The Xbox Series X Will Have a Brand-Specific Storage Expansion Port

With some games already hitting the 150GB range, storage is a real issue for next-gen consoles

Before we get too deep into the news and speculation about this dedicated storage expansion port, let us show you just what the latest hype regarding the Xbox Series X is all about. I late January, someone posted a set of pictures of an alleged Xbox Series X prototype on Twitter, one of which showed the back and the various ports:

Among confirming that the Xbox Series X would in fact have an HDMI output, it also confirmed just a duo of USB ports (plus one in the front.) However, there was an odd-looking port that seems to have everyone curious. Brad Sams from Thurrott, a well-known Microsoft insider originally speculated that the port was for diagnostics, which meant that it might not be there on the final production version of the next-gen console. Now, however, he claims to know what it is:

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That port is for storage expansion, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, and it’s intended to offer Xbox Series X “a work-around as games continue to expand in size.

Obviously, this makes a lot of sense. We already have games that are approaching the 150GB range after years of updates and Add-ons (think Grand Theft Auto V, for example) and newer games are already breaking the 100GB barrier right out of the box. Even a 1TB SSD would be able to support somewhere between 8 and 10 premium games at best, so expandable storage is a necessity.

What about USB expansion, though?

While we do make heavy use of external drives via USB, next-gen games are going to be very data heavy and the goal is to have a little loading time as possible. A dedicated expansion port, designed to handle high-speed data transfer beyond what USB 3.1 can offer would be more than ideal for the best performance. It also opens the door for Microsoft to sell a branded and dedicated storage solution. Chances are that this is a proprietary technology, but the good news is that Microsoft will probably still allow the typical USB storage expansion that we use on current-gen consoles right now – it just won’t work quite as well.


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Simon Carpenter
Simon Carpenter works as an indie game programmer by day and pro gamer by night. He joined the Addicted to Play Team in October of 2019 and has found his home away from home. His favorite games include The Legend of Zelda, Metroid Prime, and Call of Duty.

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