Xbox Series X will give users 802GB for game storage from its 1TB SSD

Xbox Series X previews have been emerging over the last 24 hours, with a select handful of outlets getting to go hands on with preview units and test it out in certain limited scenarios. A lot of the focus has been on backward compatibility, how the Series X can enhance games and you to hop between games with Quick Resume, but some other details have also come out.

In particular, it’s been revealed that the Xbox Series X will reserve around 20% of its 1TB SSD for system functions, presenting users with 802GB for installing games. Adding a 1TB SSD Expansion Card to the system will grant an additional 920GB storage in real terms.

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Comparing this to an Xbox One X with a 1TB and this is actually quite a small, but not insignificant space saving. The current gen system provides 781GB of space from its 1TB hard drive to users.

Of course, this is also with the Xbox Series X being able to take advantage of its SSD in new ways. Games optimised for the new consoles will be able to reduce their file sizes by removing duplicate assets as well as using stronger compression formats than before. At the same time, there’s also Quick Resume, which caches a game’s RAM usage on the SSD to be loaded in and resumed later. This has been reportedly possible with up for five games that, with developers having access to up to 13.5GB of space on Series X, would use 67.5GB of the system’s allocation to store five games.

What does this mean for the Xbox Series S and its 512GB SSD? Well, we don’t know for certain, but it will obviously be more limited by whatever requirement the system has. One thing that will definitely be smaller is the SSD space needed to support Quick Resume. The Series S has less RAM allocated to developers (believed to be 7.5GB for next-gen games), and so each game’s cache will be reduced. Microsoft could also limit the system to allowing for fewer games to be kept in Quick Resume. Not only that, but game sizes should be reduced further on Series S by the system targeting 1440p instead of 4K.

Either way, both Xbox Series consoles support external USB hard drives, both for playing current gen games – the raw CPU power still enables increased performance and reduced load times – and for backing up Xbox Series enhanced games.

All of this raises some questions for the PlayStation 5, though. With a smaller 825GB internal SSD (albeit a speedier one), how much of that will Sony be able to give to users? And will they have similar quick resume features that siphon off more space from game installs?

IGN via VideoGamesChronicle

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10 Comments

  1. According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer the reason the expansion cards are so expensive is the ‘unprecedented speed’ of the drive and controllers. Has he forgot that the PS5 is twice as fast? In fact the PS5 could compressed transfer data even faster than what was quoted when revealed. The data compression ratio at the time was 1.5 to 1 but with advances in Oodle Kraken/Oodle Texture it could be up to 4.5 to 1, 17.38GB/s.

    • *transfer compressed data.

    • Technically, he’s sort of right. Those sorts of speed aren’t going to be cheap. Especially if you insist on putting it in your own special package.

      As for that Oodle compression, I’m guessing that faster 17GB/s speed is for the Texture version? That’s a lossy compression, so it’ll presumably compress more, giving faster read speeds. Obviously not going to work for anything other than textures. Which is mostly fine, as that’ll be most of the data being read anyway. That and audio are going to take up the most space.

      MS seem to be making a big deal out of the “quick resume” feature. If that’s just dumping the entire memory to the SSD, it obviously has to be using a slower, lossless compression. So even with the potentially much faster speeds on the PS5 SSD, it’s not going to make a huge difference in that situation on either console. The PS5 take 2 seconds instead of 3 on the XSX. Expect MS to keep mentioning that feature, while the other beneifts of the SSD are just “it’s fast, and definitely don’t compare it to the PS5”.

      • Yeah the 17.38GB/s is with Oodle Texture which Sony has recently licensed. It won’t be used in launch window games but it will be used for most PS5 (and PS4) games coming later.

    • I have a Samsung 960 1TB in my Pro and i’m loading games pretty quick. The XBSX did not impress me with load times in Digital Foundry latest vid, some games loading in half the time of the current XBX. Granted they are not using Velocity Architecture as the are the back-compat games, but still not mind blowing “near instant”.
      Quick resume is also up towards 20secs from upto 6secs a few months back. I expect PS5 back compat to load another 50-60% faster than XBSX due to the raw 5.5gb/s SSD. But when games come out using Oodle Kraken & Texture I reckon we’ll see some stupidly fast loading and maybe even reduced file sizes.

    • It’s marketing. He obviously can’t acknowledge that PS5’s SSD is faster, but as a plug and play external drive? There’s nothing out there that’s as fast or as cost effective.

  2. The PS4 has 861gb available on a 1tb hdd, so hopefully Sony have kept the firmware footprint smaller again in PS5 but we’ll have to wait and see.

    • What if the 825GB is what’s available to the user after all everything else is installed? But that would mean the firmware could never get any larger without Sony having to print new boxes to sell the PS5 in.

      825GB is a very odd size, and not one you can just go and buy. Mark Cerny said something technical about why that’s the perfect size, but he’s cleverer than everyone else, so nobody quite understood why. But then what happens when you put a bigger second SSD in? Is it not going to run as well? (Again, I think he sort of implied that, which is why nobody knows which SSDs will be good enough until Sony publish some sort of list).

      • It’s the perfect size in terms of what size NAND chips are available in and matching the uncommon 12 channel interface

        The expansion slot is for an nvme drive, which will have it’s own controller and channels which don’t need to be 12. You can achieve the same bandwidth with even more channels and slower NAND, or less channels and even faster NAND

        AnandTech have covered the size. It looks like 64GiB per channel (12 channel) which is 768GiB or 824.6GB

        Normally a drive with that storage would be branded as 750GB by a drive manufacturer so I think we aren’t going to get a nice surprise from the usable allowance unfortunately

        Again not confirmed but AnandTech are highly regarded and would recommend the article
        “Storage Matters: Why Xbox and Playstation SSDs Usher In A New Era of Gaming”

      • Ah, I forgot about the stupid thing where 825GB isn’t 825GB. So 768GB makes sense then. Or 0.75TB.

        And none of that GiB nonsense. We don’t need to invent new things just because some companies decided to lie about the size of their stuff. It upsets us older people who learned these things at school less than 40 years ago. I’m still upset about the new spelling of sulphur. Which technically is the old spelling anyway, but that’s never got in the way of a good rant ;)

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