Xbox Series S Has 364 GB Usable Space
You'll have a very small amount of available space to install games and media on the Xbox Series S, and we've confirmed it.
The hard drive space of consoles has become a hot-button issue for gamers over the last few years, as the size of games and updates has ballooned into the hundreds of gigabytes. For those who expect to pick up the Xbox Series S in a couple of days, and we some potentially upsetting news: the console only has 364 GB of usable space. First leaked online, we've confirmed this ourselves with a unit we're testing for review.
That represents about 73% of the console's 500 GB solid-state drive, which is around the usual fraction of usable space for consoles. However, since the size of popular games like Call of Duty: Warzone can be over 100 GB--with patches that come in at dozens of gigabytes--that means that most players will have to be very judicious about what games they keep on hand. The Xbox Series X will ship with a 1 TB SSD, with 802 GB in the way of usable space.
For comparison, the Xbox One launched with a 500GB HDD. Only 362GB of this was available for use, and the system supports external HDDs.
Microsoft has developed some features to help with the limited space. For one, players can store games on an external hard drive, and backward compatible games can be played directly from that drive. For another, games can be 30% smaller on the Xbox Series S by targeting 1440p instead of 4K. It doesn't appear, however, that this will be the case for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. The game will be about 136GB on both Series X and Series S. That's only at launch, as well, and it could grow even larger, but you will be able to only install modes like multiplayer or the campaign if you want to keep this size down.
A similar leak revealed that the PlayStation 5 has around 650 GB of usable storage space on its 825 GB solid-state drive. Both consoles support expandable SSD storage, with Microsoft opting to develop plug-and-play SSD cards that slot into the back of the Xbox Series X and Series S. To expand the PS5's memory, players can theoretically buy standard NVMe SSDs, but Sony needs to approve them, and the company hasn't yet listed any compatible drives ahead of launch. In fact, the feature won't be enabled at launch. The usable space on the PS5's built-in NVMe will be the only way to store and play PS5 games.
The Xbox Series X and Series S release on November 10, and you can read our Xbox Series X review now. The PS5 comes out on November 12. If you're still trying to figure out which one to buy, check out our preview of the Xbox Series X and our hands-on impressions with the PS5.