Why 'Project Scorpio' Xbox NEEDS more than 1TB of storage

How much internal storage will the new Xbox reportedly pack? One measly terabyte (TB), at least according to some early rumors. (Other storage capacities may also become available but that's unclear at this point.)

It's like having all the best things in the world thrown at you with some small print at the bottom that completely changes everything. Don't get me wrong, I'm ridiculously excited for Project Scorpio, as is everyone else here at Windows Central.

But while you can throw all the teraflops in the world at me, cheaping out on internal storage will still leave a bad taste in my mouth as I'm handing over my hard earned money to buy one.

Everything we know about the next Xbox, 'Project Scorpio'

1TB is just not enough

Project Scorpio isn't using solid-state-drive (SSD) based storage, therefore there's honestly no reason not to give us more. Games are larger than ever before, and Project Scorpio isn't suddenly going to change that. It's going to make the problem worse. Halo 5 and Gears of War 4 are more than 100GB each on the Xbox One. Take off the space reserved for the system and even with a 1TB console you've already chewed through a lot of that internal storage.

In a completely unscientific way, you can go to Amazon right now and buy a 2TB 7200RPM Seagate hard disk drive (HDD) (opens in new tab) for under $70. For $100, you can double that to 4TB. Microsoft's margins are sure to be fine on the console, but given that manufacturers pay much less than consumers anyway, the company should give us more.

HDD storage is fundamentally cheap. Its prime purpose in this day and age is mass storage. So give the masses masses of it!

External drives are not the answer

Xbox One S Hard Drive

Xbox One S Hard Drive (Image credit: Windows Central)

External drives are an additional cost to Xbox owners. Yes, it's absolutely fantastic that we can use them to expand our game libraries, but they are not the answer. It'd cost less for consumers if Microsoft put more storage inside in the first place and charged a little more for the console.

External drives are also unsightly and not something everyone wants in their living rooms.

Or Microsoft could follow Sony's lead and make it easy to upgrade the internal drive. We don't know if that's the case yet, but I for one would take that option every time instead of plugging in drives with cables.

There needs to be more

Hard drive

Hard Drive (Image credit: Windows Central)

Hopefully, there is more than just a 1TB option. And there may very well be. A leaked spec sheet isn't the best source of definitive information, and the 2TB options that have been available for the Xbox One S leave plenty of hope. But those weren't the norm. A special edition with more storage is less awesome than just giving everyone more to begin with.

There's a lot we still don't know about Project Scorpio, and we'll hopefully learn more at E3 later this year. Just as 8GB and then 16GB became less viable on smartphones, 1TB on a console should be swiftly swept away as we go into the next evolution. There simply has to be more than a 1TB option.

Do you agree? Or am I ranting about something that ultimately doesn't matter? Let me know in the comments below.

