Limited Edition Seagate Horizon Forbidden West Hard Drive – Next-Gen Console Companion – GAMING TREND

We’ve looked at almost every limited edition Seagate drive the hardware giant has released, and now we’ve reached the first released for the PlayStation 5 – the Horizon Forbidden West Limited Edition Hard Drive. Featuring a gorgeous rendering of series protagonist Aloy, this player is a lovely centerpiece to sit next to your fancy new console or your PlayStation 4 while you wait for stock – yes, that works for that console too. With plug-and-play installation and no tools required, this could be a nice themed hard drive to add to your collection. Let’s take it out of the box and see what it can do.

One of the features announced for this hard drive is “optimized firmware” to work with the current generation of PlayStation. It’s a bit difficult 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 benchmark. As these limited edition drives are a rotating storage platform, they have a maximum speed of around 140MB/s, while SSDs can reach over 550MB/s. But speed is only one part of the storage challenge.

The PlayStation 5 can use an additional high-end M.2 drive to increase capacity – you can see our video on the subject here. To be clear, this storage expansion is quite 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 archive PS5 games for quick retrieval instead of re-downloading them. On the PlayStation 4, you can use an external drive just like you would the internal drive, play, store, save, and retrieve any game for those platforms. On PlayStation 4 and 5, you can also store movies, music, or any other media content you want to have close at hand. For Sony’s new console, you would store archived copies of games that you don’t want to have to redownload (eg Red Dead Redemption 2, Destiny 2 between expansions, etc.). If you still haven’t managed to score one, however, this player might help close that gap.

Aesthetically, there’s a lot to like here. There are plenty of high quality options that the Seagate team could have chosen as the game looks absolutely stunning up close. Rather than simply translating a screenshot onto the surface of the drive, the Seagate team opted for a sleek watercolor style projected onto the surface of the drive casing. They also kept the rest of the drive white, so it will look great next to the PS5. There’s a bit of texture to the image, rather than just a smooth feel – not as much as Seagate’s Cyberpunk 2077 drive, but enough to give it some grip. The rear of the drive features a stylized S logo to break up the otherwise flat white back. Like their other drives, at the top left of the drive is the LED indicator, telling you when the drive is reading or writing. It’s a gorgeous drive, which is good because it’s mechanically no different than any other 2.5-inch laptop drive.

As you can see, the drive works remarkably well for a mechanical drive. Probably 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 it again after dropping a full terabyte of data on it. It’s nice to see that level of consistency.

Seagate Horizon Forbidden West drive connectivity is achieved with USB Micro-B to USB-A, which I wish the industry would abandon entirely in favor of USB-C. While it doesn’t offer any additional speed bonuses (the Micro-B interface is 5Gbps after all – far faster than the mechanical drive could ever go), we all have USB-C cables lying around from these days – it would be nice to see other connection types dry up as much as possible. The cable is 18 inches long, which is fine for my console, but very short for my PC, requiring me to leave it on top of the case rather than placing it on my desk. A USB extension cable solves this problem, but a USB-C connector would give me more variety to choose from, rather than having to buy a single-use USB Micro-B connector or yet another extension cable at this effect.

I have only one criticism for this player: the warranty. If you are in Australia, India and China, you get a three-year warranty. If you live outside of the Americas, but not in these three countries I just mentioned (for example, if you live in England, Africa, Russia, Greenland, Iceland), you have a two-year warranty years. However, if you live in North America or South America, you get a one-year limited warranty. While I can’t say I’ve had one Seagate drive fail in a five year period (and often much longer – I use them for my NAS, and often with tens of thousands of permanent cycles), I hate having to rely on Squaretrade to get that number at a more palatable three-year guarantee.
In terms of pricing, Seagate heard our feedback on their previous efforts which had a nearly $30 premium over their other drives. This one is in just the right place, being just $10 more than their regular black drive of similar capacity. 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 fast. Every theme player like this has disappeared faster than the blink of an eye, so be quick.

There are a ton of black hard drives from many manufacturers, but Seagate has the official partnership with Sony and Guerilla Games to produce this beautiful drive. If you’re a fan of the franchise, this player is gorgeous. Bonus points for also being a fantastic performer, he’s easy to recommend to fans, but he’s also easy to recommend to anyone who just needs a bit of trading space.

—Ron Burke

Ron Burke is the editor of Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, TX, Ron is an old school gamer who loves CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games and recently got into tabletop games. Ron is also a fourth-degree black belt, with a master’s rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also ranks in several other styles in his search for an all-around fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trends Editor Laura Burke for 21 years. They have three dogs – Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).

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