open for Sony here.

PS3s with 750GB HDDs...or smaller if you prefer the true external ones. But still a considerable amount of space. The possibilities really open up, great news.

RE: Mod?
By Heron Kusanagi on 11/12/2006 5:33:35 AM , Rating: 3
Great news for Sony but they need the content or the point for a bigger HDD is moot.

Hope that Sony's online stuff is at least equal to Microsoft...:)

RE: Mod?
By Clauzii on 11/12/2006 8:19:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I'd like all my music on there, using USBs, IPods, whatever :)

RE: Mod?
By ogreslayer on 11/12/2006 8:00:51 AM , Rating: 1
On IGN, , they are saying that rotational speed makes little to no difference in present titles. However, I care not; most definitely gonna throw a Raptor X in there(or rather out), 150GB 16MB cache 3.5in @ 10,0000RPM is still $30 cheaper than a 200GB 8MB cache 2.5in @ 4200RPM amyway :)

RE: Mod?
By kextyn on 11/12/2006 12:57:27 PM , Rating: 4
Talk about a waste of money. Just because you can get the fastest drive on the market doesn't mean you should. Spend half as much and get much more storage.

RE: Mod?
By underline21 on 11/13/2006 8:29:02 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldnt a faster drive produce more heat?

RE: Mod?
By Nightskyre on 11/13/2006 1:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
So you're going to...

1. Cram a 3.5 inch drive in a 2.5 inch space. Good luck with that.

2. Blow your money on the X version with its stupid little window. I'm sure the Blu-Ray player is salivating over the idea of looking at the innards of a harddrive.

3. Buying a Raptor for this purpose, anyway.

Let's think about this.....

RE: Mod?
By Clauzii on 11/14/2006 7:18:32 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, at least we need to know the maximum paractical transferrate in the PS3, to establish if it's worth it. But what about access times? If the games are partly stored on HD for faster than BR access, it might be usable to have the short access times of the Raptor drive.

Allthough I think it IS overkill by now :)

RE: Mod?
By kextyn on 11/12/2006 12:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
And is thus far the only good news I am aware of regarding PS3

Don't forget they announced that the basic version will include an HDMI port. So the only difference between the basic and premium now is hard drive size (which as you can see is moot), wifi (who needs wifi on a console anyway, I sure don't...but I guess if you feel the need to...) and the card reader.

RE: Mod?
By Clauzii on 11/12/2006 1:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
Could it indicate that the price difference might be getting smaller soon, or that PS3 will be avaiable as one model only? (Which could possibly save a little in production cost, since it's cheaper to make one instead of two models?

RE: Mod?
By otispunkmeyer on 11/13/2006 2:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
i need wifi on a console

in my room i have a 360 and a PC and one ethernet connection. i have to swap plugs around when i want to play on my 360, then swap again when i want the PC

the wifi adapter for the 360 is a rip-off so i aint buying it

RE: Mod?
By deeznuts on 11/13/2006 2:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
Couldn't you use a switch/hub?

RE: Mod?
By CascadingDarkness on 11/13/2006 4:52:25 PM , Rating: 2
Switch would work, I know my cable company cons you into paying more for more then one IP. Exaple $10 more for 3 IPs.

If this is same as his case he'd need a router which cost a little more then just a plain switch.

I had trouble hooking my PS2 online with Charter (the devil). They don't support it at all. Ended up getting a router and PS2 online worked fine.

RE: Mod?
By glennpratt on 11/30/2006 11:50:01 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, everyone has a router, and if they don't they'll get one with wifi.

RE: Mod?
By BZDTemp on 11/13/2006 4:21:43 AM , Rating: 3
Not surprisingly if you think about it.

Look at the PS/2 with it's standard USB ports and compare with XBOX having it's USB ports disguised by Microsoft connectors.

Or consider that SONY sold a Linux kit for the PS2 while Microsoft did everything to deny their box was really a PC meaning they could have sold a Windows kit for it had they desired to.

SONY is not perfect by a long way but when comparing them with Microsoft they look like someone out of sunday school.