Best Xbox One Games of 2017

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine

  • i disagree, the starting price will be high enough. No need to push it even higher. If you need more space = add it yourself or... manage the free space wiser
  • Agreed. It's simply a price point marketing tool to sell the more expensive and higher capacity units. Apple has done this for years with their ridiculously low capacity iPhones.
  • Yeah, that 256gb phone is tiny.
  • You sir, are an idiot.  He's talking about why Apple uses lower storage spec phones to sell higher storage spec ones.
  • So, like every electronics company then? Including Microsoft with their useless 64gb surface 3 (37gb usable).
  • Yep, though it is a low price point premium tablet.  I have a 64GB original Surface RT.  It's perfectly usable though, just limited on what you can store on it.  I still can hold a lot of TV shows with 37GB usable (it's a content consuming device, not so much a creation device).
  • Same thoughts. My WD Passport on my Xbox One is incredibly small and is anything but an eyesore. Plus, since I already have that drive, I'm going to use it on Scorpio. Allows me to get more miles out of that investment. I do like the idea of adding an internal HDD/SSD though. Gives users more options. I wouldn't be surprised if they did a multiple SKU thing though. Offer a 1TB base model to say you kept the price low and then offer a more expensive option for users who want more internally.
  • I agree - I already have a 3 TB WD external "games drive" connected to my Xbox One - I plan to just unplug it and plug it into my new Scorpio and be done :)   All my games currently are on the external drive because they load faster than on the internal drive. Per what I've read it sounds like the new internal drive in the Scorpio will be significantly faster than the current console's internal drive, and if it proves to be faster than my external drive then I'll copy over the couple of games I'm currently playing and run them from there, and then when I move on to something else I'll push them back to the external drive. It's a little bit of managment but not that big a deal. If the internal drive is faster than the external I'll change my default download location to the Scorpio internal drive so my new 4K asset games will start there, and then when I'm done with them I'll push them to the external. It would be no different if they'd put an SSD in (or I'm able to replace it with an SSD myself), as for me its cost prohibitive to go much over 1TB at this point so I'd be in the same situation.
  • bullshit the console must ship with 2 terabytes hdd at the absolute minimum...................   Games with Native 4K assets will use significantly more storage and this console will be no exception 2TB WILL BE THE STANDARD EDITION
  • I disagree with your disagreement. I have been saying for quite some time now that 1TB isnt enough storage, especially when the OS takes up a nice chunk of it. What would be great is if the system and the game storage were separated so you actually get near 1 TB for games and you could add externals if you own a lot of games.
  • 1TB seems fine to me, there might well be a 2TB option but the fact USB storage is supported it's not a big deal for me.
  • I noticed that the Scorpio dev kit has 2 HDD's. One the same a the one were getting in every Scorpio and a extra 1tb SSD drive, do we think that there might be room for are own hard drive to be fitted?
  • That might be the reason they only put a custom HDD in it, most people who buy Scorpio are high end users that want the best. Most of us already own or are thinking of getting a SSD.
  • Doesn't matter how much space you provide in the xbox, there are going to be people who'll easily fill the drive up with games they don't play.
    At the same time, there are a lot of people who dont use much space at all, and if it wasn't for the fact that the xbox requires the games to be installed on the harddisk from disc to play them, some people wouldn't use the harddisk at all. crazy right? Personally, I have a few spare drives laying around and would like to see an option of a expansion case to the bottom of the xbox that provides space for 3-4 harddisks, and do away with the optical drive. By the time I fill the drives I own, the price of replacement drives will have come down slower than that of what microsoft ships in it's console. But at the end of the day you're still going to fill that pre-installed internal drive and be left attaching additional drives somehow.
  • Stupid Question: Is GoW4 and Halo 5 on Xbox One that large in size because they are including a lot of unused assets? Sort of like in a PC install you get high res textures as part of the install process even if you play on low settings. If they are, then those install sizes would be comparable to what we see on a Scorpio install.
  • Definitely need more than 1TB.
  • Ummmm External drives ARE the answer though.... I'd rather shop around for a cheap drive for the year it will take to fill up the internal drive than PAY MORE for the console. What are you smoking? Are you just looking for things to complain about?
  • exactly!!!...Obviously had nothing else to write about...
  • I think 1TB should be the minimum, with special editions getting 2+TB. I'd prefer the Sony method of letting customers replace the hard drive entirely, so consumers could use an SSD if they choose. 
  • I prefer the Xbox way because I am not paying for a HDD just to remove it and toss it in a drawer to collect dust or go find some other use for(assumes you wait for a new console release just so you can disconnect and use the hdd for something else, makes no sense.). My current setup installs apps to the internal drive and games to the a 4TB external drive. If my console has a h/w issue, I unplug and plug my drive into my other xbox one...
  • What if that hardware issue is your drive and you're out of warranty? Wouldn't it be cheaper to just buy a HDD yourself and replace it vs paying MIcrosoft $200 or whatever to replace it?
  • @Jose-Noted...if there's no design cost associated with letting users swap the internal I'm fine with that. In your scenario it would be a better user experience to allow users the ability to swap the drive. Because my current setup is apps on internal, games on external, that scenario wouldn't affect me. On day one,I will unplug my 4tb external and plug it into my Scorpio. The old Xbox one goes to the closet with my x360, OG Xbox, genesis 32x, Sega Saturn, game gear, Dreamcast, Atari 2600, Amiga 500, commodore 64 and Magnavox odyessy
