Update: The UK pricing for the 1TB expansion card for Xbox Series X|S has now been confirmed at £220, per the Microsoft Store where it’s also now available for pre-order. That’s a chunk higher than we were expecting, considering the $220 US pricing.
The original article is below.
While we’re waiting for a price in the UK and Europe, US retailer Best Buy has revealed the price of the 1TB SSD expansion cards for Xbox Series X|S. It will set US customers back a stinging $220 to double the effective internal storage of the Xbox Series X.
Australian retailers EB Games, JB Hi-Fi and Mighty Ape have also listed the SSD, with their prices in the $360–388 AUD range. In both cases, once we account for sales tax or lack thereof, this would roughly convert to £200 including VAT in the UK. This is, unfortunately, much higher than the £159 listing that was briefly spotted on Smyths Toys.
That’s a pretty steep price for a 1TB expansion of the Xbox Series’ internal memory, but comes from a combination of factors. Firstly, the SSD needs to match the ultra-high speed specs of the internal SSD, with a raw throughput of 2.4GB/s and a matching SSD controller to work with the Velocity Architecture. However, you can find similarly specced 1TB SSDs for PC that cost around £120-140. So there is clearly a bit of a markup. This can be attributed to a proprietary form factor which allows the SSD to be a plug and play memory card that slots into a dedicated port on the back of the console, and a partnership with Seagate, whose gaming branded storage is always pricier than identical general purpose options.
Thankfully the Xbox Series X|S will both be able to use basic USB 3.0 external hard drives in some ways. You will only be able to play Xbox Series X|S games from the internal SSD or these SSD expansions, but Xbox One games can be run from a standard hard drive, and these drives will also let you backup next-gen games to clear space. We’d expect and hope that the system software has robust tools for transferring games, much like the current Xbox One does.
Just because Microsoft have gone proprietary with their SSD expansion cards doesn’t mean things will be much better or cheaper over on PlayStation. Sony have pushed the PlayStation 5’s internal SSD to be more than twice as fast as that of the Xbox Series X|S, with 5.5GB/s in raw throughput. You will be able to use a standard PC NVME SSD to expand the internal storage of the PS5, but because of the custom design of Sony’s SSD, these will need to be at least as fast as the one in the PS5.
For that reason, Sony will be certifying third party drives for use with the PS5. The one problem? They don’t exist yet, and it’s only yesterday that Samsung revealed the 980 Pro SSD range that can potentially meet those lofty standards. For a 1TB drive, it has a similar price to the Xbox Series X|S expansion cards.
In other words, unless you’ve got a lot of cash to spare, you’ll be frugally managing your game installs for quite some time to come.