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We have more details about the Xbox Series X accessory you’ll want most

Published Jul 22nd, 2020 7:31AM EDT
Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card
Image: Microsoft

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  • The Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Cards is one of the accessories Series X buyers will probably eye first.
  • The elegant external SSD adds 1TB of extra storage to the console that runs at the same speed as the internal drive.
  • Seagate previously confirmed that it’s making the device, but the company just quietly updated its website with more information about the Series X storage expansion solution.

When Microsoft revealed the full set of Xbox Series X specs in mid-March, the company also gave us a first look at what could be one of the most exciting novelties for the console. Series X will be more powerful and faster than ever, thanks to a custom CPU/GPU combo and an SSD that will load games instantly, letting players resume their sessions from where they left off. The Series X SSD will be slower than the PS5, but faster than most SSDs out there. Moreover, Microsoft will put 1TB of storage inside the Series X, compared to just 825GB for the PS5. Hardcore gamers may appreciate the extra storage, but even 1TB could quickly run out, considering that next-gen games could require between 100GB and 200GB of storage. This is where the exciting Series X innovation comes in. Microsoft designed a storage solution that should make upgrades more comfortable than ever — and so far, Sony has not explained how PS5 SSD upgrades will work. We knew Seagate would make the external SSD modules, but that was pretty much it. Not event the memory maker was willing to reveal any details about the product. That changed a few days ago when the product page for the Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X received a significant update that signals preorders might be closed.

A Wayback Machine inspection of the product page indicates that Seagate updated it on July 17th. You can’t preorder the drive, but the company says it will be available “holiday 2020,” just like the console. That’s when the Xbox Series X launches, of course.

Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X
From left to right: Storage Expansion Card, Xbox Series X console, and Xbox controller. Image source: Seagate

The page provides more details about the product, which Seagate created in partnership with Microsoft:

Xbox Series X is Xbox’s most powerful console ever — and we created the Seagate Storage Expansion Card right alongside them. This partnership means that when you plug this storage card into any Xbox Series X console, you’re getting all the speed and power Xbox has dreamed up, with no compromise.

The best part of upgrading the storage of the Series X is that you won’t have to deal with any hassles. You won’t have to dismantle the console and find your way around inside the device. You just plug in this little thing inside a custom port of the Xbox, and you’re done. That’s really what’s great about the expansion drive.

Comparatively, Sony said it will announce later which external SSDs can be used for storage. It’s not just about the speed of the drive, but also about its form factor. Pending a Sony announcement for the PS5 storage expansion, Microsoft’s solution is the more elegant solution.

Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X
The Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X goes into a special slot on the back of the console. Image source: Microsoft

Seagate explains the drive features “custom engineered memory” that can expand the storage of the Xbox Velocity Architecture:

Syncing with the ultra-powerful Xbox Velocity Architecture’s groundbreaking hardware, CPU, and deep software integration, every game that plays from the Storage Expansion Drive Card for Xbox Series X plays at peak levels. In addition to Xbox Series X games, thousands of Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One titles will experience improved overall performance.

The drive will support the Quick Resume feature that lets gamers switch between titles and resume instantly, and it will match the speed from the internal SSD.

Seagate’s Storage Expansion Card will come in 1TB versions, featuring Custom PCIe Gen4x2 NVMe memory.

Pricing details have not been unveiled, but you can sign up to receive more information about the accessory. We’re at least getting closer to launch announcements for both the Xbox Series X and the external SSD, given that Seagate has updated its presentation page with so much information.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.