Xbox Series X Will Keep File Sizes Down To Save SSD Space

Dedicated hardware for decompression and installation that prioritizes necessary files will help the Xbox Series X save space on the SSD.

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As games evolve and become ever-increasingly detailed, they've also become big. File sizes and required storage space for downloads or installs have gotten to the point where 100+ GBs for one AAA game isn't a surprise. Content updates and DLC have also piled on overall sizes for games--shout out to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for exceeding 185GB with its latest update. And while next-gen consoles are adopting ultra-fast SSDs, overall storage space isn't necessarily making a leap. In fact, both consoles are keeping the same amount or storage space or even less than they have this generation. However, the Xbox Series X is built with tech to help mitigate this. You won't have to worry about games taking up a ridiculous amount of space and filling up your storage drive within a matter of weeks.

We had been aware of Xbox Series X's hardware-based compression technology, as it's outlined on the official site. But in speaking with Xbox director of program management Jason Ronald, we have more insight on what this means in practice for Xbox users. As he puts it, hardware decompression "allows games to consume as little space as possible on the SSD while eliminating all CPU overhead typically associated with run-time decompression." He spared no detail, confirming, "This includes BCPack, which is designed specifically for compressing texture data that often is one of the largest contributors to overall game size… to help compress the actual size of the assets."

That's not the only method in which Xbox Series X games can save a few extra GBs from the SSD and your own data consumption. Ronald pointed out that, "Developers can also take advantage of a platform feature to only install the pieces of the game players need, thereby minimizing the amount of content that needs to be installed or downloaded to the SSD. We're providing a lot of tools to help them be more efficient." He gave an example of how games can be smarter about packaged contents, and pointed out, "If you're on an English console, [you shouldn't] be taking space for French or Spanish audio files, things like that."

Ronald admitted that when it comes to minimizing storage consumption, "Ultimately there is no silver bullet." While the aforementioned features help pack multiple games on one drive, you're essentially shaving off excess from games that are inherently large. "We don't want to arbitrarily constrain our developers in the worlds that they want to create, but at the same time too gamers make it very clear, they don't want to download 300GB games," he stated.

A look at the Seagate 1TB SSD expansion card for the Xbox Series X.
A look at the Seagate 1TB SSD expansion card for the Xbox Series X.

As previously detailed, the Xbox Series X features a storage expansion slot along the I/O ports where for the proprietary Seagate 1TB SSD card--it's said to be as fast and efficient as the internal SSD so users don't experience a loss in performance between the two drives. You can still connect an external storage to transfer data, but it will not be able to use applications or play games and must be moved to the internal SSD or expansion card.

For more on all the latest news on the Xbox Series X, be sure to check out our stories below and read up on newly announced next-gen games like The Medium, Chorus, and Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Also read our Inside Xbox recap and learn about the games supporting Smart Delivery.

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jenovaschilld

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Edited By jenovaschilld

I am happy with the adoption of the m.2 nvme x4 storage standards to 9th gen, as in just a few years we will be seeing TB of this storage getting cheaper and cheaper along with it getting faster and faster if we just look at the last 5 yrs of SSD to nvme evolution. This is a positive thing, indeed.

Not so happy, is the proprietary expansion slot on the xbox SX -which so far no other 3rd party are talking about making storage drives for this slot, or does the port allow simply throwing on a slower ssd via that port, allowing seamless integration. I prefer a simple a nvme slot, that would allow us to slip in our own storage with no worry about proprietary licensing or flashing. A couple of thunderbolt ports would be nice .. but really that would be adding to much to the cost. But spending a lot of money on a seagate proprietary storage upgrade when there are way cheaper (dollar per/ gigabyte) solutions, is not consumer friendly either.

I do like what Sony is doing, a very fast internal SSD with a simple nvme upgrade slot (long as the bandwidth is compatiblee) and external SSD or HDD. Of course these stats are not set in stone, but Sony did release these specs.

Xbox SX compression is actually common and available for use with many APIs since DX12, it works great. I wonder if performance will drop after the internal ssd gets filled past 75% as headroom is needed. I rarely have had any problems like this, as i never keep more then a few games on a machine at a time, I play one all the way through and remove it. Your saves are kept auto, and we can always download the game again if for any reason need to play it. Keeping several dozen games at the ready was never something practical nor commonly used.

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bababooey12

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@jenovaschilld: Trying to figure out exactly what it is you're saying, Series X is going to have custom NVMe SSD and can support up to 1T and than it will have a "proprietary 1TB SSD expansion card from Seagate. While it's a separate product from the console itself, it's said to work seamlessly and without any performance loss." This sounds great to me, now granted I like you don't keep games on my drive forever, quite frankly I think 1TB is plenty, especially in this day and age where downloading a game is a lot quicker, plus if you uninstall it you can always just reinstall later. I mean its not like we are using dial up for those old enough to know what that is lol.

