Xbox Series S leak just revealed bad news for storage

Xbox Series S
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Xbox Series S is positioned as a cheaper, more accessible Xbox Series X, but with less powerful performance. But a recently revealed spec has revealed that this performance is substantially worse in one key area.

According to a post on r/XboxSeriesX by Reddit user spead20 who alleges they have their Series S already, the 512GB SSD within the Series S only has 364GB of free space for games. After accounting for the space taken up by the operating system, the new console reportedly lets you use about 70% of the total advertised storage.

The 148GB of OS comes with a precedent, as this is around the size of the Xbox One's OS. Similarly, the Series X, which comes with a 1TB SSD, apparently has 20% of it ring-fenced for the OS. A quick bit of path pegs the Series X software at around 200GB, which would make this claimed Series S figure more credible.

The silver lining here is that Microsoft has said that games on the Series S will take up less space than the same games saved to a Series X. That's because it's offering 1440p and 4K versions of each game, accounting for the two machines' divergent performance capabilities.

Of course if you want more room Xbox is happy to sell you one of its special memory expansion cards for £220/$220. These are very expensive, but since they use the same technology found in the main SSD, they are promised to be just as quick as the default storage. Alternatively, you can use any other USB HDD or SSD you might have, but this will only work for Xbox One games since Series X/Series S games require the new storage system in order to work properly.

On the other side of the next-gen console war, the PS5 also has an SSD — this one with 825GB of space. It also reserves about 20% for OS functions, leaving 625GB for games from what previous rumors tell us. It's a similar story to Xbox, but official expansions for the PS5's storage come in at $115 for an extra 500GB, a far more generous offer than Xbox's.

With games continually increasing in size to support fancier graphics and other features, buying extra storage may be a necessity for all but the lightest users of the new consoles. The PS5 and Xbox Series X are both releasing next week, so stay tuned to Tom's Guide for full coverage of all things next-gen.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

  • docRhino
    We already knew the OS size, so you needed a leak to do basic subtraction? This is just clickbait for sony fanboys hoping xbox fails.
  • seizeseptember
    How is $115 for 500GB a much more generous offering than $220 for 1TB?
  • KrushYou
    512 = 490 of usable space
    490-364 = 126 not 148.
    Come on! You’re a hardware blog. At least get the basics right.
  • Joseph_138
    Storage is going to be an issue on all the consoles this generation. I have a 2tb external drive attached to my 500gb PS4 and a 5tb external drive attached to my 500gb XBox One, and even they filled up fast. It is inexcusable to not have at least 4tb of storage in this generation of consoles seeing as how game file sizes generally get bigger each generation. I think these expensive, high speed drives are going to be the downfall of consoles this generation. I just bought a 8tb external drive (that cost $150) for my PC and am waiting on the video card that I want for it, and then I'll be good. Having to delete and install over and over gets old fast.
  • Joseph_138
    seizeseptember said:
    How is $115 for 500GB a much more generous offering than $220 for 1TB?

    I don't know. How is either of them better than the $150 that I just paid for an 8tb external drive for my PC?