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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 10:44am 29/03/10 | 17 Comments
You may have already caught wind of this, but Microsoft are planning to open up storage expansion for the Xbox 360 as part of their next system update to also include third-party usage.

However, don't go thinking you can just throw in that terabyte drive and forget about memory forever. In typical totalitarian Microsoft manner, the external limit for memory will be capped at 16GB, and although you can use a HDD, Microsoft are recommending punters stick to flash memory, though have also said you'll be able to use two external USB memory devices at once (for a total of 32GB plus whatever your 360 has internally).

This will all be made available from April 6.

xbox 360

Latest Comments
Posted 10:54am 29/3/10
that is super s***. i am thinking that means you won't be able to store purchased / downloadable content there, maybe just videos and music.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 10:56am 29/3/10
nah, you can store game saves, profiles and more, so I would *hope* DLC can equally be moved there
Posted 01:31pm 29/3/10
Memory? Unless they've changed the definition the only memory on any computer/console is RAM. Storage, like HDD and flash drives isn't memory.
Posted 01:33pm 29/3/10
Posted 01:39pm 29/3/10
I thought they'd introduce cloud storage of 16gb. You know, so when you go to a mates place with your controller you can recover your profile with your savegames?

That would be neat-o.
Posted 03:06pm 29/3/10
Documentation obtained by Joystiq and subsequently confirmed with two separate sources reveals that "USB Mass Storage Device Support on Xbox 360" will soon be a reality. The document, authored by a senior software development engineer at Microsoft, states that due to "increased market penetration of high-capacity, high throughput USB mass storage devices, a 2010 Xbox 360 system update" will allow consumers to save and load game data from USB devices. The update is purportedly coming in Spring 2010.

Once the update occurs, Xbox 360 owners will be able to download Xbox Live Arcade games, Xbox Live Indie games, Games on Demand, DLC and Title Updates to the storage device. "USB storage devices may, however, have far greater memory capacity than MUs (at the date of writing, the largest MU is 512 MB), and may therefore support previously infeasible operations-such as installation of a full disc-based title." That's right, you can also store disc-based games to the USB device; however, it will require the disc to be in the tray for authentication, identical to the current functionality.

According to the document, the USB mass storage device must be at least 1GB and the system will do a compatibility check. "The system partition occupies 512 MB of space, and by default the consumer partition occupies the remainder of the device capacity, or 16 GB, whichever is smaller." Upon inserting a blank USB storage device, "consumers are offered two choices: 'Configure now' or 'Customize'." The "Configure now" option will use "the entire device capacity, up to the maximum of 512 MB plus 16 GB" meaning, regardless of the overall size of the device you're using, the Xbox will only enable 16 GB of usable, non-system storage. The "Customize" option will allow you to "preserve some pre-existing, non-console data on the device" such as music.

It should be clear by now that Microsoft is simply pulling out of the Memory Unit business and not the highly lucrative Xbox hard drive business. With an artificial cap of 16 GB still shy of the 20 GB hard drive that shipped with the original 2005 Xbox Pro and a fraction the size of the currently shipping 120 GB hard drive USB storage support simply removes the onerous requirement for a Memory Unit on Xbox 360 Arcade units, and brings the Xbox 360 platform a feature that's been present on the PlayStation 3 since that console's 2006 launch.

If you're intent on circumventing Microsoft's cutthroat hard drive pricing the Xbox 360, you can use two USB storage devices for a maximum of 32 GB of usable storage; however, the console "has a fixed limit of two external USB mass storage devices" regardless of whether they're "formatted for the Xbox 360 or not." If you fill all three USB ports on the console, only the first two to be connected will be recognized.

With talk of a new (slim?) form factor for the Xbox 360 picking up, and plans to abandon (or at least obviate) Memory Units underway, we're guessing tho
Posted 03:12pm 29/3/10
Whenever microsoft is delivering an inadequate solution to a significant technical challenge where they were lacking against the competition, they always redefine key terms so their solution can be declared to deliver. From the internet to active clustering the story is always the same. This is probably no different. Hence forth USB sticks and harddrives shall be referred to as memory.

I have 4tb of memory in my computer.
Posted 03:21pm 29/3/10
I heard of this other console where you can put in as much memz as you want.
Posted 03:51pm 29/3/10
Oh CTD, just say it man :)
PS3 is much better for so many reasons, including this.
Posted 04:00pm 29/3/10
Storage, like HDD and flash drives isn't memory.
You're saying flash memory isn't memory? That's a new one.
Posted 04:07pm 29/3/10
Yeah, I'm quite happy that I'm able to just swap out the HDD in my PS3, and I've already done so. As much as I love my Xbox, Sony sure seem to have done a lot of smarter things this generation.
Posted 04:16pm 29/3/10
how old is this piece of s*** now?
where's the xbox 720 already
Posted 05:28pm 29/3/10
^ Yeah hurry up and release the next-gen consoles so that our ported PC games can move on from DX9 and actually push an envelope or two in visuals.
Posted 08:49pm 29/3/10
Ive had a 20g 360 hdd since release but finally decided to check Ebay and bought a 250g 360 hdd brand new for $80 delivered. I'm assuming its genuine it definitely appears so. Eg. linkies 1 and 2
Mine arrived in about a week have had no issues whatsoever I've been trying to fill it up with demos and shizzal, it's taking me a while heh :)

Not bloody bad considering Msy sell 250g 2.5' hdd for $60

The thing that is making me want the Ps3 a lil bit is the PlayTV thingy, which has two HD digital decoders allowing you too watch, pause and record live TV at the same time. Not that I watch TV but want this would make the ps3 a very atractive HDTV replacement in my eyes. Especially once ps3 properly cracked to run a decent xbmc replacement. oooh yea tech.a.nology
Posted 09:27pm 29/3/10
Stupid question but what's to stop you putting a TB hard drive in the internal thing of the 360? Aren't they just 2.5" laptop SATA drives?
Posted 09:41pm 29/3/10
Yeah, but it has to be a supported drive.
Posted 10:10pm 29/3/10
Ps3 allows any sata 2.5" hdd iirc.
360 needs to find a serial which is a function of hardware id, size, brand etc iirc. So pretty much a no go with throwing your own hdds in 360s.

Does anyone know of anyone who has modded their 360? I know of no one so its hardly a 'we need to charge more because of piracy' thing. Just greed I suppose ay. But don't be fooled, as soon as Sony get the number one spot back they'll start finding ways to charge for every little thing again.
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