Xbox Series X and S storage expansion: Everything you need to know about the Seagate Storage Expansion Card


With the launch of the Xbox Series X and Series S set for 10 November – and the price now fully revealed – you might be wondering about one of the features revealed earlier in the year – the storage expansion slot.

Well you’re in the right place, because this is everything you need to know.

What is Xbox Storage Expansion Card?

Xbox revealed in March 2020 that the Xbox Series X would have a 1TB internal SSD while also supporting an external SSD of the same format. This is separate to and in addition to supporting external storage via USB as found on the older generation of consoles.

The big difference is that the Storage Expansion Card is the same format as the internal storage. That format a custom NVMe and specifically, it’s PCIe 4. NVMe is a storage format popular with gamers for gaming PCs, because it offers blistering speed. Being PCIe 4 also means it is high bandwidth and that’s in place to support the high performance promised by the new Xbox models.

This means you’ll be able to expand the storage of either your Xbox Series X or Series S just by plugging the right card into the back your new console, so it’s an instant upgrade, without the need to get out a screwdriver.

Microsoft is working with Seagate on this storage card and at the moment it’s not known if there will be other third-party cards available.

Can I remove an Xbox Storage Expansion Card I’ve installed it?

Yes, you can. One of the interesting things about the Seagate Storage Expansion Card is that you’ll be able to remove it and take it to someone else’s house to use it on their Xbox Series X or S.

Will the Xbox Storage Expansion Card be better than USB?

The important point about this storage format is that you’ll get the same performance from this added storage as you do from the internal storage. Xbox says that via the expansion slot, you’ll get access to the Xbox Velocity Architecture and that’s going to deliver the next-gen experience.

In fact Xbox goes further, saying that “games Optimised for Xbox Series S and Series X must be played from the internal SSD or a Seagate Storage Expansion Card”.

That means that hooking-up an external drive via USB – even if it’s an SSD – won’t deliver that experience.

USB external drives will be supported, but this is really so that you can get access to your legacy titles. You’ll be able to move a USB drive from your existing console, plugging it into your new Series X or Series S console to give you access to games you’ve previously downloaded.

Ultimately, next-gen performance is going to require using the Xbox Storage Expansion Card.

How much will the Seagate Storage Expansion Card cost?

This hasn’t been revealed yet and remains the big question. While the promise of easy expansion is exciting, there’s going to be a cost to it.

Currently, a 1TB Seagate Firecuda NVMe PCIe 4 card costs around £200 or $250. That might serve as a guide price, but it’s worth remembering that generally the cost of storage in the PC market creeps downwards as time passes – the price of Xbox accessories won’t necessarily follow that path.

When will the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox be available?

Seagate has only talked about it being available for the Holidays 2020. That was the same time reference that Xbox was using too. Microsoft has revealed that it’s now set for a 10 November release date for the consoles – and we’d bet that the Seagate card will be available on the same day. The prices might be released on 22 September, however, which is when Xbox Series pre-orders will open.

Original Article