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Xbox Series X Third-Party External Storage Cards Let You Store More Games

We’re still waiting for the day when we can pre-order the Xbox Series X, but in the meantime, Seagate has revealed the first third-party external storage option for the next-gen console. The Series X plans to exclusively use a new type of storage expansion card to ensure fast speeds for Series X games, as opposed to the external hard drives we used to store our games this past generation. Since only one company has revealed a storage option for the Series X, it’s unclear if we’ll see more or if Microsoft has partnered with Seagate to be the sole manufacturer of the console’s storage cards. Unfortunately, no price was revealed, but you can sign up at Seagate’s website to stay up-to-date.

Seagate’s Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X is a custom PCIe Gen4x2 NVMe SSD, which means it’s pretty dang fast–NVMe SSDs are the fastest storage option you can currently get for PCs. The next generation of games has emphasized these speeds in both quick load times and stutter-free, open-world streaming. Unfortunately, we don’t have the exact clock speeds of these storage cards.

Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X

The one bummer about these storage cards is their capacity. 1TB is expected, but looking at this past generation, games have gotten huge–many games stick around 50-100 GB, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare itself is currently pushing 200 GB. It’s reasonable to think next-gen games will be even bigger, though Microsoft says it plans to use dedicated hardware to utilize decompression and installation to keep game sizes down. There’s only one storage slot on the back of the Series X as well, which makes me a little concerned about how often you’ll be managing your storage space.

Seagate also makes mention of “improved overall performance” of “thousands of Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One titles” through the use of the new Storage Expansion Card. This likely refers to games that are already pre-programmed to take advantage of more powerful hardware–this is most likely to affect loading times and open-world performance, though we can’t confirm anything at this time.

Of course, the Xbox Series X will still support external hard drives, though you’ll only be able to use them for games not optimized for Series X and backward-compatible titles. That means you’ll be able to move your entire Xbox One library over to the Series X quite easily–just transfer all of your games to an external hard drive, and then plug it into the Series X. If any of those games have received an Xbox Series X update, however, they will not be stored on the hard drive. Plan your game installations accordingly.

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