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Ditch Your Memory Units, 360 To Support USB Flash Drives Next Month

Get up to 32GB of additional storage through those pesky USB ports on your 360.

Microsoft has confirmed earlier reports and announced that a system update will be pushed on April 6 to allow users to store Xbox 360 game data on USB devices, like flash drives. Hard drives will also work, but since it cuts off at a maximum of 16GB per device, that'd be a pretty good way to waste a hard drive. 

Once connected and configured, you'll be able to use your USB devices much like your 360 hard drive or existing Memory Units, which means you can store your profile there. Hopefully this update will come with some tighter security on profiles, because putting them on devices that are easily read by a PC is really just inviting more of the achievement point and game-adding hacking that's been going on for months on the 360. If I run into any Microsoft-types at PAX this weekend, I'll be sure to ask. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff

Microsoft has confirmed earlier reports and announced that a system update will be pushed on April 6 to allow users to store Xbox 360 game data on USB devices, like flash drives. Hard drives will also work, but since it cuts off at a maximum of 16GB per device, that'd be a pretty good way to waste a hard drive. 

Once connected and configured, you'll be able to use your USB devices much like your 360 hard drive or existing Memory Units, which means you can store your profile there. Hopefully this update will come with some tighter security on profiles, because putting them on devices that are easily read by a PC is really just inviting more of the achievement point and game-adding hacking that's been going on for months on the 360. If I run into any Microsoft-types at PAX this weekend, I'll be sure to ask.
Staff
Posted by Vinchenzo

Interesting!

Posted by Chris2KLee

Like Jeff said, more security better be on the way. But overall, sounds like a good addition.

Posted by zyn

Hell yeah!

Posted by zudthespud

Lemme get this straight, any memory stick up to 16 GB can be used as a hard drive? 

Posted by Daryl

Somebody will find a way to break into it but this is good news either way. 

Posted by Nytrik

Seems like an open invitation to simpler piracy. That's a really interesting choice.. Hopefully some sort of security, like Jeff said, will not allow games to be booted from the USB drive. Similar to how the DS works with the SD card. 

Posted by Yukoei
@Jeff: Can you put Jungler on it?!
Posted by CodeMcK

No more recovering accounts when I wanna play on my friends xbox?

Posted by WinterSnowblind

Microsoft are still being pretty stingy by only allowing up to 32gb but it's still a very useful addition.  Me and my friends frequently play on each others systems, and this involves recovering gamertags every single time which is quite a hastle.  Simply being able to store our profiles on any random USB stick is a huge improvement.
 
Also gives me a method of storing demo's, music, game saves, etc, without upgrading my 20gb.

Posted by Azteck

Woo!

Posted by chrisojemmo
@zudthespud: It doesn't look likely be like that, the release doesn't say anything about XBLA, games on demand or installing games to the external usb
Posted by ch13696

Wow already thinking people are gonna hack into it? Why don't you wait and see if it does get hacked before you actually say anything Jeff. Sorry just tired of everyone looking at the bad side of everything.

Posted by yates

A brave move by Microsoft but a very welcome one.

Posted by GeekDown

It's great that they're doing this, but I really wish they would allow more than 16gb.

Posted by LordAndrew

Great news.

Posted by Linkyshinks

It'll be interesting to see how they can make this secure. It could make matters worse.

Posted by discost3w

I use all my usb ports with my controller and my headset

Posted by MurderousDonkey

If this let's my carry around my gamertag without having to recover it on my friends console each time, Microsoft deserve a big pat on the back.

Posted by Vrock

hmm 
Will we be able to install games on flash-drives? 
If yes, than it's definitely good news.

Edited by Ashuku

Thank god. I can finally transfer the 12gb of Rock Band songs off of my 20gb hdd. Its getting to the point where I can't even download demos. 

Posted by bitcloud
@CL60: What, like my 500gb hdd for less then $80? No limit on USB drives? Instant login on another PS3 without deactivating my original one? Sure.
Posted by arab_prince

Finally Microsoft wisened up. more storage is a must since the original 20gb hard drive is very limitted. It makes sense that there is a cap, since if there wasnt, than no one would buy the 120gb hdd or whatever. Kudos to you microsoft :)

Posted by nick_verissimo

Well, it's a cheaper alternative then paying 40 bucks for a Microsoft branded 512 mb memory card.  In a quick search I saw a 16 gb flash drive for 35 bucks, so I think it's a nice gesture on Microsoft's part.  Now they just need to allow third party wireless usb adapters to be usable on the 360 without any hassle.

Posted by Andre

Excellent news. 256MB MU, meet eBay.

Edited by TheLawnWrangler

EDIT nevermind :P 
 
still, cool

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

Good. Now I don't have to buy a 360 memory card just to transfer my brother's saves to his 360 when I get him one.

Posted by StrikerTheLizard

Freaking awesome. This made my day.

Posted by BreTeK

This is great news, if I can move all my saves over (apart from stupid ones that you are not allowed to move!) then I can finally format my 120gb! My HDD is so slow at the moment!

Posted by Hoagie

The way it's worded makes it sound like games and DLC won't be allowed on USB devices. Mr. Nelson here says profiles, game saves, demos and more. I would think games and DLC, being the biggest memory-hogs would be first on the list. I'll keep my pants on until this is confirmed. Otherwise, I'm able to move like a whopping 500 MBs of content off my HDD.

Posted by I_smell

Cool, now I'll have more room for XBLA games.

Posted by swampwalk

About damn time!
 
I was getting tired of Microsoft touting the xbox 360 as a media center without providing the storage options to back it up.
 
oh yeah.... they'll be a hack for more than 16G a week after launch...
then they'll be a patch to brick all hacked systems...