Excellent idea Sony!
By whymeintrouble on 11/12/2006 2:28:21 AM , Rating: 4
this is the best thing I've heard yet for Sony. just imagine the possible entertainment value in having larger hdds. HD content and still room for your games. Maybe M$ needs to take a look at that.

just a thought.

RE: Excellent idea Sony!
By FITCamaro on 11/12/2006 10:27:00 AM , Rating: 2
Of course Sony just kind of killed any real reason for buying the 60GB PS3. If I can get a 120GB drive for $100 and throw it in my PS3, why would I pay $100 more for the 60GB version. Yeah the 60GB version has wifi but I wouldn't use wifi with it anyway (not enough bandwidth and susceptible to interference).

This definitely is a plug for Sony among many negatives. Hopefully Microsoft will open up the 360 to let you swap out hard drives.

RE: Excellent idea Sony!
By stmok on 11/12/2006 10:57:12 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt MS will open up the 360. They've spent so much effort in preventing hackers and modders screwing around with it, that to do so, would jeopardise their initial intention. (that is, to stop you from f**king around with their console, and reducing the likelyhood of mod-chips).

Sony seems to be taking the opposite approach. (to some extent).

The HDD is upgradeable, the PS3 games are said to be region-free, (The PS2 ones remain as they are), and the inclusion of Linux-compatibility.

Granted, I doubt they will let you access the Nvidia RSX chip, but at least there is a distro available for it (free download), which includes the source code. So you can tinker with the Cell processor.
(PS3 one is not available yet, as they haven't released version 5)

IBM also seems to be helping out with a website dedicated for Cell processor software development info.

RE: Excellent idea Sony!
By whymeintrouble on 11/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: Excellent idea Sony!
By Brandon Hill on 11/12/2006 1:46:00 PM , Rating: 5
RE: Excellent idea Sony!
By Arkham1 on 11/12/2006 4:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
The 20GB version doesn't have the card-reader or WiFi, so that nixes a wireless connection and PSP integration for the forseeable future.

360 HD?
By GTaudiophile on 11/12/2006 7:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
So why is it not easy to upgrade the 360's HDD in a similar manner?

RE: 360 HD?
By Aesir on 11/12/2006 8:22:21 AM , Rating: 3
360 HDDs are encased in a plastic case that mate to the outside of the 360 using a propriety connector. Nowehere can you gain access to a standard SATA connector without doing a little custom work (I know many people have upgraded their HDDs, but I know little about the process, someone else here probably knows more.)

RE: 360 HD?
By peternelson on 11/12/2006 10:13:42 AM , Rating: 5
In addition the first time the drive is used in the x360, it has id codes or password written to it, and the xbox to drive comms may be encrypted. Certainly is that way for the xbox dvd drive.

Also I believe microsoft firmware/dashboard checks the size of the drive and if it's not an approved official size, your console will get banned from the live service etc.

So, 3 cheers for Sony for having a sensible policy on this one, and explicitly sanctioning upgrades by putting it in the manual!

By radzer0 on 11/12/2006 3:12:44 AM , Rating: 2
Toshiba is pushing 250gb in laptop drives. Thats if you can find a way to make the things run in raid on the ps3 because they die super quick.

Had somebody come thru my work with a 200gb toshiba drive. No idea how much he paid but theres deff bigger than 160gb out there if your that greedy.

RE: 250gb...
By oDii on 11/12/2006 10:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
Good to know you're backing up that statement regarding the lifetime of drives in the PS3 with evidence... OH WAIT

RE: 250gb...
By theapparition on 11/13/2006 8:05:13 AM , Rating: 3
Not to interject, but I believe he ment that the 250Gb drives themselves die quick, not the drives in the PS3, so he suggested Raid1 for reliability. At least thats how I read it.

