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Storage comes courtesy of a 2.5in internal hard disk, and unlike in Japan and the US, there won’t be two drive capacities offered in Europe. Over here we get a 60GB drive, whereas in other territories consumers have the option of going for a cheaper PS3 with a 20GB drive and a few other features stripped out. To be honest, I’m not really too bothered about the lack of a 20GB option in the UK, since I would have advised anyone to go for the premium configuration, just like with the Xbox 360.
The best thing about the hard disk in the PlayStation 3 is that it’s user upgradable, and I don’t mean that you can crack the machine open, dig around inside it and replace the drive like with a Sky + box. No, Sony actually markets the PS3 as having an upgradable hard drive that’s very easy to replace. You see the hard drive sits in a caddy that slides into the left side of the case – there’s even a removable plastic cover that’s helpfully labelled HDD. If you find that 60GB just isn’t enough storage for you, you can simply replace the drive with any 2.5in SATA hard disk, although I wouldn’t recommend going for a 7,200rpm unit as the PS3 runs pretty hot as it is.
Once you’ve replaced the old drive with a shiny new, say, 160GB unit, you simply slide it back into place, close the flap and power the system on. The PS3 will recognise that there is a new disk inside and will offer to format it, ready for use in your console. You don’t need to worry about the operating system and firmware, since they sit in non volatile storage, so you won’t lose them if you change the drive. If you’ve got enough hard disk space you can even take up Sony’s offer to load another OS – several versions of Linux have already been installed successfully on the PS3, so if you’re the adventurous type, why not give it a try?
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