Microsoft’s Xbox Series X 1TB expandable storage priced at $219.99

A 1TB Xbox expansion card compared to an SD card.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge
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Microsoft’s first 1TB expandable storage drive for the Xbox Series X / S will be priced at $219.99. Best Buy has started taking preorders for the accessory, revealing a final price that had leaked recently. These expandable storage cards slot into the rear of both the Xbox Series X / S to match the internal SSD speed and provide 1TB of extra storage.

Microsoft’s expandable storage solution is proprietary, and only Seagate has been announced as a manufacturer so far. Microsoft tells me more suppliers and additional sizes will be available in the future, but the $219.99 price will still surprise many potential next-gen Xbox owners.

The Xbox Series X ships with 1TB of SSD storage, and the Xbox Series S just 512GB of storage. Microsoft’s pricing means the $299 Xbox Series S jumps to nearly $520 if you want to add the additional storage and bring it up to 1.5TB overall. That may make the larger Series X more appealing to those who need the storage, particularly as games will start to require it once they’re enhanced for the Xbox Series X / S. Games for the Xbox Series S can be 30 percent smaller than the Series X, which will certainly help with storage options.

1TB expandable storage card for Xbox Series X.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

An alternative to this expandable storage is simply using any USB drive to store games when you don’t need to play them. If they’re not enhanced for Xbox Series X / S then you’ll even be able to run them direct from USB storage, or you can simply copy them and use drives as cheaper cold storage.

It’s difficult to judge the price of these expandable storage cards, simply because there aren’t enough comparable PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs out there. Sony has chosen to allow players to slot their own drives into the PS5, but these drives will need to meet the speed requirements of the internal SSD. Those speed requirements mean that PS5 owners will need the very best PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives that are starting to make their way into PCs. Samsung announced its 980 Pro earlier this week, which looks like it might be an ideal candidate for the PS5 due to its fast read and write speeds. Samsung’s 1TB option for the 980 Pro is priced at $229.99, but Sony has not yet revealed which drives will be compatible with the PS5.

The benefits of Sony’s more open approach is that pricing on compatible PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs will inevitably drop over time due to competition and lower manufacturing costs. Assuming Sony certifies most high-end drives, there should be a lot of options. Microsoft will need more manufacturers producing its expandable Xbox Series X / S storage cards for competition to take place and prices to be lowered over time. It’s going to be a waiting game to see exactly how Sony and Microsoft handle expandable storage options in the coming months, but it’s clear from Microsoft’s pricing that it’s not going to be cheap for early adopters.

Comments

expensive…

It is, but so are all comparable PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives…
I don’t get the argument that Sony approved drives will become cheaper faster than expandable storage for Xbox. When there are more manufacturers, pricing should drop similarly fast…

When there are more manufacturers, pricing should drop similarly fast

The main difference being that this is a proprietary form factor, with only Seagate making them so far. Do you remember the original xbox One HDD? That thing remained expensive compared to the average drive for it’s entire lifespan, while the PS3 could use any 2.5" drive.

This is an analogous situation so people are using history as a guide, but sure MS could surprise everyone. They have certainly made other good decisions recently.

MS already said that other manufacturers and other sizes are coming too. Besides, I find it likely that the SSD is ordinary 2230 or 2242 put in a box.

I don’t know that they’re that small. The photo of it next to the SD card looks quite a bit bigger. An SD card is 1 1/4 inches, or 31.75 mm. So it’s already way bigger than 2230 (which is 22mm wide, the size of the connector on the board, and 30mm long).

I agree that it’s just ye average m2 inside a caddy… but I’m thinking 2260 or 2280.

And maybe the daring user could then stick a naked drive right in the slot of any size as long as it’s 2 channel.

I measured using ruler on the screen and the thingy comes at 30×50mm (other article has a nice vertical photo), give or take few mm. It can be 2230 or 2242 inside, 2260+ doesn’t fit (though there are no recent 2260 drives anyway, for some reason it went away completely).

I’m honestly surprised MS went back to proprietary storage after their previous misfires. I mean, if Sony of all companies can ditch proprietary storage media, you’d think MS could.

Sony never really "ditched" proprietary storage for their home consoles. Since the PS3 the storage has been user replaceable standard 2.5" form factor.

Yes they used magic sticks and other things for their portables but tbh SD storage wasn’t as good back when they were released, and yes memory cards for PS1&2 were proprietary but so we’re everyone else’s and that isn’t really "storage".

How quickly people have forgotten the Vita, which died due to super expensive proprietary storage. They even chased away the SD adapters through firmware updates.

"home console"

I didn’t forget about the Vita, I have one collecting dust on my shelf.

I’m honestly surprised MS went back to proprietary storage after their previous misfires.

