Since the Xbox Series X and S launched in 2020, if you’ve needed more space to install current-generation games, your only choice has been to spend big on Seagate’s expansion cards.
That’s still the case two-and-a-half years later, but it’s finally becoming more appealingly priced. This past week, the expansion card has been (slightly) discounted, and now Microsoft has confirmed this reduction is permanent.
That means the 512GB version will set you back $89.99 (if you can find it in stock), the 1TB one $149.99 and the 2TB model $279.99. That’s a not-insignificant discount of $50 on the 512GB and 1TB models and $80 on the 2TB version.
It’s still not enough, but Seagate and Microsoft essentially have Xbox Series S and X owners over a barrel here. While Sony lets PS5 owners add any compatible SSD to the console — meaning you can easily add 1TB of extra space to your PS5 for about $70 plus a bit of time — Microsoft only allows official solutions, and currently Seagate is the only provider. The slight convenience of the plug-and-play system, in other words, comes with a high price.
Yes, you can add any old USB hard drive to your Xbox Series console and it will show more capacity, but not all disk space is treated equally. Because of the speed requirements of current-generation games, the console won’t let you install Series X games to slower external media, meaning it’s only good for the best Xbox One games, or even older titles.
That could change soon. Last month, Best Buy briefly listed another 1TB option from Western Digital. And while the original listing of $179.99 is higher than the new Seagate pricing, a bit of competition may see each provider dropping their prices to stay competitive with the other.
More choice is great news for consumers, in other words. And hopefully it means that we can look forward to the day when buying 2TB of additional storage won’t cost more than half the price of the console itself.
Microsoft should welcome this. The Xbox Series X continues to struggle against the PS5, and while this is far from the main factor, it’s still not exactly helpful.
A shortage of exclusive games makes the Xbox Series X predominantly a Game Pass machine at the moment — and dipping into the never-ending buffet of free games needs a lot of storage space. The least Microsoft and its partners could do is make that more affordable.