It’s not like Microsoft hasn’t done it before. It’s just in the two years since the 2TB One S (below), the only other hardware with the same amount of storage was a special edition Gears of War 4 One S and Sea of Thieves Game Drive from Seagate. There have been countless other, smaller bundles since. Microsoft defended this stance last fall, saying its data shows people on average own 15 games at most across the lifespan of a console, and that 1TB was the right size for them.
When every big budget game costs $60, that might hold water. But throughout the presentation today Microsoft kept pushing Game Pass, its $10 per-month all-you-can-eat digital subscription service for Xbox games. Every Xbox exclusive will be available via Game Pass day and date with physical copies, which means more people will have more games on their hard drives at any given moment. In June, Microsoft said that people were playing “more games than ever before” in the year since Game Pass was launched.
The One X reserves 220GB for system data alone.
A 1TB hard drive doesn’t translate to 1TB of storage space, though. The One X, for instance, reserves 220GB for system data alone. This fall’s One X Forza Horizon 4 bundle comes with downloads for Horizon 4 and last year’s Motorsport 7, both fully optimized for the more powerful hardware. The latter is just under 100GB. Comparatively, Horizon 3 from 2016 received a very post-launch One X update, adding HDR and native 4K resolution. The patch was around 700MB and total file size is just over 50GB.
This fall’s Horizon 4 however boasts 60FPS visuals, a first in the sub-series’ six-year history, full seasonal cycles and just more in general. It was the first to be developed with the One X in mind from the outset as well. If that’s the case, it’ll probably take up as much hard drive space as Motorsport 7. Between those two games and system software, just over half the storage is left. If you’re a fan of Microsoft’s other franchises like Halo and Gears of War the most recent games are each over 100GB thanks to One X enhancements. Quantum Break, another One X enhanced exclusive is 84GB.
Even standard AAA games without 4K embellishments have swollen to over 50GB each, without accounting for title updates and add-ons. The nasty side effect of games looking better is that they’re getting bigger. It seems like Microsoft didn’t account for that when it started pushing 4K to the masses with the One S.