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Sony throws fuel on PS3 hard drive gossip fires

Ken Kutaragi raises new questions on PS3 hard drive, plus it will come pre-loaded with Linux

Sony's Ken Kutaragi has fanned "will it or won't it" speculation flames currently surrounding the inclusion of a detachable hard drive as standard with the company's next-gen console PS3.

Making comments in regard to PS3 and hard drive plans during a recent interview with website Impress PC Watch, Kutaragi-san stated that "We're not going to equip [the PS3 with] a HDD by default, because no matter how much [capacity] we put in it, it won't be enough" when posed the question "The PlayStation 3 has some extremely high specifications, but it doesn't come with an HDD. Why?"

It certainly appears that Ken Kutaragi is confirming that, unlike Xbox 360, the PS3 won't come with a detachable hard drive as standard, although admittedly it's not crystal clear. And his follow-up comments in the answer to Impress PC Watch's question throw an extra dose of confusion into the mix.

Kutaragi-san goes on to talk about how network drives are "definitely" the next step in terms of storage, saying that "With the Cell server, they [network drives] can be accessed from anywhere, via network. Whether it's your own house [or] your friend's house, you can access the [network hard drive] anywhere. That's the kind of world we're imagining."

But he does add that "there are still some issues if the machine doesn't come with an HDD", talking about the necessity for such to run operating systems offline and that "we've added a 2.5-inch HDD bay so that users can equip HDDs, such as 80GB and 120GB, even though that's still not enough [capacity]".

The operating system referred to by Kutaragi-san will be Linux, he confirmed in the interview, discussing the need for a hard drive running an OS in order for PS3 "to be recognised as a computer".

So anyway, a detachable hard drive an 'optional' as opposed to featuring as an out-of-the-box standard? Kutaragi-san's wording seems to suggest so, but we wouldn't place any bets just yet. And of course, non-standard would mean further cost for consumers.... We'll keep you posted on developments as they happen.