While it's great that video game consoles can do so much nowadays, hard drive storage space is more important — and annoying — than ever. The ability to download a game straight to a console's storage space is incredibly convenient — but many players will soon learn that, regardless of which system you own, the hard drive fills up rather quickly.
The worst part is that, when it comes time to cleaning a console's memory, it's not also was easiest thing to figure out. It's certainly not the most difficult task in the world, but finding out where each different console keeps all of its data can be a huge pain — especially if you just want to get to downloading and/or playing a game.
Never fear: we've compiled a guide of the best ways to clean out your console's memory. Whether it's one of the two major current-generation consoles, or one of their predecessors, you'll be able to free up some space in no time.
With a 500 GB hard drive, you'd think it'd be tough to fill up an Xbox One. Of course, with games taking up so much space nowadays, it's a lot easier than one might think. The good news is that, since the console's launch, Microsoft has made it a whole lot easier to clear unwanted games off of your console.
1. From the Xbox One Home screen, find the Games and Apps button and select it. This will bring you to a list of everything on the console, split into two categories: Games and Apps.
2. Selecting the first option will bring you into the Games section. From there, find the game you want to delete and hit the Menu Button. Hitting the A Button will launch the game — if a game starts up, head back to the Home Screen and start over.
3. This will bring up a menu with a number of different options. Head down to Manage Game and select it.
4. You'll see a large thumbnail of the game you chose. Select it to bring up another menu; head over to the Uninstall option — once you confirm that you want to uninstall the game, the Xbox One will remove it from the hard drive.
5. If there's any downloadable content or saved files that you want to remove in addition to the game itself, simply select the appropriate thumbnail and repeat Step 4. This will make sure that everything is uninstalled — not just the core game itself. You can uninstall the game straight from the Games and Apps menu, but everything else will be left on the hard drive.
The PlayStation 4 is similar to the Xbox One in a lot of ways, including how much storage space it comes with. Sony's newest machine comes with a 500 GB hard drive, but figuring out how to thoroughly delete games can be a bit tricky ... though it's more about knowing where to go than anything else.
1. From the PlayStation 4 cross-media bar (or XMB) hit Up on the D-pad to show the system menu. The second icon from the far right will be the Settings option; select it.
2. This will bring up another menu — head down to System Storage Management and select it.
3. Here, you'll see a list of everything that's taking up space on the console. The cursor will start out on the Applications tab — this is where you want to go.
4. You'll see a list of all of the different apps on the console, as well as how much space they're taking up. Hit the Options Button, and you'll see the Delete option pop up.
5. Hitting the X Button will open up the Delete menu: you'll be able to select any games you want to delete, or you can select everything and delete it all at once. The PS4 will ask you to confirm your deletion, select Yes and it'll clear everything you've selected off the console.
6. (OPTIONAL) You can also delete individual games from the XMB by hitting the Options Button on the corresponding thumbnail. Be warned: if you want delete multiple games, this will take far longer than the method described above.
At this point, the Xbox 360 has an absolutely massive library of games, and most of them are available digitally. That means that storage space is more important than ever — thankfully, it's not all that hard to remove games and apps from the console's hard drive.
1. From the Xbox 360 Home screen, head on over to Settings. Once there, select the System Settings option.
2. Select the Storage option. This will bring up a list of all of the compatible memory devices currently running on the system — select whichever one you want to clear out.
3. You'll be given a list of different categories; this determines what exactly you're going to be deleting. If you want to delete games, go to Games and Apps, if you want to delete videos, go to Videos, etc.
4. Find what you want to delete and select it. This will bring up the game's individual menu.
5. You'll be given a number of options: Copy, Move or Delete. They're all pretty self-explanatory — once you confirm what it is that you want to delete, the Xbox will clear it off. Repeat for whatever else you want to remove.
The PlayStation 3 is basically in the same boat as the Xbox 360: there are a ton of games for the console, and the vast majority of them are available on-demand. If you're going to download anything, you'll need the space, but again — it's not all that hard to remove games from the PS3′s memory.
1. From the PlayStation 3 cross-media bar (or XMB), head on over to the Games section. You should see a list of the console's games pop up.
2. Find the game or demo you want to delete, then hit the Triangle Button. This should bring up a small menu — if the game starts, you've hit the wrong button.
3. On this list, you'll see the Delete option. Hit the X Button, and the system will ask you if you want to delete the item. Press the X Button again and the game will be deleted.
4. To completely wipe all of the game's data from the system (including updates, patches and install data), head back to the Games section. Find the Game Data Utility folder and repeat Steps 2 and 3 for any games you want to delete.
Clearing out storage space is one of those inevitabilities of current-gen console gaming — but that doesn't mean it should be a pain in the neck. With this guide, you should be able to keep your consoles running with plenty of extra space to spare!