Is USB Storage In The Xbox 360's Future?

Is Microsoft planning to drop its overpriced Xbox 360 Memory Units in favour of more affordable USB mass storage devices? According to documentation obtained by Joystiq, the answer is yes.

Currently the only external storage solution for the Xbox 360 is the Microsoft-produced Memory Unit, a relatively expensive way to add up to 512MB of storage to your console. That could all change this spring, according to Joystiq's information, when the Xbox 360 receives an update that will allow standard USB storage devices to function as Xbox 360 storage.

According to the documentation, the update will allow consoles to recognise USB drives from 1GB to 16GB, formatting them with an Xbox 360 system partition of 512MB, with the remainder of the space used to store game saves, DLC, Xbox Live Arcade titles, and even disc-based games, which can be played from the drive as long as you have the original disc inserted in the console.

While this seems like it could be a good way to get around paying through the nose for an overpriced Xbox 360 hard drive upgrade, Joystiq points out that only two devices can be registered to a console at a time, for a grand total of 32GB of additional storage.

If this proves to be true, it's an interesting and cost-effective solution to add a few more gigs of storage space for those of us rapidly filling up their original Xbox 360 hard drives.

We've contacted Microsoft for comment on this rumour, and will update should any new information arise.

Xbox 360 gaining USB storage support in 2010 update [Joystiq]


Comments

    I think this is a good idea. I am an xbox fanboy but I am today purchasing a PS3. It is primarily for the heavy rain game but in assessing options of how to spend $400, side by side Elite to slim ps3, the slim wins... (I already have a xbox for online gaming etc)
    same HDD, built in wifi, upgradable HDD without the M$ rubbish and blu ray.
    I was primarily getting this as a media hub so this wins hands down! Sorry XB fanboys out there... but this is a good move.
    When I started to think about the M$ HDD then the $120 wireless adapter add ons... got shitty with my beloved M$.

    Off to play Heavy Rain!

      Well the wireless adapter is less of a ripoff than people think. It has support for 802.11 a, b & g (and also n if you have the new one), b, g & n all operate in the 2.4ghz range but a operates in the 5ghz range so you're basically buying 2 adapters in one.

      From a business perspective I guess they wanted people to be able to say "I have wireless, this is for wireless, I'll buy it and it'll work" without having to rely on the end user's technical knowledge (anyone who'd done tech support will know how low that can be) as to what network model they're using

      Personally I use cables, even for my PS3 (which I also bought specifically for Heavy Rain)

    16 GB. I'm assuming they mean flash drives and not USB hard drives.

    I can't remember the last time I heard of a hard drive being less that 50 or even 100 Gigabytes.

      Its still a USB drive.. Just what the data is stored on is diffrent.

    Clarification please. . .

    "only two devices can be registered to a console at a time"

    That mean only two USB drives plugged in at the same time? So, I can have a pile of USB drives, but only have two plugged in at a time?

    Or, only two drives and thats it? No more?
    If I plug a new USB drive in the Xbox will say "sorry, youve already got two".
    Then, if you register the new one it will no longer accept an old one? There by making data on that drive useless?

    16 GB is an embarrasingly small amount. Why bother allowing for this and then so massively restricting it?
    I don't think I could find an external hard drive that small even if I wanted to.

    why would they limit it to 16gb drives when they go bigger?

    then again, to answer my question, thatd be putting their larger HD models up the stink wouldnt it.

    I think everybody is forgetting the reason you can't do USB in the first place... it's a closed system. They don't want the 360 turning into the Xbox all over again, people running malicious code on the system to crack it. That's why you can't upgrade the HDD etc.

      Which didn't really work anyway. Look up JTAG mod.

    32GB worth of USB Flash drive space (2x16GB) - this is sensational news given my 20GB HDD is completely full (and simply can't afford the overpriced 120GB HDD upgrade)!

    As for why only 32GB? - MS no doubt still want some leverage for the HDD upgrades...

    It would be great if they were going to allow external hard drives instead of USB flash drives. Just think, we would be able to get an extra 1TB of hard drive space for less than it costs to buy a 120 GB XBox 360 drive. But that won't happen because their profits would go down, unless they got into the external hard drive market.

    I mean anyone would think that Micro$oft is only interested in money, and not what the consumer wants.;)

    This is good, I've still got my 20gb from back in 2006... I was thinking the other day, if I lost what was on my hard drive, there's no way to back it up is there? I mean, even if I bought another one, you can't keep the stuff on the old hard drive... this might be restrictive, but at least it's a step in the right direction. I only hope I can make that 16gb partition on my existing 320gb USB hard drive.

    Guys let me throw out a theory here:

    The 360 'slim':

    We've heard they've been changing the motherboard, what if it's the whole console?

    What if they're planning on releasing a new form of 360 which ditches the old style of HDD? One that simply uses plug and play USB drives from now on? They start with using 16gb and later on let us upgrade to using much larger ones... portable hdd's etc... this isn't a wacky theory, it's entirely plausible...

      Maybe they're working on a new low-price slim model to replace the Arcade, which is severely limited because you can't roll any DLC, big demos or XBLA games.

      16 GB would be servicable, especially if it was default and onboard.

    What couldn't you do this before, I could've sworn I've plugged in my USB key to a Xbox and it read it, albeit it failed to recognise my video.

      Yeah USB works fine for media files but you can't use it for game storage.

        Yep just format it to FAT32 standard and awayyyy you go.

    could you partition an external 1TB dive into lots of 16GB partitions and then plug it in? that way you could just save all your stuff to it that way.

    never mind

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