Xbox One hard drive isn’t enough and it’ll impact users after 12 games

Early Xbox One dashboard red scheme

Xbox One features a non-upgradeable 500GB internal hard drive, which doubles the current storage capacity of Xbox 360, it seems like a lot storage, but it’s not and here is why: as soon you connect your game console, you’ll be prompted to download the day-one patch, which is required in order to play games and download apps, and this update is about 500MB.

Once the console isn’t a paperweight anymore, every game you want to play will need to be installed in the Xbox One hard drive, that being from a physical disc (Blu-ray) or digital download. And here is when you will start reducing the storage space, according to some  Xbox One Marketplace early screenshots from an user who was lucky enough to receive his console about 2 weeks before the big launch, games will vary on size and they will cost a good amount of space. For example, the NBA 2K14 is a 43GB download, Madden NFL 25 is 12GB, Dead Rising 3 is 19GB, Just Dance 2014 is 22GB, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag is 20GB, Call of Duty: Ghosts is 39GB, and Forza 5 is about 31GB.

Let’s do the math: 500MB + 43GB + 12GB + 19GB + 22GB + 20GB + 39GB + 31GB = 186.5GB. As you can see with only 7 games you’re already getting closer to filling up half of the internal hard drive capacity available in Xbox One, and this is without future updates or apps. So how many games will you be able to fit in your Xbox One? Basically you will start capping out after 12 games, though the number will vary with your game library.

The problem will come when the hard drive starts getting full and you’ll need to uninstall some of the games to install a new ones. The good news is that when you a buy a game you can re-download them again and you can also reinstall a physical disc, but it can be frustrating and time consuming task.

This technically means that at one point or another, games will eventually have to check back with Microsoft servers again. And if you ask me this is similar to the 24-hour online check that Microsoft reversed back in June, 2013. Because users will have to go through the process of reinstalling or re-downloading games, which is a longer process, even though digital download games can play before they are fully downloaded.

At launch both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will ship a 500GB internal hard drive and both consoles won’t have support for external drives. But the difference is that the storage drive in the PS4 is upgradable and Xbox One isn’t, but later on Microsoft will support external hard drive to expand storage in the game console via USB 3.0 — I just hope it doesn’t take too long.

Image credit @Moonlightswami

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].