Xbox One External Storage Support will soon be a reality, according to Microsoft’s Major Nelson. The update will allow Xbox One users to increase their storage by connecting an external storage device such as a traditional external hard drive or other mass storage devices.
The news of the Xbox One external storage update comes from the official Xbox One subreddit. Lary Hryb, better known to Xbox fans as “Major Nelson”, confirmed the details. “External game storage is coming soon….I need to check on media support,” Major Nelson wrote.
Storage has long been one of the main concerns with gamers as the industry continue to adopt digital distribution of games, DLC, and other media content. The Xbox 360 did not originally support external storage until a later update allowed for 32GB external storage devices to store gamer profiles, saved game files, and downloadable games. When the Xbox 360 launched, it offered a unit that did not have any hard drive storage known as the Xbox 360 Arcade. Users were also unable to purchase 3rd party hard drives, a feature the Playstation 3 allowed its users to do in order to upgrade their storage during the life of their console. Xbox 360 users were required to purchase Microsoft-branded 360 hard drives, which were sold at a premium.
With the Xbox One external storage coming soon, it will likely beat the PlayStation 4 to support of external storage. However, the PlayStation 4 allows users to swap out the internal hard drive in much the same way the PlayStation 3 did. The Xbox One does not support users modifying their console’s internal storage forcing users to let the Xbox One manage the storage on their 500GB internal hard drives. The Xbox One originally did not even let gamers see how much storage was left on their hard drive, citing a design to “make storage management automatic.”
The addition of Xbox One external storage support makes good on a promise that Major Nelson made on his official podcast for the PAX expo special. “My understanding is that feature will not be there at launch because the team is working on some other things, but it definitely is on the list. I don’t know when it will come in though,” Nelson stated.
The Xbox One has had a troubled launch before it even made it out of the gate. Before the Xbox One launched, it was party to Draconian business practices and limitations placed on the functionally of the console. Developers have also spoken out vocally about the frustrating system architecture which has prevented many cross platform games such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Tomb Raider running at much faster frame rates and higher resolutions. Even the tentpole game Titanfall couldn’t reach 1080p despite being an exclusive on the console.
The last month has seen a shift in the perceived momentum for the console. The gaming press in general has been much more receptive and willing to praise the console as it patches issues that bring it on par with the PlayStation 4 such as Twitch streaming, hard drive, and controller status indictors as well as other improvements. And more recently, Phil Spencer has taken command of the entire Xbox Division, a move which has many gamers looking at the Xbox One’s future potential more favorably now than under Don Mattrick.
The Xbox One external storage support is a great next move by Microsoft for the console. With a renewed sense of listening to gamers instead of dictating to them, the competition between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One will certainly continue to help the consumer and more importantly, keep gaming at the forefront of both consoles.
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