New Xbox SSDs: $ 400 for 2TB Native Storage

Big picture: Microsoft has announced two new sizes for expanding storage for the Xbox Series console, and they remind customers once again how expensive the latest NVMe storage still costs. Pricing is reminiscent of the days of proprietary Xbox 360 hard drives and PlayStation Vita memory cards, but how much better are the alternatives on the market today?

V announcement Xbox Wire discloses 512GB and 2TB options for Seagate Xbox Series X and S expansion cards, which are priced at $ 140 and $ 400, respectively. They join an existing 1TB card for $ 220.

It’s easy to point to Seagate’s temporary exclusive Xbox SSD expansion card deal as the cause of the sticker shock. It may be reminiscent of the days when proprietary Xbox 360 hard drive expansions did not outperform the PlayStation 3’s compatibility with some standard PC hard drives. The PlayStation 5 has similar functionality: Sony recently unlocked PC support for M.2 SSD.

Pricing for standard PCIe 4 NVMe SSDs, including the most recommended for the PS5, is fairly similar to those for Xbox expansion cards. Samsung is gearing up to release editions of its highly acclaimed 980 Pros specifically for the PS5 later this month, but they are slightly more expensive than Xbox cards. The difference is that similarly priced PCs and PS5 SSDs are more than twice as fast on paper. The question is, how much does this affect the real difference in performance.

Xbox series expansion cards are rated for 2.4 GB / s read speeds. The PS5’s internal SSD is rated at around 5GB / s, which is the minimum Sony recommends for an SSD upgrade. For the same price as Xbox cards, PC SSDs have read speeds of up to 7GB / s, including the 980 Pro.

To determine if these high speed requirements are justified, the Digital Foundry Eurogamer recently verified Exclusive PS5 game Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on a solid state drive that meets the Sony system requirements. Overall performance appears to have been slightly affected. One game released only for new consoles that can be compared on both PS5 and Xbox Series is The Medium, and benchmarks showed that on Xbox it loads twice as fast as on PlayStation.

When it comes to PS5 and Xbox games, this is just the beginning. These tests can only prove that games are not yet fully utilizing the new consoles’ SSDs. The difference between the two could show up very well in the coming years, and whoever spends $ 400 on a 2TB SSD is likely to be using it for a long time to come.

This is not to mention the developments that have yet to be implemented on the PC. We have yet to see how games take advantage of the Microsoft DirectStorage API, and we’ve heard little about Nvidia’s upcoming RTX I / O.

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