Yesterday Microsoft showed off new details for its upcoming next-gen Xbox Series X console. These details included a closer look at the internals as well as the cooling system but the most important information came in the form of the new removable Xbox storage expansion cards that the console will make use of. Microsoft has partnered with Seagate to create expansion cards for the console which owners can slot into the back to play different games and swop out cards once they are at max capacity.
The whole system is quite impressive and aligns with Sony’ys leaked PS5 plans too. The expandable storage slot is located at the back of the console and plugs into the System on a Chip near the slot. This allows for the SSD to provide extremely fast data speeds to and from the brain of the Xbox Series X.
These proprietary Xbox Series X storage expansion cards will come in a 1TB storage option and inside of the card, there’s an NVME SSD that makes use of the console’s PCI Express 4.0 connections. This means that the card has been designed specifically to load and render next-gen games either by the internal version (which every console will have) or this external version which owners will need to purchase separately.
However, there’s a catch. If the game is not a next-gen Xbox Series X release, you will not be able to make use of the SSD. Older games like Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles will need to be run from an existing USB 3.1 external drive. Older games will need to be updated to support the new Xbox Series X Velocity Architecture which will then allow them to make use of the SSD and super-fast loading and quick resume function.
Microsoft shared more information on the quick resume feature which is made possible thanks to the new SSD architecture. This will allow users to suspend multiple games from standby at a time and even do the same after the console has been rebooted. The console caches whatever is used in RAM by a game straight to the SSD allowing the console to resume games instantly.
But there is a downside to all of this. These SSD cards will most likely cost a few pennies when they release making expanding your storage a pricey option. It is unclear how large next-gen games will be but if you look at the jump from Xbox 360 to Xbox One, game sizes went from 20GB to 100GB so these 1TB SSD expansion cards may only a handful of games.