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The Xbox Series X has one big catch

(Image credit: Digital Foundry)

The Xbox Series X may have expandable storage, but the problem is you can't use any old storage with the new Xbox console. And that could have quite a major cost.

As reported by Digital Foundry (via USGamer), the Xbox Series X uses a proprietary NVMe SSD design for its expansion slots. The design is a smart one - easy to install, featuring a built-in heatsink and compatible with the new Xbox's Velocity Architecture. But Microsoft will be the only source of these cartridge-like SSDs, manufactured by renowned hard drive maker Seagate.

NVMe, for those who aren't familiar with the term, stands for Non-Volatile Memory express, and is a communications standard for solid state drives (SSDs), developed by a consortium of SSD manufacturers. It's faster than normal SATA connections like you'd find in a PC or games console, and allows for faster reading and writing of data.

Having these custom SSDs is an improvement on the Xbox One, which can only work with external hard drives. Plus the cartridge design means you can easily swap between SSDs or transfer data between consoles.

You will still be able to use traditional external HDDs with the Series X, but you won't get the benefits that the cartridge SSDs will offer. You also won't be able to play Series X gamed saves on the existing drives without saving data on an internal or cartridge SSD.

The price for these cards isn't announced yet, but some educated guessing doesn't paint a good picture. With a 1TB NVME Seagate SSD currently costing around $199, you can be certain that the proprietary nature of the Series X's expansion drives will cost well over $200 each.

  • DMac8727
    Drives for upgrading the PS5 aren't on the market yet, and Mark Cerny doesn't expect them to be at launch. Also, external harddrives will be limited to ps4 games. This means that you would be paying 300 dollars minimum for a 1Tb upgrade... and thats with a current M2 drive thats too slow. The ps5 will need the latest and greatest. Im guessing around 500 bucks. Playstation guy here btw, just not a biased fanboy.
  • MisterVargas
    Rip-off proprietary media are usually Sony's specialty. For shame, Microsoft.

    Then again, this is the company that charges you extra to simply gain access to streaming services like Netflix. Clueless.