A non-replaceable hard drive. Five NTFS partitions. 391 gigabyte free for your own personal use. Why is it that I get the feeling that this probably won't end well for hardcore gamers looking to build a healthy collection of titles on their Xbox One?
Hardware repair website iFixIt did a comprehensive breakdown of the Xbox One, pre-launch (and we're about an hour out from the official midnight drop of the Xbox One; exciting times, folks.) The breakdown gives gamers tons of useful information of the $500 console and all the bits and pieces contained within the next-generation home entertainment device from Microsoft, similar to their breakdown of the PS4.
While the reviews of the Xbox One focused on its media capabilities and aesthetics, they didn't talk about one of the more important aspects of the console: the hard drive space.
In the breakdown, iFixIt stripped out the 2.5” SATA hard drive and hooked it up to a PC to see what the formatting structure looked like, and the NTFS drive was partitioned into five distinct parts. Check it out below in the image:
Two of the partitions are for system updates, one is a cache for temporary data, one is a system support partition and the last one is for user content. So out of that 500 gigabytes, how much are you left with? A nice chunk of 391 gigabytes. Haha, epic fail.
Just for comparison, the PlayStation 4 leaves you with 408 gigabytes of usable storage space with the default hard drive, as reported by Geekfed.
The PS4 gives you nearly 20 additional gigabytes of workable space, which could make the difference between storing an extra game or not, such Assassin's Creed IV, which is an even 20GB.
For those of you who don't think that the 391gb limit is that bad, take into account that all Xbox One games require full hard drive installations, and games like Call of Duty: Ghosts clocks in at 39GB, while titles like Forza 5 is 31GB and Ryse is 34GB. If you decided to buy those three games, you're looking at a total of 104GB and only 287GB of free storage left. That's not including game saves, movie saves, movie streaming, media storage, music or game streaming content. That non-replaceable 500GB hard drive fills up pretty quick, eh?
Also take into account that these are first-generation games. Sizes of games are likely to double later into the eighth gen of gaming, and optimized compression techniques will stand front and center as some titles could install into massive 60GB or 70GB beasts.
For now, Xboners will have to play hard-drive-space-Tetris to get the most out of that irreplaceable 500GB unit. Hopefully Microsoft rolls out that update to allow for external hard drives before the second tier games arrive in spring of 2014, otherwise it's going to be a difficult time deciding on what stays and what goes on your hard disk. You can check out the rest of the Xbox One disassembly video from iFixIt below.