Hands-on: Seagate's Game Drive for Xbox One SSD

It’s no secret that the digital game revolution is here and more gamers are choosing to download their games instead of walking into a GameStop or Best Buy to buy a physical copy of the game. Of course with this new way to buy games comes the problem with hard drive space.

In 2017, most AAA game are between 30GB to 50GB and that 500GB or 1TB on your consoles can fill up quick if you’re a hardcore gamer. For the past year or so I’ve been using the 2TB Game Drive from Seagate, which has been excellent.

Now Seagate is expanding its Game Drive line for Xbox One with a new 512GB SSD in an effort to not only expand your game storage, but speed up loading times too. We got to test out the drive with a couple of games and we can definitively say that load speeds are great improved.

We tested Final Fantasy XV, which I feel has horrendous load times when loading save point and trying to fast travel within the game. We also tested the game drive with Destiny to see if load times improved there was well.

As with any new external drive, as soon as we plugged it into the Xbox One, the drive had to be reformatted. Once that was complete, we started moving Final Fantasy XV from the Xbox One’s internal hard drive to the Game Drive. The size of the file was about 55GB and the transfer took about 12 minutes. You can only move one game at a time, so we moved Destiny next which is pretty much the same size and took the same amount of time.

In our timed tests before moving the Final Fantasy XV file over, these were the results:

  • 40 seconds to get to the main menu screen
  • 2:06 to load a save point
  • 2:15 to fast travel from one end of the map to the next.

After we moved the game to the Game Drive, the loading speeds were amazing.

  • 28 seconds to main menu screen
  • 34 seconds to load a save point
  • 36 seconds to fast travel from one end of the map to the next.

As you can see, it’s a huge decrease in load times.

Here’s what it looked like when we tested Destiny before we moved it to the Game Drive.

  • 55 seconds to get to the Choose Character screen
  • 1:05 to travel to a planet

After we moved Destiny to the Game Drive, loading speeds definitely improved.

  • 25 seconds to get to the Choose Character screen
  • 35 seconds to travel to a planet

When it comes to Destiny, there was also a significant decrease in loading times.

I loved the faster load times, but just like the 500GB internal hard drive on the Xbox One, the 512GB storage space on the Game Drive also dwindles pretty quickly. Final Fantasy XV and Destiny take up 100GB of space just like that.

So there’s a choice to make here in terms what you want invest in. The 512GB SSD Game Drive is priced at $199.99. You can get a 2TB Seagate Game Drive for $99.99 or a 4TB Seagate Game Drive for $149.99. With the SSD Game Drive, the investment seems mostly geared toward the load times. But it’s good to know the technology is here and when you're ready for faster load times on a console, it's now available.