Wednesday, September 23rd 2020

Xbox Series X/S 1 TB NVMe Expansion Module Will Cost £159

The Xbox Series X & S consoles are now available to pre-order and come with 1 TB and 512 GB custom NVMe storage drives respectively. The two consoles both feature a custom port for an Xbox Storage card which features the same custom NVMe technology used in the internal drives. The consoles can still be expanded via an external USB storage device but will be limited by the bandwidth of USB 3.2.

The Xbox Series S will only support digital games and with the rise of Xbox Game Pass and ever-increasing game sizes the internal drive will quickly be exhausted. The price for a 1 TB expansion module will be £159 (~ 200 USD) which is fair considering the speeds offered by the drive and the mandatory Microsoft tax. The expansion modules do represent a considerate cost in comparison to the consoles with the 1 TB expansion module costing over 60% of the MSRP for an Xbox Series S.
Source: Smyths Toys (via Games Radar)
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32 Comments on Xbox Series X/S 1 TB NVMe Expansion Module Will Cost £159

#1
Vya Domus
Ouch, console gaming sure ain't cheap no more. I feel like this is very backwards, from proprietary memory cards to standard storage back to proprietary stuff.
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#2
BluesFanUK
... or save yourself £60 and get a 5TB USB drive for £100~, transfer games across as and when needed. WD My Passport 4TB/5TB can often be found well under £90 too if you scan HDUK.
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#3
DuxCro
It's not a fair price considering these SSD's in next gen XBOX have 2.4GB/s speed. Which is speed achiveable by PCI Gen 3 SSD's. This is the reason why MS didn't just offer the possibility for you to buy standard SSD's like Sony does. You must buy specially made overpriced SSD.
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#4
londiste
BluesFanUK
... or save yourself £60 and get a 5TB USB drive for £100~, transfer games across as and when needed. WD My Passport 4TB/5TB can often be found well under £90 too if you scan HDUK.
On Xbox Series S/X? Aside from interface being proprietary, where exactly do you get a £60 5TB driver that does 2.4GB/s? I want two.
DuxCro
It's not a fair price considering these SSD's in next gen XBOX have 2.4GB/s speed. Which is speed achiveable by PCI Gen 3 SSD's. This is the reason why MS didn't just offer the possibility for you to buy standard SSD's like Sony does. You must buy specially made overpriced SSD.
Sony is better but they are still being vague about what they will support. They said something about "select M.2 drives" which probably means a very limited selection and increased prices.
PCIe 3.0 point is also right, at least for Xbox Series S/X, and 1TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 drives go for about 100 moneys (or less) these days.
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#5
HisDivineOrder
This is exactly what happened with the Xbox 360 and it's memory cards and hard drive expansion slot. Microsoft gonna Microsoft. Could they have built it to take NVMe drives? Yes. Would they make as much money doing that? Nope.
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#6
kayjay010101
BluesFanUK
... or save yourself £60 and get a 5TB USB drive for £100~, transfer games across as and when needed. WD My Passport 4TB/5TB can often be found well under £90 too if you scan HDUK.
Which will probably be SMR and 5400 RPM... so not going to be able to run the games here, making it essentially cold storage. And would take ages to transfer hundreds of gigs across for when you do need the games that are stored on it.
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#7
MKRonin
"The Xbox Series X & S consoles are now available to pre-order and come with 512 GB and 1 TB custom NVMe storage drives respectively"

I think it's the other way around.
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#8
kayjay010101
londiste
Sony is better but they are still being vague about what they will support. They said something about "select M.2 drives" which probably means a very limited selection and increased prices.
PCIe 3.0 point is also right, at least for Xbox Series S/X, and 1TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 drives go for about 100 moneys (or less) these days.
I believe what they meant is the speed requirement isn't there on PC yet. Sure, we have PCIe 4.0, but no drives that are fast enough to compensate for the lack of the dedicated I/O chip and all the fancy jazz the PS5 had for its storage solution.

