While we can debate, what with the forced installs and the growing file sizes for current-gen digital games, that the Xbox One should have offered an external storage option at launch, the fact of the matter is the feature is coming. Just this week, Microsoft confirmed the June update for their new console will include several oft-requested features, with support for external storage leading the pack.
However, the announcement of an external storage option for Xbox One has brought with it a wealth questions. Gamers are curious to know how exactly the feature will work and what types of restrictions it might have, and so Microsoft‘s Major Nelson has swooped in with some answers.
First and foremost it’s important to note that whatever external storage device you choose to use for the Xbox One will then become a “slave” to the console. The Xbox One will format the drive to its own specifications and the only way to revert it back to a PC-compatible state is to wipe it clean. In other words, don’t expect to devote whatever storage option you choose to anything but Xbox One apps and games.
As far as what options are available, the Xbox One will support up to two hard drives of any size above 250 GB, provided it is USB 3.0 compatible and features its own external power source. No USB-powered drives here. As an example, Major Nelson showed his own 4 TB drive in action, proving that, if gamers want it, they can give a substantial boost to the console’s storage.
Beyond that, though, the addition of external storage gives gamers a way to travel with their library. All they need do is attach their drive to a friend’s Xbox One, sign into their Xbox Live account, and play. No hour-long wait for a 20GB Titanfall file to download. Well, in the case of digitally purchased games that is. Disc-based — you’re going to need to bring both hard drive and Blu-Ray along.
The advantages that come with the external storage option alone are enough to make the June Xbox One update one to get excited about, but it also includes an option to use real names for Xbox Live friends, automatic sign-in at start-up, and for our friends outside North America are getting One Guide support for TV. Obviously, it’s not going to radically change the system, but the update, like those before it, still adds some convenient new features.
How important is an external storage option for you? What improvements for storage would you like to see in a future update?
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina for future Xbox One update news.