Microsoft's first 1 TB expandable storage drive for the Xbox Series X / S is priced at $ 219.99. Best Buy has started taking pre-orders for the accessories and announced a final price that was recently leaked. These expandable memory cards are inserted into the back of both Xbox Series X / S to match the internal SSD speed and provide 1TB of additional storage space.
Microsoft's expandable storage solution is proprietary and so far only Seagate has been announced as the manufacturer. Microsoft tells me there will be more vendors and additional sizes available in the future, but the $ 219.99 price tag will still surprise many potential next-generation Xbox owners.
The Xbox Series X comes with 1 TB of SSD storage, the Xbox Series S with just 512 GB of storage. Given Microsoft's pricing, the Xbox Series S jumps to nearly $ 520 for $ 299 if you want to add the additional storage and increase it to 1.5TB overall. This can make the larger Series X more appealing to those in need of storage, especially since games need it once they're upgraded for the Xbox Series X / S. Games for the Xbox Series S can be 30 percent smaller than the Series X, which will surely help with storage options.
1 TB expandable memory card for Xbox Series X.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge
An alternative to this expandable storage is to simply use a USB drive to store games when you don't need to play them. If they haven't been upgraded for the Xbox Series X / S, you can even run them straight from USB storage, or just copy them and use drives as a cheaper cooling space.
It's difficult to gauge the price of these expandable memory cards simply because there aren't enough PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs to compare. Sony chose to allow gamers to plug their own drives into the PS5. However, these drives must meet the speed requirements of the internal SSD. These speed requirements mean PS5 owners need the best PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives that can find their way into PCs. Samsung announced its 980 Pro earlier this week, which could be an ideal candidate for the PS5 due to its fast read and write speeds. Samsung's 1TB option for the 980 Pro is $ 229.99. However, Sony has not yet revealed which drives are compatible with the PS5.
Sony's more open approach has the advantage that the prices for compatible PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs will inevitably fall over time due to competition and lower manufacturing costs. Assuming Sony certifies most high-end drives, there should be many options. Microsoft will need more manufacturers to make its Xbox range of expandable X / S memory cards for the competition to take place and prices to come down over time. It will be a waiting game to see exactly how Sony and Microsoft handle expandable storage options in the coming months, but Microsoft's pricing suggests it won't be cheap for early adopters.