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Microsoft Confirms Xbox 360 USB Storage

by Meagan Marie on Mar 26, 2010 at 05:15 AM

Major Nelson confirmed today a rumor that sprung up early last week – Microsoft will be allowing Xbox 360/USB storage compatibility through a pending update. This will provide an alternative means of management for those who can’t afford to shell out a large chunk of change for first-party memory solutions, though it’s probably not a memory storage remedy for everyone.

Releasing as part of a system update on April 6th, players will be allowed to transfer and store their profiles, game saves, demos, and more on USB flash drive compatible devices. After the update, players will need to connect the devices to the console and navigate to a new menu to configure the device. At this point the system will conduct an initial performance and integrity check to confirm that the device works. Next the player will be prompted to format the device, choosing how much storage to make available, up to a 16 GB cap. If you have a sizable USB device with more storage than allowed, the remaining space will still be accessible on your PC or Mac. You can have two devices connected to the console simultaneously – up to 32 GB.

Nelson confirmed that USB hard drives will also be compatible, reiterating that the 16 GB limit still stands. He also weighed in with his own personal opinion, stating that “since performance on flash based USB storage is usually better, I highly recommend using flash based instead of spinning media like a hard drive…it’s just going to give you a MUCH better experience.”

Lastly, Nelson confirmed that any flash storage device will do as long as it has the minimum one GB available, but that they are partnering with SanDisk to release an Xbox 360 branded USB flash drive that will be “pre-configured and ready to go” at a later date.

Players struggling to manage ever-expanding libraries of Xbox 360 content might find the 16 GB limit lacking. Looking at the way Microsoft is handling USB devices makes it clear that the company doesn’t want to render the newly released 250 GB hard drive irrelevant. Still, it’s hard to fault Microsoft for allowing increased flexibility in memory management.

If you’ve been short on space lately, will you be taking advantage of this new feature? Or will you be taking advantage of Microsoft’s larger, first-party fixes?