During the past year I've found myself regularly uninstalling games on my consoles to make room for new titles. It seems that every time I'm sent a review copy I find myself in a situation of having to decide which game to let go of, to a point where I've had to cut loose some of my recent favorites including Persona 5 and Nioh.
Given that the early iterations of the PS4 and Xbox One only had 500GB of storage, and the Nintendo Switch maxes out at 32GB, I'm not alone in this.
Thankfully, there's a solution for this specific problem: additional storage space.
Seagate has recently become king of the console storage kingdom, offering a variety of official SSD and HDD solutions that, in our limited experience, have been tasteful. This time around we've been graced by the Seagate Game Drive Hub, an 8TB drive that looks to rid the world of game uninstalls. Is it worth your hard-earned cash?
Setup and Design
Similar to the Seagate SSD that we reviewed back in December, the plug-and-play nature of the Game Drive Hub is one of its greatest qualities. Installing it is as simple as connecting it via USB and then reading on-screen prompts. It doesn't even matter whether or not the Xbox One is running during the procedure. Within seconds the Xbox One recognizes the Game Drive Hub as if they were old friends, soon prompting you to decide on whether or not to make your default destination for installs.
This process of going from connecting the Game Drive Hub to using it is less than just a couple minutes, staying in line with the simplicity of the console ecosystem. You don't have to take your console apart, or do anything difficult for that matter. Out of the box it's ready to go.
But before you ever set up the device, chances are you'll notice how large it is. Measuring at 1.61 x 4.65 x 7.8 and weighing at 1.96 pounds, it's more than twice the size of its SSD brothers. In-fact, it's roughly half an Xbox One S. This is to be expected given that it's an HDD, but should be noted for consumers with limited entertainment area space.
On the note of physical characteristics, the Game Drive Hub emulates the visual appearance of the Xbox One S with great attention to detail. Shrouded in an angelic white shell with glossy black accents, it's officially branded to fit in right next to an Xbox One S console. It's visually appealing, with a better presence than solutions seen in the prior generation of consoles. This makes its size less of a problem by contributing to the uniformity of a gaming center, presenting itself like just another device in your stack rather than an outcast trying to fit in.
Thanks to Microsoft's inclusion of USB 3.0 ports on the Xbox One, the Game Drive Hub operates at a maximum transfer rate of 640MB/s. This far surpasses read/write speeds for SATA-II, while falling under the rate of SATA-III.
The bottleneck here is HDD technology. This is a magnetic-based drive with platters that spin, producing heat and noise. It's an older technology that many would have hoped dissolved at this point, but the main reason it has stayed around is it has a storage quantity and pricing advantage over SSD.
This might seem off-putting, but naturally the Xbox One uses an HDD. What you're effectively doing is adding another 8TB to your environment without making any dramatic changes, including affecting loading times.
As a trade-off, this drive has far more storage than any official console SSD product. With 8TB of space, it can store 80 games at a time if they're 50GB each. This allows the Game Drive Hub to be a great solution for digital-friendly gamers who want to spare themselves the heartache of having to regularly uninstall games. Chances are you can fit your entire digital library on this single solution, and then some.
Priced at $199, the value of the device is comparable to what's available on PC, whether you look at internal or external solutions. This wasn't the case in prior generations when console drives were sold at a premium, making this a respectable product.
The inclusion of two front-facing USB ports is something to consider. Although the Xbox One console has USB ports of its own, only one is available in the front. This allows you to connect a few controllers or other accessories in a neat and accessible manner.
Lastly, for those who would prefer a solution that's less expensive, Seagate offers 2TB and 4TB Game Drives that are virtually identical to the 8TB variant from a product standpoint. Both of these products include up to two months of Xbox Live for free.
For gamers who are tired of uninstalling games on their console, Seagate has arrived with a remedy that is visually attractive and gets the job done at a reasonable price.
Jonathan Leack is the Executive Editor of GameRevolution. You can follow him on Twitter @JonnyBeoulve.
A Seagate Game Drive Hub for Xbox unit was provided by its manufacturer. Several configurations are available for PS4 and Xbox One, including SSDs and HDDS of various capacities. You can see more here.