When the Xbox One launched last fall it had one major problem that it shared with Sony’s PS4 gaming console. With the Xbox One, Microsoft starting pushing digital video game downloads pretty hard. In addition to buying disc based games and installing them onto the Xbox One’s hard drive, users have the option to purchase all Xbox One games through the console itself.
This means that gamers can skip long lines and retailers trying to up sell them on new titles by just picking up their controller and downloading new titles on release day digitally. Unfortunately, the Xbox One only comes with 500 GB of storage, leaving serious gaming fans to pick and choose which games they’d like to have stored on their hard drive for frequent play and which ones they’d like to download again when they got another chance to play.
The June Xbox One Update address this issue head on. As of today, it adds the ability for users to pick up an external hard drive of any brand and use it with their console. As any who has downloaded a decent amount of games will tell you, this is a huge feature addition and Sony’s PS4 console still doesn’t support it yet. Jubilation aside, there are some serious restrictions and details that Xbox One owners need to know about the hard drive support included in the June Xbox One Update.
Hardware Requirements & Setup
First, there’s the hardware requirements themselves. Xbox One users won’t be able to pick just any old hard drive they have and plug it into their console. In what’s likely a limitation due to performance concerns, hard drives paired to the Xbox One will need to be USB 3.0 compatible. They’ll also need to have at least 256GB of space on the.
To be clear, by 256GB of space they’re referring to the entire size of the drive not just what’s available to use. That’s because the Xbox One will reformat any hard drive that’s been plugged into it. This means that if users who do have at least a 256GB hard drive that uses USB 3.0, they’ll want to copy everything stored on it to their computer or tablet. Failure to do so will mean losing those files.
Setting up the external hard drive is pretty simple. Users just need to plug in their hard drive to one of the USB ports on the left side or rear of their console. The Xbox One will recognize the external drive and check to make sure that it’s compatible and meets the hardware requirements. It’ll then guide users through naming the drive, formatting the drive and configuring how they want the drive to fit into their storage.
By default, the Xbox One will treat this new hard drive as the default storage area and begin downloading content to that drive until it fills up. In addition to downloading new games and apps to that drive by default, users can choose to move things they’ve already downloaded to that external drive. Microsoft says users will be able to take that external drive, login with their Xbox Live account and play games off it on a friend’s Xbox One too.
Choosing a Hard Drive
With Microsoft’s guidelines in mind GottaBeMobile went looking for the best deals on compatible hard drives. Here’s what we found.
Seagate Expansion 2TB Desktop External Hard Drive
It’s likely that anyone who is close to using all of the space on their Xbox One hard drive is going to probably max out a 256GB or 300GB hard drive pretty quickly. Those users should be looking for a long term solution to their storage problem and Seagate has one with the Seagate Expansion 2TB Desktop External hard Drive. It’s just $79.99 from Amazon and comes in a simple matte black to match the console itself.
Toshiba Canvio 500GB USB Portable Hard Drive
For users who don’t need as much space there’s the Toshiba Canvio 500GB hard drive. It also meets all of Microsoft’s comments and comes in black to match the Xbox One itself. In addition to black it also comes in blue and red. It sells for $49.99 at Amazon.
Users who are looking for a Microsoft branded hard drive for the Xbox One are out of luck. Microsoft’s only storage accessories for Xbox consoles are the flash drives it introduced when it added external storage support to the Xbox 360S and original Xbox 360. Neither one of those devices would work for the Xbox One because they offer too little storage.
Remember, users will need to have the June Xbox One Update loaded on their console before they can add more storage to your device. Every Xbox One will automatically retrieve the update if it’s set to run in low power mode, which everyone Xbox One is by default. Users can manually trigger the June Xbox One Update by going into the Settings app and looking under System.