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First Xbox Series S expandable drive will cost nearly as much as the console

Next-gen expandable storage promises to be yet another cash sink for gamers.

Published onSeptember 24, 2020

  • Expandable storage drives for Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and X consoles are now available to pre-order.
  • A 1TB drive will cost gamers $219.
  • The storage drive is manufactured by Seagate and uses PCIe 4.0-based technology.

If you were wondering just how much cash you’d need to add expandable storage to the 512GB Xbox Series S or 1TB Xbox Series X, wonder no more. The first next-gen storage drive is now available (h/t The Verge) and bears a pretty large price tag.

So how large exactly? Well, the 1TB expandable storage drive will retail for $219, and you can pre-order one right now. If that sounds expensive to you, it’s because it’s just $80 less than the price of an entire Series S.

More capacities will be available post-launch, Microsoft tells The Verge, but 1TB is the current benchmark. The listed drive is made by Seagate, but more companies are expected to offer products once the consoles are available to consumers.

The drive slots into the consoles’ new expandable storage slot alongside the HDMI and other ports at the console’s rear. It weighs around 28 grams and looks like a fatter, wider USB drive.

microsoft xbox series s x expandable storage seagate 1

Gamers can still employ traditional USB-based external hard drives and SSDs, but they’ll need to forfeit running games specifically built for Microsoft’s proprietary storage technology.

Read more: The best external hard drives: What are your options?

While it’s unlikely buyers will feel the need to bolster the storage capacities on either console immediately after launch, the price does highlight the disadvantages of the new PCIe 4.0-based technology at least compared to old school SATA media.

Yes, the faster storage will improve games’ load times and visual appearance but come at a literal high cost to users. Of course, this is the first wave of the tech in consoles. We should see prices slowly decrease as manufacturing costs drop and market penetration improves. Still, it’s going to be pretty expensive to be a first adopter.

It’s unclear how Sony’s PlayStation 5 expandable storage prices will compare, but the Japanese firm is also employing SSD-based storage this time around. We wouldn’t be surprised to see similar premiums associated with its aftermarket storage offerings, either.

If you are already in the market for more Xbox storage, you can preorder the expandable drive through Best Buy. The drive will go on sale from November 10.