Xbox Series X will need custom external hard drives to expand storage

The Xbox Series X features new technology to improve storage capacity, but you’ll still need a specific kind of peripheral to expand it.

Earliertoday, Microsoft unveiled the fulltechnical specs for the Xbox One X, including videos that showed off itsspeedy loading times and quick-resume feature.

One other detail that was brought up, though, was in regards to the console’s internal storage. According to Microsoft, and a new hands-on video by Digital Foundry, the console will boast something called Velocity Architecture, which basically allows game storage to become additional memory, while also providing benefits to games, such as efficiently loading assets like textures.

But what happens if you end up using the entire 1TB of space for your games? Well, do you remember that mysterious port on the back of the console that was discovered in January? Turns out it’s for an external hard drive.

However, you won’t be able to just use any hard drive. The slot is designed specifically for custom-built NVMe SSD cartridges. These cartridges, that almost bring to mind old memory cards from the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox days, have a heatsink that prevents them from overheating and can even be used to transfer your games over to a friend’s console – quite a departure from the Xbox One’s initial methods of actively trying to prevent sharing.

‘Built in partnership with Seagate, this 1TB custom storage solution expands storage capacity of Xbox Series X with the full speed and performance of the Xbox Velocity Architecture,’ writes Microsoft.

The console will still support external USB 3.2 hard drives, and you can store Xbox Series X games on them, but you won’t be able to run them. They have to be run from either the internal hard drive or the custom units.

‘Previous generation Xbox titles can still be played directly from external USB 3.2 hard drives. However, to receive all the benefits of the Xbox Velocity Architecture and optimal performance, Xbox Series X, optimized games should be played from the internal SSD or Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card.’

One problem is that the cartridges will no doubt be quite expensive. Though they’re not technically available yet, a 1TB Seagate external hard drive for Xbox One can be bought for just over £184 brand new via Amazon, and that’s the cheapest option (not counting buying one used).

We still don’t know how much Microsoft intend on selling the Xbox Series X for, but if you intend on using the console as your primary method for gaming, you’ll likely need to spend quite the pretty penny for a complete set-up.

The Xbox Series X is still scheduled to release for this Christmas.

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