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Not to be outdone by the 1TB Xbox One, Sony announces the 1TB PS4.

Shots were fired first by Microsoft, announcing the 1TB Xbox One console just before E3 2015, with the larger-capacity console released on June 22 2015.

Sony, not wanting to be left behind, have this week announced the impending release of a 1TB PS4 console – which is available to pre-order now and will be out next week – on July 15 2015.

Both new units are near-identical in price, but what do the 1TB PS4 and 1TB Xbox One consoles mean for gaming?

Om nom nom nom

Well, you can store more stuff for starters* which is becoming increasingly important. As recently as a few years ago digital downloads were the poor cousin of retail, and most gamers still bought the majority of titles on disk. Today, digital downloads are very much the norm, so we’re chewing through those stock 500GB hard disks in no time at all.

The prevalence of patching and DLC isn’t helping things, either. It’s not uncommon to download a 15, 30 or 45GB game, then immediately find a 5GB download being pushed at you (that you probably need in order to be allowed to play online).

No indication what drive will be in the 1TB PS4 yet

When you combine this with the fact our consoles are now our media centres too, used for movies and music as well as gaming, then it’s easy to see the need for the larger-capacity consoles. This is where the 1TB PS4 and Xbox One will make all the difference.

The progression from 500GB to 1TB consoles also makes a handy stepping stone for the hardware manufacturers themselves, too.

The 1TB PS4 and Xbox One releases will naturally act as a lifespan extender for the current iteration of the hardware, and will likely delay the launch of the inevitable “slim” versions of the PS4 and Xbox; typically seen as a shot in the arm when sales are starting to drag.

When is a 1TB PS4 not a 1TB PS4?

One more thing to keep in mind: The original (500GB) PS4 only had 407GB of usable space, once you knocked out the partition reserved for the operating system and other gubbins. It’s unclear at this time whether the 1TB PS4 keeps the 93GB system partition – giving a total of 907GB usable – or if the operating system partition will be expanded as the total disk size goes up.

Scope creep is a bitch, and nobody likes seeing space they can’t use. Fingers crossed that a 1TB PS4 means – as far as reasonably possible – an actual 1TB PS4.

Buy the 1TB Xbox One on Amazon now.

Pre-order the 1TB PS4 now on Amazon.

* Obviously.

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