Let’s face it, the storage in these consoles have already hit a wall. There’s just so many games that have to either be downloaded or installed that the internal 500GBs just isn’t enough anymore. Unlike it’s Sony competitor, the Xbox One’s internal HDD can not be so easily changed. In fact doing so will void your warranty; so what’s a gamer to do then? The answer is very simple, external storage.
Other World Computing has three solutions for your Xbox One storage needs, a 1TB, 1TB hybrid SSHD, and a 2TB Drive. All three drives are USB 3.0 and if they’re anything like my review unit, very simple to set up. The drive they sent for review was the 1TB Hybrid drive that they state will reduce load times by 39%. It is a noticeable decrease but honestly plays second fiddle to the main purpose of the drive, and that’s to increase your storage. Once I received the box, I opened it to find an HDD, a cable, and a pouch to put it in, that’s it. Short and sweet, simple and to the point, so no complaints here since you’re paying for the storage.
As I mentioned earlier, setup is ridiculously simple. All you’ll need to do is plug in the HDD and then go find a new hobby to take up with all the free time you’ve just saved. Yes it’s just that simple, the Xbox One gives you a choice of where you’d like to set your installs and everything to, internal or external. You’ll get the option for doing both but hey, its just nice to see that ring of the amount of space you have left go from 90% used to like 34%. It’s such a great feeling of relief.
Was the Hybrid SSD faster? Yeah it was. Enough to be a game changer? Not necessarily, but still a noticeable decrease in load times. I loaded up Rare Replay onto the drive and to go from booting up the game to main menu shaved off around 10 seconds. It’s a nice bonus to have the Hybrid drive for sure but if you don’t want to spend the extra few bucks you could just get the standard 1TB or pull out a few more bills for the 2TB drive and deal with normal load times.
Moving games over from the internal storage to the external was quick as well, only a couple seconds were needed to get individual games on to the OWC SSHD with larger titles like Forza Horizon 2 taking a minute or two. The unit itself looks pretty slick, it’s thin and the same shade of black as the Xbox One, so if you’re sitting the drive on top of the unit you may not even notice it’s there. Except for the bright blue light that flickers when the drive is being used. I’d have turned down the brightness on that if I were given the option. Another issue I had with the unit was that when the Xbox One was in standby mode, the SSHD unit would wind up and click off multiple times as if it were trying to write something but couldn’t. This was infrequent but happened enough that it should be mentioned.
The pricing isn’t too far out of line with what you would find with other external drives although they are on the higher end of that. The 1TB runs runs $89.00, 1TB Hybrid $124.00, and 2TB for $134.00. I’d recommend these drives to anyone looking for additional space on the Xbox Ones so that they too can actually store and install a majority of their games.
A hardware unit was provided by OWC for review purposes