We have reviewed nearly every limited-edition Seagate drive the hardware giant has released, and now we’ve reached the first one released for the PlayStation 5 – the Horizon Forbidden West limited edition hard drive. Featuring a gorgeous render of series protagonist Aloy, this drive is a beautiful showpiece to sit next to your fancy new console, or your PlayStation 4 as you wait for stock – yep, it works for that console as well. With plug-and-play installation and no tools required, it could be a nice themed hard drive to add to your collection. Let’s get it out of the box and see what it can do.
One of the advertised features for this hard drive is “optimized firmware” to work with the current generation of PlayStation. It’s a little hard to test what that means, and Sony hasn’t been more specific. Hooking it up to a PC would at least give us some performance metrics we could baseline. As these limited edition drives are a rotational storage platform, it has a maximum speed of around 140MB/s, whereas SSDs can hit upwards of 550MB/s. But speed is only part of the storage challenge.
The PlayStation 5 can use an additional high-end M.2 drive to expand capacity – you can see our video on the subject here. To be clear, that storage expansion is fairly expensive, but it’s not your only choice. External drives have a narrow use case for the PlayStation 5, allowing you to play and store your PS4 games, as well as archiving PS5 games for rapid retrieval instead of re-downloading them. On the PlayStation 4 you can use an external drive as you would the internal drive, playing, storing, backing up, and retrieving any game for those platforms. On the PlayStation 4 and 5, you can also store movies, music, or any other multimedia content you might want to have handy. For Sony’s newest console, you’d store archived copies of games you don’t want to have to re-download (e.g. Red Dead Redemption 2, Destiny 2 between expansions, etc.). If you still haven’t managed to score one, however, this drive could help bridge that gap.
Aesthetically there’s a lot to like here. There are a lot of high-quality options the Seagate team could have gone with as the game is absolutely gorgeous up close. Rather than simply translating a screenshot to the drive surface, the Seagate team went with a stylish watercolor-style screened onto the drive case surface. They’ve also kept the rest of the drive white, so it’ll look great next to the PS5. There is a bit of texture to the image, rather than a simple slick print – not as much as the Cyberpunk 2077 drive from Seagate, but enough to give it some grip. The back of the drive features a stylized S logo to break up the otherwise flat white back. Like their other drives, in the top left of the drive is the LED indicator, telling you when the drive is reading or writing. It’s a gorgeous looking drive, which is good as it’s mechanically no different than any other 2.5” laptop drive.
As you can see, the drive performs remarkably well for a mechanical drive. Likely due to the 128mb of cache doing the heavy lifting. When it comes to cache, more is better, with 256mb being the sweet spot, but as you can see the drive is very consistent. Running this benchmark multiple times yielded almost exactly the same results, as did running it again after dropping a full terabyte of data onto it. It’s nice to see that level of consistency.
Connectivity for the Seagate Horizon Forbidden West drive is accomplished with a USB Micro-B to USB-A, something I wish the industry would abandon entirely in favor of USB-C. While it’s not going to offer any additional speed bonus (the Micro-B interface is 5Gbps after all – far faster than the mechanical drive could ever go), we’ve all got USB-C cables hanging around nowadays – it’d be nice to see other connection types dry up wherever possible. The cable is 18” in length, which is just right for my console, but very short for my PC, forcing me to leave it on top of the case rather than letting me locate it on my desk. A USB extension cable solves this problem, but a USB-C connector would give me a wider variety of choices, rather than having to buy a single-use USB Micro-B connector or yet another extension cable for this purpose.
I only have one complaint with this drive — the warranty. If you are in Australia, India, and China, you get a three year warranty. If you reside outside of the Americas, but not in those three countries I just mentioned (e.g. If you live in England, Africa, Russia, Greenland, Iceland) you get a two year warranty. If you live in North America or South America however, you get a whisper-thin one year limited warranty. While I can’t say I’ve had a failure of a Seagate drive inside of a five year period (and often far longer — I use them for my NAS, and often with tens of thousands of always-on cycles), I hate having to lean on Squaretrade to get that number to a more acceptable three year warranty.
In terms of price, Seagate heard our feedback on their previous efforts which had a nearly $30 premium over their other drives. This one is right in the sweet spot, being just $10 over their similar capacity plain black drive. Coming in at $99 for a 2TB model, and $160 for a 5TB model, and with gorgeous aesthetics to boot, you’ll want to snap this drive up quickly. Every themed drive like this has disappeared faster than the blink of an eye, so move quick.
Horizon Forbidden West Limited Edition Hard Drive
There are a ton of plain black drives out there from many manufacturers, but Seagate has the official partnership with Sony and Guerilla Games to produce this gorgeous drive. If you are a fan of the franchise, this drive is gorgeous. Bonus points for also being a fantastic performer, it’s easy to recommend for fans, but it’s also easy to recommend for anyone who just needs a little swap space.