The SDD expansion cards for both consoles sell for quite a sum. There’s a 1TB option by Seagate for the Xbox Series selling for about $210. And there’s plenty of NVMe PCIe SSD cards for the PlayStation 5 selling for over $100 per 500GB.
Hardcore gamers would have to take that number into consideration when buying the console.
Add the live services like Xbox Live or the PSN, and the prices start to add up on consoles designed to be cheaper than PC. On that note, I should remind you that playing multiplayer on PC is free.
Alas, we’re here to check the storage numbers. Moreover, we’re detailing what we know about Xbox Series S performance. There are no proper demos of the console, only marketing.
Xbox Series S usable storage
We’ve praised the Xbox Series S as a comfortable choice for budget gamers. Get the console alongside the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, and you’re open to playing a bunch of games for a friendly cost.
It doesn’t come without its shortcomings, though—one of such its storage.
See, the Xbox Series S ships with 512GB of storage, with is an uncomfortably low number.
How to handle the low space?
Consider many AAA games that are shipping with incredibly large file sizes. Currently, we’re sitting at an average of 40-50GB per game. However, titles like CoD: Black Ops – Cold War will have an installation size of about 100GB on a console.
That’s smaller than the PC file, though. Microsoft expects game sizes on Xbox Series S to be 30% smaller than Xbox Series X game files. The reason being XSS games won’t have 4K rendering built-in.
Still, you would need to choose carefully between your favorite games. Download a game, finish the game, and then trade it for another.
You can uninstall the game, but you would keep it if you bought it or own it through a service. Otherwise, you can transfer the file to an external, cheap, and regular HDD drive.
The same is to say about the Xbox Game Pass. The service has over 150 games currently, but who has the time for that? I would advise you to download your favorite games, play them, and erase them.
Be that as it may, it doesn’t look terrific. If you bought the XSS because it’s the budget option, I don’t think you’d want to grab the $220 Seagate Expansion Card.
I must also note that the Xbox Series X has an internal storage of 1TB. After the operating system, you’d end up with 825GB, which is significantly better. I mean, SDD drives are quite expensive for PC anyway.
The performance of the Xbox Series S
Storage aside, we’re getting some confirmation on Microsoft’s part about the Xbox Series S performance.
Without an official demo, though, we can only explain. Microsoft has said Fortnite, Sea of Thieves, and Watch Dogs: Legion will run at 60FPS on 1080p. That means ultra graphics and medium ray tracing settings.
Not all games will run at 1440p on the Xbox Series S like Microsoft promised. However, we expect all retro-compatible games will run at 1440p/120fps, whereas some next-gen titles will only run at 60fps/1080p.
That seems okay for a small, budget console. No one expected a miracle, but it still looks like a perfect option for folks who don’t own a 4K TV.
Here’s a user demo showcasing the XSS running Gears of War 5 at 120FPS /1440p / Ultra graphics:
So… can it run Crysis Remastered? Probably at 1080p at choppy 60 FP. Poorly-optimized shooters are always a pain.
How will the storage work?
Here’s how you can manage the about 360GB of Xbox Series S usable storage:
- Internal SDD: it runs all games and apps you own, including Game Pass games or other services like EA Play.
- Expansion card: it works the same as the internal SDD. You can simply pug the SDD onto your console and use it to install and run games at the same speeds.
- External third-party SDD: it can run any retro-compatible game you own. However, it can run Xbox Series Optimised games. You can still transfer the games you download from your external SDD to another storage drive. Regarding load times and speeds, it will work faster than an HDD but a bit slower than the internal / Seagate SDD.
- External HDD: it runs all retro-compatible games, including Xbox Game Pass titles. It can also store any Xbox Series Optimized game you download, and you can transfer the file towards another drive.
The storage offerings
Sony and Microsoft are both offering solid-state drives on their next-gen consoles.
These drives come with a series of proprietary techs that allow faster load times, quicker boot-ups, and options to instantly resume the game.
On Microsoft’s side, we got a 4th-gen PCIe NVMe SDD storage drive. Those are the best, fastest, but also priciest drives in the market. The price-to-storage ratio is about $120 per 500GB:
Sony’s front chose a 3rd-gen SDD, which is still fast but also significantly cheaper. By cheaper, I mean they sell for about half the price as a 4.0 SDD drive.
All in all, Microsoft and Sony are setting the trend: you need super-fast storage for a next-gen gaming experience. And they are right: faster load times are way better than watching a load screen every time you enter a new area.
However, finding the balance between the amount of storage and affordable prices is a complicated task.
That said, the PS5 offers a lower storage-to-price ratio than the XSX.
PlayStation 5 usable storage
The PS5 is ready to launch on November 12 in the USA. A few weeks before its release, users have answered an important question: how much storage will it really have?
According to user leaks, the PS5 will offer 667GB of storage, down from its 825GB of stock SDD.
Yet, the usable storage was something to expect. Critical system files live on the same drive as the rest of the games and the apps. It’s a fact across all electronic systems.
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All in all, the storage of both the Xbox Series S and the PS5 is terrible news for gamers. As I said initially, the price for a”budget gaming choice” may rise pretty fast.
However, if you’re buying the console to play specific games, that wouldn’t be a problem. Otherwise, you’ll see your storage disappearing really fast against your digital downloads.