But not far from the point, I do worry about 2.5" drives. Many of you "youngens" may not remember drives that were sold with the AV tag (for Audio/Video). Most of the time, you saw this on SCSI drives. If your application had constant access to the drive, it could fail. That's pretty much gone away now for desktop drives.
But laptop drives are for exactly that. Laptops. Which means they are not rated for continual use, and are designed to spin up, read/write data, and shut down to save power. Laptop drives will get killed easily with constant I/O.
Unfortuately, I have first hand experience with this as I got called on to figure out why my companies product had failures after a few months in the field. The problem was tracked back to the 2.5" drives. There are 2.5" rated for continual use, but be prepared to pay 8-10X.

Now I don't think gaming will tax the HDD, but streaming HD video will.

Kudo's to Sony for allowing easy HDD replacement. First good news I heard from the Sony camp in a long time.

RE: 250gb...
By Deaks2 on 11/14/2006 1:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
The AV tag was regarding thermal re-calibration, not constant use. Consumer-level drives required a thermal re-calibration under constant use due to the heat build up slightly distoring the platters.

AV drives were "tougher" and did not require these re-calibrations. Therefore they would not pause for a second or two which would of course screw up your FMV capture.

Not 3.5"?
By daftrok on 11/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: Not 3.5"?
By kkedersha on 11/12/2006 6:01:58 AM , Rating: 2
According to the picture above, it will be possible to use 3.5" drives.

This is great. First news of the support for third party operating systems, and now an easy to replace/upgrade/install hard drive. It's nice to see that aside from all of the delays and nasty news in the rumor mill, Sony has eased up and is releasing an adaptable and modifiable product. It will be interesting to see if it stands up as a RELIABLE product (ahem, 360!) as well.

RE: Not 3.5"?
By CascadingDarkness on 11/13/2006 5:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
Just curious,

Do you mean 3.5" internal, not external exclosure?

If you do it doesn't look like it will be possible at all. I searched net and couldn't find any pictures that gave any better view that might show it can hold 3.5".

I would have to question why Sony wouldn't just put 3.5 in to begin with as they are far cheaper per GB. I'm not talking about mutilating your PS3 either to get it in.

RE: Not 3.5"?
By CascadingDarkness on 11/13/2006 5:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
Likely because of either space or heat. While 3.5 might give off same heat for approx increase in size it is still more overall heat which could have been trouble in such a small case.

As in, what would be the point of having 3.5" if it doesn't function due to over heating. Just a guess.

what about the usb ports?
By semo on 11/12/2006 8:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
why can't you just use the usb ports for extarnal hdds?

what can you plug in the ps3 usb ports? would just any keyboard/mouse work?

how about the really practical stuff like usb christmas trees and usb fans?

RE: what about the usb ports?
By peternelson on 11/12/2006 10:17:25 AM , Rating: 2
There is a new version of the "Eye-toy" camera that will connect via usb, with applications to use it like a re-done Singstar karaoke and games.

RE: what about the usb ports?
By Arkham1 on 11/13/2006 11:29:43 AM , Rating: 2
You can hook up ext. USB drives and save to/play from. I just read that in Euro PS3 Hands-on that was posted today.

I think pretty much any keyboard and mouse can be plugged in. I doubt you'd get access to the fancier buttons and keys on some devices, though.

Currently Bluetooth mice and keyboards are not supported, but will be in a future update.

Though, I wouldn't be surprised if you could use a USB wireless keyboard/mouse.

Wow great
By bombardj on 11/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: Wow great
By michal1980 on 11/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: Wow great
By bombardj on 11/14/2006 9:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
last time I checked nintendo wasn't pitching the DS as a movie platform so that they can sell people a lower quality version of DVDs they already purchased. Sony could have done a mini-DVD format which would have been more than enough for games. This would have allow them or a third party to provide a utility that would let us burn low rez copies of our our legally purchased DVDs to play on our PSPs. If it was only a game format I could give a crap less. Just another example of sony trying to double dip, and put it to their customer base. I used to be a playstation fanboy but I just can't take the crap they shovel anymore.

RE: Wow great
By CascadingDarkness on 11/13/2006 5:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
Do they sell 360 without HD-DVD? No, because they need to decide on an overall media for game makers to create on. You can use same argument with 360/HD-DVD.

