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This huge Xbox Series X game will make you want an SSD upgrade right away

Stalker 2 screenshot
(Image credit: Steam)

One of the most eagerly anticipated upcoming Xbox Series X games is set to take up a huge amount of space when it launches next year.

Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl is set to arrive on April 28, and its Xbox Store listing has been updated to include a file size: 180GB. 

According to our sister site GamesRadar’s running list of Xbox Series X install sizes, that’ll put it firmly top of the league for storage hogs, eclipsing even Marvel’s Avengers Endgame Edition and Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, which come to around 139GB apiece. 

While the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles have listed capacities of 1TB and 512GB respectively, once immovable system files are taken into account, it’s actually far less, with the Series X having 802GB to play with, and the Series S just 364GB. Or to put that another way, if the listing is accurate, Stalker 2 will take up 22% of the Series X’s available storage, and 49% of the Series S’.

Stalker 2 screenshot

(Image credit: GSC Game World)

There are, of course, ways of expanding storage space on both consoles: a cheap(er) way via an external SSD or HDD, and a more expensive way via an official Xbox Series X/S Expansion Card. But only the latter option will work for Stalker 2, as external drives will just let you play backwards compatible games rather than those designed for Xbox Series consoles.

That leaves Xbox owners with a tricky choice: either juggle the games they’re playing, removing titles to make room in an ad-hoc fashion, or pay a lot more money for convenience. The Expansion Card now comes in three sizes: 512GB for $140, 1TB for $220 and 2TB for $400. Given the Xbox Series X itself costs $499 on its own, that’s no small undertaking.   

Whichever approach you favor, Stalker 2 has certainly been a long time coming. It’s been 12 years since Call of Pripyat — the third game in the Stalker series — arrived on PC, and the series still has a big following today. Given it’s a day-one Xbox Game Pass release, that fanbase should get a lot bigger when the wait finally ends on April 28.

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.