The Xbox Series X sports 1 Terabyte (TB) of internal storage (and the Series S has half that). While this might’ve been impressive a couple years ago, in the year of our lord 2023 the proliferation of digital titles, title updates means 1TB won’t necessarily keep your game library on your console. For those whose internet bandwidth is limitless, deleting and reinstalling games won’t be a problem, but for those whose internet is less robust this option isn’t quite as viable.
Seagate, who is the only hardware manufacturer of the Series X|S’s Storage Expansion Card has historically offered branded hard drives for the Xbox (Halo Infinite and Cyberpunk comes to mind) and in celebrating the long awaited title from Bethesda Studios, the hard drive manufacturer put out 2 special edition products with Starfield branding. The Game Drive for Xbox: Starfield Special Edition which comes in two configurations 2TB/5TB and Game Drive Hub for Xbox: Starfield Special Edition Hub which is only available in 8TB. We were fortunate enough to be sent the latter and we put it to the test to see if it was worth a buy.
Aesthetically the unit is themed after the Constellation, the New Atlantis based faction in Starfield. The group’s logo is actually present on the hub, on the lower right corner and is more subtle than it’s placement on it’s Game Drive counterpart. It’s primarily white and this makes it feel sterile but the markings on the unit work decoratively and functionally. Text denoting the contents of the hub (8TB 3.5” Internal drive) as well as notations pointing out air vents really make you feel this could be a piece of equipment found on a ship that can take you to the stars. The bottom plate of the unit is colored maroon and perhaps cheekily informs the unit is “Approved For Interplanetary Travel”.
The front panel is also lit in a cascade of primary colors which make up the Constellation logo and can be customized using a PC based app and it is compatible with Razer’s Synapse software meaning you can coordinate the hub’s lights with other Synapse supported products. The Hub also sports a USB 3 and a USB C port not found on the Game Drive, they are placed on the front panel for easy access and allow you daisy chain other devices.
Using the Game Drive Hub is pretty straight forward, just plug in the power adapter and plug the USB cable into the Xbox console. The console will automatically detect it and offer an initial set up of asking whether you want this to be a media storage drive (which means it can be accessed on PCs) or a Game Storage drive. Setup takes seconds and you’re good to go.
Unfortunately the Game Drive Hub’s drive is not rated for gameplay meaning any games stored in it will need to be transferred to either the Xbox’s Internal Drive or an Expansion Card in order to used. I attempted to do a slightly more advanced test of the Hub vs a Game Drive for Xbox SSD, but when attempts to transfer Starfield (101.02GB) kept failing on the Game Drive for Xbox SSD, I opted to scrap the more thorough test. I did however record that transferring the game from the internal storage to the hub took around 13 minutes and the inverse was actually faster at around 9 minutes.
In terms of storage 8TB is a significant upgrade compared to the 1TB of the console’s internal storage. However my biggest sticking point with the Game Hub is that it requires external power. Some minor searching seems to indicate the largest hard drive that doesn’t require external power is 5TB, so I would assume the Game Drives would be able to draw power from the devices it’s connected to. The Hub comes with an AC adapter whose plug will more than likely block other outlets unless you use an extender, so that’s something you have to account for. In addition, if you want to fidget with the lighting of the unit you will need to connect it to a PC and if your PC and Xbox have some distance between them I would recommend to settle on
Ultimately if outlets aren’t an issue I would say the Game Drive Hub is your best bang for your buck in terms of capacity. Whether you place it vertically or horizontally it will look slightly out of place with the Xbox, unless you commit to ordering the Starfield Console Wrap that is set to release in mid October. Either way looks like I won’t have to delete anything on my Xbox Series X for a while.
Note: Seagate provided us with a Game Drive Hub for Xbox Starfield Edition for review purposes.