One of the biggest problems that have plagued consoles in recent years has been storage. Even looking back to the days of memory cards, save files were often deleted with heavy regret. New games meant new save files, which in many cases, also meant more memory cards.
As we’ve moved through the years, video games have continuously grown in size. With the new era of gaming moving into 4k resolutions, this only means that textures become even heftier, requiring more storage space for files and their assets. This might not have been so much of a problem pre-Xbox Game Pass era.
Looking at a game like Gears of War 4 (digitally) the install size chimes in just over 117GBs due to it being enhanced on the Xbox One X. Even for the most casual player, that’s a lot to ask out of your stock Xbox One X hard drive. Seagate currently does have a standard Xbox One hard drive on the market, that being the Seagate Game Drive. However, with Gears 5 on the horizon, the latest Seagate is looking to up the hype for the new release.
Quality and quantity
The first thing you’ll notice about the Gears 5 limited edition external hard drive is that its essentially the same product as the Seagate Game Drive. Both are available in the 2TB models, and both take advantage of the Xbox One’s USB 3.0 slots. This has been the standard for most modern products, opting for USB 3.0 or USB Type-C for peripherals for faster data transfer capabilities.
There are a couple of things to do before you actually start using the drive. Once you plug it in and power on your console, your Xbox One will alert you that a new media drive storage device has been found. By default, this is what your Xbox recognizes the device as. So, you’ll have to run through the settings menu, head to the storage tab, and then format the drive (Settings>Sytem>Storage). In my case, though, it wasn’t allowing me to initially select the drive to be formatted. I did have an update waiting to be installed, which after updating the system software, it moved right along to the formatting process.
One of the first things that I wanted to find out was to see how many of my “ready to install” and infrequently played games I could move over to the new drive. For starters, I wanted to free up some space with the previously mentioned Gears of War 4. This was taking up 117.5GB of storage space. You’ll have to go back into the storage tab, select your internal drive, and then select the game(s) you want to move over. Don’t worry; there’s a prompt prior to moving forward. For the entire game to be moved, though, it took approximately 26 minutes, so be prepared to sit and wait a while.
Is this the value you were looking for?
When it comes to product shopping, I’m a stickler for price. I want to be sure that I’m getting the best value out of a product. So, in this case, what I was mostly comparing was the ease of use, setup, and since it was a limited edition product, I took the design into consideration, and general cost.
The limited-edition Gears 5 external drive has an MSRP of US$99.99. The standard Seagate Game Drive, which also comes in the 2TB storage size, has an MSRP of US$89.99. However, the limited edition did come with a redeemable code for the “Ice Block Lancer Skin” as well as bonus supply drops to use in the multiplayer for the upcoming game.
It is unclear at this time what the cost of those digital items will be in-game. However, in speaking specifically in terms of a limited edition, I suppose an extra 10 bucks isn’t going to break the bank, especially if there is the opportunity for additional content included with it. If you look at the cost of what a gigabyte of data costs, it’s also mostly on par with the current prices in the US ($0.05 per GB).
Although I do wish that internal console hard drives offered more than a terabyte of storage, I do like what the Seagate Game Drive has to offer. This ups your console’s storage with an additional 2TB and utilizes the Xbox One X’s USB 3.0 ports, something, that at least for me, have gone largely unused except for the wireless headphone dongle for my wireless headset.
The price for the Gears 5 limited edition is US$10 more than the standard Seagate Game Drive with the same amount of storage. However, the Gears 5 edition does sport a pretty admirable design, along with codes for DLC content. Which, if you’re considering the limited edition console bundle, assuming you don’t already own an Xbox One or want to upgrade from the original design, then you might consider it alongside the recently announced Gears 5 limited edition bundle.
I’m not sure if it’s accurate, but purchasing the drive on Amazon will also include a month of Xbox Game Pass. It’s also unclear if this is one of those offers that are only available if you currently do not have the service.
I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to finally install all those pending games, making it a little bit easier to find something to play when browsing your own catalog, especially now with Xbox Game Pass around. And if its anything like its predecessor, you’ll definitely be needing the storage space for Gears 5‘s release. At the same time, if you are considering external drives and are price conscious about what to get, I would suggest shopping around and weighing your options.
*Editor’s Note: The Seagate Game Drive 2TB Gears 5 Special Edition external drive releases August 20, 2019. A sample of the retail product was provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.