I don't see how PS4s HDD swapping is any better than USB3 supported external HDDs of the Xbox One.
But yes, both devices have default HDD size quite ridicilously small. Not sure about the PS4, but since Xbox One apparently requires all games to be installed on HDD, disc or not, it seems like a short sighted decision.. or then a smart business decision to force us to buy stuff in addition to the console, but since X1 supports USB3 external HDDs, it''s not like the money will fall into MSs pockets anyways.
The problem there is that it was announced that the One won't launch with external HDD support, nor did they give a timeframe for its addition. Yes, it's pretty unlikely gamers will fill up the console in 6 months or so (I'd imagine we get support before then), but that's still ridiculous. Also, do we know if the external support will be improved from the 360, and to what extent? The 360 maxes out at 32 GB per device, and allows only 2 devices (might be a 16-GB limit), so if it's anything CLOSE to that, we have a problem. Of course, there's still the matter of bulk and inconvenience.
The PS4 will let you put in a bigger HDD, not a problem. The external solution on the One would mean having another device up and running, one that isn't under the One's warranty. If people are careless (and, as history shows, they are), we could see HDDs getting knocked over and ruined. Oh, and I don't know that a game install is REQUIRED. They said that things would function just like they did on 360, no? We can run games solely from the disc on the 360, so that might still be an option (wonder how multitasking might be affected with that--would the disc tray keep spinning the game in the background while you played a digital one?).
It would have been SO much better if Microsoft had just spent what was likely another $10 to give us all terabyte hard drives, though. If these games are 30 GB in size, this will be hell. Personally, I have 35-40 game discs, plus a few digital ones, plus some Arcade ones. Just the retail games would total about 1.2 TB, if the 30-GB limit is typical. Yes, that's after more than 7 years, but if people start going all-digital, they won't be trading in games as much, meaning more games left on the storage device. I dislike this idea that we have to buy the Kinect, pay $100 more for the console as a result, then we might have to throw down another $100-150 for another HDD after a year.
Consoles are supposed to offer price and convenience advantages over gaming PCs, and these things are making it a legitimate question as to whether or not those advantages still exist.