Xbox Series X|S external storage details confirmed: 128GB minimum and USB 3.0 required

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,695   +124
Staff member
Bottom line: The restriction, of course, is due to speed. Microsoft wants optimized games to take full advantage of their new hardware, and specifically the 2.4 GB/s of raw throughput afforded by the custom NVMe SSD.

Three weeks out from the launch of Microsoft’s next-gen gaming platform, we are still learning new bits of information about the upcoming systems.

As you may know, the Xbox Series X comes equipped with a custom 1TB NVMe solid-state drive. In a screenshot of the storage devices menu courtesy of Tom’s Hardware, we see 781.0GB of available space (presumably after formatting, etc.). A video from YouTube user jackfrags, meanwhile, shows a bit more space at 802.0GB. I’m unsure why the two are different, maybe a different firmware version?

In any case, both sources reveal that games and apps on external drives must be stored on USB 3.0 devices with a capacity of at least 128GB. This restriction will eliminate the ability for some to repurpose older hard drives or lower-capacity flash drives.

Also worth noting is that storage drives must be formatted for the Xbox.

Tom’s Hardware further clarifies that games which are optimized for the Xbox Series X |S can be stored on external USB 3.0 drives but can only be played from the internal drive or on an “internal” expansion card. Titles that aren’t optimized, like original Xbox games, Xbox 360 titles and Xbox One games, can be installed and played from USB 3.0 devices.

Microsoft’s Xbox One Series X and Series S launch on November 10. They are priced at $499 and $299 and come with 1TB and 512GB of internal storage, respectively.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,747   +3,640
What Microsoft should have done with the Xbox One was to put the OS on a main system SSD and then allowed the user to install any internal HDD or external USB 3.0 drive they wanted. That would have been a large HDD or a smaller SSD.

On the XBOX ONE SX that would be a larger off-the-shelf SSD that matches the device requirements.

There's no way I'd buy one of those 1TB expansions fore their ridiculous pricing. Especially when you can be pretty certain that a 2TB is coming soon.

Sorry, Microsoft...you've lost me this generation.

The beauty of the Xbox OneSX and the PS5 is it's going to force the industries to make more, larger capacity, more affordable SSD that PC Master Race will be able to take advantage of.
 
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texasrattler

Posts: 1,017   +452
They did a lot of this cause you would lose performance on a hdd and anything under 128gb would be pointless. I see no issue with how they are doing things. Makes sense to me.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,017   +452
SSDs are already affordable, plus prices are coming down even further. Neither the xbox or playstation have anything to do with that. There is already bigger drives that you can buy and have been like that for awhile.
 
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hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,083   +1,234
SSDs are already affordable, plus prices are coming down even further. Neither the xbox or playstation have anything to do with that. There is already bigger drives that you can buy and have been like that for awhile.
Maybe that's why they came up with Quick Resume to justify going the other direction, and to look comparable and/or better than a PC - on paper.

I don't buy the whole, nvme is necessary in a console, yet.