They reasoned it was the best way to ensure that developers get the best and most consistent experience from console storage…

Microsoft’s moves are fairly easy to calculate. It’s always best to use history as your guide. The most consumer friendly move I foresee are maybe some tie ins with GamePass. Get a free month or 3. Pricing will undoubtedly be considerably more expensive than standard NVME drives as pricing for them inevitable falls.

That was a different situation. For the original Xbox, Microsoft signed contracts with Intel, Nvidia, and the other hardware manufacturers and because of the way the contracts were written, these parts suppliers didn’t have to lower the price of the parts. And the reason the contracts were written the way they were was because they needed to put the Xbox on the market sooner than later. They only way to get to market faster is to buy parts off the shelf. Microsoft decided relatively late that they were going to make a console so the Xbox was designed quickly and Microsoft had to get the parts soon.

This locked pricing was the reason Microsoft needed to discontinue the original Xbox. Because it gave them no room to reduce the cost of the console. So when the price of the ps2 dropped Microsoft had to drop too but it meant they were really losing a lot of money. The Xbox was basically a pc with desktop parts but sold for only $179. Because there was a big loss on each console, as sales of the console started to boom, the losses grew quickly. The more you sold, the more money you lose. For the Playstation, Sony would lose money initially but gain that back when the parts became cheaper to make because they were in control of their parts. And so development of the 360 and discontinuation of the og Xbox began quickly because Microsoft needed to be in control of the pricing for the parts. They didn’t want to be locked in like before.

I don’t see how this is any different, and the HDD on the OG Xbone was an optional add-on, not part of the console, much like these cards. There is nothing to lead me to believe that these cards will be subject to a price war.

What?

The original Xbox had an integrated HDD, not optional. Sounds like you’re confusing with the X360 console.

The 360 optional storage was needed though. It was either a little 4gb card or a 20gb drive. Neither lasted long. The prices never came down. I remember holding out until nearly the 360 end before I got the 120gb add-on. Plus, add in that awful transfer cable that you only used like once that was expensive too. MS seems make one big mistake each console cycle. OG Xbox was a rushed console. The 360 had the RROD and the proprietary drive. The X1 was a disaster since day one and the price was a mistake Now MS is back to proprietary drives.

What is funny is that the X1 price and proprietary storage were black eyes on both the psp and 360. Yet MS still made the same mistakes with the X1 in price and now the XSX storage.

OG Xbone was an optional add-on, not part of the console

Re-read your comment

OG Xbox released in 2001, HDD was integrated. >_>

You’re right, I misspoke but the point remains the same.

ahh I responded to the other guy, yes just clarifying "OG Xbox" comment

Plus, don’t forget the psp storage. Same thing. It might be a normal ssd but that proprietary connection is what will make it costs more. As now you can only get expanded storage made specifically for the XSX/S.

This makes the XSS even less appealing now. Especially since you are paying the same price as an XSX with just 512gb more storage.

It’s entirely possible that the form factor is the CFexpress standard and, therefore, not proprietary. The size and form factor is about the same. I’m wondering if any journos with hands-on are going to test it out this week before the impressions drop?

That little "humble brag" video they put out showing the load times of the XSS was very unimpressive. Basically double the load time of my rig loading the game off of 2tb 970 Evo. That wasn’t even on par w/ a my 850 pro or sk hynix 2tb, which are sata3. It certainly wasn’t on par w/ my 2tb 970 Evo Plus. And I dropped to factory clocks on my cpu and gpu, max settings @4k just to make the hardware performance comparable.

You’d be better off w/ a 970 Evo Plus which offers the same level of performance and capacity, doesn’t need PCIe 4.0 and yet costs $50 less.

There are already significantly better drives on the market for less. You can spend a bit more and get something nearly 4x as fast. So why is everyone stuck using MS’s crap drive? Well, greed.

Having access to PCIe 4.0 is useless if you don’t have the hardware capable of taking advantage of it. There are dozens of m.2 drives you can pick up that are more than capable of providing what they’re offering and the majority don’t aren’t even PCIe 4.0. It didn’t just leave me unimpressed, it kinda pissed me off.

Please note the video you are on about is the speed upgrade for older games with no code changes, this is way faster if a game is coded for the ssd, the demo video is just to show if you run a Xbox one game only

PCIe 4.0 NVMe on Amazon start at $165, and you have the option to get a 2TB one for $399, and I see a 4TB one too, if you have $750 to spent (geez). The big thing is that the PCIe 4.0 NVMe is much faster than MS expandable storage, so I would of expected it to cost more.

comparable nvme drives on amazon are $100-120 per tb, as this drive has a peak seq read of 2400MBps. drives in the same price range are 3x as fast

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