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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  • ruthan - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    If it would be internal im in, but who like 1 more cable and data migration managment between normal and external drive?
  • Chad - Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - link

    Been using Seagate for decades, and never once had a single issue. Currently running a DatOptic 12 bay thunderbolt raid box w/ 12 seagate HDD's for a long time.
  • aj654987 - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    Been using 1tb 7200rpm HGST drives in ps3 and ps4, user replaceable so a cheap upgrade for more space plus speed. The benchmarks for loading ect show a decent difference from 5400rpm stock drive but only a small boost going from 7200rpm to ssd. I think ps3 used sata 1 which maxed out at 150mbs if I remember correct.
  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    Well. The Xbox 360 is limited by USB 2.0 anyway, so the benefits of an SSD is pretty much wasted for the most part.

    On the Xbox One, 512Gb isn't enough storage, I have 3.5 Terabytes all up and already 60% full... And we are only roughly half/third of the way through the console generation!

    With some games taking up almost 100Gb by themselves, you are better off with larger mechanical storage, you still see performance gains over the slow 500Gb 5400rpm drives too.

    It's also a Seagate... And I would rather drink Metho' than use a Seagate drive ever again.
  • takeshi7 - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    512GB is plenty. Just put the games you are currently playing or frequently play on the SSD so they have fast load times, and keep the ones you aren't playing on your HDD for storage.
  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    Why waste time manually transferring 50-100Gb of data when you could have it all in one place? The SSD doesn't provide THAT big of a benefit to warrant such an expense and inconvenience.

    Besides, have you ever had the urge to pop in an old game and fire it up after a few years? Well. I can do that with every game I own. No transferring, installing or updating required, it's all there with just the push of a button.
  • takeshi7 - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    "Why waste time manually transferring 50-100Gb of data when you could have it all in one place?"

    Because in the end it saves more time to transfer it over to the SSD. I transferred Forza 6 to my SSD. Sure it took a few minutes to copy over, but within 3 or 4 races I had already made up that time with the decreased load times, and by now I've probably saved over an hour of waiting for loading screens just in Forza.
  • StevoLincolnite - Friday, November 4, 2016 - link

    It would take almost 10 minuets to transfer 50GB of data at 100MB/s. (You are limited by the internal Mechanical disk remember!)

    On a SSHD you are looking at a load time of around 36 seconds.
    On an SSD you are looking at a load time of around 27 seconds.
    (Just from various web comparisons.)

    So 3 or 4 races to make up that time? NOPE.
    You would need to do about 62 races to equalize everything... There are also mechanical drives faster than an SSHD too.

    I would rather have everything there at a single push of a button rather than shuffling everything around. It's simply far more convenient.

    Also some games don't seem to benefit as much as others in regards to load times, so the entire process can be completely and utterly pointless. Just a waste of time and money.
  • takeshi7 - Friday, November 4, 2016 - link

    Oh, so you have first hand experience copying Forza over to an SSD? I timed it and it cuts ~10 seconds off of every single loading screen. That means when I boot up the game I save 10 seconds, when I go from the menu to a race I save 10 seconds, and when I go from a race back to the menu I save another 10 seconds. So with booting up the game and 1 race I save 30 seconds. Add it up. It makes up the time very quickly.

    And also, it takes very little effort to shuffle everything around. Before I play a game I know I'm going to be playing for a while I just copy it over to the SSD. If I need to make more space I simply delete the game from my SSD, and it's still on my Console's HDD anyways. It still shows up in my game library the same way whether it's on the HDD or SSD. You make it seem like it's so difficult when it's extremely simple. Maybe you just aren't intelligent enough to handle an SSD on your Xbox.
  • noeldillabough - Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - link

    The best external drive that I've seen is using the "Collective Minds Media Hub" with a Samsung 850 Pro (or whatever 2.5" drive) matches the xbox perfectly and works well and most important adds a few usb ports in the front for temporarily adding a keyboard etc.

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