In a Q&A post surrounding the announcement, Microsoft’s Jason Ronald attempts to justify the price: “The Xbox Velocity Architecture is a key innovation of our next generation consoles, delivering unprecedented speed and performance enabling transformative gaming experiences never before possible on console. This level of consistent, sustained performance requires advanced components which comes at a higher cost than traditional hard drives or SSDs often found in PCs. By partnering with an industry leader in Seagate, we worked together to deliver an expandable storage solution which delivers identical performance at the lowest cost possible and available this holiday.”
While SSDs are incredibly expensive pieces of kit, there’s something to be said about the fact that the Storage Expansion Card is going to cost almost the same as the actual Xbox Series S itself. While it’s good that there’s a Microsoft-endorsed option for extending the capabilities of the internal SSD, it’s a shame that most people would need some kind of All-Access credit program to afford it.
ORIGINAL POST: If you’ve been wondering what the prices are going to be for the Xbox Series X/S Storage Expansion Cards, they’ve finally been revealed. Pre-orders have gone live for the card via Best Buy in the US, and it’ll set you back $220, which roughly translates to around £172 at the current exchange rate. The card will launch on November 10th, the same day as the new consoles.
Wait, Wasn’t The Price Revealed The Other Day?
Unfortunately not. A listing for an Xbox Elite Controller at Smyth’s UK was mistakenly listed as the Storage Expansion Card on Eurogamer’s Xbox Series X/S pre-order guide, with a price of £159. While the error was quickly rectified, many outlets (ourselves included, sorry about that) ran with the story without being aware of the error, something Eurogamer clarified in a tweet yesterday.
This link was only online briefly and was swiftly corrected. There's never been a listing for the expansion card on the Smyths Toys website, and we have no information on what expansion cards might cost.
Developed in collaboration with Seagate, the Xbox Series X/S Storage Expansion Card are proprietary storage offerings designed to boost the storage offered by the console’s internal SSD. As Gen 4.0 PCIe SSDs, the Storage Expansion Card is basically the same as the internal SSD, meaning you can enjoy the next-gen upgrades without interruption.
While other external SSDs will seemingly be supported by the Xbox Series X/S, the Storage Expansion Card is developed with the consoles specifically in mind, so at the very least, they should be the best offering on the market. You can also utilise external hard drives to boost your storage, but any games stored on there won’t receive next-gen benefits. That said, it’s still a cheap way of ensuring you can still play your previous generation games without piling everything into the SSD.
Will We Be Getting One?
Definitely not a launch, no. Having only just secured my Xbox Series X pre-order while writing this news post, I’m not sure I’ll be able to throw around another potential £180 just for an extra 1TB of storage. While the price is pretty competitive for other external SSDs of comparable specs, it’s still a lot of money to drop just on storage. That said, anyone who picks up the Xbox Series S might find it to be a more necessary purchase, due to the cheaper consoles limited SSD space.
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