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USB Storage Confirmed on Xbox 360

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 28 comments

Feeling that your Xbox 360 storage is a little too small? Grab a pair of 16GB USB flash drives and you're suddenly 32GB larger come April 6!

Earlier in the month we reported on pretty convincing evidence that showed the Xbox 360 to be supporting external storage in an upcoming update. Today, Microsoft revealed that the update will be hitting Xbox 360 owners on April 6.

"On April 6th, we will be releasing a system update over Xbox Live for your Xbox 360 that will allow USB flash drives to be used for storing profiles, game saves, demos and more," Xbox Live director Larry Hryb wrote in his blog. "You will then be able to configure how much storage to use on the device, up to 16 GB. The remaining space on the flash drive will be accessible by your PC or Mac. USB Hard drives may work, but like flash memory, you’ll only be able to use up to 16GB of space."

This news should come as a huge relief to Xbox 360 gamers already at the brink of their storage, especially for those without hard drives or are still using the old 20GB models.

Hryb does want to clarify a couple of points:

·  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.) 

Of course, nothing is complete without some new merchandise. Microsoft has teamed up 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. Pricing for the special drives are to be announced.

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  • -2 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , March 27, 2010 7:28 AM
    I had been thinking about getting one of their memory cards simply because they're a bit more fail resistant (not that I expect my hard drive to fail) for my profile/saves. (also to bring to a friends house)

    But now I can buy however much space $10 gets me and just use that.

    My hard drive is a 120 gig drive that I modded to use like any xbox hard drive, they're just laptop drives.

    Also last time I checked there's a USB plug in the back of the console as well, so why only 2 devices?
  • 8 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , March 27, 2010 9:02 AM
    If your going to do something like this, do it right! Give it NTFS or FAT32 support, and let it use the entire storage space!
  • 4 Hide
    hoof_hearted , March 27, 2010 9:53 AM
    This can only help Microsoft. I am sure they don't want users saying "I can't buy this game or movie from Xbox Live, not enough space." Kind of silly on their part to be the least bit restrictive when it comes to HD space. Especially when physical HD space is so cheap compared to the revenue they'd miss from selling content.
  • Display all 28 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    Regulas , March 27, 2010 12:43 PM
    I can plug any external USB HD into my PS3 right now. I bet MS tries to release some proprietary external drive and charge double to all it's fan-boys. They will use their 360 OS to make sure you can not us just any drive. Mark my words.
  • 1 Hide
    p05esto , March 27, 2010 1:25 PM
    Can I download gamesaves then for the XBOX? Let me clarify that I rarely play (too busy) and don't know. But what I do know is there are no good cheat codes anymore that just unlock everything...really sucks. If I play 1 hour a month that is a LOT and I just want all the cool guns and cars right away so I can have a little fun. Having to go throguh the game, earn crap and whatever just turns me off big time. If I could use cheats or gamesaves that would be the best. Anyone have an idea for me? Take Burnout Paradise City...I still have the default car for a year now and that's my favorite game by far, just pick up controller and GO!
  • 0 Hide
    mmast0 , March 27, 2010 2:06 PM
    i have been a proud xbox 360 owner since its release, but now i am starting to doubt my choice. i think i am just now starting to notice all the bulshitz microsoft is trying to pull and this new arcade thing is such a waste of money. diehard 360 fan starting to consider the competition
  • 2 Hide
    babybeluga , March 27, 2010 2:32 PM
    I am extremely surprised that any flash drive can work.

    *golf clap @ Microsoft*
  • -4 Hide
    will_chellam , March 27, 2010 2:46 PM
    In my opinion it's essentially irrelevant whether or not a console supports an external hard disk or not, since no external usb harddisk offers either the capacity or transfer rates to support a respectable media library.

    Anyone with half an ounce of sense that wants a centralised media storage will have a NAS on a Gbit LAN with a decent amount of upgradeability. I currently run a 4tb NAS that can stream to my 360, and any of my families 4 PC's simultaneously, it also houses all my music and a centralised picassa library.

