Review – MER Holiday Gift Guide 2022 – Seagate Has the Storage Solutions for Xbox Gamers

If you need more room for your Xbox games, two drives from Seagate stand out.

Some might say that the holidays are a time to visit with family and friends, or to give thanks, or to observe the religious events of your choosing. But those of us in the know have always understood that the holidays are a time for gaming. In the coming weeks, millions of people will find themselves plugging in new consoles or PCs, preparing to install new titles on their devices. And as much fun as those titles undoubtedly are, finding space to keep them is not very fun.

Microsoft’s current-generation Xbox consoles face this universal problem as well. The higher-end Series X comes with a 1TB drive that can quickly fill up when a Game Pass subscription is put to good use, and the digital-only Series S has a scant 512GB drive, only ⅔ of which is usable. That means that gamers might have room for only a handful of modern AAA titles, and pick and choose which installations to keep.

Fortunately, Seagate has some of the most effective storage solutions for the Xbox One and Series X/S console: the Storage Expansion Card and the Game Drive for Xbox. Both products are designed specifically for maximum efficiency with the Xbox architecture, although they work in different ways.

The Game Drive for Xbox is an external HDD that backs up and stores files, and many games can be played directly off of the drive. Its compact form factor is sleek in matte black, though it glows Xbox green when in use. It comes in 2TB and 4TB sizes, depending on how many games you install and what you intend to use it for. The benefit of an external drive, and of this drive in particular, is that it can be formatted in different ways depending on your intended use. When you first plug it into your console, it will ask whether you want to use it mainly for a single console, for use between multiple consoles, or if you want to format it for Xbox at all. That’s right, this drive can be used for a PC as well, which allows for all sorts of fun formatting options if that’s what you opt for. One hitch with this Game Drive, however, is that games optimized for Series X/S cannot be played directly off of it, because their large file sizes and processing demands mean that they have to be run off of internal storage. This is less of a concern if your library mostly includes backwards-compatible Xbox One or Xbox 360 titles, but it can force an awkward dance where one game has to be offloaded to the HDD in order to make room for a modern game on the internal storage.

This is where the Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X/S comes in. It’s designed to expand a console’s internal storage by taking advantage of Microsoft’s new Velocity Architecture. Essentially it’s a new design for maximizing software and hardware to improve transfer speeds and squeeze every bit of efficiency out of the Xbox, and it means that a wired USB connection to an external drive just does not provide “Optimized for Series X/S” titles quickly enough. The Storage Expansion Card’s saving grace, then, is that it’s crafted to integrate with the Xbox’s internals. Coming in at 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB, this card can massively expand the amount of available storage for next-gen games. Microsoft has said for a few years now that these cards will be available at multiple prices from multiple manufacturers, but so far Seagate has remained the only company making them. This is the ideal method to expand your storage because its PCIe 4.0 connection delivers lightning-fast connections. It also requires no additional setup, since it connects via a proprietary slot on the back of the Series X/S consoles. However, this card is pricey, and while the low amount of storage on the Series S necessitates some form of expansion, the Storage Expansion Card can cost as much as the console itself.

If you’ve amassed a large library of games over the years that you want to keep on hand, the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox is a great place to store it. If you need blazing connections to play modern Xbox titles, then the Seagate Storage Expansion Card is for you. However you game, Seagate has storage solutions for your Xbox to keep your adventures coming.

Thomas Fogel, posted 12/16/2022

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