Xbox Series X final storage size revealed — and there's bad news

Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Xbox)

On paper, the Xbox Series X’s 1TB of SSD space trumps the PS5’s 825GB SSD. But according to people that have had hands-on time with Microsoft’s console, there’s only 802GB of actual usable storage space. 

With next-generation games set to be rather large, every gigabyte counts. So a loss of 198GB of space is quite a blow, as that space could be used to store a clutch of next-gen titles or a suite of older games the Xbox Series X supports through its comprehensive backwards compatibility. 

IGN reported that this loss of storage space is down to the Xbox Series X’s operating system taking it up. That’s nothing unusual, as we see the same with PCs and smartphones. But seeing it take up nearly 20 percent of the Xbox Series X’s SSD capacity is quite surprising. 

As such, it looks like you’re likely to need the 1TB proprietary expansion card for the Xbox Series X if you plan to keep a decent amount of games installed on your console. Given the Seagate expandable SSD for the Xbox Series X costs more than $200, you’re looking at quite a pricy upgrade. 

You can store Xbox Series X games on external USB 3.1 hard drives, but to run them you'll need to transfer them onto the console's SSD. IGN reported that this happens quite quickly, but it doesn't remove the need to manage internal SSD storage space. Older Xbox games can be run directly from an external hard drive, however.  

The Xbox Series S, which comes with a 512GB SSD, could run into the same issues. But Microsoft has said that due to the Series S' targeted resolution of 1440p, games won’t need storage-easting 4K assets, and thus install sizes of games will be smaller. 

Developers could get smarter with how they handle game compression and assets to minimize the install size of next-gen titles. But as it stands, it looks like storage upgrades for both the Xbox Series X and PS5 are an inevitability. 

If you’ve not been put off by this, pre-orders for PS5 are now live, as are pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and Series S. But stock has been selling out very fast, so we recommend signing up for alerts from your retailer of choice for the best chance of getting one.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face. 

  • Fleet33
    So how is it "bad news" in the title?

    When you clear it out later "That’s nothing unusual, as we see the same with PCs and smartphones. But seeing it take up nearly 20 percent of the Xbox Series X’s SSD capacity is quite surprising. "

    We have yet to see the PS5 which is not going to be much different, except for far less storage of course.