Back in March, we warned you that the proprietary NVMe storage expansions used in the Xbox Series X (and now the Xbox Series S) might be a little more expensive than traditional storage options. Today we received obvious confirmation of that fact as Microsoft and Best Buy Seagates listed “Game Drive for Xbox Series X and Series S” as a pre-order worth $ 220 prior to launch on Nov. 10.
For comparison: Seagate’s own 1 TB external USB 3.0 hard drives are listed at Best Buy for only $ 57.49. A Seagate 1
The Seagate Game Drive is cheaper than a comparable microSD card, however. Best Buy is charging $ 299 for a 1TB SanDisk card that is compatible with Nintendo Switch.
A standard external hard drive or SSD will work with the Xbox Series S / X, but only backward-compatible games from previous Xbox systems can run directly from that hard drive. Games for the S / X series can be stored on external hard drives as a backup, but these games must be transferred to NVMe storage (e.g. Seagate Game Drive or the system’s internal storage) to run. This is to enable the fast-loading and efficient texture streaming technology that Microsoft calls the Xbox Velocity architecture.
The cost of the NVMe expansion could be especially important for gamers considering the Xbox Series S, which only has 512GB of internal storage (compared to 1TB for the Series X). Thanks to the first day of downloadable updates and patches, many major Xbox One games are already exceeding the 50GB functional limit of a single Blu-Ray disc. Games “optimized” for the S / X series could get even bigger thanks to the level of detail required for detailed 1440p or 4K images.
The memory expansion situation may not be much better on the PS5. Sony said in March that the upcoming system would support “certain M2 SSDs” that support the system’s internal specifications of 5.5 GB / s. This would likely require drives that conform to the new PCIe 4.0 standard, which currently costs around $ 200 for 1TB of storage.
According to Sony, benchmarking and PS5 compatibility tests were carried out on multiple drives. Public endorsement of the first such drives officially certified as PS5 compatible “will likely go a little further [launch]”Sony said in March.
Listing image from Microsoft / Eurogamer