  • One doesn't preclude the other. They could allow users to swap the internal hard drive while still supporting external drives. 
  • This is how the ps4 works now
  • Wow, 1 game taking up 100GB of storage!? That's absolutely crazy! Eitherway, just curious to see what the Project Scorpio box would look like, not interested in purchasing the bastardized PC (which consoles literally are).
  • I think this article is more about the ability to upgrade the internal storage (like the Playstation) than raising concerns about the base storage option on Scorpio. I've been annoyed with this as well because I don't want an external brick add-on. My 1TB is about 30% full already and I don't game as often. I really want to upgrade the internal drive with my choice of SSD.
  • If they create a SKU to sell a HDD-less Scorpio I'm fine with that, but I doubt if that is even possible unless the base OS sits in NVRAM....
  • Replacing internal you lose that storage. If external you are adding in addition to internal. It's a better value
  • No. You gain storage space and speed, particularly if you opt for a larger size SSD. And as a bonus you aren't losing any real estate in your setup by an external drive hanging off. This isn't a new concept.
  • If I have a 1 TB internal drive and replace it with a 2 TB drive I only have 2 TB I can use. If I have a 1 tb internal and add a 2 tb external drive I can now use 3 TB
  • You're not following. The tone of the article suggests not having to have an external device hanging off. The idea is to have it all internal (like the PS4 gives as an option).
  • @mister, my external 4TB on my Xbox one is so thin, you can't even see it..I always opt for USB powered, I don't want to use a power brick to power the external drive.
  • That's nice, but that isn't in the same argument as having the option to replace the internal drive. Sony provides this option, in addition to allowing external drives. No reason not to have this except for a money grab. If it's too technical of an issue to understand then just be happy with your thin dongle drives.
  • @ja206-agree
  • Completely DISAGREE...They can always sell other bundles that include larger drives. You are making a big assumption that everyone buys 20 triple A 50GB games at a time.. Your opinion only makes sense if adding a larger drive adds 0 (see Zero) cost to the final price.
  • Because games are roughly four times larger. Doesn't really matter where I have 4TB USB 3 hdd.. I'll just use it on Scorpio problem solved.
  • if you are download only you need as much as possible for the day when inevitably your games vanish from the store and you won't be able to get them again!!
  • I can still download Double Dragon on the 360 that I bought in 2007 so that's not right.
  • External is much better than replacing internal drive. If my console comes with 1 TB internal and I replace it with a 2 TB internal I've only gained 1 TB. If I use an external drive I now gained 2 TB and have 3 TB in total because I can still use the internal
  • Mathematically yes, but from a choice standpoint I want the option to replace the internal and to keep external storage as well
  • then hopefully it wont be a 2.5" drive and instead a 3.5" drive. Also, let the user change the drive, letting the owner go to a 6TB 7200RPM drive... I belive XBox1 still use 5400RMP drives. 
  • Aren't you just glad the minimum isn't the paltry 500?!
  • Agreed
  • You already have 2TB version of Xbox one S so what a problem to offer again two versions?
  • Its all relative. 
  • With the lack of good games out right now 1tb of storage sounds just about right
  • I currently have 4TB of my 5TB external drive full of XBO games. Hardly a lack of games.
  • I have a little over 2tb filling my 4tb. Ive requested several times to add a copy all feature to the gui. Moving from my previous 2tb drive required moving each game one by one.
  • I have over 2 Tb of games also but what I'm saying is it seems like this generation there is alot of good choices compared to alot of good games on the 360. This generation seems to love the definitive editions of games rather than offer new and better games. There might be alot of games out there but how many actually truly take advantage of the Xbox one specs?
  • I disagree with the author, but wish Microsoft would allow users to replace the internal drive as well as adding external storage.
  • How do you disagree when he's saying that exact same thing?
  • I wonder what 4k games will run like off a standard external HDD and not the super fast internal custom ODD.
  • Makes no real difference. Load times are the major difference and not ability to render the game at 4k.
  • True, but I hope its not a massive difference in loading time. That would be a pain.
  • Over 1TB isn't common in 2.5'' 9mm, and even less in 2.5'' 7mm.
    It could simply be an internal physical space issue.
  • Internal space? No. Try again.
  • I am really hoping they mimic Sony in this regard. I ended up using my old PS3 drive as a backup drive by replacing it with a large 1 TB Drive. I even seriously looked into upgrading the XBOX One internal HDD. But with no success stories online, I had no choice but to give up :(.
  • Listen all those who disagree are absolutely ignorant Baffoons because this guy is spot on with this article as 1tb simply isn't enough storage for a premium console as gamers shouldn't need to spend another penny upgrading the storage on a console that's already gonna cost $599.00 and yes I know for a fact that's the price it's already been set I have a source which works for a major game retailer they have known the price for several months but anyways price aside THE XBOX SCORPIO MUST SHIP WITH AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM 2 TERABYTE HDD PERIOD..........   2tb hdd will be the launch edition standard for Xbox Scorpio 
  • You have to be a baffoon yourself if you think everyone needs 2tb for a console, premium or not especially if it adds +$100 to the price. You will then make the impulse buyers seeing $499 stop and think twice. Learn better storage management skills. I run a scorpio-VR PC on gtx 1070/Vive with a Samsung pro 500gb ssd and with a handful of high rated VR games including the excellent robot recall and am nowhere near full..
