While the $US199 price tag on Microsoft's 4GB Xbox 360 slim model might seem attractive, Halo: Reach owners eager for a little online co-operative multiplayer campaign play are finding out the hard way that you get what you pay for.
Kotakuite Captain Fuzzy brought the issue to our attention yesterday. After picking up his copy of Halo: Reach, he decided to spend a little time online going through the campaign with friends, only to find that his 4GB console wasn't capable of doing so.
When I tried to join them, we got a message saying, "One or more players do not have a hard drive which is required for this playlist." Apparently, the 4GB Xbox 360 slim will not allow online co-op because it has a "Memory Unit" and not an HDD. Adding my 16GB flash drives didn't help the case either, I still got the "hard drive is required" message. I can still play online vs games, but any co-op like campaign or firefight are locked out to me.
The support section on Xbox.com has updated with information on Captain Fuzzy's problem as well, giving the following answer to the issue:
One or more players do not have a certified Xbox 360 hard drive attached to their Xbox 360 console. Some multiplayer aspects of Halo: Reach require an Xbox 360 certified hard drive.
While my copy of Halo: Reach doesn't list the hard drive as a requirement, it does contain the line "features and requirements may change without notice", which effectively covers Microsoft's arse in this situation.
The only real recourse Halo: Reach players have now is to pick up an Xbox 360 slim hard disk, which retails for $US129.99 at GameStop. That brings the grand total for their Xbox 360 to $US329.98, roughly $US30 more than just purchasing the 250GB Xbox 360 slim in the first place. So much for getting a bargain.
And while we're on the subject of depressing Halo: Reach news, we're currently looking into issues with bad game discs that are currently the subject of a very long forum topic on Bungie.net. Thanks to Jackson, Bill, and everyone else who brought this other issue to our attention.