Microsoft finally authorizes an Xbox One external storage device
In what should be a surprise to absolutely no one that owns more than a few games for the current generation of consoles, Microsoft has announced the first official external storage hard drive. The Seagate 2TB USB 3.0 drive will cost $100 if you buy it from Seagate directly ($110 through retailers), and will be available later this year.
If you play a lot of games, then you know that your hard drive is probably starting to look like one of Ronda Rousey’s opponents after a fight. They get beat up, and if you own more than six or seven AAA games, you’ve probably had to do some deleting.
It’s a pain in the ass. There are some solutions on the market already, and both Nintendo and Sony haven’t really restricted external storage. Microsoft, however, has. The same is true with things like audio devices. Microsoft likes to keep its stuff proprietary.
The Xbox One is a little more open, but this is still the first official external device licensed by Microsoft.
Full disclosure: Seagate sent me a drive to try out, and it’s easy to use.
You just plug it into the USB 3.0 port, where it draws its power. It’s immediately recognized, and the setup will walk you through the process. From there, you follow the command prompts and you can select the external drive as the primary. After that, you can also transport your games to another Xbox One.
The price is a little above the norm for 2 TB external hard drives, but it is designed for the Xbox One, and Microsoft will – in theory – support it. Aesthetically it also fits with the Xbox motif.
Years ago I used to work for a major hard drive manufacturer (not Seagate, but on the same level). If you look around long enough, you will probably find a lot of people shouting that “Seagate drives are crap, they fail all the time!” The truth is that there are only a handful of hard drive manufacturers in the world that supply to multiple manufacturers. Most hard drives are the same, whether you know it or not.
Here’s the sad truth: all hard drive fail.
One of the most common errors an external hard drive faces comes from other components, especially the bridge that connects the hard drive itself to the port (in this case the USB 3.0 port). In that, Seagate makes quality components, as do most of the top makers. Lower tier manufacturers may not though.
There is no completely perfect hard drive. Backing up to a disc is the safest way to secure things, but that isn’t an option with the Xbox One. The good news is that if the hard drive fails, you lose replaceable data.
If you are concerned, back up your save data on another device – a thumbstick or cloud service. If the hard drive fails, you can then reinstall or re-download the game (it saves that you own the game to your profile). It might be a pain, but you can get everything back.
If you need more storage on your Xbox One, this is a solid solution.