Xbox One 500GB video game console vs 1TB & 2TB models. Which one should you buy?

500 GB vs. 1 TB vs. 2 TB

If you are thinking about buying a Xbox One console you are probably wondering if you should buy the Xbox One 500 GB console, the Xbox One 1 TB console, or one of the Xbox One 2 TB consoles. The first difference you will notice between the two consoles is price. The 500 GB version is usually around $50 more than the 1 TB version and the 2 TB version will usually you another $50 depending on what bundles you are comparing.

Microsoft is currently selling the following Xbox One Systems/Bundles:

500GB Options

1TB Options

2TB Options

Other than a couple of extras that might come with some console bundles, the consoles come with the same basic accessories to get you up and running. So how can you decide if you should spend extra money for a version with more storage space? To answer that question you need to think about how you intend to use the Xbox One.


The thing to remember about the Xbox One (as well as the PlayStation 4) is that it downloads a HUGE amount of data. Large amounts of data gets downloaded and stored on the hard drive for both games that were purchased online as well as for games that were purchased in a store and have physical discs. This is also true as it relates to the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games.

Wikipedia reported that as of 2013 the 500 GB console only has approximately 362 GB of usable memory. The remaining memory is taken up by the operating system and pre-intstalled software, which is similar to how it would work on your home computer.

This 500 GB version of the console is ideal for people who don’t buy a lot of games or don’t have a big library of Xbox 360 titles. If plan on playing more than 10 games (knowing that each game downloads a different amount of data) or have several Xbox 360 backwards compatible games that you plan on continuing to play it is possible that you will run out of storage space and will need to purchase an external hard drive. These hard drives can be $100 or more. So if you know prior to buying your Xbox One that the 500 GB version won’t give you sufficient storage you will probably be better served by spending the additional $50 and purchasing the 1 TB model.

Using the information Wikipedia provided from  we are able to calculate that we should have approximately 862 GB of usable memory with the 1 TB console, which is more than twice the storage that is available on the 500 GB console. This makes the 1 TB model is ideal for people who will be anticipating more download activity.

Now with the release of the Xbox One S we are seeing 2 TB consoles. Users are reporting that these 2 TB consoles have approximately 1.6 TB of usable space. If you plan on getting a lot of games for your Xbox One or downloading/playing a ton of backwards compatible Xbox 360 games onto your console getting one with a 2 TB drive is an excellent choice.

Even with these larger amounts of available memory it is still possible to run out of space if you download enough games to your console.  In those situations you will eventually need to look at some of the external hard drive options.

What Happens If Your Xbox One Runs Out of Storage Space (Your Hard Drive Gets Full)?

The good news is that the Microsoft will allow you to add an external hard drive to the Xbox One to expand your storage space as mentioned above.

The Xbox One’s basic requirements for storing games and apps on an external drive are:

  • Has capacity of 256 GB or more, and
  • Uses USB 3.0.

Here are some  external hard drives the would work for the Xbox One:

However, if you don’t want to pay money to add an external hard drive, or want to avoid the extra clutter that an external hard drive represents, your other option would be to delete a few games from your hard drive to free up some storage space. Then when you want to play the game again later you can download the files again. The progress that you made in the game will still be saved with your user account. The only inconvenience is the fact that you will have to wait for the files to download again. This inconvenience will only increase the more often you have to doe this.


When you are deciding on which Xbox One bundle to purchase you need to buy something that you like. It makes no sense to buy a bundle with game(s) you will never play or accessories that you will never use. You simply will not be getting as much value for your dollar in those situations.

That being said most people will be better served by buying one of the Xbox One 1 or 2 TB bundles – if they can find a bundle that they like.

So if you plan on doing lots of downloading ,the Xbox One 2 TB video game console is probably the one for you.

Shown below are some of the more popular Xbox One bundles and you can see even more here:

Xbox One X 1TB Console
List Price: $499.99
Price: $499.00
You Save: $0.99

Bestselling Xbox One Games on Amazon

Monster Hunter World - Xbox One
Dragon Ball FighterZ Day One Edition - Xbox One
Call of Duty: WWII - Xbox One Standard Edition
WWE 2K18 Deluxe Edition - Xbox One
Titanfall 2 - Xbox One
Destiny 2 - Xbox One Standard Edition
The Evil Within 2 - Xbox One Standard Edition
Nba 2K18 Standard Edition - Xbox One
Madden NFL 17 -  Standard Edition - Xbox One

Prices are accurate as of January 22, 2018 8:04 pm. Product prices and available are subject to change. Any price and availablility information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of any products.

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About the Author DanGettel