Back when the first PlayStation console came out, the idea of having to keep track of all my save games on a memory card was just…odd. It was necessary at the time, to have a glorified stiffie disc that you could save your precious progress onto, and as the years went on the demands began to increase. PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube kept the trend alive, the Xbox 360 launched with an optional 20-gigabyte hard drive you could slap on and the current-gen upped the ante to a blistering 500gb internal hard drive on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 when they launched.

The consoles got an upgrade, the storage size increased to an entire terabyte and still it wasn’t enough. The games kept getting bigger, I had a weird phobia about deleting them and space was always at a premium. These days, I’ve got a 1.5 terabyte external attached to my PlayStation 4, and it seems to have done the USB 3.0 trick. What if you could go bigger though? Throw down some cash, trust in some traditional technology and plug in a hard drive that is designed to be the final word in storage? You’d probably wind up with Western Digital’s dedicated drive.

All 12 terabytes of it.

I crap thee not, that is not a typo for once. A hard drive with almost enough space to house Call of Duty Modern Warfare, does exist. Once you’ve had a peek at the digital real estate tax, you’re left with 10.9 terabytes of empty space to fill up on the WD Black D10, much like my head. It’s a more traditional affair, one that requires its own dedicated power supply to make use of and a few other nifty extras.

For starters, there’s three months of Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox included in the bundle and a three year warranty in case anything goes wrong. The drive itself is an attractive piece of kit, resembling a military black box with white accents at the rear. The 3.5” hdd features a nippy 240 MB/s read and write speed, and if you’re worried about giving up USB space in the front of your Xbox One so that you can plug it in, fret not! Two USB slots can be found on the booty of the D10, that allow for 7.5w charging.

You’ve also got two options for displaying it: A tasteful white cradle allows you to stand the D10 up and show off its military aesthetics to anyone who visits, or you can lay it flat on your TV unit thanks to included rubber nubs on the left side. In action, the D10 functions exactly as you’d expect a dedicated HDD to operate: Massive amounts of room to install games onto, and nary a care in the world that you’ll run out of space.

I transferred around 750GB of my own game data over to the D10, which took around an hour to do. I’ve got plenty of big games locked and loaded onto my Xbox One X: Ubisoft’s offerings take up a LOT of space, The Elder Scrolls Online is no joke and Game Pass has seen me sampling a lot of content lately. Between Rainbow Six Siege, The Division 2, Wolfenstein: Youngblood (I WAS YOUNG AND DRUNK OKAY?) and more niche fair such Tembo the Badass Elephant, there was a lot to move over.

I didn’t even come close to breaking double digits on the D10 by the time I was done.

I’ve managed to use up a grand total of 4% of the D10 once I’d done some spring-cleaning, and still had room for other games that had been on my mind. Call of Duty Warzone, Destiny 2 and the current Hitman experience were all added to the mix, as were all the Yakuza games currently available on Game Pass and I still barely made a dent in that bloody lunchbox. Space, the D10 has it. End of review, 10/10 right?

Well not exactly. There are some things to be aware of with the D10 if you’re considering preparing for next-gen by dropping coin on one of these. On Xbox One, the D10 can only store games on it, but it won’t allow you to save 4K HDR captures unless you format it from NTFS to FAT32. Do that, and you lose the option to keep games on it. You can only have one, so be prepared to make a sacrifice. You also won’t be able to use this model on a PlayStation 4, as those consoles can’t work with hard drives larger than 8TB in size.

Hard drive noise is minimal, but that element is present whenever the Xbox One has to access the D10 for data, but it’s minor in the grand scheme of things and once you’ve got a game running, it’s not as if you’ll be noticing it very often. As for the actual speed of accessing games, I did run a few stopwatch tests. The D10 is marginally quicker than the internal Xbox One hard drive, but by a handful of seconds at best.

If you want one of these for when the Xbox Series X consoles launch, remember that you’ll only be able to store games on here, not play them. Think of the D10 has a freezer, a safe space to keep games in edible state before you transfer them over to the SSD that Microsoft says will be mandatory for experiencing Xbox Series X games at their best.

Western Digital does have PlayStation dedicated hard drives though, so I’ll leave a few links below for those. And that’s it really. The WD Black D10 offers a stupidly massive space to store games on and it delivers on that promise. Is it necessary to have that much space? That depends on your own habit of building your own library, but it’s nice to have that ease of access.

What a device like this is, is convenience. Even with a top-notch fibre to the home internet connection, downloading games still takes time, and having to do that only once is bloody brilliant. No more making hard decisions every time Activision announces a new Modern Warfare patch.

If you want one for yourself, you can grab a WD Black D10 for R7099.

Last Updated: September 1, 2020

All the space you could ever want for your gaming habits, in this generation and the next. Western Digital promised a dedicated piece of hardware to store games on, and they certainly delivered on that promise. It may not have the speed of a solid-state drive, but it trumps that next-gen technology with quality old school storage space.
8.5

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