The new Xbox One X gaming console is now rolling out to consumers with its release today, and you can bet this will be one of the hottest demands for the holidays this season. However, with all of the neat perks you get with the new console, it won’t be the only thing in demand. With perks like 4K video and HDR comes the demand for capacity as these games are not forgiving when it comes to size.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (Newton’s Third Law). In this case, we have extraordinary graphics and performance. Enhancements brought to over 70 games and more to come to take advantage of these new features. The reaction however is that it consumes a good portion of the internal hard drive. The 1TB drive it comes with no longer seems like much when a single game can consume around 10% or more. Since every game needs to be installed to the drive since the original Xbox One console, there is no getting around this.
Games like Halo 5: Guardians, Forza 7 and Gears of War 4 consume more than 100GB of space on your drive, and it is only going to get worse as video game developers dive deeper into the capabilities of the console. This means that after about 7-8 of these 4K enhanced mega games, your drive is completely full. Especially when you have to take into account the system files for the console itself are installed on there (just like installing Windows on a PC).
This is where having an USB external drive goes from being an option to a necessity. Normally we would recommend between the best performing HDD and SSD we have between with the consoles. However due to the price of SSD and how fast it would fill up, we lean completely into the direction of capacity over speed (while maintaining the best speed we can find in an HDD).
So far the winner for us has been Western Digital’s (WD) 4TB Black My Passport USB 3.0 drive (you can read our review on it here). It is small, therefore it hides easily, doesn’t require any wall power and blends in with the design of the consoles. With 4TB of space (that’s 28-45 additional games) and a price tag that just barely climbs over $100 at the moment, it’s a steal. In addition to that, it is one of the best performing (speed-wise) USB 3.0 drives we have tested for both its size, capacity and price range–it outperforms the load times of all of the Xbox One consoles (internal drives). In addition to that, if you download a lot of the marketplace games in addition to the big-name launches, the total amount of games could rise to 50 or more. Now that, sounds like future proofing yourself.
So 1TB used to be a lot of space to play with, but now the Xbox One X launching with a 1TB HDD is the equivalent of an Xbox One launching with a 250GB HDD. Times have changed but the demand for accessories will always be the same.