Why Xbox Series X's expandable storage is not as expensive as you think

The Xbox Series X expandable storage has finally been revealed and it costs $219.99. That seems like a lot of money at first glance, but it's an entirely fair price for what you get.

The Xbox Series X expandable storage is a lightning-quick gaming performance SSD packed into a surprisingly tiny package. $219.99 is not a small amount of money by any means, but you’re paying for the same kind of high-speed performance that you’ll get from the console itself in a durable package. Seagate’s price is more than fair for what you get.

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sushimama27d ago

OMG shut up. "It's not as expensive as you think" - am I the only one who cringed so hard at that title that I nearly pulled a muscle in my neck.

darthv7227d ago

Oh its expensive but what I think they are trying to say is there isnt the kind of markup that typically comes with proprietary design.

The price isnt that far off fair market value.

SullysCigar27d ago

It's still as expensive as I thought though.

mikeslemonade27d ago

What DartV says is correct. Also why you need more storage? I feel bad if you need more than that. Most people got a good enough internet con futon to just download it again.

fr0sty27d ago

But it is off fair market value, and that's the problem. They're pulling an Apple and making you buy overpriced drives when they could have made it compatible with any off the shelf drive, which is exactly what their drive is, in a fancy package.

mikeslemonade27d ago

^no I went on google shopping and found a slightly slower 1tb drive for $215, that’s not even off fair market value. And also consider the new form factor. Microsoft created a sleek square storage card. So it’s a proprietorial form factor. In fact they would probably get away by charging $250-$300 for it. Gaming companies have always charged more. Remember the 8mb PS2 cards cost $35?

RazzerRedux27d ago

The price IS far off market value for the size and speed. That is why proprietary parts are anti-consumer.

Eonjay27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

It cost the same as a much (much) faster PCI 4.0 1TB drive but the video game media doesn't really look after consumer interests do they? Stuff like this that is objectively anti consumer is praised when it comes from Microsoft. The Xbox Series S and the proprietary expansion memory is the worst deal for next gen by a wide margin. We all know it. Its also a substantial markup.

mkis00727d ago

Its the same price as a drive 3x the speed...

DarkZane27d ago

A SSD compatible with the PS5 will cost about the same, however, that same SSD will go down in price over time. The problem with proprietary tech is that it takes forever to go down in price (and that's if it ever does).

So wait 1-2 years, you will be able to upgrade your ps5 storage for less, while that 1TB card for XSX will be the exact same price still.

darthv7227d ago

@zane, there are going to be 3rd party memory cards made as well. Seagate is the one making them now but there will be other alternatives. Sandisk is one such company that has been known to be interested.

DarXyde26d ago

"[...]isn't that far off fair market value."

Sounds like an admission that it is far off, just..."not that far off."

Here's the thing: this is very problematic for the Series S particularly. Chances are, if you're buying Series S, you're likely a budget gamer. You also have Microsoft pushing Game Pass, which is also a budget move. No issues there, if developers are on board, it's a great way to save money for consumers.

The problem is that it's an all digital system with half the storage of the premium model from a platform holder that is constantly pushing their subscription service. I don't really see it as being budget friendly and is the more expensive platform at a lower entry cost and worse performance. Storage is going to be an all around problem next generation, but I think it's a bit disingenuous to say it's not that far off fair market price like you're saying it's ok.

Call me cynical, but it feels like Microsoft is creating problems and proposing the solutions. The scheme is genuinely fascinating: Buy a cheaper Xbox... but no disc drive and purely depends on storage. Buy from the Xbox marketplace at a premium... or get Game Pass to play more games for far lower cost. Oh, but you may run out of space from all of those low-cost games. That's okay, you can expand storage with one of these handy, proprietary storage cards. Is that too expensive? Too much money to drop at once? Fair point, so why not get the cloud streaming service? Ah, yes, but now you've got subscriptions that may be difficult to manage... so why not upgrade to Game Pass Ultimate and you can roll the costs into one at a discount?

It's a stroke of 4D chess level evil corporate genius.

In short, buy our cards or never really need to upgrade, but relinquish even the license of your games.

Not knocking them for it. If it's appealing to the masses, they've struck gold.

