There has been a lot of buzz about the Xbox Series X | S pre-orders (and the mess that resulted,) but notably missing from the Xbox Series X | S pre-orders was the ability to pre-order or even the price of the Seagate Storage Expansion Card. Some gamers will want to have these ready for day one too. Granted, this is really more of a problem for those purchasing the all-digital Xbox Series S since it comes with a mere 500GB drive capacity, compared to the Xbox Series X, with its 1TB drive. So, if you were able to grab hold of an Xbox Series X | S pre-order (lucky you), and were worried about the availability of the storage expansion and price, worry no more. Seagate has finally announced that the drive is now available for pre-order at select retailers for $219.
If you recall, the Seagate Storage Expansion Card is a 1TB Custom PCIe Gen4x2 NVMe drive that plugs directly into the back of the Xbox Series X | S. By integrating into the Xbox Velocity Architecture, playing games stored on the expansion drive will be as quick as playing from the native drive with virtually no lag, the idea being that the expansion drive functions just like the internal drive. Unlike external USB drives, which would connect to your Xbox’s USB port, these internal cards connect directly to the Xbox Series X | S motherboard at the rear of the console using the same type of interface as the built-in storage solution. Additionally, these external drive cards are hot-swappable, meaning that if you need more than one of these $219 expansion drives for your game library, you can conveniently pull one out and replace while the console it running.
Is the Seagate Storage Expansion Price Too Much?
If the price is too much to swallow at the same time you are shelling out for the new console, there is good news. The Xbox Series X | S will also support external USB drives, much like the Xbox One. There is a caveat: “Games optimized for Xbox Series X|S require the Xbox Velocity Architecture.” In lay-terms: if you want to play Xbox Series X “optimized” games from an external USB drive and NOT one of the Seagate expansion cards… you can’t. Instead, you would need to copy the game from the USB drive to the internal storage drive first, and then run the game from internal storage. Being as blunt a spoon, Microsoft and Seagate are basically saying, “You need the expansion card…not the lesser, slower, (cheaper) external USB drive. However, there are still benefits to using an external USB drive, mainly being able to move older games between the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X | S. Is that really something people would do though? For many, myself included, The Xbox Series X is replacing an older Xbox One X, since it will have day one backwards compatibility. For the speed boost, size, and ease of use, the Seagate Storage Expansion Card makes a lot of sense, given the ability to hot-swap and bring them to a friend’s house to play.
Check out the Seagate FAQ for the Xbox Series X | S for more information. With the price of the Xbox Series S + the Seagate Storage Expansion price, are digital-only consoles still really worth it?