Heading into the 3rd iteration of the Xbox One, with the Project Scorpio Xbox One X becoming the most powerful console ever released, means the need for the most capacity ever has arrived.
Microsoft has done something amazing that has never been done before. They’ve made games for the original Xbox, the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, including those free titles released every month with gold, and the Xbox One titles in 4K all available in one place, making the Xbox One X truly the one console you will ever need. Unfortunately, there will never be a console that can contain all your games in one place because adding the cost of a $500 hard drive to a console is out of the question. Fortunately, both Microsoft and now Sony have added the ability to use external storage as a means of storing games. This ability has always existed for PC games, so this guide applies to those games as well.
If you own the original Xbox One, and you plan to stick with it, I have a great guide on using the Media Hub by Collective Minds and you can see that video by clicking the link here. I also have a matching video for the original PS4 using the DongCoh Game Bar, but no such device exists for the newer iterations of either console. That’s why I put together this guide to show you your options.
The first thing you want to decide is what’s more important. Do you prefer maximum capacity, or maximum portability? Not to cause any confusion, all these drives can move from one system to another, but the number of parts and the size make some options more difficult than others.
For those of you looking for maximum capacity, the options are pretty straight forward. The best of which is probably this 8TB Game Drive Hub by Seagate. It provides a whopping 8TB of storage in a very nice modern package, complete with two powered USB ports on the front. Ports you can use to charge controllers, or connect additional storage. That may sound crazy to you, but what if you have a portable drive and would like to take a game to a friend’s house without carrying the entire game drive hub? The Game Drive Hub for Xbox only comes in an 8TB capacity and is only available in white.
Coming in at nearly the same price is the 8TB My Book drive by WD. It gives you all the storage capabilities of the Seagate without the USB ports on the front. The design is modern and stylish, but the black means it will stand out much less. The My Book is available in smaller capacities, but you may want to consider my next recommendations if you plan to buy 4TB or less.
Seagate also offers a 2.5” variant of the Game Drive sans the powered USB hub. These small drives have a very distinct and noticeable design that screams Xbox, but with some ingenuity, I’m sure PC gamers could make it scream Nvidia instead. The Game Drive is available in 2 and 4TB capacities, a special edition Halo Wars 2 2TB variant, and an all-white Game Pass Special Edition with options for 2 and 4TB. The benefit of these smaller drives is the portability they bring. These drives can be easily transported from one location to another. The lack of a power supply means you only need to carry the included USB 3.0 cable. Unfortunately, if you use something like a standard unpowered USB hub, they may not work, although that’s probably a rare use case for most Xbox gamers. The biggest limitation is capacity, although 4TB will hold quite a few games.
Seagate makes one other drive, which brings us to our final category, solid state drives, also known as SSDs. I highly recommend against the use of SSD drives on consoles, unless you really love the thin and super lightweight construction. SSDs are horrible bang for your buck when it comes to storage capacity. For more than what the 8TB Game Drive Hub cost, you get a mere 512GB or ½TB of capacity in exchange for read/write times consoles will rarely take advantage of. In this demonstration (see video), I copied Grand Theft Auto V, a notoriously slow loading game, onto the internal drive, the external 8TB My Book, and a super-fast Samsung T5 USB 3.1 gen 2 SSD. After performing a full reboot each test, all 3 devices load the game in nearly the same amount of time. I strongly suggest you use your money for more capacity unless you really desire the portability. If you are set on using solid state storage, I have included the links for the Game Drive for Xbox SSD, a WD My Passport SSD, and a 512GB PNY flash drive which sacrifices a tiny bit of transfer speed for even more portability, with no need for a cable.