OWC Upgrade Kit for Xbox One (Hardware) Review

Justin Celani

Can you just give me my space please?

When the next generation of consoles arrived on our doorstep, it came with much excitement. There was little to curb those enthusiastic moments until you saw the size of some of these games once installed. Some reach up to 40 or 50GB. When you realize that digital media is getting a huge focus and push, the sadly realization that you have only 500GB to install them on is depressing. There are solutions though, and the Other World Computing external Xbox One hard drive is a very viable one.

Here is what you get in the package. One slim, light weight 1 TB drive, a USB 3.0 cable, a smooth material case for the drive, and some very easy and simple instructions typed up by OWC themselves. It comes packaged tightly in a small box with added cushion, so worry of shipment damage can be kept to a minimum. What this offers is 2 times the storage of your original Xbox One internal storage unit. Since there is no way to open the consoles without breaking the warranty, external drives are the only option.

MSRP: $119.75
Price I’d Pay: $100.00

While set up for an external is as simple as plugging it into the system and powering it up. Some folks can feel intimidated by anything with the word upgrade and hard drive combined. Here it’s really as simple as plug and play. There are a few extra steps to take in order to get it configured, and this kit provides the simple to follow instructions that guide customers through the process.

Simply hook the drive up to one of the USB ports on the Xbox One. If the drive isn’t detected, a hard reboot might be necessary, but once that is done, it should show up in the settings, system menu, and storage area. Once you see it, you can format it via the Xbox One for use on the system, which takes a few minutes. You’ll name the drive so you know which drive you’re looking at when it comes to the installed games.

After this you need to move whatever games you have over to the new external. You can leave it empty till you fill up the internal drive, but there is an extra reason you might want to move the currently played games over, faster load times. The hybrid drive can increase load and save times up to 39%. I had to actually see this for myself, so I recorded booting up Tomb Raider, first on the internal and then external. After recording and putting the videos together, which we have included in this article, you can clearly see the faster load times. So much that I was able to get into the game, start it, and get back to the dashboard before I gained control on the internal drive. While it might not seem like a huge improvement, add all that extra time up over the course of a year and you surely have quite a bit of extra time actually playing games versus watching them load.


The one caveat to the entire package is that you can get a bigger 2 TB external hard drive for about $20 to $35 dollars less at competitors, but at the expense of not having the reduction in load times, as they appear as standard drives and not hybrids. It’s a decision that ultimately will fall to the customer for what they prefer. More space, or less load times overall. It’s a trade-off that is definitely worth considering.

The OWC external hard drive kit is extremely handy and easy to use, and anyone who has basic reading and console comprehension can order this and not feel intimidated or out of their element. It’s a solid package all around, and I can appreciate how smooth the process was. Quick set up, ease of use, decreased loading times, and assistance from OWC if needed; this is a great purchase for any Xbox One owner and good recommendation for those making the majority of their game purchases digitally.

Review unit discussed can be purchased at the following link: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SXBH5Y1.0/

Review copy of hard drive provided by company.


  • Light weight
  • Great instructions
  • Company support
  • No hassle installation


  • Price
  • Space versus loading times


Justin Celani

Justin is a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama. He loves anything horror related, archaeology inspired adventures, RPG goodness, Dr Pepper, and of course his family. When it comes to crunch time, he is a beast, yet rabies free we promise.

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