Ask any core gamer out there and they’ll likely tell you the same thing. That is, that 500 gigabytes of storage is too little for a current-generation console such as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Yet, whether for cost cutting reasons or out of a desire to upsell us later, both Sony and Microsoft launched the base versions of their new-ish devices with such limited hard drives. And, as the generation has progressed, its gigantic install sizes — which sometimes reach forty or fifty gigs per game — have left us wishing for more.
That said, it’s not too difficult to swap out the PlayStation 4’s internal hard drive for a larger one, though it’s not something that an everyday person will feel comfortable doing. When it comes to Microsoft’s Xbox One, though, things are a lot easier, because the console provides support for up to two external hard drives thanks to a previously-released update. Going the external route is not only easier, but it’s also a relatively cost effective way of increasing the storage capabilities of one’s system.
Unsurprisingly, the decision to make external hard drives compatible with Xbox One has allowed companies to market specific drives to the console’s user-base. One such product happens to be the Other World Computing Upgrade Kit for Xbox One, which comes in three different varieties: 1 terabyte, 1 terabyte hybrid (with SSD capabilities) and 2 terabyte.
Last month, We Got This Covered was sent a press kit containing a 1TB OWC hybrid drive, alongside its packed-in leather carrying pouch and USB 3.0 connector cable. And, as someone who’s been dealing with limited hard drive space, I was incredibly excited to add it to the Xbox One I regularly use for review purposes.
The good news is that this Other World Computing Upgrade Kit for Xbox One is an easy way to add space to one’s console. In fact, it’s so easy to use that any gamer can do so. All you need to do is plug the drive into one of the USB 3.0 ports on the side or back of your system, and format it. Don’t be intimidated, though, because formatting the thing is incredibly simple, and really only takes the press of one button. Instructions are included, though, just in case.
After just a couple of minutes, you’ll be able to expand your storage by up to four times, though in our case, we only bolstered ours by about 900gb. The reason we were sent this particular drive, though, is because of its hybrid SSD design, which promises and delivers shorter loading times. So, if you’re interested in trimming your games’ loading times, this is something to check out, as it can cut them by up to 39%.
However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention that I ran into one issue with the drive I was sent, which forced me to have to send it back to OWC. To their credit, though, their customer service was fast and accommodating, and had a new drive in my hands within just a couple of days. They also don’t manufacture their own hard drives, so take note that what you’ll be getting for your money is another company’s drive with a basic matte black OWC casing. It’s a pretty standard-looking and thin drive, which doesn’t sport flashy logos or anything like that.
So, what was the problem? Well, after working well to begin with, I started to notice install errors while using the drive. The first time, I started downloading a game just to have the My Games & Apps app freeze and crash, which was followed by an alert that stated that my install had failed. I hoped it was just a glitch and continued on, but the same thing happened to me two times in a row while downloading Jetpack Refuelled from Rare Replay. After that, I got in contact with the PR reps who’d sent me the drive and asked for a replacement.
Unfortunately, hard drives aren’t flawless, and it is possible to get a bad drive. I also happen to have bad luck with tech, because I always seem to be the one who — against all odds — ends up buying defective consoles and the like. That said, I’m happy to report that my replacement drive seems to be fine. One install did stop out of the blue, but that could’ve been an issue with Xbox Live, given that the game I was downloading had yet to be released. It also didn’t fail at the beginning of its installation process (prior to reaching 1%, that is), so it doesn’t seem to be the same problem.
It’s also important to note that, since receiving these drives, I’ve had them plugged in and set as my default storage space. That means that everything I install is downloaded directly to the external. It’s nice, and provides peace of mind, because my Internet isn’t incredibly fast and I was worried that downloading large files over the course of ten to twenty-plus hours was causing a lot of wear on my console’s internal drive.
Going further, I’ve also easily moved multiple games from one hard drive to the other, without any sort of difficulty. It’s a quick and easy option that shows smart and forward-thinking from Microsoft’s engineers. Said games have run very well, too, without any noticeable issues.
All in all, despite my original review unit being defective, I’ve been pretty impressed with the Other World Computing Upgrade Kit for Xbox One. It’s a seemingly solid product that does what it sets out to do. That said, it’s not the only available option out there, and is still a bit pricey at between $89.99 and $129.00 (USD).
Note: Our research shows that the basic 1TB OWC Xbox One Upgrade Kit is a 1.0TB HGST Travelstar™ 5K1000 Hard Disk Drive. Going further, the 2TB model is a 2.0TB Seagate Momentus/Samsung Spinpoint M9T, while the 1TB hybrid is a 1.0TB Toshiba Solid State Hybrid Hard Disk Drive. Each of these drives is 5400 RPM.
This review is based on a product that we were provided with.