It’s been over a year and a half since Microsoft launched the Xbox Series X and S home consoles, and while the company’s former consoles had various and cheap options for data storage, their latest came with a controversial new proprietary storage solution: officially branded and limited expansion cards. While the company said they’d eventually offer multiple solutions with varying price points and sizes, Seagate remains the sole proprietor of the proprietary memory cards. With Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription and their constant sales, my library got massive and I ran out of space. I finally got my hands on an Xbox Seagate Expansion Card, so I’ve put it to the test with my Xbox Series X. Is it worth the price? Read on with our Xbox Seagate Expansion Card review!
Seagate 1TB Expansion Card
Platforms: Xbox Series X
Price: $219.99 USD
The original Seagate Expansion Card offering came in 1 terabyte option, so it makes sense I did a thorough review on the same SKU. Since release, the company has expanded their lineup to also offer 512GB and even 2TB options, hopefully rounding out price points for consumers a bit more. Microsoft made a gamble compared to Sony using a standard M.2 SSD for their PS5 console.
Some readers may know I work in the tech industry so I’m comfortable opening hardware up to tinker or perform repairs and upgrades. Lots of folks are not comfortable doing this, however, and never want to be bothered with that kind of process. Enter the Xbox Series X Seagate Expansion Card, which you can just plug in and it simply works.
I’m going to possibly date myself but there was a time when game consoles didn’t have internal storage, or much at all, so they had things called memory cards. These stored your game saves, and it was an easy way to manage game saves and even bring them to your friend’s place. Digital games became a thing and yet this plug-and-play storage option seemed to fade away.
The short version of my experience with the Seagate Expansion Card has been that it really is just an extension of your internal storage, and I haven’t seen any discernable speed degradation or issues playing a multitude of games installed to the expanded memory. Seagate and Microsoft really knocked this out of the park, and yet its price still remains a barrier for many.
Before we got the chance to review this new storage solution, I was actually waiting on a sale for the Seagate Expansion Card so I could finally double or even triple my storage on my Series X. I think its price point is a bit on the premium side, so quite a lot of owners probably fall into the same debate I was once having.
Even working in tech for years, the novelty of new hardware always gets me excited – let alone extremely user friendly hardware. After unboxing our Seagate Expansion Card, I simply plugged it into my powered on Xbox Series X and it automatically prompted to format and set up the unit. That was literally it – and I doubled my storage capacities on the Series X.
After putting a lot of time into games running solely on the card though, the Seagate Expansion Card is definitely worth the price point, that is if you can swing it. This is a comprehensive and seamless way to expand your existing Xbox Series X or S console storage, all with the same advantages of its cutting-edge internals.
It’s worth pointing out Microsoft still supports external USB storage solutions for the Series X and S, but you can’t play the latest games on an external SSD or HDD. Backwards compatible games, however, are totally fine with those external drives, though naturally they are nowhere near as fast as the internal drive or the Seagate Expansion Card.
As games become more reliant on modern, cutting edge hardware, older storage solutions just won’t cut it. Many games easily reach 50-100GB, which after having Game Pass for any length of time or browsing one or a few Xbox sales, you’ll quickly blast through an entire terabyte of storage.
The gamble Microsoft has made with the Xbox Series X and S only supporting NVMe drives has come at a benefit by forcing an equal storage base with games, but both consoles have different hardware specs with overall computing power. Sony, on the other hand, supports M.2 and NVMe drives on PS5, and yet their disc-less and disc-ready variants have equal hardware.
You’re essentially better off grabbing one of these Seagate Expansion Cards to save you the headache of managing a bunch of game installs internally and on external drives, while also running into limits on what can be played on an expanded drive. Microsoft is in somewhat of a pickle as they’re trying to support a multitude of hardware and software generations.
Despite my prior hesitation on getting the expanded storage, I am very happy with the Seagate Expansion Card and how seamlessly it expands my system’s storage, while also maintaining its ludicrous read/write speeds. It’s a hard price to swallow, but hopefully components become cheaper and they can whittle 1TB down to below $200 – at that point it’ll be very tempting.
We did our Seagate Expansion Card review on the Xbox Series X with a retail unit provided by Seagate. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.