When your typical Xbox One comes equipped with a minimal 500GB hard drive, and the Xbox 360 requires external storage, sooner or later, you are going to need an upgrade in order to play even the smallest of games. In response to this madness, Seagate, an industry leader in data storage, created their newest 2TB game drive in order to make sure your progress is never lost simply because you wanted to try out a console MMO. Simply meaning that when the world’s leader in digital storage says that you will never have to delete a game again, they mean it.
Packaged with the hardware is everything you will need to use the drive including the 2TB hard drive, an 18” USB 3.0 cable, a quick start user guide and a 2 year limited warranty. The hard drive itself is only slightly smaller than a 3×5” note card and can easily be tucked out of sight, however the typical black and green Xbox color scheme helps it blend with the rest of your gaming equipment without sticking out.
The USB 3.0 cable provides an unparalleled read and write speed for any hard drive, let alone a gaming drive. While surpassing the average speed of any USB 2.0 connection, the vastly superior 3.0 is so powerful that it can actually play the video games through the connection without any interruptions, all the while outperforming USB 2.0, Firewire 800, and under certain circumstances top of the line Thunderbolt equipment as well.
The true beauty of the cable however, is the backwards compatibility to communicate with USB 2.0 devices, which means that the game drive is equally as powerful on the Xbox 360 as it is on the next-generation of consoles, albeit just a little bit slower.
For the purpose of this review, the Seagate game drive was paired with an Xbox one that features 1TB of internal storage. The reassuring quality of a hard drive with 2TB of storage is that once all of your data is successfully stored on the drive, your previous usage is reduced to a quarter of what you were, meaning you can load all 500GB of video games onto the drive and still have 75% (1.5TB) left for future titles.
In an industry where games, and the necessary storage are becoming bigger and bigger, losing all of your saved data for a game can be absolutely devastating, particularly if the game you made space on your hard drive for ends up being the worst game you have ever bought. Buying a hard drive from Seagate not only ensures that you are buying a quality product, but the 2TB of space makes sure you have an excessive quantity as well.
The installation is the absolute easiest experience a person could possibly have with a brand new hard drive. However, people who are new to external hard drives may need a few pointers in order to get started.
For instance, people who are experienced with external hard drives, whether for gaming or otherwise, will understand the need to format the drive before use. Whereas someone whose tech knowledge ends at blowing into a cartridge to make it work again, may not understand the difference between a media drive and a game drive. Possibly leading to even more confusion when their system tells them that it can’t load any games onto the drive.
The simple solution is that once the hard drive’s software is successfully installed after plugging it in, to make sure that the game drive’s settings are set to game storage instead of Media storage. Once accomplished, the expanded storage becomes a passive experience that will never get in the way of any gaming experience.
Complimenting the easy to use installation is the management of data. While the only time people will use this feature is in the preliminary set-up, the true beauty is that the Xbox One has the ability to make your internal or external hard drive the primary device, so that whenever you do download a new game, it doesn’t make the mistake of trying to shove itself into an already crowded storage space.
What is even better is that the USB 3.0 connection means that a typical 30-40GB video game can be transferred from your internal to external drive in a matter of minutes. In an effort to put the device to the test, I was able to queue all 500GB of video game data currently on my Xbox console to transfer over to the 2TB game drive and the total process took just under an hour. A feat that would require several hours when using the most advanced Firewire connection.
Smaller titles such as State of Decay (4.6GB including all of it’s DLC) were done in less than 3 minutes, whereas larger title like The Elder Scrolls Online took only 13 minutes. The transfer is even less noticeable due to the fact that players can actually play other games off of the Seagate without any interruption, and experience only a few extra minutes tacked on to the transfer time.
All in all the only downside that exists in data management, is that games cannot be transferred unless they are completely up to date in terms of either downloadable content, or monthly updates. Ultimately the annoyance is only minor and is not a trait of the Seagate drive specifically, but the way the Xbox One communicates with external hard drives as a whole.
Although an increasingly online world has made it unnecessary to actually bring your games with you to a friends house, both Microsoft and Seagate have created an environment that is conducive to that experience should you ever need it.
Basically, should you be drastically far ahead of a friend in a game, or if they simply do not have that game in particular, you can load it onto your external drive, take it to their house, sign in to your Gamertag, plug in the drive and continue to beat each other senseless without having to re-download the game.
What is truly amazing about Seagate’s 2TB Game Drive is the incredible freedom that it enables you to have. Once the drive is set up, players will never even think about it, they won’t receive any error messages or even get the hint that you are running out of space. Freeing your internal hard drive allows gamers to try out new games more comfortably before committing to them, all without the soul crushing defeat of deleting a game they worked so hard to get every achievement in.
Seagate’s game drive is incredibly easy to manage, beautifully compliments the Microsoft palette and creates a worry free environment. While more space will always be welcome, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever need it.