What if they didn't come with drives, would you force game developers to release games on both media to accommodate consumers and cry if they didn't? I bet you would.

RE: Wow great
By bombardj on 11/14/2006 9:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
ummmm... actually they do sell 360s without HD-DVD. They ship the 360 with a regular DVD player, cheap proven technology that gets the job done. The only reason, I was complaining about blu-ray is because it is sony technology that they make royalties off of, and it is being included not because it is the best gaming tech, but it is being included because it is the future movie platform they are trying to push, and most gamers could give a crap less about. If they would make their systems for gamers instead of constantly trying to push their other crap tech that gamers don't want or need and end up pushing up the price, then maybe I could feel a little better about the company.

Crafty people...
By Sumanji on 11/12/2006 5:41:21 AM , Rating: 2
If you have good modding skill you could make a small hole for a SATA cable cable to come out of the console and hook it up to a realtively inexpensive eSATA enclosure.

Cheap drive and lots of space :) pretty neat if your console isn't moved about much!

RE: Crafty people...
By psychobriggsy on 11/12/2006 7:04:57 AM , Rating: 2
I'd mod an eSATA bracket to give the PS3 a nice neat plug for the external hard drive.

Can you use external USB hard drives on the PS3 (it has USB2 ports IIRC)? If so, that would mean no modifications are required. I guess it depends on how the operating system and application software handles hard drives though - no use if it can't be used for anything!

Still this is a surprisingly open move by Sony, far more so than with either XBox.

2.5" to 3.5" adapters??
By CtK on 11/12/2006 1:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
So i could prob use my 2.5" to 3.5" adapter and just use the external power source for the 3.5"?? that would be cool!!

RE: 2.5" to 3.5" adapters??
By daftrok on 11/12/2006 3:58:27 PM , Rating: 2
PS3 manual
By crystal clear on 11/13/2006 8:10:07 AM , Rating: 2
PS3 manual details HDD, battery replacement
Posted Nov 11th 2006 8:00PM by Christopher Grant


RE: PS3 manual
By Clauzii on 11/14/2006 7:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
Especially the battery thing, as it has been stated by some that the controller died with the battery ;)

Video of PS3 disassembly
By randomname on 11/13/2006 10:45:52 AM , Rating: 2
I think this video (where they take the PS3 apart) is interesting

That 180mm (or 150mm) radial fan responsible for all the cooling is the reason why the PS3 appears to be relatively silent. The Blu-ray drive also spins at quite low speeds. (Xbox 360 has 2 60mm fans, and a 12 speed DVD drive.) I think it would make sense for MS to copy that HSF design in a redesigned version of the 360. (I would expect such a redesign to come in a not too distant future, and include internal power supply, HDMI, and more silent cooling. But I'm just guessing.)

RE: Video of PS3 disassembly
By michal1980 on 11/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: Video of PS3 disassembly
By Clauzii on 11/14/2006 7:27:36 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, I don't know why your post did get downrated, but I'll agree on it. It looks like a pretty well thought out design :)

Could it be?
By Clauzii on 11/12/2006 11:45:11 AM , Rating: 2
The XBox360 was priced too low to begin with? That's one of the only reasons I see for MS to sell HDs for high prices!

SONY did it right by letting the HDs freely selectable by the user, so people who need that xtraspace can do it. People who don't: Go buy another game :)

By IceTron on 11/12/2006 1:33:35 PM , Rating: 1
Well shit, thats pretty cool of Sony to actually allow that. Granted, its not enough for me to still cough up $600 for a console, but I hope this forces MS hand to allow plug in USB drives

RE: Damn
By daftrok on 11/12/2006 1:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
How about coughing up 500 dollars instead and simply upgrade what you need to? You can probably hook up an external wireless adapter, an external card reader, and upgrade the HDD for under 100 bucks (assuming you sell the 20GB HDD the PS3 came with in the first place). And on top of that, you can install Linux. Granted Linux takes some time to install, but 500-600 dollars for a computer with DVD/BD playback, 1080p, 7.1 surround, bluetooth, and ps3/ps2/ps1 playing capabilities sounds like a freaking sweet deal.

