Recently, Microsoft announced that they would be offering to the masses a Xbox One with an internal storage size of 1 terabyte. This is especially nice to hear considering each game you download or buy is installed to the internal 500 gigabyte drive and can fill up pretty fast. So if you are in the works for finally moving off of the Xbox 360 and needed something to help push you over the edge, then this is something to think about. Even more so if you consider that towards the end of the year, you will be able to play Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One through an emulator and that means more space is going to be needed. What though, would you do, if you are one of those who has the smaller sized drive or believe they will be coming to a close end with everything they have installed or will install? Uninstall something you don't play often enough or remove those apps and movies you think you'll remember you bought or use only to forget about and never think about them again? Why not do what the Xbox One has a perfectly acceptable solution for and add an external hard drive for use?
To me, this is an often overlooked feature of the Xbox One and it should be noted that the console handles this very nicely through it's USB 3.0 port available for use right off of the side of the machine. Thinking this would be something I could totally use, I started looking up different drives to use with others out there who have thought about doing this as well. There is a popular subreddit in which the discussion for the best drive to use and their results has been created. Not knowing exactly what to look for on this, I reached out to Seagate and asked them what they thought of this and if Seagate had a viable option for the Xbox One. Their response was spot on: "I do actually, one sec". Within a minute or two, a couple of options were presented as to what they felt would be a good choice. A day later, I was able to plug in a Seagate 2TB Backup Plus Slim Portable Drive to my Xbox One and was ready to test things out.
For starters, the important specifications on this drive are as follows:
While this drive was originally intended for backup use on a PC or Mac computer, we will be looking at it from the Xbox One point of view and won't go into the included software with the package: the Seagate Backup Dashboard. The updated dashboard software will allow you to backup content from your mobile device (iOS or Android) to either a Dropbox or Google Drive account while on the go. Additionally the software will let you backup your data both locally and to the cloud from Facebook, Flickr, or YouTube.
Thus giving you an ability to backup things you have located on another drive or service to your very own slim drive locally.
Upon opening the box, which is quite tiny btw, I am greeted with a quick start guide, a black drive, and USB 3.0 cable. I will be the first to admit that I do not have the major skills and/or software to properly test speeds, but doing some quick research on the internet shows that in general, copying an 8.5GB file to/from the drive averages about 2:40 both ways at a speed of roughly 50MB/s. Nicely done Seagate. I popped the drive out of it's package to examine what I had in front of me and the top of the drive casing feels like it is aluminum while the rest of the drive casing is plastic. The connection for the USB 3.0 cable felt fairly solid and considering this will be sitting side saddle to my console, will work perfectly for what I need it for.
With my Xbox One turned off completely, I attached the drive to the side USB 3.0 slot and then turned on the console. I was greeted with a message stating that the Media Drive was ready to go and I could browse to it. This however wasn't what I wanted to have happen with the drive and so I went ahead and went to: Settings >> System >> Manage Storage. I selected "External" and then chose "Format for games & apps". I read the warning, gave it a name, selected the option of "Install new things here" and let the console do its thing. The whole process took about 10 seconds. At this point I suddenly had lots of new space and really didn't know what to do with myself. On my home screen, I went to the "My games & apps" tab and selected my Storage device to be my new drive and installed Dying Light as I had uninstalled it from before since I didn't have enough space. Of course I had to redownload the game so I needed to wait a bit for it to do what the console and my trusty internet connection needed to do.
Once my game downloaded and was fully installed, a long process due to my lagging internet microwave connection at the time, I started the game and waited for it to start. The game started up like it was right on the internal drive and I was quickly back into action from where my last cloud save had me placed within the world. I quickly ran around the game and was promptly eaten by zombies. Basically the speed of my death was comparable to the speed of the Backup Plus Slim drive: super quick. Disgusting really. I played around for about an hour or so and everything move along flawlessly.
To conclude, having an external hard drive for your Xbox One is a blessing and from what it appears to me, you can have multiples of these setup and basically move them around from console to console. While I haven't actually done this, I assume that if I were to hook this drive up to another Xbox One and attempt to play any of the games on it, I would need to sign in directly as me for this to happen. The performance of the drive while playing Dying Light showed no discernable lag and performed as I would expect from an external drive on a USB 3.0 drive or while being on the internal drive as well.There was no sound coming from it while it was in use and from what I can tell no real heat that could possibly be an issue. In general, if you're looking for a slim, non-extra power bricked drive to have as extra space for your Xbox One, then this drive is one you should truly consider. At a very reasonable price/space ratio, you should have no problem grabbing this right off of the shelf, getting home, and plugging it in to an instant space expansion for your gaming needs.