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What took so long? PlayStation 4 finally supports external hard drives

playstation  adds external hard drive support pro review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Why it matters to you

After more than three years, PlayStation 4 owners can finally expand their storage space with an external drive.

The PlayStation 4 lets users easily replace the system’s internal hard drive from its minuscule 500GB capacity to something much larger, but up until now, the console didn’t allow for users to expand this space with an external drive. In the next system software update, that is going to change.

If you signed up to take part in the PlayStation system software 4.50 beta, you’ll be able to use external hard drives on your PlayStation 4 starting today. Like the Xbox One, the external drive must use USB 3.0, and you’re free to store both saved data and installed applications on the device instead of using your PlayStation 4’s internal storage. Just don’t go over 8TB of capacity, or your drive won’t work.

While you’re searching for a game to play or an application to launch, the experience will look a little bit prettier, as well. The “quick menu,” which you access by pressing the PlayStation button on your controller, is now even smaller and includes menu options for parties for the first time. On the dashboard, you’re now also free to use game screenshots as wallpapers instead of the “dynamic themes” that we’ve seen over the last few years.

More: LittleBigPlanet 3, other titles free for PlayStation Plus members in February

For the first time, the PlayStation 4 will also give you an easy option to share your best gaming moments without having to go through a social network. Simply post screenshots or GIFs to your activity feed for all of your friends to see.

One change that seems somewhat counter-intuitive, however, is a “simplified” notification list. Instead of separating your notifications by download notifications, installation notices, and party-related messages, all notifications will now be part of the same list. However, you will be able to turn off particular types of notifications, assuming that, for example, you¬†already know how to access the system’s power settings(!).

No time window has been given for when 4.50 will go live. The update also lets PlayStation VR users watch 3D Blu-ray discs for the first time.