so while i was browsing JB Hifi's store looking for a new USB Harddrive i came across this Seagate Game Drive for PS4, however the instructions on the Playstation site for using USB Hardddrives don't list you needing specific devices other than the USB Harddrive needs to be

  • USB 3.0 or later
  • 250 GB minimum, 8 TB maximum capacity

*Proper operation is not guaranteed for all external hard disc drive models.

So is there a difference between a PS4 USB Harddrive and any other USB Harddrive? particularly being used on a PC?

1 Answer 1


All "generic" hard drives that meet the specifications should be fine. I recently bought a Western Digital and had no problems using it on my PS4. The difference isn't in the hardware, it's in the data. A PS4 hard drive will be "formatted" in a special way that cannot normally be read by PCs or Macs, similar to how some Mac-formatted drives can't be read in Windows, either.

Once you format it as use for storage on a PS4, you won't be able to use it on your computer without formatting it again and losing all your data. You can also use it as normal media drive if you just want to have a place to store all your movies and audio files. In that case, you can leave it formatted as a PC-compatible format, such as exFAT.

However, do be aware that some models may include extra features, like full disk encryption, a boot partition, or some other unusual configuration. Those drives may or may not work as expected on a PS4. I remember having one flash drive that had two "drives" within it, one for portable software and another for storage. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have worked on a PS4. However, the typical baseline models without any extra bells or whistles work just fine.

Usually something like a "game drive" will have been specifically pre-formatted for use on a PS4, so as to save you the time of doing a fresh format. However, that's mostly just a gimmick, since it only takes a moment to format a drive anyways. If you find a really inexpensive PC-compatible drive, go ahead and use it on your PS4.

  • 2
    The PS4 also does not allow for external hard drives to have embedded USB hubs. This includes external hard drives that, for whatever reason, have the internal drive connected via SATA to USB to USB. Here is a forum post documenting the issue. Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:21
  • @ChaseIngebritson Yep, the fewer features you can get on the hard drive, the more likely it is to work.
    – phyrfox
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:22
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    I mean even the ones that have the drive internally included, which may not be noted in the specs of the drive or visible without opening the case. So it is worth researching prior to a purchase. Other than that, ya pretty much just get the most barebones drive you can find. Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:28
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    @ChaseIngebritson Oh, you mean those "external enclosure" ones. Those are pretty rare to find, but you can build your own for not a lot of money, so it makes sense that some shady dealers would do this to turn a quick buck. Sticking with the major manufacturers should be pretty safe though, I've used Seagate and WD and never had a problem with either of those. It's when you get to the "I've never heard of this brand" territory that research becomes even more vital.
    – phyrfox
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:33

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