Xbox 360 welcomes USB Storage

It might have started as a rumour, but the Xbox 360 will be getting USB Memory Support – and it’s getting it within two weeks from now.

A major system update will be launched on April 6th (US time) over Xbox LIVE, upgrading the Xbox 360 console to allow USB flash drives to be used for storing profiles, demos, save-games and up to 16GB of all the usual stuff you’d normally put on your local HDD.

Xbox 360 USB Storage

...running a dev kit with a huge hard drive.

Major Nelson says he’s been testing the feature out for a while now and claims it’s “really great”.

It sounds like a pretty simple affair – after the update lands, hook your 1GB+ USB flash drive up to the console and head to the memory section to configure it. The Xbox will conduct a one-time performance / integrity check to make sure everything’s working as it should, and will then give you the opportunity to tell the hardware how much storage to use on the device.

That’s the catch, y’know. Regardless of the size of your memory stick, you’ll only be able to use up to 16GB of memory for your Xbox 360-related data. The remaining space can be used by your PC, Mac, or any other hardware that uses USB flash memory.

Xbox would like to point out that you can use a USB hard drive for this – but you’ll still only be able to use 16GB worth, and they strongly recommend using flash-based storage for performance reasons, claiming it will give you a “MUCH better experience”.

This is how it will look.

In addition to adding this functionality, the memory management side of things has also been tweaked, so you can better control what data you’d like to copy or move between storage devices.

In summary:

You can have 2 devices connected to the console at a time, enabling up to 32GB of simultaneous storage.

The system won’t just configure the device once it is connected to the console. You’ll need to head to the memory area in system settings, select your USB Device, and choose from Configure Now (Format and Configure the Full Device), or Customize (you can choose how much memory you want configured for Xbox360 from the free space on the device.)

While any flash drive can be used, we are partnering with SanDisk to release an Xbox 360 branded USB flash drive in May that comes pre-configured out of the box and ready to go.

So – stay tuned to playerattack, we’ll be keeping an eye on this one and will let you know how this long-awaited update works once it kicks in on April 6th!

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