Running games from external storage have been one of the boons of modern gaming. When a console’s internal storage is getting too low and that deleting existing contents is a hard option, having the ability to plug an external drive to play more games is indeed a blessing.
Sony’s PlayStation set the premise when it designed the early models with an expansion bay. Which was partly intended to put a 3.5” HDD into the console, in addition to a network adapter. Surprisingly, a feature that is not developed for the PlayStation 3, despite the Xbox 360’s functional support for external hard drives.
The PlayStation 4 did not originally have the same capability either, until only after some subsequent updates. But as games become somewhat exponentially larger beginning with the current-gen consoles, hard drives have become a necessity rather than an option.
The same will remain true when the next-gen consoles arrive, which will see massive triple-A titles amassing hundreds of Gigabytes’ storage space.
Native External Drive Support
Will-be Xbox Series X/S series will not worry about running out of needed memory space to store their games into, however. As the console will be running games directly from compatible external drives out-of-the-box. Which does not only speak of next-gen titles but also a myriad of backwards-compatible games from previous generation Xbox consoles.
The statement comes from Jason Ronald, Xbox director of program management, who sheds some light as to the simplicity of the entire process.
“It is easy as unplugging your existing external USB 3.1 HDD or SSD from your Xbox One and connecting it to your Xbox Series X/S and all your games are instantly available.”
“You can continue to play your favorite Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, directly from the external hard drive.”
Smoothly Shift Between Games
Aside from the feature that we’ve come to expect, Ronald also dabbled on the topic involving the Series X/S’ Quick Resume capability. Which, to those who did not know, is about the functionality to switch seamlessly between running games. A subject which the director himself confirmed.
Although common intuition about Quick Resume will be in the context of next-gen titles, Ronald also claims that the feature will work with backwards-compatible titles from an external hard drive. The latter being particularly less surprising considering the relatively less processing demand of emulating older games.
While promising by the sounds of it, the Xbox Series X/S will, however, require proprietary hardware for users to enjoy the stated advantages. It is not merely an issue of being exclusive to the console, but also its price. Which, to say the least, is pricey for most people’s budget.
Due to exclusive partnership, it’s Seagate that is the sole company to legitimately produce the expansion card for the Xbox Series X/S. At least, for now.
Image used courtesy of Maka91Productions/YouTube Screenshot