it's going to be "official hard drives only", then 180'd to "we were just getting the firmware right" to support ntfs! we were only thinking of you! our customer.
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Let's look at it another way. They have been talking about external HDD support since shortly after the X1 launched. Do you really think they would wait 8 months (assuming the ability is released around E3) only to announce that External HDD support is now available....only with a proprietary HDD? Really 8 months to wait for that? It wouldn't be complicated to create a proprietary HDD and put it in he market in less than 8 months. As opposed to allowing people to use their own HDD's which would take longer to implement.
And again, it isn't hard to see the path they would take based on what happened with the 360 with usb flash drive support.
Finally all that you mentioned was done under old leadership. Not phil spencer. Do you really think phil spencer would make a decision like only allowing for proprietary hdd's.
Logically speaking, with a new person in charge it wouldn't make any sense for them to make a decision in line with the old management's line of thinking.
Also a lot of what you mentioned is similar to what sony did with the PS3, and they did just fine.
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Based on all the information we know (past and current), the likelihood of external HDD support for a proprietary drive is pretty slim.
About the only thing I can think of that may be a limitation is the likelihood of a speed test (like with usb flash drives on the 360) to see if an external drive is fast enough for proper functionality.
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