So yeah, the price will probably be pretty similar for PS5 storage expansion. $200 for 1TB seems about right for a blazing fast PCIe 4.0 drive today. And we still don't have any drives that are fast enough, so I imagine the "PS5 ready" drives that should hit the market in some time will come at a premium like any new tech.
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#9
londiste
HisDivineOrder
This is exactly what happened with the Xbox 360 and it's memory cards and hard drive expansion slot. Microsoft gonna Microsoft. Could they have built it to take NVMe drives? Yes. Would they make as much money doing that? Nope.
Could they ensure the minimum speed with that? We will see how well Sony will handle that part.
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#10
Caring1
Reminds me of the PS1 memory cartridges.
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#11
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Isnt M$ also hiding behind some excuse that the new Xbox uses some sort of new proprietary data compression format that makes it 'incompatible' with off the shelf SSDs? (or was that the PS5??)

M$ seems to be chasing some sort of minimum experience target where as people probably wouldn't care if games loaded slightly slower with an SSD they themselves purchased to do the job.
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#12
londiste
FreedomEclipse
Isnt M$ also hiding behind some excuse that the new Xbox uses some sort of new proprietary data compression format that makes it 'incompatible' with off the shelf SSDs? (or was that the PS5??)

M$ seems to be chasing some sort of minimum experience target where as people probably wouldn't care if games loaded slightly slower with an SSD they themselves purchased to do the job.
Xbox One Series S/X: 2.4 GB/s raw, 4.8 GB/s compressed
PS5: 5.5 GB/s raw, 8-9 GB/s compressed
As per official data from both.
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#13
BluesFanUK
kayjay010101
Which will probably be SMR and 5400 RPM... so not going to be able to run the games here, making it essentially cold storage. And would take ages to transfer hundreds of gigs across for when you do need the games that are stored on it.
Well yeh, the consoles won't play games from the external storage, but with an initial 1TB to start with there's plenty of space.
  1. Store a few games on it
  2. Play one
  3. Complete it
  4. Delete it
  5. Transfer another game across
  6. Start one of the other games already on the propitiatory storage.
Unless the user in question is a complete flid and does one game at a time, a little bit of micro management isn't too bad and saves a bit of cash. Also saves time in the long run going through the installation processes and lengthy download each time you start a game. Just from recent experience, trying to install and download all of Arkham Knight again was a complete pain.

In an ideal world you'd be able to expand the storage with something like this for a reasonable cost, £160 for 1TB like this is still bad value for money. Each to their own I guess.
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#14
Fourstaff
Everyone seems to forget that Microsoft is going to sell the console at a loss, and therefore will need to recoup the money back somehow. Forcing people to pay for convenience is one such method.
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#15
kayjay010101
BluesFanUK
Well yeh, the consoles won't play games from the external storage, but with an initial 1TB to start with there's plenty of space.
  1. Store a few games on it
  2. Play one
  3. Complete it
  4. Delete it
  5. Transfer another game across
  6. Start one of the other games already on the propitiatory storage.
Unless the user in question is a complete flid and does one game at a time, a little bit of micro management isn't too bad and saves a bit of cash. Also saves time in the long run going through the installation processes and lengthy download each time you start a game. Just from recent experience, trying to install and download all of Arkham Knight again was a complete pain.

In an ideal world you'd be able to expand the storage with something like this for a reasonable cost, £160 for 1TB like this is still bad value for money. Each to their own I guess.
Fair points. From your post it just seemed you were touting that an external HDD instead of an SSD would work for storing more games that could be easily accessed. I'd venture it would take hours to transfer games between, so it's not like it would be a "on a whim" sort of thing. For just cold storage where transfer times are frankly not too relevant, sure, external HDDs are the best $/TB and therefore the best purchase.
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#16
jayseearr
Fourstaff
Everyone seems to forget that Microsoft is going to sell the console at a loss, and therefore will need to recoup the money back somehow. Forcing people to pay for convenience is one such method.
Yeah, there's no way they have much profit margins when they are selling the system at $500 but they can afford to do that because it's the worm on the hook. Next thing you know you're buying extra storage because 1t is inadequate these days any which way you want to the cake, then you're buying their controllers because the p.o.s analogs broke after 2 months, paying for xbox live subscription, game pass etc. etc. Then you think you're out of the pit and the sytems breaks 2 years later after the warranty ends :roll: Then comes the best part, you get to buy another one!!!
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#17
Fourstaff
jayseearr
Yeah, there's no way they have much profit margins when they are selling the system at $500 but they can afford to do that because it's the worm on the hook. Next thing you know you're buying extra storage because 1t is inadequate these days any which way you want to the cake, then you're buying their controllers because the p.o.s analogs broke after 2 months, paying for xbox live subscription, game pass etc. etc. Then you think you're out of the pit and the sytems breaks 2 years later after the warranty ends :roll: Then comes the best part, you get to buy another one!!!
Yes, that is the whole point. Printer vs printer ink etc.
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#18
QUANTUMPHYSICS
1TB is a joke.

