Why aren't console makers honest about hard drive space?

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sombre

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This is becoming more and more prevalent in the recent gen, but fuck me it's annoying.

I understand that a console needs space for an OS/FW, but...just be honest about how much space your hard drives can actually support.

Don't say my Series S has "500GB" when it really has about 360. That's almost 30% less than advertised. How can console makers be allowed to get away with such blatant lies?

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bigsocrates

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To ask "Why do capitalists overinflate the capabilities of machines they are selling" is to answer it. I can't think of any examples of where manufacturers didn't try to put their consoles in the best possible light. Do you remember the Atari Jaguar having a whole advertising campaign about being 64 bit when it really wasn't? I do!

As for why they are allowed to do it...it's because it's true, at least to some degree. When Xbox says the Series S has a 512 Gigabyte custom SSD in it that's true! It does. It's not all available for games but if you pulled it out and used it for something else that would be the size. They don't say 512 gigabytes available for game installs. It's no different than when every smartphone company advertises battery life at minimum screen brightness running the least power draining apps available.

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CreepingDeath0

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When the size of the OS can fluctuate with post release day updates, how else would you advertise the storage space on a console?

On launch that 500GB might actually only be 450GB of usable space, but 2 years down the line it could be even less (or more, depending on optimisation).

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mellotronrules

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tyranny of the asterisk:

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no one gets what's on the tin with local storage, sadly.

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Broshmosh

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I recently bought a 500gb M2 SSD for my new PC. When I installed it, it actually only has 478gb available. Even a completely independent drive won't give you full access to everything as it reserves some space for specific technical needs. It's always been this way with storage.

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ThePanzini

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#6  Edited By ThePanzini

This isn't a console issue pretty much everything with a hard drive is overselling the storage available, even stand alone drives.

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spacemanspiff00

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I picked up a 4TB Samsung external SSD a few months ago and was astonished to find that it only gives about 3.6 worth of usable storage. Did not expect that. I do like that the unit itself is pretty dang small(palm of hand) compared to my many years old 3TB HDD I was using before so that's rather nice.

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Ben_H

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#8  Edited By Ben_H

Something else to keep in mind is that most electronics packaging list disk sizes in decimal gigabytes instead of binary gigabytes (which, all operating sytems, be it computers or game consoles or whatever, all use binary gigabytes, not decimal) since decimal gigabytes inflate the number dramatically (And this scales. The bigger the storage capacity, the bigger the discrepancy. The difference between 2TB in binary and decimal is around 200 GB, or ~10% of advertised storage space). It's a whole thing and there have been lawsuits over it but because some judge in the US ruled that manufacturers advertising disk capacity in decimal gigabytes was fine (even though it's blatantly misleading to the average consumer and not actually useful in context to using the storage device), we still see companies advertising drives as having 500 GB of usable space that actually have ~440 binary GB of usable space when plugged into any OS. It's really stupid. Some disk storage companies do put capacities in binary gigabytes on the packaging but most of the big ones (Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Crucial/Micron, etc.) don't.

@spacemanspiff00 said:

I picked up a 4TB Samsung external SSD a few months ago and was astonished to find that it only gives about 3.6 worth of usable storage. Did not expect that. I do like that the unit itself is pretty dang small(palm of hand) compared to my many years old 3TB HDD I was using before so that's rather nice.

Yup. 4TB of decimal disk space is about 3.6TB in binary. The bigger the drive, the worse the discrepancy between the two numbers. Gotta love marketing.

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sombre

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A brain numbing case in point:

My partner went to fire up Modern Warfare 3 tonight, but got hit by a 40gb patch on the Series S.

Because the patch was so big, it needed to "reserve" that space on the hard drive. But I had Red Dead 2 installed, which takes up a lot of space. I had to delete Red Dead to install the COD patch. I guess I can't have TWO games on my Xbox at once then, cheers M$

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mellotronrules

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yeah, CoD will getcha.

but i'm also sympathetic to consumers being on the short end of the stick when it comes to anemic device specs designed to bolster a pricing strategy.

case in point- Apple sells new imac configs with their newest processors paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. that's engineered to get you in at the 'starting at' price, and then tax you hard with the upgrades. meanwhile- people will buy that base spec and spend too much time managing fixed resources for the rest of its days.

the Series S isn't quite that, but it does feel like it's showing its limits more readily.

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infantpipoc

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Sadly this is a tech problem not just a game problem.