Seagate has announced its partnership with Microsoft for the next generation of gaming. The storage brand has unveiled the official Xbox Series X expansion card, which expands the console's storage capacity.
Although primarily focused on the more general computing world, Seagate has a long-running association with gaming brands. Its PS4 and Xbox One-branded game drives are the leading choices when it comes to expanding the storage of current-gen consoles, which is so desperately needed by this point.
READ MORE: Xbox Series X pre-order guide
Read on for all the details on the new expansion card for Xbox Series X...
Xbox Series X expansion card specs
According to the product's official website, the Seagate expansion card is a custom PCIe Gen4x2 NVMe drive with 1 TB storage. It is expected that 2 TB and maybe 4 TB options will be added later.
The company explains that the card "syncs with the ultra-powerful Xbox Velocity Architecture's groundbreaking hardware, CPU, and deep software integration," meaning basically that the drive serves as a true extension to the console and will be able to access its content quickly and effectively.
READ MORE: All the latest news and rumours on the Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X expansion card features
Seagate's new game drive is designed to utilise the power of the Xbox Series X to deliver lightning-fast access to content without compromise. It plugs straight into the back of the console in order to do this, rather than current game drives which usually hook up by USB.
Jeff Fochtman, Senior Vice President at Seagate, explained: "Seagate's Xbox Series X Storage Expansion Card technology delivers additional game storage at peak speeds, replicating the console's internal SSD experience. We are proud to join forces with Xbox and can't wait to help gamers immerse themselves in the high-fidelity experience."
One feature highlighted on the product page is called Quick Resume, which apparently "enables players to seamlessly switch between multiple titles and resumes instantly from where you last left off - always the same speed from the expansion card and the internal SSD." A very nice feature indeed.
READ MORE: Xbox Series S pre-order guide
Xbox Series X expansion card price
An unconfirmed leak from Reddit previously suggested the card could cost $219.99, but there is no official news yet regarding a starting price for the drive. A 1 TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD currently retails in excess of £150, so that could well be a good place to start guessing and budgeting.
READ MORE: The best external hard drives to buy for PS4 and Xbox One
Xbox Series X expansion card release date
The product page at the moment simply states "Holiday 2020" as the drive's release date, in much the same way as that's all we have for the new consoles. It's likely that the expansion drive will drop on the same day as the Xbox Series X on November 12.
READ MORE: Xbox boss envisions more consoles beyond the Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X expansion card pre-order
While the Xbox Series X is now available to pre-order as of September 22, Seagate's expansion card is currently not available. We'd expect that pre-orders will open pretty soon, but for now, you can register your interest in the expansion card via this link.
Will there be a version for PS5?
Given that Seagate currently has officially licensed game drives available for both PS4 and Xbox One, the assumption is that yes, there will be something produced for the PS5.
Nothing on the product page says that the partnership with Microsoft is "exclusive". That means the door is wide open for Seagate to work with Sony as well. Or maybe we'll see a similar product from another brand?