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jenovaschilld

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@bababooey12: Yeah, what i said above was right. I wished the xbox SX would have a nvme slot, so that the gaming consumer could drop in 'whatever size and kind of ssd' they wanted into it.

As of right now, the xbox SX has 1tb of nvme internal- and you can only upgrade it with the proprietary ssd expansion card. not sure if hdd external.

The ps5 has the much faster SSD nvme internal, 825 gb, but does have a seperate NVME slot, that will allow you to put any kind, as long as it is to specs, pcie 4x. And hook up any HDD via usb.

Point is, a non -proprietary NVME slot is preferable, so the consumer can decide.

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bababooey12

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@jenovaschilld: SX has an internal 1T at 2.4, PS5 is 5.5, but only 824GB. Yes, they both have a separate slot and the SX will be a seagate one at 1T, plus it has the option again for an external HDD. I think most consumers could careless, you guys like the option, as for me if I can add the seagate one and it functions just as good as the internal, then what do I care if I couldn't pic out my own, as has been stated by other's too that 5.5 to 2.4 isn't that big of a difference, I mean what the PS5 might load things a little quicker. On my Xbox X, things already take no time at all to load etc. For thought, pulled from another website.

"Sony is also allowing PS5 owners to expand storage with regular NVMe PC drives, but there’s a slight caveat. We’re still waiting to see PCIe 4.0-based drives that will match the bandwidth of what Sony has implemented in the PS5, and compatibility could be complex given that Sony will need to validate that drives will be fast enough and compatible with the PS5."

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jenovaschilld

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@bababooey12: Actually, the proprietary 1 tb seagate plug in is just fine and dandy, but will not run at m.2 nvme speeds equivalent to pcie x4 but gen 2nvme that is the same as the internal non-volatile internal 1tb, (differences- not much really) The ps5 one is a slot that will take all m.2 nvme, but not the gen 1 of 2 versions, that really isn't sold much anymore. The speeds of the nvme slot for PS5 stats have been released as standard pcie 4, only the supped up internal, will run at that 5.5 speed. And it is very fast. But by in large m.2 nvme pcie x4 now, is far away most sold, just check newegg or amazon.

But really, none of that matters much as your comments are leaning way more towards console fanboy by stating information that is taken out of context and hold little foundation to the article above or my original comment. Your quoted comment was pulled from polygon way back in march 13th.. and makes it seem like the nvme slot is something special beyond, the most common stuff sold for the PC market.

I would prefer xbox to implement a nvme slot like sony has, simply because a proprietary drives reduces choices. Not because I give a rat ass about one console over the other, games are always more important than consoles.

- Maybe I only want to put in a $55, 500gb ssd, instead of a 1tb.

-Maybe future prices of WD ssd become very low, and a 1tb is 1/2 the price of the Seagate proprietary.

-I upgrade my PC and want to give away some ssds to others, for their consoles.

History has shown- that proprietary, anything, traditionally carries a higher price tag, per unit, then general standard units which allow market forces to give consumers better value. I dont care about platform this or that, and fanboy banter is meaning less. WE are all gamers, and getting the best value, best performance, per dollar is most important. Your comments above suggest that a proprietary drive is equivalent to a standard drive slot, which it is not, not at all.

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Edited By bababooey12

@jenovaschilld: Ah, the typical fanboy response, find it pretty funny considering to me based on what I read, Sony console owners and PC owners seem to be the biggest fanboys and on top of that the loudest on the forums, always touting how the PS or PC is better than the xbox or like the Tech Demo, they were all excited over that, because it has Sony's name on it lol you don't even know what the console looks like yet, but they'll go ahead and talk about great it is and buy one simply, because it sold more console's than the Xbox, lol great reason....The difference is I can't recall reading a comment where Xbox players talk about how much Sony sucks etc, I think Sony players should humble themselves a bit, as for you I have been debating back and fourth, having a discussion hardly does that make me a so called fanboy lol. Also I like how you rope in the PC, we aren't comparing the PS5 to the PC at least I wasn't, I was comparing the PS5 to the Xbox SX, I could careless about what options you want with your PC or the PC in general, that's another thing your PC player's always have to try and make themselves relevant in the forums, especially those which are about the consoles, talk about fanboys, just trying to figure out why you guys always feel the need to chime in "PC is still better anyways I'll just play it on there or something along those lines..." lol makes you guys sound ignorant. Another thing too I doubt most will even ultilze the extra slot, the option looks neat, but I highly doubt I will use more then the 1TB that comes with the system, have yet to use more then that on my X.

