A modder has discovered that the Xbox Series X|S probably supports NMVe drives, opening possibilities to expand the console’s local storage with unofficial and cheaper storage options.
The news that Xbox Series X|S probably supports NMVe drives comes via a Bilibili user (via VGC), who managed to install a regular old NVMe SSD to his Xbox Series X with a CFexpress (CFe) to NVMe adapter.
To be clear, since its original reveal, we’ve known the Xbox Series X can be expanded with additional hard drive storage, however the only option is the officially certified Seagate expansion drive – which can get quite pricey.
The modder noted the both Xbox Series X and S use two PCIe 4.0 x2 connections for hard drive storage, one for the internal 1TB hard drive and one for the expansion slot. This is the same standard used for regular PC hardware.
So, the theory was to convert its M.2 key connection to the CFe connection used by Xbox and the official Seagate expansion drive. Once the NVMe SSD was loaded into the M.2 to CFe adapter and the drive was installed in the Xbox UI, the drive appears in the menu and can be managed and used for apps and games.
While CFe is usually used for premium camera storage and uses the NVMe protocol over PCIe for higher bandwidth, the question is whether or not this will work with non-Western Digital drives. Theoretically it should, however the modder has only tested the same model SSD found internally within the Series X|S, the WD SN530 M.2 2230.
Furthermore, at least one camera-focused CFe storage card has been confirmed to not work with the Series X|S, but other NVMe SSDs could work. It’s also worth noting Microsoft will probably disable this unofficial workaround for cheaper storage options, if they can.
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