4K textures are the reasons these games are getting larger and larger. A 4TB expansion is what people need.

Even 2TB isn't enough.


XBOX made me very happy as a consumer. It offered everything: ethernet, online environment, built-in Hard Drive....I never needed a Memory card for it. I never even came close to filling the HDD up.

Xbox 360 was Microsoft chasing profit. The HDD was too small and you absolutely needed 120GB upgrade - especially when the FREE XBOX Live games started coming. I was very happy as a consumer, but I was spending more and more money on peripherals. I should have had the option to install a PC off the shelf drive just like PS3 owners did.

Playstation 3 was the tipping point because with the Blu Ray disks, you couldn't play off the disk and you absolutely needed to INSTALL THE GAME. When Xbox 360 started allowing installed games, HDD upgrades became absolutely necessary. SONY HANDLED THIS PERFECTLY.

XBOX ONE WAS just STUPID. A device wanting to be "the center of your home entertainment" with just 500GB of free space??? Yes they allowed you to upgrade with portable HDD, and yes I eventually bought a 4TB HDD from Western Digital, but the transfer speed was so much slower. I should have had the option to install a PC off the shelf HDD or SSD just like PS4 owners did.

XBOX ONE X came with 1TB which in my opinion needed to be at least 2 (or 4). But it was STILL a regular HDD. I should have had the option to install a PC off the shelf drive just like PS3 owners did.

I shouldn't have to McGUYVER the system. Playstation continues to allow EASY storage updates and upgrades.


I can get a 4TB SSD under $300 (Samsung) or even an 8TB SSD for $899. I should have the choice.

The systems should come with the OS and main files on a small built-in SSD (250GB - 500GB) and I should be able to simply buy a mass- storage upgrade at will.

I've got my 3080 and I'm PC master race this generation. I see no need for either console.
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#19
londiste
@QUANTUMPHYSICS you are not accounting for drive speed. Both PS5 and XBSS/X are counting on pretty fast SSDs. The moment they allow user to use any drive they want, there are going to be a bunch of people installing whatever the cheapest bigger drive is, probably with horrible performance. If Sony/MS add a speed test, they get lambasted for walling the garden anyway. Sony is doing something similar with allowing 3rd party drives and we will have a chance to see how it goes.

If they let speeds slide, people will complain about load times, stuttering, texture pop-in and the like. The moment some Dev decides to use the spec drive as minimum and rely on that for asset streaming, that will be a horrible experience with a slower drive.

Not saying that the expensive expansion is good but I can see where they are coming from both technically and for marketing.
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#20
Xex360
A bit expensive given that it's a ramless SSD, storage in this generation is going to be an issue, 1tb is too low especially after formatting and system partition, worse still on the PS5 with its 750gb (according to Anandtech the number stated by Sony is misleading).
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#21
dragontamer5788
FreedomEclipse
Isnt M$ also hiding behind some excuse that the new Xbox uses some sort of new proprietary data compression format that makes it 'incompatible' with off the shelf SSDs? (or was that the PS5??)
www.gamesradar.com/ps5-ssd/
"We will be supporting certain M2 SSDs," Cerny confirmed. "These are internal drives that you can get on the open market and install in a bay on the PS5. They connect through the custom IO unit just like our SSD does, so they can take full advantage of the decompression, IO co-processors, and all the other features I was talking about. Here's the catch though: that commercial drive has to be at least as fast as ours. Games that rely on the speed of our SSD need to work flawlessly with any M2 drive."
PS5 SSD is 5.5 GBps sequential read speeds. There aren't many M.2 drives that do that yet, you need at least a PCIe 4.0 x4 drive to match the specs (PCIe 3.0 caps out at 3.5GBps).