    Whats more, I dont even consider myself a particularly 'power' user, my family definitely arent techophiles, but they do appreciate the unwavering reliability and consistency of such a system. If I was going to be really hardcore about it (and I did consider it) I would have installed a rackmount 'data centre' for the house....

    regardless, back on topic, the 360 and PS3 were only ever supposed to be frontends for media collections, if you go down the path of wanting to centralise an entire media collection, you'll quickly run out of space, and quickly be dissapointed. If you only use your HDD for downloadable content, demos and savegames, even the old 60gb hdd on the 360 pro is going to be largely sufficient.
  • -4 Hide
    will_chellam , March 27, 2010 2:48 PM
    xbeaterIf your going to do something like this, do it right! Give it NTFS or FAT32 support, and let it use the entire storage space!


    or format a hdd as mac and just plug it in....
  • -4 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 27, 2010 3:28 PM
    Wasn't there a recent news article about this? Feels like a tv rerun.
  • 3 Hide
    fishhead565 , March 27, 2010 3:35 PM
    Finally, I'm still using the 20 gig lol, who cares if its only about 16 gig a stick support, it still increases my storage by more than double if i use 2
  • 2 Hide
    moody89 , March 27, 2010 3:45 PM
    This can only be a good thing! I'm also using the old 20GB HDD with the original Xbox and was actually considering buying the new 60GB HDD. This is good news as long as they do support any flash drive like they say...although it would be very un-Microsoft like!
  • -5 Hide
    ben BOys , March 27, 2010 3:59 PM
    since protable HDD act simalary to memeory sticks does this mean we may be able too get and extra 500 GB :) !
  • 4 Hide
    Dawgsoverrebs , March 27, 2010 5:17 PM
    ben BOyssince protable HDD act simalary to memeory sticks does this mean we may be able too get and extra 500 GB !


    Did you even read the article or just the headline
  • -4 Hide
    thejester420 , March 27, 2010 7:17 PM
    HAHAHA, they capped they memory usage 16gig's per flash drive, what a waste, why can't they just use regular external HDD's like the PS3, I have a 500gb external, a 80gb PS3, and a 16gb flash card, and i'm running outta space! I think MS is trying to deter people from purchasing cheap external HDD's so they can continue purchasing there over priced, low density drives.
  • -1 Hide
    m-manla , March 27, 2010 7:42 PM
    Why not use a USB Hard Drive? That would be a better choice.
  • 5 Hide
    ThisIsMe , March 27, 2010 8:28 PM
    Wow! You guys are being so negative about this. Why would you need more than an extra 16GB or 32GB just to save or back up your gamer tag, downloadable content, saved-game data, possibly a few downloaded movies, and the occasional game demo. These are really the only things going on the xBox storage devices.

    For everything else, just plug any size external HDD into a USB port on the xBox 360 and that's it. For those of you here who think that the xBox 360 does not support FAT32 you are wrong. Get any size external HDD and format it with FAT32 and there you go. Keep all of your movies, tv shows, pictures, and music on it and don't worry about it.

    Some of you may even be thinking that the partition size limit of FAT32 is 32GB or something like that. That's just a limit Microsoft placed on their NT based OS's (WinNT, Win2k, WinXP, WinVista, Win7) to try and get you to move to NTFS, but Windows 98/ME could create and format a 120GB FAT32 partition (which is still just another limit based on lack of hardware support and testing abilities at the time of Win98/ME's release). All of these limits can be easily overcome with the download of one simple command line tool, easily found with a quick google search, that you can use to format larger size partitions with FAT32. The actual maximum size limit for a FAT32 partition with a sector size of 32KB is about 2TB. Yes that's terabytes. So to sum up, just about any external USB storage solution you buy for your xBox 360 will work in its entirety, if fromatted in FAT32, for everything except storing actual xBox 360 data. For that Microsoft will now allow you to use up to two simultaneous 16GB flash drives to do the trick.

    Oh, and they never said you can't use 10, 20, or even 30 16GB flash drives (if you so desire). It's just that you can only have 2 plugged in at the same time.
  • -1 Hide
    scryer_360 , March 27, 2010 8:32 PM
    Why the 16 gig limit? Makes no sense.
  • -2 Hide
    ben BOys , March 27, 2010 9:30 PM
    @dawgsoverrebs its says limit upto 32GB doesn't say hackers can't make it 500GB maybe you should think outside the box
  • -4 Hide
    codeman03xx , March 27, 2010 10:16 PM
    Anyone blue-ray drive... wasn't that suppose to release Nov 2009
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