Back in March, we warned you that the proprietary NVMe storage expansions used in the Xbox Series X (and now the Xbox Series S) could be a bit more expensive than more traditional storage options. Today we got apparent confirmation of that fact, as Microsoft and Best Buy listed Seagate’s “Game Drive for Xbox Series X and Series S” for $ 220 pre-order ahead of its launch on November 10.
For comparison, Seagate’s 1TB USB 3.0 external hard drives are listed on Best Buy for just $ 57.49. A 1TB external SSD from Seagate will set you back $ 160, still 27% cheaper than the NVMe Game Drive.
The Seagate Game Drive is, however, cheaper than a comparable microSD card; Best Buy is asking $ 299 for a 1TB SanDisk card compatible with the Nintendo Switch.
A standard external hard drive or SSD will work with the Xbox Series S / X, but only backward compatible games from earlier Xbox systems will work directly from this drive. Games designed for the S / X series can be stored on external hard drives as a backup, but these games will need to be transferred to NVMe storage (such as Seagate’s Game Drive or internal system storage) to work. This enables the efficient and fast-loading texture streaming technology that Microsoft introduces as the Xbox Velocity Architecture.
The cost of the NVMe expansion could be especially significant for gamers considering the Xbox Series S, which only includes 512GB of internal storage (compared to 1TB on the X Series). Many great Xbox One games are already well over the 50GB functional limit of a single Blu-Ray disc, thanks to “Day One” downloads and patches. Games “optimized” for the S / X series could get even bigger, thanks to the level of texture detail needed for detailed 1440p or 4K images, respectively.
The storage expansion situation might not be too much better on the PS5. Sony said in March that the upcoming system will support “certain M2 SSDs” that support the system’s internal 5.5 Gb / s specifications. That would likely require drives that comply with the new PCIe 4.0 standard, which currently run at around $ 200 for 1TB of storage.
Sony claims to have performed PS5 performance and compatibility tests on multiple drives. Public confirmation of the first players of this type officially certified as PS5 compatible “will probably be a little outdated. [launch]Sony said in March.
List image by Microsoft / Eurogamer