New Xbox SSDs: $400 for 2TB of proprietary storage

Daniel Sims

Posts: 165   +7
Staff
The big picture: Microsoft has announced two new size options for Xbox Series console storage expansion, and they are reminding customers yet again how expensive the latest NVMe storage still is. The prices recall the days of the Xbox 360's proprietary HDDs and the PlayStation Vita's memory cards, but how much better are the alternatives in today's market?

The announcement on Xbox Wire reveals 512GB and 2TB options for Seagate's Xbox Series X and S expansion cards, which command $140 and $400, respectively. They join the existing 1TB card priced at $220.

It's easy to point out Seagate's temporary exclusive deal to make Xbox SSD expansion cards as a reason for the sticker shock. It may remind some of the days when the Xbox 360's proprietary hard drive expansions didn't compare favorably to the PlayStation 3's compatibility with certain off-the-shelf PC hard drives. The PlayStation 5 has similar functionality, with Sony recently having unlocked support for PC M.2 SSDs.

Prices for off-the-shelf PCIe 4 NVMe SSDs, including the ones most recommended for the PS5, are fairly similar to those of the Xbox expansion cards. Samsung is preparing to release editions of its highly rated 980 Pros fitted specifically for the PS5 later this month, but they're slightly more expensive than the Xbox cards. The difference is that the similarly-priced PC and PS5 SSDs are more than twice as fast on paper. The question is how much that translates into a real-world performance difference.

The Xbox Series expansion cards are rated with read speeds of 2.4GB/s. The PS5's internal SSD is rated at around 5GB/s and that's the minimum Sony recommends for SSD upgrades. PC SSDs in the same price ballpark of the Xbox cards have read speeds as high as 7GB/s, including the 980 Pro.

To determine whether those high-speed requirements are warranted, Eurogamer's Digital Foundry recently tested PS5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on an SSD below Sony's listed system requirements. Overall performance seemed to suffer only slightly. One game released only for the new consoles that can be compared on both PS5 and Xbox Series is The Medium, and tests showed that it actually loads twice as fast on Xbox compared to PlayStation.

These are still early days when it comes to PS5 and Xbox Series games. Those tests might only prove that games haven't fully utilized the new consoles' SSDs quite yet. The difference between the two may very well show itself in the coming years, and someone who spends $400 on a 2TB SSD is likely to keep using it for a long time.

This goes without mentioning developments that are still to come on PC. We've yet to really see games take advantage of Microsoft's DirectStorage API, and we have heard little about Nvidia's upcoming RTX I/O.

Permalink to story.

 

psycros

Posts: 3,707   +4,675
Complete ripoff. We are seeing the advantages of the PS5 choice of sticking with an open hardware standard here.

Not that it matters with neither console in sight for another year.

Unless you already own one, which a fair number of folks already do.
 

Revolution 11

Posts: 89   +100
Unless you already own one, which a fair number of folks already do.
It is possible to get a PS5. Unfortunately, I don't have the free time with having to be physically present for work. I will have to see how the Sony registration scheme works over the holidays.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,039   +866
And here I was hoping to get a graphics card for my PC for less..

The industry has changed. Unless you really value modern gaming to the tune of thousands of dollars it’s time to get a new hobby. At this point it’s probably not much more expensive to get your kid into motorsport than PC gaming
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,610   +3,201
TechSpot Elite
I was betting on them answering the PS5's now working m.2 slot with more storage options, but I was also hoping they would announce more choice.

Disappointed that they (so far) aren't trying to one-up Sony on this...
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,311   +2,560
It's odd to have Sony take regular m.2 drives for an extremely locked down system with a much tighter walled garden vs Microsoft that is enforcing a stupid proprietary drive connector and while their ecosystem it's still closed, they're sort of ok with overlap with PCs at least.

Let's hope the Steam Deck goes well so Valve eventually tries a steam box except done right this time around.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 656   +499
Doesn't any of your stores put you on a waiting list.
If I wanted to - I could have both consoles by now - with simple alerts here in NZ - yeah sell out quick.
Think this is a non-story at the moment .
makes sense to for MS to get back some cost of consoles from Seagate - they didn't get this contract for free.
Probably these contracts are only in place for 2 years max - everything sorted - then probably open up to other companies . With bonus a cash deal, only one company to fix and update bios, drivers etc .

I saw an alert for Xbox the other day - wouldn't of got one - But was thinking the

The Xbox is fantastic value - for someone who has never had one - you get nearly access to all games going all the way back. Plus media player etc , and can co-op with PCs in house
 

Edster

Posts: 103   +78
Sometimes I feel, Microsoft insist on shooting their own foot with their products, like they fail to read the room.

