Xbox Series X to Support 1 TB of Additional Storage with PCI Express 4.0 Expansion Cards

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Image: Microsoft

Running out of storage space isn’t much of an issue these days in the console world thanks to replaceable HDD/SSDs and external drive support, but this will be even less of a concern with Microsoft’s next-gen system. In addition to a 1 TB internal SSD and two USB 3.2 ports for external HDDs, the Xbox Series X will also flaunt a convenient, space-saving storage expansion slot.

This slot runs on PCI Express 4.0 and accepts proprietary 1 TB memory cards produced by Seagate, which link up directly to the processor. “Microsoft has partnered with Seagate for its proprietary external 1TB SSD expansion,” wrote Eurogamer in its Xbox Series X deep-dive. “It’s very short, quite weighty for its dimensions and actually presents rather like a memory card.”

Image: Microsoft

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of information on the cards themselves, but Microsoft did have more to share about its internal 1 TB NVMe SSD, which offers 2.4 GB/s of raw and 4.8 GB/s of compressed I/O throughput. Per Eurogamer:

The form factor is cute, the 2.4GB/s of guaranteed throughput is impressive, but it’s the software APIs and custom hardware built into the SoC that deliver what Microsoft believes to be a revolution – a new way of using storage to augment memory (an area where no platform holder will be able to deliver a more traditional generational leap). The idea, in basic terms at least, is pretty straightforward – the game package that sits on storage essentially becomes extended memory, allowing 100GB of game assets stored on the SSD to be instantly accessible by the developer. It’s a system that Microsoft calls the Velocity Architecture and the SSD itself is just one part of the system.

What this means for Xbox gamers is that large, open-world games should load and run better than ever. It also gives developers the opportunity to draft even grander, more dynamic environments.

“The CPU is the brain of our new console and the GPU is the heart, but the Xbox Velocity Architecture is the soul,” said Andrew Goossen, Technical Fellow on Xbox Series X at Microsoft. “The Xbox Velocity Architecture is about so much more than fast last times. It’s one of the most innovative parts of our new console. It’s about revolutionizing how games can create vastly bigger, more compelling worlds.”

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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