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Western Digital launches the WD_Black range of USB drives for gaming

Three new portable WD_Black USB storage solutions are on the way, with a form factor, size, and speed that'll suit a wide range of data hoarders.

WD Black USB drive on white background

Western Digital has announced a lineup of gaming storage options for PCs and consoles. The theory behind these is that games are getting bigger and bigger, such that you can not only fit fewer of them on a PC but it’s becoming more time consuming to change what is installed. If you just fancy dipping into a game for an afternoon session you might have had to start the download hours before so it’s ready. It’s a new space race.

Western Digital offers three solutions to this problem on PC. The first of these, the WD_Black P10 Game Drive is a 2.5in external HDD in sizes from 2TB to 5TB. The idea of running games not only from a hard disk but from a USB hard disk might only appeal to folks who really enjoy the text on their loading screens, but as stodgy as a 5Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 1 connection can feel at times it can work out faster and less of a hassle working as a backup than downloading everything afresh. The P10 is small and portable too, which makes it more broadly useful for things other than games.

The second drive is the D10, which is a 3.5in external chunk with a capacity of 8TB and its own active cooling. The D10 requires its own mains power connection and smartly the folks at Western Digital have opted to add a couple of USB charging ports onto it, because if you’re going to need your own power cable you might as well get the most out of it.

The third offering is the most promising of the trio, the P50 Game Drive SSD. As the name suggests the P50 is an SSD, available in capacities from 500GB to 2TB with a read speed of up to 2000MB/s. Notably the P50 uses a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connection. The new designations for USB connections can be a bit confusing, suffice to say that USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 has a maximum 20GB/s speed whereas USB 3.2 Gen 1 has the same 5GB/s speed that devices using what used to be called USB 3.0 used. The long story short version is we are looking at a fast drive connected to an unprecedentedly fast USB connection. Definitely one to watch.

The D10 and P10 are available now, there is no pricing information yet for the P50, but it is expected to make its debut in Q4 of this year.