Shortly after we saw Microsoft take aim at the PS5 by announcing its Xbox One to Scarlett upgrade scheme,Xbox All Access ,it seems the tech giant could land another decisive blow against Sony this week.
Microsoft’s latest line of Surface machines seem to have upgradable SSD harddrives as standard.
Certain Surface models, being part of Microsoft’s most valuable hardware lines and erstwhile rival to Apple’s Macbooks, have removable and upgradable SSDs attached, meaning that users can swap out their SSD cards once they get full.
As we head into the next generation, where file sizes for games are expected to grow exponentially, giving the Xbox Scarlett this kind of utility may be a smart move: it’d mean less concern about downloading, deleting and redownloading games as your SSDs fill up.
Of course, this isn’t the first suggestion of modular SSD swapping we’ve seen when it comes to next-gen.
Just last week, LetsGoDigital unearthed some Sony patents that seem to suggest the console manufacturer is looking atusing SSDs in the PS5.
The way Sony seems to be observing the next-gen storage solution is by selling SSDs to players that they can input like cartridges to the console, meaning they can swap hardware per game they want to play.
Like a big, fancy next-gen MegaDrive. We’ve come full circle.
This could mean good news when it comes to the initial price of next-gen machines, of course.
If Microsoft can move some of the cost of the next-gen console onto SSDs, it means the initial price to buy into the next generation should be lower.
SSDs are quite expensive, and a big part of a console’s price comes down to internal storage. Just look at the difference in price between 500GB machines and 1TB machines at the moment, or consider the gulf in pricing between different tiers of mobile phone handset.
The downside is that individual games may be more expensive, but with Microsoft going all in on services like Xbox Games Pass and xCloud, it looks like that’s going to be less of a concern for Xbox Scarlett adopters than it is for PS5 buyers.
Phil Spencer told us at XO19 that we can expect to hear more about Xbox Scarlett next year.
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