Reader Discussion: Have You Expanded Your Console’s HD?


When the Xbox One and PS4 consoles were confirmed to ship with a 500GB HD, I initially thought that would last me for quite a while. Hell, I lived on a launch 360’s pitiful HD until late last year, deleting and re-installing games as I played them. I picked up my Xbox One about a month after launch, and within 4 months I had already found myself clearing space for new games.

Here we are, more than a year after the launch of both consoles, and it’s safe to say that 500GB really wasn’t that much. Out of the box, it’s reported that the Xbox One has 362GB free. Halo: The Master Chief Collection alone takes up 61.1GB, which is astonishing for a game that still doesn’t work properly. Other games like Grand Theft Auto V take up over 50GB of my HD, and future releases like Witcher 3 will require a 50GB install on both current-gen consoles. Pretty soon it’s going to play out like Survivor, where I’m going to have to send my games out to an island and slowly vote them off.

I currently have 7 retail games installed on my Xbox One. Not full digital downloads mind you, but physical disc-based games with their required installs. On top of that, I have both seasons of The Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us, and a few smaller apps like Twitch, Netflix, Xbox Video, etc., and I’m 81% through my HD.

As it stands right now, I would use up a majority of the remainder by simply installing one major retail release like Assassin’s Creed: Unity, which requires over 40GB. With plenty coming out down the line, I’ve seriously considering expanding my Xbox One HD with a 5TB external, but I haven’t yet made the jump.

Have you expanded your console’s HD? If so, which console and what brand did you go with? Any advice for a first-timer looking to bulk up his Xbox One with a little digital protein?

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Bio Card Brad

Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, generally handling reviews, public relations, and our social media communications on Facebook and Twitter. He’s an aspiring video game journalist that one day hopes to make this writing thing a living, and will always miss living in his hometown of Baltimore. If he’s not writing, he’s usually glued to a game or watching low budget horror films with his three cats. Get in touch with him by e-mail at the address above, or follow him on Twitter.


  1. I wish I could help, but I don’t use my Xbox that much these days. I’m mostly a PC gamer and I have a nice fat 1TB HD to play my games on :].

    I guess this is the order that I play my games on

    PC> Wii U> Xbox One

    1. I rarely touch my PS4, so I haven’t had an issue with that HD yet. My Xbox is constantly packed, so if I *do* invest, that’s the one getting upgraded first. My PC’s 1TB HD has treated me well since 2010 lol.

  2. I bought a 2 TB drive, but I’m using it for backing up music and other downloads in case I need to format again, and with that being the case, I don’t think I can use it for my XBONE as I’m pretty sure it will format it… but I guess the big external drives are slowly getting cheaper, and if you can find a sale, all the better!

    1. Yeah, it would have to be formatted for the Xbox One. I saw GameStop selling a 3TB external for Xbox One that was $200, but that’s definitely too expensive for that size.

      1. Yeah, I got the 2TB seagate on a Canada Day sale for like $110 after tax I think it was

  3. I have a PS4 and haven’t run into this problem yet but I’m getting there. I share the console with my fiancé & together we have a buttload of games. Next big release on my radar, though (Phantom Pain) it will be time to start sending some old ones to that island you spoke of. 😉

    1. Yeah, I tend to buy cross-platform games on my Xbox over my PS4, so the HD fills up fast. I have yet to run in to that issue on my PS4, but with Sony offering 3 or 4 freebies per month, it’s only a matter of time lol.

      Phantom Pain should be a good one!

  4. I actually just put in a 2TB drive into my PS4 this week. I dunno if its the drive or just the latest patch of the most recent game that I’ve been playing (Dragon Quest Heroes), but I’ve been experiencing a lot of input lag from the game that I had no problems with before.

    Theres a rumor that the latest PS4 patch is going to allow for external hardrives which actually kind of miffs me that I went and fiddled with my console when I maybe could have just waited a month or so.

  5. I don’t have either yet, but If I did I think it would be the first thing I would do. Most of their libraries are shared with the PC the
    way the last run of consoles’ were. Game installs are getting bigger, and bigger. While PC installs are larger due to
    all of those extra OS, and configuration files the gap isn’t what it was. Many new console games almost require an installation
    to the hard disk to run. I would probably go for a Western Digital 1 TB hard drive, or larger. By the end of this run games will
    probably be coming on 50GB Blu Rays as the norm, and they’ll probably require installs. The starter drives may seem like
    a lot now, but a couple of years in, and 30 games later you could find yourself uninstalling 1 game in order to play another.

    And if you have a Wii U you pretty much need an external drive. Especially if you plan on buying full retail games
    through the E-shop.

    1. Most definitely, that 32gb HD on the Wii U is pretty pathetic if you’re looking to dive in to the virtual console or buy digital games.

      I’ve had my Xbox One since the month after launch, and I own 15 retail games. I only have room to install 7. This is exactly why I never buy digital copies of retail games. Disc read speeds can only go so far, so installing data to the HD is a requirement in this day and age. The storage size of these consoles are just way too small though. I’m definitely glad we have the option to expand.

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