Xbox One HD can’t be swapped out, but can use external drives

The Xbox One, revealed last night to be an all-in-one home entertainment system, has a 500GB drive that is “non-user-serviceable” reports Engadget. During a brief interview with Albert Penello of Microsoft, it confirmed that the included 500GB drive won’t be user replaceable, but on the upside the USB 3.0 input will accept external drives.

There’s the two USB 3.0 ports in the middle of the Xbox One

Penello said that the external storage can be used for anything the internal storage is needed for. That includes games saves, installations, achievement points, user profiles, music and video. With the original Xbox 360, adding storage was a doodle  — all you need do is clip in and clip out the overly expensive drive. The slimline Xbox 360 made life a little more troublesome by forcing us to remove a plate on the bottom of the console to access the drive.

There’s no mention of the file system the external hard drive will have to be formatted to — the Xbox 360 uses FAT16 — but since the new internal drive is half a terabyte and there’s a USB 3.0 port, we can assume that external drives of 500GB and larger will work with the Xbox One. With news that the Xbox One doesn’t have to be always-online, this means that Microsoft is still committed to the non-connected millions who’ll purchase the new console. This commitment extends to content, as instead of streaming music/video from the cloud, users can instead connect their media drives to play content on the “amazing entertainment platform” called the Xbox One.

The Xbox One launched last night, a “simple. instant. complete” console that swaps between the TV, internet, games and media content with voice commands and enhanced Kinect gestures. Games can now be run directly from Xbox One without the need for the disc, that is after the mandatory game installation. But original Xbox 360 games will not work anymore  and gamers with second-hand Xbox One games will have to pay a fee before installation.

It’s a crazy new world, and the Xbox One is leading the charge. Read our full coverage of the Xbox One’s launch here and wait patiently for E3 2013 where the rest of consoles goodies will be shown off.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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