Rumor: Xbox 360 to Get USB Storage Support

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
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Rumor: Xbox 360 to Get USB Storage Support



According to internal documents at Microsoft, USB mass storage support will be coming to the Xbox 360 this spring.

A document written by a senior software development engineer at Microsoft outlined how you will be able to plug in a USB drive to your Xbox 360 and directly download Xbox Live Arcade games, Xbox Live Indie games, Games on Demand, DLC and Title Updates directly to the drive. You will even be able to put a full disc-based onto the USB drive and run it from there, but you'll have to have the disc in the drive to authenticate it. While still not officially announced, if USB mass storage support is a reality, it may mean that Microsoft Memory Units for the Xbox may be cut out entirely. The update is slated for Spring 2010.

"USB storage devices may, however, have far greater memory capacity than MUs (at the date of writing, the largest MU is 512 MB), and may therefore support previously infeasible operations-such as installation of a full disc-based title," the document stated.

The document goes on to more technically describe how USB mass storage would function on the Xbox 360. When you first insert the device, you'll be prompted to do a "complete" format or a "customized" one. Selecting complete format will overwrite all that's on there while customize will allow you to keep music or other files on the drive.

The smallest size drive supported is 1 gig, and the process sets up a partition of 512mb for system and the rest of the drive as storage. Right now, the maximum supported size is 16gb and there's a hard limit on the number of drives you can have connected at any one time. Only the first two USB drives you connect will be recognized.

Still, with two 16g drives, you'd be able to sport 32g of storage without needing to purchase a pricey Xbox hard drive.

That's boon to all of you Xbox Arcade owners out there.

And for the record, I totally want to use that steampunk USB drive [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/96405-The-Thousand-Dollar-Steampunk-Memory-Stick] with my futuristic-looking Xbox. It'd be so anachronistic!

Source: Joystiq [http://www.joystiq.com/2010/03/18/xbox-360-gaining-usb-storage-support-in-2010-update/]

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SnootyEnglishman

New member
May 26, 2009
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That's gonna be a nice thing to have once i get more money and am able to buy more arcade games for my system
 

Rednog

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Nov 3, 2008
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Fantastic, I got tired of having to install games and then delete them when a new game came along. Finally I can just have them all installed and not have to worry. Though I do smell the terrible stench of piracy on the horizon with the foretold ability to play games from the external harddrive...
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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Will be nice. Somewhere else I can back stuff up to. Nice move Microsoft!
 

Loop Stricken

Covered in bees!
Jun 17, 2009
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This would surely be excellent news!

... if I still had yet to fill my Elite 120gb hard drive.
 

Worgen

Follower of the Glorious Sun Butt.
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Apr 1, 2009
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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Ill bet before this fuctionality comes out ms will make it so only thier usb units will work or some shit like that
 

samsonguy920

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Mar 24, 2009
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Ah, I love the smell of rumors in the morning, since lighting a candle usually removes it easily. If not Lysol.
There is a lot hinky with this, since both publishers and console makers have been paranoid of usb drives being used as a tool for piracy. Though the limit of two usb units per console(or account) makes sense as a deterrent.
Even with Natal coming out, something like this, being a big concession that it is, reeks of Microsoft having a new console over the horizon. It may be worth checking on hints of that to determine how much this rumor might be true.
It might also me being a bit cynical about Microsoft and how much they really give their console customers. USB flash memory is a good step forward, since it is practically forever media. Hard drives having moving parts tend to have a shorter lifespan than a gamer might prefer. At least I would.
 

PiggyGamer

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Jul 22, 2009
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Yeah, at first I was excited, imagining using my 1TB hard drive for installing games to my heart's content, but that 2x16gb limit is kind of a downer.
Still, if this is true, there will be much rejoicing from me, because it's almost torturous trying to manage my meager 20gb HDD on my 360.
 

BlindMessiah94

The 94th Blind Messiah
Nov 12, 2009
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I like how this is essentially a glorified Memory Card and people are acting like it's the second coming of Jesus.

USB sticks have been around forever and these consoles have all had USB slots on them forever. Now, they finally decide to use them and it's a big deal.

Way to be behind on the times Microsoft and act like it's innovative.
 

Altorin

Jack of No Trades
May 16, 2008
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umm... am I the only one that read the 16gb maximum? That's dumb. If you're going to allow support for USB storage, go all out, let people connect their 500gb USB hard drives to it. Why create the support for the hard drives when you're going to limit it to 16gb dongle?

This is nothing.. for the hassle, I'd rather get an HDD.. in fact, if they don't open up the 500gb support for portable HDs, then I may end up getting the 250gb HDD when I get some cash in my pants
 

StriderShinryu

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Dec 8, 2009
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As someone who's got a 20g drive and no interest in paying the exorbitant prices MS charges for it's HDD upgrades, this appeals to me. :)
 

PiggyGamer

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Jul 22, 2009
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I'll be the first to admit that I know very little about how technology works, but...
Would the 360 actually be able to access data from a flash drive fast enough to run 360 games installed to it? Without long load times or slowdown?
I thought the advantage of a HDD was that it was a disk, so it can be read faster than flash memory, but I really don't know...
 

tkioz

Fussy Fiddler
May 7, 2009
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Boo. 16gb? boo!! I was hoping to buy another 1TB external and slap that in so I never had to worry about deleting crap from it again.