"Your comments above suggest that a proprietary drive is equivalent to a standard drive slot, which it is not, not at all."

I never said they were the same, but in regards to the xbox Series X, if the extra slot has a seagate SSD only and it's near identical to the internal one, then what do I care, especially since its optional I may or may not even get one too me 1TB is plenty, but to Sony players they think it makes the PS better like the option to choose means its the better console.

I agree with you on one thing, games mean everything and seeing how most games can be played on both Sony and Xbox, I don't have a problem there.

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Edited By jenovaschilld

@bababooey12: You missed the whole point again, you still see everything through glasses as 'a platform over another'. It was never that, it was an option on a device, for a gaming consumer over another, not a platform. That is why you fail.

If we were discussing flex fuel on a vehicle, commercial skip on a DVR player, button fly over zipper, you would still see it as one brand over another. If a substandard option is good for you, that is fine, but my comment above in regards to the article was, it could be better for the whole.

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Edited By bababooey12

@jenovaschilld: I understood exactly what point you were trying to make as I pointed out by my last post, you trying to repeat what you originally posted, won't make me change my response, not fault you can't understand what I wrote...here's a little section for you...

" I never said they were the same, but in regards to the xbox Series X, if the extra slot has a seagate SSD only and it's near identical to the internal one, then what do I care, especially since its optional I may or may not even get one too me 1TB is plenty, but to Sony players they think it makes the PS better like the option to choose means its the better console."

I hate to break it to you, but it is one platform over another aka PS5 over Xbox SX. The PS5 has the option, the Xbox SX doesn't, yeah the consumer might want the choice, as I pointed out though this consumer doesn't care, its not going to make or break my decision on which console I decide to get, because to me its something minor, especially since at the end of the day I probably won't even use the extra slot, because 1TB is plenty...do you understand better now.

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jenovaschilld

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@bababooey12: Oh i get it, then dont comment on my comments if you dont know your shit and only care about yourself. If your happy congrats, us grown ups would like something better.

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@jenovaschilld: aka blah blah, I've nothing else to post so your just going to post more nonsense, I expected nothing more from you. That's good for you, enjoy your PC, I'll continue to enjoy my X, as well as the next system, I'm sure there will be plenty of other people doing the same as well, don't post ignorant comments and people won't respond to them, don't like it cry me a river.

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@bababooey12: Oh that is the first time I have heard that x sx will have a separate NVME slot- besides its built in storage- that will allow you to drop in your own storage. That is cool, not heard that.

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I hope they do ir right, i wanted to play just the campaign of gears 4, and I had to download the entire game over 100gb. Must let you administrate language on games, no just compress we can be able to delete the ones we don't use, not even download if don't want, pinball fx must let you delete demo tables (I can't delete universal one, not even reinstalling the game) and so the list goes

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alaannn

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the problem is the devs are increasing the size on purpose they are doing it so less games can be installed so people play there game,,if a game goes over 50 gb ms and sony should look at the game too see if it can be decreased modern consoles can only have a few aaa games installed on next gen the consoles will be unusable if they dont fix it

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bababooey12

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@alaannn: lol the sizes of the games vary, depending on the dev, as well as type of game. I like to feel that most delete games as they go, knowing they can reinstall it later, maybe that's just me, but why would I want ten games on my drive, when I can only play one at a time lol.

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@bababooey12: i dont want to install a game everytime i want to play a game,if i buy a console i want a large libary of games for it and it definitly should be able to play more than 10 games,also alot of people share consoles so they will want different games to play not uninstalling everytime someone else plays on that console

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@alaannn: I get what you're saying, but at any rate 2TB wouldn't be enough? You have the initial 1TB and then you can add the card giving you another 1TB. To each their own I guess, in this day and age internet is a lot faster I can download like 50gig in tops a half hour. I guess that's why I'm a little different and as for sharing consoles that's why I have two. I would like to think that rather then sharing one people tend to have multiple consoles, especially since you can share xbox live and games. The point is there are ways around the lack of storage, although I feel 1TB let alone 2TB is quite generous, really wouldn't expect much difference from Sony too.

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alaannn

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@bababooey12: i have 2 xbox ones aswell do you know how too play both at the same time.i can download a game fast aswell but i dont want to wait 30 mins everytime i change games

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jenovaschilld

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@alaannn: LoL, best conspiracy theory I have heard this year. Vaccines and large games... lol.

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alaannn

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@jenovaschilld: can you prove im wrong

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jenovaschilld

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@alaannn: I never have to prove stupidity, when it proves itself so well.

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alaannn

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@jenovaschilld: so you couldnt prove it yet you call someone else stupid

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@alaannn: I’m fascinated by people like you.

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