Posted by MeatSim

This is a good idea.

Posted by Sargus

Awesome news. I've put off buying a memory unit forever, and now I'm glad I did.

Posted by CL60
@bitcloud said:
" @CL60: What, like my 500gb hdd for less then $80? No limit on USB drives? Instant login on another PS3 without deactivating my original one? Sure. "
What?
Posted by Sweep

Only 16gb per device? I guess they still want people to fork out for their big MS branded Hard Drives. Bastards.

Moderator
Posted by iam3green

pretty cool but they should allow more memory than that. 32 gigs isn't a lot that is having two flash drives in the USB port.

Posted by TripMasterMunky

only 16gb per device? That's pretty horrible. But still a lot better than nothing.
 
Can a USB hub work? So that way you can basically load that sucker up?
 
I'd like it to recognize more than 16gb though, that way I can just have one external and have all my game saved backed up on it incase my hdd ever dies.

Posted by Pkshields

Awesome feature, but like everyone else all I can think about is the piracy and hacking issues.

Posted by spazmaster666

Hopefully this means that I'll be able to put video files on a flash drive and be able to play it directly on the 360 rather than having to stream files to it over my network or using a FAT32 hard drive. Also, security shouldn't be a big issue if more game developers started encrypting their save files the way that most PS3 game saves are encrypted (yes evened encrypted saves like say FFXIII can be hacked, but it's a much harder process than unencrypted saves which can be easily hacked by anyone who knows their way around a hex editor).

Posted by WinterSnowblind
@bitcloud said:
" @CL60: What, like my 500gb hdd for less then $80? No limit on USB drives? Instant login on another PS3 without deactivating my original one? Sure. "
Yes, the PS3 allows better storage methods, but frankly these comments are getting extremely old.  The 360 HDD's are laptop ones, which are typically more expensive than regular ones and external ones typically need their own power source, plus they have a custom 360 shell and the software for simply being plug in and play, with the PS3 all the settings need to be configured manually, not to mention physically opening up your PS3, and so forth.
Posted by TheHBK

In earlier reports, I had been lead to believe that the device would be used exclusively for the 360, as to why a hard drive would be a waste.  But that picture right there makes me think that you just partition off a part of it for the 360 and the rest is still useable for a pc.  So what gives?

Posted by Zaapp1

3 Ports? So...48 GB?

Edited by MordeaniisChaos
@arab_prince said:

" Finally Microsoft wisened up. more storage is a must since the original 20gb hard drive is very limitted. It makes sense that there is a cap, since if there wasnt, than no one would buy the 120gb hdd or whatever. Kudos to you microsoft :) "

I'd be curious to see the sales numbers for 120 GB HDDs sold separately. I doubt it's very high considering the arm and a leg it'll cost you vs the established market worth per GB 

@WinterSnowblind said:

" @bitcloud said:

" @CL60: What, like my 500gb hdd for less then $80? No limit on USB drives? Instant login on another PS3 without deactivating my original one? Sure. "

Yes, the PS3 allows better storage methods, but frankly these comments are getting extremely old.  The 360 HDD's are laptop ones, which are typically more expensive than regular ones and external ones typically need their own power source, plus they have a custom 360 shell and the software for simply being plug in and play, with the PS3 all the settings need to be configured manually, not to mention physically opening up your PS3, and so forth. "
I'd rather spend time preping my 360 to use a bigger hard drive without spending 20 times what I should be spending. It also wouldn't be that hard to Automate the process, but that means the console seller has to put out support. Also means they can control it a hell of a lot more, like here though. There is NO argument against Microsoft charging out the ass for their own stuff and then not giving an alternative. As for the Live vs PSN transfer, if PSN cost money it would be the same I assure you. So that whole argument is moot. They are way too different. 
 
Edit: 
Does seem odd that the cap is 16GB. Considering the smallest drive MS is actually making is 60GB I'd have appreciated a bigger number. Obviously this is for people who don't have money to upgrade to a better HDD, but it would be nice to see more space. Still I'm not complaining, this more then doubles my space ^.^
Posted by ez123

Damn, those memory units must have tanked.  The market(sometimes) works!

Online
Posted by Zaapp1
@ch13696 said:
" Wow already thinking people are gonna hack into it? Why don't you wait and see if it does get hacked before you actually say anything Jeff. Sorry just tired of everyone looking at the bad side of everything. "
It's a valid concern that he's expressing as someone who believes in points as a worthwhile endeavor.
Posted by Halberdierv2

its about time the 360 actually started giving value for its money... $120 for a 20GB drive or $30 for 16GB Memory stick? this shouldve been part of it from the beginning.

Posted by Moztacular

I think something this speaks well for is that this feature will  "have" to come standard when the next xbox is released. right?

Edited by bitcloud
@WinterSnowblind: PS3 uses laptop hdds, has a slot designed to swap hdds. PS3 internal hdds are also formatted when you insert them so you don't do anything "manually". All that downloaded content has to be activated on another system anyway for the 360 so playing on other people's systems with PS3 is still easier.  
 
I don't even have to do that recover bs, just log in and go. And considering you can activate your account on up to 5 systems, dropping into a friend's PS3 for a game is easier. 
 
@MordeaniisChaos:  Microsoft is never going to give up the proprietary features. The could have been said about Sony in the past, but they actually changed for the better. People forget about the drm between 360 systems too easily.
Posted by Zuul
@CodeMcK said:
" No more recovering accounts when I wanna play on my friends xbox? "
This alone gets me excited!
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