What you need to know
- Xbox Series X launches with 802GB of usable storage, reports IGN.
- While the Xbox Series X launches with custom 1TB internal NVMe SSD, the operating system (OS) and system files occupy a portion of the drive.
- The Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox provides an opportunity to upgrade your onboard SSD storage, available for preorder at $220 in the U.S. (opens in new tab)
Microsoft launches the Xbox Series X console this November, and with devices now in the hands of select media outlets, we're gaining a clearer understanding of its launch offering. For both Xbox Series X and its affordable counterpart, Xbox Series S, some of the primary gains come from a custom NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) bolstering storage with faster speeds. The Xbox Series X ships with a 1TB internal drive, with reports now claiming 802GB of usable space for your games and content.
While the Xbox Series X ships with 1TB onboard, the operating system (OS) and system files occupy a slice as space, as the case with other modern consoles. It cuts into the portion of quoted space usable for game installs, with a recent hands-on from IGN claiming 198GB remains reserved out of the box. The figure falls in line with the Xbox One X launched in 2017, which saw a similar allocation for its 1TB internal hard drive.
The usable space on the Xbox Series S remains less clear, with its smaller 512GB SSD expected to fill up fast when cycling between games. It comes during a time when titles frequently surpass 100GB each, with expandable storage near-essential for added flexibility with your installs. Microsoft claims Xbox Series S titles should occupy 30% less space than Xbox Series X games, although with results from both in-house and third-party titles yet to be seen.
The Seagate Storage Expansion Card is Microsoft's solution for Xbox Series X and Series S, a 1TB external SSD (920GB usable) matching the internal speed. The compact cartridge slots into a dedicated, rear-facing port, with PCIe 4.0 connectivity providing a direct line to the CPU. While USB storage also works, only backward compatible titles run on the drives. Our full guide for Xbox Series X and Series S expandable storage provides additional context for those further questions.
The Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox isn't cheap, with its bleeding-edge specifications resulting in a $220 RRP in the U.S. It's understandable for the SSD technology inside, even if nearing the cost of the Xbox Series S console.
Expand your SSD
Microsoft and Seagate partner up with a dedicated 1TB NVMe SSD expansion card for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. The cartridge slides into the rear, unlocking the same PCIe 4.0 connectivity, with up to 40 times increases over the Xbox One hard drive.
Xbox Series X/S
Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Games Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.
Just to address the "198GB" reserved out of the box. I think we need to make sure we address the irritating but standard practice of storage being quoted in GB but being formatted in GiB (when I were a lad, a GB was a GiB...). So 1TB is about 931GiB formatted (which is what the Xbox and Windows report as GB aargh). If I look at my current "1TB" SSD in windows it is also reported as 931.5GB in disk manager for instance. https://www.gbmb.org/tb-to-gib So the reserved/os space is actually ~ 130GB (or GiB but I've gone cross-eyed at this point). Just to add, for those wanting to work out the PS5's available space. It will only have 768GB before anything is reserved at all. https://www.gbmb.org/gb-to-gib Cheers Alex
Wow, didn't know that (maybe cause I never searched why 1TB drive is actually 931GB of usuable space and just assumed that it was a space reserved for the drive to work well 😅).
Thanks for the info.
Yeah it's lame how this works. Company A will list a drive as 1TB, but that's based on 1000GB even. What should actually be calculated is 1byte x 1024x1024x1024x1024=1,099,511,627,776 to be "perfect". Otherwise, 1000GB÷1024÷1024÷1024=9.31 (that's where Windows miscalculates/displays) and sees it as 931GB. An empty drive literally is this much "formatted" without data. So honestly, 802GB free means XSX uses ~129GB of space, not 200GB. Not sure, but my guess is there's maybe a hidden partition we can't access that allows space for updates and things that's separated from games to allow smoother operation? I wouldn't think that's all that necessary since it's still one physical drive but at least that guarantees nobody runs out of room for updates after installing too many games. ISPs do the same thing with "speed" aka bandwidth, calling it Mb/s vs MB/s, which is 8x higher of a number because 8bits per byte. A1Gb switch allows for up to 125MB/a data transfer of you've ever wondered why you're not getting 1GB/s.
This pretty much.... found out LOOOOOONG ago that for marketing, 1MB = 1000KB, but in fact, it's 1024KB. So drive marketing always showed more than what is actually available. A nice, round number was always easier to market instead of having people buy random size drives. 1TB looks better than 931GB
Hah, I came to say exactly this lol. Glad others are aware too, it's annoying but it is what it is. The only company I've seen to actually give you legit GBs properly we're Crucial MX series. My "2TB" SSD actually shows 2050GB on the label (vs often 2000GB) so in Windows I'm not "losing" as much after format.
If it's 800gb on XSX then it must be 350gb on the XSS
Quite possibly. 512 formatted would be 476GB. If the XSX has 130 reserved then yep worse case could be around the 350 mark. Assuming 30% efficiency for the smart delivery textures on the new games you’d want to store on the SSD and might be equivalent to around 450 or so in reality so still enough for a fair few games before offloading to an external usb HDD.
Let's hope it's good enough, the good thing is that with Spider-Man Miles Morales for the PS5 we already know that the PS5 version [50gb] will take 2gb less space than the PS4 version [52gb] (PS5 version isn't using Oodle textures as it's too new), a hypothetical Series S version [35gb] would take 17gb less space then the same game but on current gen, so even though future games will be have more detailed assets, things don't look too bad for the Series S
931-802=129GB is I think reserved for features like quick resume and velocity architecture cache. MS did say that it will use SSD as quick resume and velocity architecture boost. Some SSD when they say it is 500GB it is actually 512 that 12 GB is just reserved for SSD to work properly when it is near full. SSD need some spare room in order to work at their fastest which is Around 10% of the usable capacity.
It's been confirmed that Quick Resume works off the User storage. That's why there is no fixed number of active games allowed but instead quoted as 4-6. Less on a packed drive. VA is a good guess.
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