The Xbox Series X launched on November 10th, 2020. Aussie gamers were some of the first in the world to get stuck into Microsoft’s latest gaming hardware and as you start to load up that early Christmas present with games, you’ll start to eat into that 1TB hard drive.
Of courses there’s accessories like controllers and headsets available, but one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is around storage.
If you haven’t bought the console yet, you’ll want to read my full review of the Xbox Series X, then hope and pray that more arrive in time for Christmas.
While 1TB sounds like a lot of storage, with the new and improved games, they just keep growing in size. While games for the Xbox One grew over the lifecycle of the console, the starting size of these games at launch are massive. 50-100GB and beyond is now common, which means depending on your selection of games, could consume your storage in 10-15 games.
Thankfully in 2020, many of us enjoy faster internet speeds as a result of NBN (phase 1) being completed, but even with a 100Mbps download speed, games this size still take quite a while.
Technically you could uninstall a game to free up space for a new game, but juggling installed games is not exactly fun. Most of us want to pick up the controller and get started in seconds, part of the big sell with this generation of consoles.
The solution to this is the 1TB Seagate Storage Expansion Card, compatible with both the Xbox Series X and Series S. This plugs into the back of the console via the dedicated expansion port.
Unlike a regular USB3.0 hard drive, this expansion card replicates the console’s custom SSD experience, providing additional game storage at the same performance. This means faster load times and quick resume are possible for games installed on this expansion card.
While the price of the expansion card, costs more than an entire console, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition at A$349.00, I feel like it’s worth it. To put that price in perspective, a 1TB microSD card costs A$379.00, so relative to that, the Seagate option looks much more reasonable.
When I started installing a slew of games from my existing catalog, along with new review titles and some from the Xbox Game Pass, I quickly seen I had a problem on my hands. The 1TB of additional storage helped ensure I had plenty of space for plenty of games.
So what’s the experience like of actually using it? It’s seriously simple. When you put the card in the back of the Series X, it can only go one way, so you can’t mess it up. You will want to be firm and ensure you push it all the way in, then a few seconds later, you’ll be greeted with an alert, informing you the additional storage is ready.
When you install the next game, you’ll have a choice of location for installing that game, either the internal or external drive. You’ll also have the same option for screen captures. Rather than be prompted each time, you can manage the default save location in Settings > Storage.
A really neat attribute of the way this expansion card works, is the ability to remove the card and take your games with you. This is fantastic if you have friends that also buy an Xbox Series X or S and regularly get together for a session of good old split-screen gaming.
While some will insert the expansion card and never remove it, I really like the fact Microsoft have done something special here. It’s like having the performance of a raid-type solution, but maintains the flexibility of being able to remove it.
We may see additional storage sizes in the future, but for now, it’s just the single 1TB option. Right now, I have 27 games installed, 9 of which are optimised for the Xbox Series X, which includes 4K assets.
With the combined theoretical storage capacity of 2TB, I’m left with 435.7GB free. The largest of these games is currently Destiny 2, consuming a massive 108.7GB in size. 15 of my largest games are all above 40GB in size.
While you may not need it on day 1, I think many of you will be searching for more storage and thankfully there is a great solution.