Cueil26d ago

remember people you can just move content temporarily to a HDD so you don't have to redownload it... that goes for both systems. Upgrading your NVME is going to be really expensive for the next 2-3 years and even then it'll be ~100 USD till close to the end of the console cycle. You have to remember whenever Apple or other big vendors start ramping up new phones they take a big chunk of the sales that increases prices so let's hope we get a really high jump in yields soon so these prices will drop faster.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 26d ago
Ash01Live27d ago

If someone offers you a 5million dollar house for only 1 million, guess still have to pay 1 million dollars. Its not a point of good value, it's a point of $220 is a lot of money objectively.

27d ago
agnosticgamer27d ago

Your statement is deeply flawed though. Because if I could get a $5 million dollar house for $1M I would do so in a heartbeat and that would be an excellent value. The fact of the matter is all SSD expansion drives will be expensive for XSX and PS5... if expansion is something you can’t afford get use to either uninstalling and reinstalling or not venturing into the next generation of systems because SSD drives are not optional. Except for possibly the next Nintendo system that isn’t announced yet.

Starman6927d ago

How many games are u playing at one time?? 4 max??

anubusgold27d ago


Pcie 4.0 drives has been 300 dollars for a year now. You dont know what you are talking about.

Sayai jin27d ago

It is expensive, full stop. Aslo, both consoles will ha e expensive addirional media stoeage devices for a few years u til cost goes down.

agnosticgamer27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

And remember that when Sony required SSD expandable drives are priced just as much if not more due to increased speeds.

RazzerRedux27d ago

Better performance at the same price? Yep. Definitely something to keep in mind. Of course, a few months after launch it is going to be interesting to see how the price of standard NVMe will change due to increased competition.

RazzerRedux27d ago

" Sony hasn't announced the price and could be even more expensive... Kind of like they weren't doing cross-gen titles... until they were..."

Sony isn't dictating price. There is no monopoly on this. That is only with Xbox. Fact. Sony is allowing third parties to sell standard SSD. That is a good thing. Are you seriously going to advocate overpaying for proprietary?

"It will be interesting to see the price for Sony's solution as not proprietary is usually better long term solution... However to use them they must meet certain specifications which may possibly confuse some consumers into getting SSD drives that don't work"

Sony's solution will be what the market decides right out of the gate. Could there be confusion? Perhaps. You wanna talk about the folks buying Xbox One X in droves? That is a conversation about confusion.

xTonyMontana27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

Neck muscle pulling cringe, coming exclusively to Microsoft Xbox Gamepass in Novemeber.

agnosticgamer27d ago

TonyMontana... Negative... but with the recent purchase, a whole f-ton of games will be incoming to GamePass soon...

and @Razzer... Sony hasn't announced the price and could be even more expensive... Kind of like they weren't doing cross-gen titles... until they were...

It will be interesting to see the price for Sony's solution as not proprietary is usually better long term solution... However to use them they must meet certain specifications which may possibly confuse some consumers into getting SSD drives that don't work...

There are pros and cons to both... Because with the MS approach you know right away if the SSD expansion will work.

gamer780427d ago (Edited 27d ago )

It’s expensive and it’s a fair price, two things can be true at once. I this case you get what you pay for.

tontontam026d ago

Lol maybe he's a seagate exec or something.

26d ago
+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 26d ago
waverider27d ago

of course not it cost almost the price of the S, that was made for gamers that have low budget. In other words 299 + 220 - 519. But of course that gamer wont bring games that they have already from last gen . with gamepass with hundreds of games only 515 space will be more then enough.... A digital console with a size of storage of last gen makes perfect sense....

SullysCigar27d ago

Lol I think some are missing your sarcasm!

Army_of_Darkness27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

It's just like getting the lastest smart phone that does [email protected] videos, but with storage space of 32gb....
Now you have no choice but to get an external hard drive! Well played ms.. Well played.....

RazzerRedux27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

"For example, the 1 TB Western Digital Black NVMe SSD costs $149.99. That’s the sale price, mind you — it normally lists for $249.99."

No one would buy that PCIe drive for $250. Do a little research and you will find that $150 is about average price for that class of drive and it is still faster than XSX SSD. What is really hilarious is that every one of the NVMe drives the author presented in comparison is on sale which he outright dismisses. To ignore the sale prices because it doesn't align with this "not as expensive as you think" bullshit narrative is just willful ignorance. Right there we see the effect of competition in the non-proprietary space and you cannot just pretend that factor isn't there. Hell, the PS5 level SSD from Samsung with 7000 mb/s speed (nearly 3x XSX) will come in at the same price as XSX's drive.