RE: Damn
By IceTron on 11/12/06, Rating: -1
From IGN, Hands on:
By Clauzii on 11/12/2006 7:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
"Slaylock:Is it possible to copy MP3 files to the hard drive from a data CD or USB memory stick, or do you have to rip them from a music CD?

IGN: You can definitely copy MP3 files from a data CD and a USB memory stick. We just stuck an iPod shuffle into the system, in fact. The PS3 didn't recognize the JPEGs and MP3s right under the Music and Photo tabs of the XMB right away, though it did recognize the iPod Shuffle itself. It actually pops up like any other icon. So when under the appropraite tab (either Photo or Music), we had to call up the side menu, by pressing triangle, and then select "display all" to show everything we had stored on the stick. From there we could play each track and see every picture, and copy each to the hard drive. It was all fairly painless."

Love it!
By cochy on 11/12/2006 9:05:05 PM , Rating: 2
Great on Sony to allow this kind of mod! Come to think of it, why didn't they just add a eSATA connection on the back :P

I'm curious..
By JonMooring on 11/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: I'm curious..
By sinisterDei on 11/12/2006 2:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
I believe you'll notice that the drives in question are 2.5" drives, whereas the drives you're mentioning (320gb for ~$80) are all 3.5" drives.

RE: I'm curious..
By tdawg on 11/12/2006 2:21:49 AM , Rating: 2
Are you sure that's a 2.5" 320gb hard drive for $80, or could that be a 3.5" drive?

2.5", or notebook, hard drives are considerably more expensive than 3.5" desktop drives.

I think this is a definite plus for the PS3. The convenience is certainly welcome.

RE: I'm curious..
By halomaster2004 on 11/12/2006 2:21:59 AM , Rating: 2
he said 2.5, not 3.5

RE: I'm curious..
By halomaster2004 on 11/12/2006 2:23:15 AM , Rating: 2
whoa, 3 people replied nearly the same thing all in a matter of like 20 seconds.

RE: I'm curious..
By JonMooring on 11/12/2006 2:23:02 AM , Rating: 2
Silly me, I just realized it was a 2.5" unit.

RE: I'm curious..
By whymeintrouble on 11/12/2006 2:25:34 AM , Rating: 2
psst, these are SATA NOTEBOOK (aka 2.5") drives! the cheapest 7200rpm 100GB I found is $155+, shipping included of course, for the HITACHI Travelstar 7K100 HTS721010G9SA00 (0A25016) 100GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Notebook Hard Drive - OEM

By SakuraChan on 11/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: format
By chaos386 on 11/12/2006 7:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
The PS3 probably formats it for you, and I'm guessing it's going to use ext3, since it will run Yellow Dog Linux.

RE: format
By whymeintrouble on 11/12/2006 1:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
how do you format the bloddy HDD?

how did you do it back in the old days? floppy, so its the new times, so it could be one of 2 ways, 1) software is provided via a CD/DVD to format the drive, or 2) as it has been said before, the ps3 takes care of it for you. or there is 3) a combination of both.

Hey DailyTech: Want some bacon?
By somegeek on 11/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: Hey DailyTech: Want some bacon?
By DigitalFreak on 11/12/06, Rating: -1
RE: Hey DailyTech: Want some bacon?
By somegeek on 11/12/06, Rating: -1
By GaryJohnson on 11/12/2006 10:28:47 PM , Rating: 3
3. Choice three is not to buy, which is both enticingly cheap and the best value (depending of course on what you value).

By theapparition on 11/13/2006 8:14:24 AM , Rating: 2
Also, selling two versions of the Xbox 360 is bad for game players and good for Microsoft because it allows them to overcharge for the differences between the two versions. It also allows them to lower the quality of the core version only to make the expensive version look better. They're doing this solely to minimize the loss on each console sold and keep their investors calm.

Isn't Sony selling two versions as well? Wouldn't it cost more than $100 to upgrade a base PS3 (card reader, wi-fi, Hard Drive)?

Not sure you point........

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