The PS4 could have been many things and it ultimately turned out to be how we know it today. Some games such as Watch Dogs really influenced the thinking of developers like Mary Cerny and helped contribute to why the system ended up having a hard drive.
Watch Dogs is a hefty game to say the least, so it needed an equally powerful system like the PS4 to run it. Mark Cerny, who is the lead architect on the PS4, talked about how a game such as Ubisoft's Watch Dogs needed the type of memory that is now on the PS4 system in order to run correctly.
"For the hard drive, we could have a debate about, does every player need downloadable content? No every player does. Thought, on the other side, Watch Dogs the way it was intended, if you want to save money [you can't because] unfortunately the answer is yes, Watch Dogs is a title that needed 15 GB cached on very fast media hard drive or it wasn't going to be able to play on the level the creators wanted it to be.
"So we couldn't go out there and say yes, hard drive works for some people, but not any. It was embedded in such a basic level on what the developers were thinking of making, [as to why] we ultimately had to make that decision of including a hard drive," Cerny said.
Watch Dogs launched back in May of this year, after it was originally scheduled to be a PS4 launch title back in 2013. It's gone on to sell-in over 8 million units to date, and has driven Ubisoft to confirm it's going to be a major franchise for Ubisoft moving forward.
The PS4's success has been well-documented and really is impressive. The console industry is doing very well right now with software finally climbing back up the ladder, as it saw a major decline during the previous three or four years. The introduction of new consoles like the PS4 has reinvigorated the industry. It's pretty clear that Mark Cerny and his team were spot on with including a hard drive for the PS4.