  • Was the initial 360 HD big enough? How about the Xbox One? No on both. Same was for Sony except you had more options than submitting to a money grab from Microsoft. You also have Microsoft's electronic gaming delivery service. Those who use that will start eating into 1 TB very easily since it's happening right now on 1 TB consoles.
  • sure, if you try an download the entire library...how about there is no solution for me to download all 300 xbox one games I currently own...so 2TB or being allowed to replace the internal still doesnt cut it..
  • Nobody does that. And it's evident you ran out of ways to reply.
  • Who is making $500 "impulse" buys? And those that ARE making $500 impulse buys aren't being turned off by another $100.
  • Richard, I would rather have the option of having a Project Scorpio sans optical drive. I won't be putting any disc inside DVD, BLU Ray or game - ever. 
  • Removable storage similar to the Xbox 360 would be an awesome forward thinking solution to any issues with games increasing size of data storage.
  • I agree. They should at least make a 2TB model available. That said, I've noticed the majority of Xbox and PS deals are for lower storage capacity models, so perhaps they mentioned the 1TB model because that's the one that would have the highest easily affordable price for most folks. Also, although 2TB Xbox One S models are still available, MSFT kinda hinted that the 2TB model would be a limited run device.
  • This is a complete non-issue. They can launch the device with 1TB and anyone who wants more can add on external. Then as they start to scale, they have the freedom to up the internal storage and maintain the price point. There are always design compromises. We saw that last month with people complaining that they weren't running the latest GPU architecture, regardless of what the specs said. If they built an unlimitedly powerful console with all the greatest specs and no regard for the end cost of the unit they would be dead in the water. It doesn't matter how fast the console is if no one will buy one. If less internal storage is the compromise they make to reach a console price point, then it's probably the best way to do it, since it's simple to add external storage.
  • I hope they at least give the choice of 2TB or just go crazy and release a 5TB model to really crush the competition, I understand that the price will skyrocket, but hey it's the consumers' choice, they can produce loads of the 1 & 2TB models and just make the 5TB version when it's requested, like when you personalise your Surface Pro, I just hope they give options....
  • 1 Terabytes were fine but people will realize that this is no longer true in a couple of months or years when 4K becomes what 1080p is today, then people will see that games mostly become bigger and bigger.
  • I believe their best bet is still having a 1TB base model to keep the price down with every model having HDD hot swapping available day 1.
    Or even crazier, sell a "Barebones" sku with an empty drive slot, seriously dropping the price and allowing the consumer to completely decide for themselves.
  • I already have plenty of storage and dont want to pay for more. Just give me a small internal and Im happy using my external drives.
  • If it's not ssd I don't care. External 4tb drive is more convenient and faster than internal
  • What would be nice is: if Microsoft allowed me to connect my current Seagate 3TB external HDD from my One straight over to Scorpio, AND be recognized. It's coded with Windows 10 so it should be as easy as PC, honestly.
  • If it keeps costs around 500. So be it...
  • Personally it could come with a 250GB Hard drive. Always seems that the 500GB, 1TB, 2TB models of the Xbox One S increase in price far outweighing the cost if the actual component. External storage isn't that unsightly and can easily be hidden in most cases. You say 4k assets take up more space, yet PC games, that have not only 4K assets, but also all the assets for varying settings there, always come in smaller than their console equivalents.
  • The HDDs you linked to were 3.5" drives. The Scorpio , like the One, will have 2.5" drives. Biggest of those I've ever seen is 3TB. Though I have seen 4TB external ones. They're also more expensive than 3.5 inch drives. Personally, I have no games installed on the internal drive anyway. Only apps. That way the internal HDD can concentrate on the OS stuff and saves, while the external is then dedicated to the game.
  • This thing is going to be so expensive...
  • What in the world makes you think there WOULDN'T be options? If the XB1S has a 2-TB model, why wouldn't Scorpio? They'll need it because the 4K assets will be yuuuuuge. Still, the answer isn't give it more than 1 TB, it's to let US give it more than 1 TB. Make the drive swappable, then it doesn't matter what the base offering is. Hopefully they stop treating us like children who can't plug in a drive while telling us how they're going to compete with PC quality.
  • It is funny that every single generation of the 360 had swappable drives (including the models that ALSO had built in space) and yet the One still doesn't...
  • Would it he nice to have more internal storage he nice? Absolutely. But or thing msft learned from the xb1 launch was to not burden consumers with higher prices. Added internal storage would bring the price up. MSFT should focus on moving units, not on adding another tb and raise the price, putting it further out of the reach of many. Besides, most people with an xb1 already own external storage drives. So they wouldn't need to spend additional money right off the bat for more storage. Adding internal storage would make them pay for additional storage that they don't need presently.
    Another poi t is that external drives can be carried in the palm of your hand to a friends house, etc. That's easier than carrying an entire console around. So, I'm all for externals and not needlessly raising the cost of Scorpio just cir one more tb
  • I have a 5TB drive plugged into my XB1S. I'll just plug that to the Scorpio. No need to make me pay more.
  • Having high bandwidth 16 GB flash chip already adds cost to Scorpio. 
  • 16 GB of higher bandwidth flash chip in the Scorpio adds to the cost already
  • These 4k games are going to be massive. The only way around eating up storage with 4 games would be to go back to the days of not needing to download the game 1st