Upgrading your games to 4K quality on the Xbox One X comes with a hefty cost when it comes to your console's storage, a blow that Microsoft's Albert Penello is saying would be softened by purchasing an external hard drive to accompany the console.
The 4K aspect of the console is the whole reason that's driving pretty much everyone who wants an Xbox One X, but even though the patches were expected to be pretty sizeable, they're turning out to be bigger than initially expected. On average, they're over 100 GB in size, and Quantum Break's Xbox One X update alone takes up a whopping 174 GB. These updates will quickly fill up the hard drive that comes with the console – a 1 TB hard drive, not a 2 TB version that shipped with some Xbox One S consoles – Penello told GameInformer in an interview that they're working on optimizing the way Xbox owners download updates.
"We're generally seeing that the 4K patches are bigger, but they're obviously not double or four times bigger," Penello told GameInformer. "They're on average probably a third larger than the 1080p assets. We're doing a lot of what we call intelligent delivery to help that on both consoles. We have enabled a new set of tools for developers to allow them to segment the assets by console, and also things that take up a lot of space like language packs and stuff like that, which typically go down as one big download. We're making a lot of effort with developers to make downloads better."
But in the meantime, Penello says that buying an external hard drive would be a viable solution to add some much-needed space.
"The last thing is that I do encourage the external hard drive as something we've supported from the get-go. We've found that even when we had internal hard drive swap ability like on Xbox 360, that people don't really like to crack open their consoles. Having external hard drive support – and those are very affordable these days; there was just this 4 TB on sale for, like, $110 I think – is a great way to get a ton of storage."