Seagate has announced its new Game Drive for Xbox SSD. While the name suggests it is primarily for the original Xbox, this drive is focused for the Xbox One (regular and S) and Xbox 360, allowing users to store more titles using NAND flash memory. Due to the higher performance of SSDs compared to HDDs used in an Xbox One, the Game Drive for Xbox SSD is being promoted as enabling faster boot and game loading times.

The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox SSD has a storage capacity of 512 GB and uses the USB 3.0 interface to connect to the console. According to Seagate, the SSD can store approximately 15 games (assuming that their size is in the range between 35 GB and 50 GB) and various downloadable content. The drive comes in an aluminum enclosure that is durable and somewhat matches the design of the Xbox One (at least, the original black version).

Since the SSD connects to the system using a USB 3.0 Gen 1 cable, its read and write speeds are expected to be limited to near ~400 MB/s (due to overhead incurred by 8b/10b encoding) without additional proprietary drivers (like ASUS' Turbo modes). Nonetheless, 400 MB/s is considerably higher than read/write performance provided by 5400-RPM HDDs used inside the Xbox family (typically, such drives feature read speeds of around 150 MB/s with poor random performance).

Seagate does not disclose whether the Game Drive for Xbox SSD uses TLC or MLC NAND flash, or which controller is in play so, we cannot make any assumptions regarding endurance of the product. Nonetheless warranty times are listed for America (1-year), Europe (2-years) and Asia-Pacific (3-years).

Update 11/3: Seagate confirmed that the Game Drive for Xbox SSD is based on TLC NAND flash. What is more interesting is that Seagate uses an undisclosed controller developed by SK Hynix/LAMD (which probably means that it also uses memory from SK Hynix) along with its own firmware for the drive. In fact, it is highly likely that Seagate uses SK Hynix's Canvas SL301 or SL308 SSD inside its Game Drive for Xbox SSD. We do not know a lot about the SK Hynix SL301, but the SK Hynix SL308 SSD is rated for 150 TBW, which is fairly good for a drive, which will be mostly used for reading, not writing, throughout its lifespan. Even if Seagate's firmware reduces total TBs to be written in a bid to maximize capacity, the endurance of the drive should remain on a decent level (assuming that we are dealing with the SL308).

As for pricing, Seagate intends to charge $199.99 for its Game Drive for Xbox SSD, which is $20 to $30 higher compared to other external SSDs compatible with Microsoft’s latest console. Amazon, GameStop and other consumer electronics retailers plan to start selling the device in November.

In addition to the Game Drive for Xbox SSD, Seagate also offers 2 and 4 TB mechanical hard drives for Microsoft’s Xbox One as well as 1 TB SSHD drive for Sony’s PlayStation 4.

Source: Seagate

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  • fanofanand - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    Awfully pricey for how few games you can store on it.
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    You'll pay for it and like it in just the same way you should have paid for an liked mandatory Kinect.
  • Samus - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    I use a 500GB Seagate SSHD with my XBOX One and it's noticeably faster than the 500GB WD Blue HDD it replaced, and I'm pretty sure it's only 5400RPM. Surprising how much that 8GB NAND buffer helps.
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    I used a 7200RPM/4GB/32MB Seagate hybrid drive for years as a main drive, in my last system, and yeah, it did really help. At least on mine it cached frequently used files <64MB, if I'm remembering right.
  • jahara21 - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    So, now that Xbox One uses Windows 10, does it support TRIM as well? Because, if not, this thing is going to slow way down pretty fast.
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    That's an interesting question...seems like it's actually not outside the realm of possibility.

    I threw an SSD in my Playstation 3 years ago, and made sure I got something that handled not having TRIM well. Got I think a third gen Intel drive (one with a real Intel controller) and never had issues.
  • Samus - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    It's more than likely going to be a driver limitation than an OS limitation.

    TRIM can only be sent over UASP via a USB host. XBOX One uses BOT for USB connections; the embedded chipset USB controller doesn't support UASP at the hardware level...that generation of AMD chipsets the APU was based around were pretty terrible USB performers.

    AMD USB controllers have historically lagged behind most others. If Microsoft cared about USB performance (they never will) a $2 Asmedia host controller would have been added to the BOM.

    It's probably worth pointing out the elephant in the room at this point. The PS4, as did the PS3 as confirmed by GeoHot, can send TRIM via their SATA connection. This shouldn't be a surprise but its worth mentioning because it might mean the SATA controller on the XBOX One does as well.

    But that's moot because Microsoft won't let you upgrade the internal disk. Years ago I hacked a 120GB 2.5" WD's boot record to install in my XBOX 360 Arcade (which didn't come with a hard disk at all) and all was well until it was banned. Didn't even modify anything in the console.

    Obviously I haven't owned a single Microsoft product since.
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    Wish Microsoft would update the design of the One so it supported user replaceable hard drives.

    This article makes it sound like a One will boot even if the internal drive is dead though?
  • vaporcobra - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    lol, a 1 year warranty on an SSD. Translation: avoid at all costs unless you do not care about your money or data.
  • 3ogdy - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    Oh look, now we can get headaches from Shitgate reliability with our Xbox too! Wonder if they'd charge the same $1000+ tax for recovering data off of this drive. What am I saying...of course they will, it's just that people (hopefully) don't store truly important data on their Xbox consoles.

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