And there will be more like that in the coming months ramping up competition and driving down price.

"Seagate’s expandable storage is definitely a performance gaming SSD, so the price falls in line with PC products that you can buy today."

A "performance gaming SSD"? That is just contrived nonsense. The SSD has PCIe 3.0 speed and has just average performance for NVMe drives in that class at 2500mb/s. Saying the price falls in line with PC product prices is just not true. This PNY drive is 1000mb/s faster than XSX and costs $110 less.

The XSX SSD is every bit as expensive as you think it is. Why? Because it is proprietary.

isarai27d ago

Ssh! That's too much common sense and facts for N4G

MajorLazer27d ago

Ouch. Incredibly overpriced then. Personally, I'm just going to buy a 2TB external HDD and transfer between the PS5 and the HDD. I rarely play more than 2-3 games at a time and definitely not more than 1 single player game at a time so not too fussed about having more than 8-10 games ready to go instantly.

crazyCoconuts27d ago

But you're supposed to just read the headlines from our respected "journalists" so you don't have to think!

itsmebryan27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

How much will the PS5 expansion be and how it installs?

mkis00727d ago (Edited 27d ago )

The ps5 expansion has to be at least as fast as its own drive. 5.5gbs. The high end of that is the samsung 980 pro at 7000gbs. For $230. It comes out next month. Other brands will be cheaper. Other brands will compete to drive down the price of each other quickly.

anubusgold26d ago

I cant find a single 5.9Ghz drive anymore on new egg those were 250 and 300 dollars they must be sold out they were everywhere on the site 2 months ago.

anubusgold26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

If you think the sony drives will be cheaper you are crazy it will be worse. What will happen is you will pay more than the xbox drive and it will be slower than whats in the ps5 lol . The drives that are faster than ps5 on pc cost 1000 dollars lol.

RazzerRedux26d ago

lol....I'm crazy huh? Actually you are just misinformed. The Samsung drive I referenced above is faster than PS5's SSD. 7gb/s vs 5.5gb/s

And Samsung is always the more expensive option in consumer SSD drives. Other manufacturer's will provide cheaper options in the coming months. $1000 dollars? lol

RazzerRedux26d ago

The compressed data transfer rate is confusing you. Stop posting and just read. You'll learn something.

9GB/s is compressed data. 5.5 gb/s is raw. This is because of the custom decompressor, not the SSD itself. These are the same concepts behind the Velocity Architecture. Hardware decompression is a separate component from the SSD. That component is what allows XSX's SSD to transfer 4.8gb/s from the raw 2.5 and PS5 can achieve 9gb/s from the 5.5. XSX expansion and third party expansion for PS5 will also be able to take advantage of this compression component as they connect to the exact same PCIe 4.0 bus.

The 7gb/s in the Samsung is also raw, not compressed. So that transfer rate is what has to be used to compare as by itself, the SSD does not have a hardware decompressor module.

But don't believe me. Believe Microsoft:

"The Xbox Velocity Architecture comprises four major components: our custom NVME SSD, hardware accelerated decompression blocks, a brand new DirectStorage API layer and Sampler Feedback Streaming (SFS)."

"Hardware Accelerated Decompression: Game packages and assets are compressed to minimize download times and the amount of storage required for each individual game. With hardware accelerated support for both the industry standard LZ decompressor as well as a brand new, proprietary algorithm specifically designed for texture data named BCPack, Xbox Series X provides the best of both worlds for developers to achieve massive savings with no loss in quality or performance. As texture data comprises a significant portion of the total overall size of a game, having a purpose built algorithm optimized for texture data in addition to the general purpose LZ decompressor, both can be used in parallel to reduce the overall size of a game package.

****Assuming a 2:1 compression ratio, Xbox Series X delivers an effective 4.8 GB/s in I/O performance****

to the title, approximately 100x the I/O performance in current generation consoles. To deliver similar levels of decompression performance in software would require more than 4 Zen 2 CPU cores."

So either all that sinks in or it doesn't. I'm not wasting anymore posts on your bullshit. You post inaccurate crap and then call me the fanboy when you simply do not know what you are talking about.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 26d ago
RightFootGames27d ago (Edited 27d ago )

Yes it is. It's double the cost of the parts at retail. So Microsoft is easily charging 3+ times the cost of manufacture.

But shill media keep on shilling it's what you do.

isarai27d ago

Really? So it's not $220? Phew! What a relief /s