Microsoft to add external storage support for Xbox One

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Microsoft’s Xbox One update for June will include the ability to hook up external hard drives to the console, allowing gamers more storage capacity for their games and apps than the 500GB they’ve been given out of the box.

xboxone2121With the update, the Xbox One will be able to handle up to two external hard drives that will need to have at least 256GB of storage capacity each. Microsoft encourages gamers to take downloaded content on an external hard drive and bring it to a friend’s house — though you’ll need to sign onto Xbox Live for your games to work.

Sony’s PS4 does not allow for external hard drives, although you can swap out the console’s internal hard drive for a bigger one. Microsoft, meanwhile, does not support internal hard drive replacement.

The Xbox One update also includes a new real name system for Xbox Live, giving gamers the choice to display their full name with others online. You’ll be able to control who sees your name — all your friends, a subset of your choosing, friends of friends or none at all.

Finally, the SmartGlass app for Xbox One will now have a more robust OneGuide experience and Universal Remote Control features, which is good news for those hoping to use their phone or tablet as a remote. Microsoft will also add hero stats and activity feed information more prominently within the app, along with new friend achievement comparisons.

Last week, Microsoft announced that it will sell a standalone Xbox One, without the Kinect, at $100 cheaper than the current Xbox One price ($499). The company also said that anyone with an Xbox One or Xbox 360 — regardless of a Xbox Live Gold membership status — will be able to access more than 170 gaming and entertainment apps, including Netflix, Hulu and ESPN.

The Xbox One still trails the $399 PS4 in worldwide sales, while Sony’s console has held a sales lead in the U.S. for the past four months.

Related: Xbox One gets improved audio controls, ability to opt-in for speech data collection