PS4 designers at one stage contemplated releasing the system without a hard drive, Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House has admitted.
"The reason [having a hard drive or not] was such a large decision because it's not just for launch but in it for the cycle," he told the Develop Conference today, as reported by Digital Spy.
"It has massive implications for the business model over a long period of years. What was great was Mark [Cerny] advocated in a very succinct, natural way about what this would mean for developers and, by extension, the user experience.
"The growth of mobile has allowed for a whole new outlet of talent with smaller teams and still great game creation. If you couple that with we're starting to get to point with our own digital distribution network and a scalable network of players, with whom we could then treat as an audience who could connect with independent developers.
"We debated it, but it came extremely clear to me – financial issues aside – that we had to be striving for a certain level of experience that was going to get people [to] embrace a brand new platform."
PS4’s lead architect Mark Cerny added: "Watch Dogs is a title that needed 15GB cached on a very fast medium like a hard drive for the level the creators wanted it to be. We couldn't say the hard drive works for people but not everyone. We ultimately we had to make that decision."