I expect issues with PS5 owners who don't understand PCIe 3.0 vs PCIe 4.0, and other such details. M.2 drives will all fit in the connector, but only some of them will be fast enough to work. Nonetheless, PS5 seems to be following the M.2 standards and will probably benefit in the future, when fast PCIe 4.0 (or even PCIe 5.0) drives become commonplace.
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#22
Franzen4Real
londiste
@QUANTUMPHYSICS you are not accounting for drive speed. Both PS5 and XBSS/X are counting on pretty fast SSDs. The moment they allow user to use any drive they want, there are going to be a bunch of people installing whatever the cheapest bigger drive is, probably with horrible performance. If Sony/MS add a speed test, they get lambasted for walling the garden anyway. Sony is doing something similar with allowing 3rd party drives and we will have a chance to see how it goes.

If they let speeds slide, people will complain about load times, stuttering, texture pop-in and the like. The moment some Dev decides to use the spec drive as minimum and rely on that for asset streaming, that will be a horrible experience with a slower drive.

Not saying that the expensive expansion is good but I can see where they are coming from both technically and for marketing.
dragontamer5788
www.gamesradar.com/ps5-ssd/
I expect issues with PS5 owners who don't understand PCIe 3.0 vs PCIe 4.0, and other such details. M.2 drives will all fit in the connector, but only some of them will be fast enough to work. Nonetheless, PS5 seems to be following the M.2 standards and will probably benefit in the future, when fast PCIe 4.0 (or even PCIe 5.0) drives become commonplace.
These posts sum it up perfectly in my opinion. Sure, I could make an informed decision as far as compatibility of off the shelf M2's and the consoles and probably save some money, but I'm not representative of the overall console market. The entire point of console gaming since forever has been to simplify the experience and make it as fool proof as possible. Plug and play, no thinking involved. (This is why most of us here choose to build our own PC's). My initial reaction is that Microsoft has made the correct choice in the grand scheme of things.
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#23
dragontamer5788
Franzen4Real
These posts sum it up perfectly in my opinion. Sure, I could make an informed decision as far as compatibility of off the shelf M2's and the consoles and probably save some money, but I'm not representative of the overall console market. The entire point of console gaming since forever has been to simplify the experience and make it as fool proof as possible. Plug and play, no thinking involved. (This is why most of us here choose to build our own PC's). My initial reaction is that Microsoft has made the correct choice in the grand scheme of things.
Its always fun to agree on the facts at hand, but have differing opinions.

I feel like Microsoft has made a mistake, and prefer the PS5's way of doing things. But as long as we both agree on the baseline facts, I don't think there's any harm in having disagreeing opinions on the matter.
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#24
Caring1
Fourstaff
Everyone seems to forget that Microsoft is going to sell the console at a loss, and therefore will need to recoup the money back somehow. Forcing people to pay for convenience is one such method.
That's a standard business model, get the consumer hooked then hit them with recurring costs.
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#25
watzupken
Fourstaff
Everyone seems to forget that Microsoft is going to sell the console at a loss, and therefore will need to recoup the money back somehow. Forcing people to pay for convenience is one such method.
Consoles can be sold for a loss because the likes of Sony and Microsoft can earn from accessories and from game sales. With more sales going the digital way, the store charges the game maker a 30% cut.

In any case, I feel Sony is going on the right path to allow user the ease to upgrade their storage. I recall the ease of changing my PS4's mechanical drive to a SSD. On the contrary, changing the mechanical drive in the Xbox One X is a big pain when it comes to installing the drive and especially so when installing the software.
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