The Best Deals on External Hard Drives for Your Xbox One

By Sam Quirke,
Xbox One storage Black Friday deals

Now more than ever, dedicated Xbox gamers are feeling the pinch when it comes to having enough hard drive space on their consoles. Thanks to several years of generous 4-game offerings each month with Games with Gold and the bafflingly good deal that is Xbox Game Pass, the amount of temptation in our Ready to Install lists is overwhelming. There's also the fact that the year's big releases almost always have at least one patch soon after launch that seems to be about as big as the original game. Players with Xbox One X consoles will also be filling up their drives with extra beautiful detail on their Xbox One X enhanced games, and Project Scarlett games and enhancements will surely tax our storage space even further.

That's why Black Friday 2019 is typically an excellent time to shop around for some portable storage.

HDD or SSD?

The hard drives you should be shopping for on Xbox One typically come in two flavours. HDD (Hard Disk Drive) has a literal disk inside the casing, onto which data is written. A device like the Xbox One reads data from the disk as it spins. An SSD (Solid State Drive) doesn't have a rotating disk – as the name implies, its a solid piece of kit.

So what's the difference? An HDD is reliant on the rotation speed of the disk (its RPM) to determine its read speed, whereas SSDs can reach higher read speeds due to the fact that there are no analogue moving parts in the equation. In gaming terms, the difference is found in load times and performance – the quicker game data can be read from a device, the more potential there is for better loading times and better game performance in general. It's not going to make a huge difference for entry-level gamers, but as time moves on and games get more resource heavy, SSDs are getting more and more popular. The other issue is maintenance – with a spinning part, HDDs are more likely to break or wear out over time. If you are travelling a lot with your portable storage, SSDs are going to be much more capable of surviving a drop or a bash.

The choice comes down to a few factors: How much storage space you want, how much you care about a percentage change in loading times (maybe 20%, with the best drives), and how much money you have to spend. HDDs are typically available in larger sizes and stay cheaper as you travel up the terabyte quantity. SSDs on the other hand increase exponentially in price, becoming pretty unreasonable for the casual player past the 1 or maybe 2 terabyte range.

Whatever you choose, we recommend sticking to products that are either specifically labelled as compatible with Xboxes, or at least have a wealth of evidence that the drive plays well with a console. There are brands out there that are delivering storage options for PC specifically and for general purpose use with consoles as well – often these products are in the same range, so just be savvy about it.

Here's the best expanded storage options we've seen out in the wild so far, in the US and UK.

UK Deals

The crowd favourite when it comes to well-performing SSD drives in an affordable range is the Samsung Portable SSD. Amazon UK have the T5 500 GB drive for £79.97, which only a few other UK stores can compete with; both Box and Curry's have the same deal. At least you can shop around for your preferred colour. If you're tempted to up things to 1TB, Amazon UK have the T5 1TB at £113.49 down from a previous low of £153.

If you want to up your game though, you probably want to start looking at the SanDisk Extreme range. Not only are these SSDs absolutely dinky compared to other products – it'll easily fit in a pocket – they also boast 550Mb/s on the standard range and a whopping 1050Mb/s on the Pro range. They are all rugged and resistant to water and dust, too. You'll have to go for the Pro if you want a USB-C connection; the standard range operates a USB 1.1 interface. Once again Amazon UK seem to have the stock and price to beat so far.

Product Sale Price Regular Price Store Links
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 1 TB £114.79 £234.99 View
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 2TB £220.99 £474.99 View
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 500 GB £68.79 £126.99 View
SanDisk Extreme PRO 1 TB Portable SSD £195.99 £268.99 View
SanDisk Extreme PRO 500 GB Portable SSD £110.99 £142.99 View
On the HDD front, the ever-reliable WD MyPassport range is a good option. Currys UK have the WD My Passport Portable Hard Drive - 5 TB down to £99.99, almost a quarter off its previous low. Alternatively, there's the Amazon exclusive Seagate range, all handsomely reduced and well liked by critics and users alike:

Product Sale Price Regular Price Store Links
Seagate Expansion Amazon Special Edition 1TB External 2.5 Portable Hard Drive £33.99 £54.99 View
Seagate Expansion Amazon Special Edition 2TB External 2.5 Portable Hard Drive £47.99 £74.99 View
Seagate Expansion Amazon Special Edition 4TB External 2.5 Portable Hard Drive £75.99 £82.99 View
Seagate Expansion Amazon Special Edition 5TB External 2.5 Portable Hard Drive £71.99 £130.07 View
If you absolutely must have Xbox branded drives, there are a couple of options. The WD_Black 5TB P10 Game Drive for Xbox One is reduced from £139.99 to £99.99 on Amazon UK, which actually makes it a bit cheaper than its non-branded counterpart. Alternatively you can get the Seagate Game Drives, available either in a traditional Xbox green or a sleek white to match your new Xbox One S. There are 2TB and 4TB flavours of both. There aren't many decent discounts on the range, but the most significant is on the white 4 TB Game Drive: Xbox Game Pass Special Edition at Amazon UK, dropping to £80.99 from a previous low of £95. There's also the whopping 8TB Xbox branded variant; if you want this beast, The Seagate 8 TB Game Drive Hub for Xbox is down to £109.99 from a previous low of £134.99. Bear in mind it really is a chunk, over one and a half inches thick and nearly eight inches long.

There's some tempting low prices among the Toshiba Canvio range on Amazon UK too, but there's also a lot of reports of functionality problems on the smaller sizes. For only a slight extra in most cases, we recommend going for one of the more known and reliable storage brands.

US deals

That chunky Seagate Game Drive Hub for Xbox 8TB External Hard Drive is down to $139.99 on Amazon US, from a previous low of $150. Best Buy have the same deal, but they're chucking in $25 to spend at Shutterfly or an 8x8 photo book, if that sorts out another holiday present for you in one purchase.

Best Buy have a WD Easystore 5TB hard drive for just $89.99 – it's a sleek slim little thing, and WD are always a reliable bet. Speaking of WD, a lot of experts rave about the MyPassport range as an all-round best option for HDD storage – you can get a fancy red My Passport Portable at Office Depot for $64.99 down from $109.99.

In terms of SSDs, that well-loved Samsung T5 1TB is $139.99 at Best Buy; it's the same price at Amazon US too, where the rugged SanDisk range detailed in the UK section is also on offer. Don't be fooled by the $10 off the 500GB Samsung T5s, though – that size has been floating along at pretty much the same price for months.

Product Sale Price Regular Price Store Links
Samsung T5 Portable SSD 1TB - Black $137.99 $166.99 View
Samsung T5 Portable SSD 1TB - Gold $139.99 $166.99 View
Samsung T5 Portable SSD 1TB - Red $139.99 $166.99 View
Samsung T5 Portable SSD 2TB - Black $249.99 $299.99 View
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD $124.99 $169.99 View
SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable External SSD $89.99 $169.99 View
Those are the best deals we have been able to find so far. Check in again this Cyber Monday for more offers, and let the community know what you've found in the comments below!

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Sam Quirke
Written by Sam Quirke
Sam has been a Newshound since 2016 and is now the Editor for both TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies. He loves gaming on all devices and in all genres. He remains a stubborn Assassin's Creed and Pokémon fan.