If you want to extend the storage of the Xbox Series X you are going to have to splurge on a pricey Seagate Expansion Card. As of now, these cards come in a 1TB storage configuration at costs $220 (around R5,500 in SA). Many users have asked is this storage expansion is simply an NVMe PCIe which they can buy and install in the expansion card. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Jeff Grubb from VentureBeat did a teardown of the card and revealed the internals. It seems the Xbox Series X Seagate Expansion Card is a highly modified storage chip which features an E19T PCIe Gen 4 controller. In addition, the circuit board matches a typical CFexpress card. For those who don’t know, a CFexpress card is an extremely pricey memory card. These can set you back up to R5,999 for just 128GB model.
These cards are capable of transferring 4GB of data per second. However, the Xbox Series X Seagate Expansion Card might be faster due to the custom E19T PCIe Gen 4 controller. Still, the fact that other CFexpress cards are so expensive and the Xbox Series X Seagate Expansion Card comes in at the same price for a 1TB configuration is quite impressive.
Is it expensive? Most definitely. Microsoft could have implemented an NVME storage solution on the Xbox Series X allowing users to purchase standalone chips for the unit. However, the CFexpress unit seems to use a 128-layer NAND chip which could to be the main reason for going this route. It allows for faster speeds and cheaper production costs.
Of course, the price of all this tech will drop in the months ahead. If anything, users will most likely spend half the money on a storage expansion card in a couple of years time. That does not solve the storage problems users will face at launch on their Xbox Series X and even more so on their Series S. Especially given the fact that the console mostly relies on the all-digital Xbox Game Pass subscription.
Image Credit: VentureBeat