So wait, can I play my games as they're installing to the PS4 hard drive or not?
Having a game take up nearly 50GB on your hard drive when you only have a 500GB machine doesn't just sound like a lot, it is a lot. And while these installs are mandatory, Sony has stated that gamers will be able to play games while the game installs in the background.
Through Sony's new FAQ however, there is a small caveat that you might have never even noticed, if you weren't looking hard enough.
This is what the FAQ states:
When playing disc-based games on PS4, do I need to install data to the hard drive?
Yes, all PS4 Blu-ray Disc games must be cached to the hard drive to ensure a smooth gaming experience. However, certain titles may not require you to wait for the game data to be fully cached before starting gameplay. In order to start playing disc-based games, users will need to insert the game disc into PS4 just like on the PS3 system.
Did you catch it? Here is the scary sentence: However, certain titles may not require you to wait for the game data to be fully cached before starting gameplay. So what does that mean exactly? It means that apparently the ability to play games while they're installing to the hard drive isn't a mandatory feature, and it seems like it will be up to the developer to decide whether it's required or not. Either way,
I honestly hope no game that's bigger than 10GB will require us to wait until it's finished downloading. I've had to endure those nightmares on the PS3 enough as it is, and it's not fun.