We saw that with Xbox One's launch which singled handedly handed the advantage back to Sony after being neck to neck in the 360 vs PS3 era. Here, Sony was so rushed in their launch they couldn't even get their expansion SSD activated until last month, and get criticized for the lack of certified drives and a more complicated installation process (for people who never held a screw driver).

Here Microsoft have an easy plug and play product where the only downside is the potential price, and they screw up the pricing.
 
And here I was hoping to get a graphics card for my PC for less..

The industry has changed. Unless you really value modern gaming to the tune of thousands of dollars it’s time to get a new hobby. At this point it’s probably not much more expensive to get your kid into motorsport than PC gaming
At this point a decent guitar and amp would be far less expensive and far more rewarding. Sad times.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 461   +811
This is telling about the majority (not everyone) of Xbots and how MS sees them too, that they can't work a screwdriver, so they "need" (and greed) to sell them expensive plug and play proprietary SSDs...

I mean MS keeps them fed with promises, wishes and dreams for years now, so it makes sense this is their level...
 

pcnthuziast

Posts: 1,200   +970
Video gaming is unequivocally among the most overrated pastimes of the human experience. I sincerely hope the trend to price large swaths of consumers out of the market continues so people wake up and realize there is far more to life than sitting in front of a screen and pushing buttons. And that furthermore, most of the activities that revolve around screen time are literal malignancies to the human condition.
 

nagynorbert97

Posts: 10   +2
Just please, tell me who has 400 bucks for 2TB of storage, and no internet connection to download anything overnight to play it tomorrow. I have a $10/mo gigabit ethernet so easy for me to say it is useless, but I would rather buy another Series X just to have more storage than this. Suprisingly sony was much friendlier last gen with internal storage upgrades too.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 413   +530
This is telling about the majority (not everyone) of Xbots and how MS sees them too, that they can't work a screwdriver, so they "need" (and greed) to sell them expensive plug and play proprietary SSDs...

I mean MS keeps them fed with promises, wishes and dreams for years now, so it makes sense this is their level...

As a tradesmen (Electrical), yes the "Common" Person is hardly qualified to work even a screw driver. Joking aside, Sony's method isn't great even for most PC gamers these days. Most PC gamers bought their machine as a prebuilt, the ones that actually build these and pick the parts themselves are the minority. Microsoft's method is by far a more user friendly solution.

To have a gaming computer today you don't need the best of the best. You'd still have a good time even rocking a old R9 290. Hell I still use a GTX1080 (Non TI), Plays every game without flaw. Games simply have yet to get more demanding. Plus with my time being so limited, most of my PC game play has been more Indy style games.

My Series X is more powerful than my PC now, just as the 360 was back in 06. Didn't stop my 7600gt from being an awesome card.

The Xbox Ecosystem has for a long time now been better than PlayStation. Their handling of old games have been nothing but top notch from a console perspective. The SSD upgrades currently are around the same cost as PlayStation alternatives. If Playstation compatible SSD upgrade options become much cheaper than MS's SSD upgrade options, and MS doesn't drop the price. I too would be 100% against MS.


I love my PC gaming, but PC gaming on the TV is just such a poor experience. I did it for nearly a decade, it never got better. And with kids I don't always like to be locked up in a office on the far end of my home. So being a PC only gamer is no longer an option. I didn't use my XB1 or PS4 much, but the Series X has been great so far.



For me it is a shame that Sony soldered their SSD into the mainboard. I've taken apart every console going back to the NES. MS's choice of replaceable internal SSD is a great call. This is by far more of a issue in the long term than options for user upgradeable storage. Now how long before we get a official method to upgrade the internal storage we will see. It took the Xbox One a few years before having a easy method to replace the internal HDD. While not as easy to access as the PS4's. Upgrading the XB1's HDD was as easy as replacing the drive with bigger version and having the console setup the HDD with new firmware via files on a USB pendrive. No different than how it is done on a PS4.
 

Athlonite

Posts: 269   +96
Hmmm Microsoft doing an Apple by using a non standard proprietary connection for storage devices I can see this being another HD-DVD vs BluRay war again
 

terzaerian

Posts: 997   +1,437
Video gaming is unequivocally among the most overrated pastimes of the human experience. I sincerely hope the trend to price large swaths of consumers out of the market continues so people wake up and realize there is far more to life than sitting in front of a screen and pushing buttons. And that furthermore, most of the activities that revolve around screen time are literal malignancies to the human condition.
We are long overdue for a crash to sweep the garbage out.