512MB Xbox 360 Arcade confirmed

[UPDATE] Master modders at Xbox-Scene discover Microsoft has quietly doubled the amount of internal flash memory in its hard-drive-less $199 console; the question is: Why?

When the hard-drive-less Xbox 360 Arcade succeeded the Core model last year, it initially came with a detachable, external 256MB memory card to store the New Xbox Experience firmware. Later models of the $199 console featured 256MB of internal flash memory attached to the newer-model "Jasper" motherboards, which were redesigned to be less susceptible to the hardware failures that prompted a billion-dollar warranty extension in 2007.

The first sign of something bigger?

Now, it appears Microsoft has increased the Xbox 360's internal memory to 512MB. The new configuration surfaced on Xbox-Scene, a hardware site staffed by expert modders who regularly dissect the console with religious fervor. During one such virtual vivisection, one user noticed that the motherboard on a Japanese edition of the console manufactured on April 9, 2009, was sporting the larger memory size.

With Microsoft's game division struggling to eke out a profit, it seems curious that the company would increase the production cost of its console voluntarily. One factor for the change could be a mandatory increase dictated by the firmware file size necessary to operate the Xbox 360 dashboard, which was the reason for the installment of the flash memory in the first place. As announced at its E3 press conference, Microsoft is planning to add a variety of functionalities to the dashboard this year, including the integration of the social network Facebook, the omnipresent microblogging service Twitter, and the Internet radio service (and GameSpot sister site) Last.fm.

Another theory is that the increase may be paving the way for a firmware update needed to operate Project Natal (shown below), the motion-sensing peripheral unveiled at E3. Though project director Kudo Tsunoda made a point of saying the console would work with all past, current, and future Xbox 360s, he did not say whether or not older, hard-drive-less consoles would require a minimum amount of memory to do so.

[UPDATE] Though Microsoft had not commented before the publication of this story, reps from the software giant have now confirmed the 512MB 360 memory upgrade. "The change was made to offer consumers a bit more memory at the same low price so they can enjoy more experiences on Xbox Live," a rep told GameSpot.

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Discussion

105 comments
mpeg3s
mpeg3s

The funny thing is that consumers are getting upset because of change. As you can see, change is coming if you like it or not!

grootelaar
grootelaar

but if it was true i wish they can program princess ashe PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

grootelaar
grootelaar

it wont work they only program it so that he regonise only those words the reson is when you just swear at millo he is just happy i just know

xunhallowed
xunhallowed

@leimeisei Microsoft is providing additional storage space (flash memory) so as to fit more things like arcade games or whatever on the Xbox 360. Flash memory is built-in storage space, not Random Access Memory.

nerd_assassin
nerd_assassin

I doubt this even increased production costs. I mean, hardware gets cheaper by the year, and if the annual margin is indeed a year, there's got to be no increase in cost. Other than that, I agree with blargX.

blargX
blargX

I doubt this actually increased production cost, if so it was most likely in the .1-3% margin.

ColonelRadec
ColonelRadec

They should just give the arcade model a 10 gb hard drive.

leimeisei
leimeisei

I ask why? Most games I believe are hard-coded to work in a certain amount of memory, meaning if they were cutty or slow, they'll still be just as cutty or slow. Meaning, unless the existing games are patched, all that the new memory will affect is new games. Again, I don't know any of this for sure because i'm not a game developer, but I'm 99% sure. Secondly, why didn't Gamespot just refer to it as RAM, instead of "internal flash memory"?

Beastcake
Beastcake

The memory units are not entirely useless. I think they're pretty handy when it comes to playing at a friends house or having a LAN party. Thing is, they are so overpriced by themselves, its almost not worth it.

shii666
shii666

Not a bad thing... But it still is not much space...

swamptick
swamptick

Microsoft has shown me they know what they are doing but delivering fun games and a good console. I am all for it.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Interesting little news but I'm not too surprised with all the new features their coming out with that they would have to bust out a improvement with the basic system...

daabulls23
daabulls23

It's just a little upgrade. I think people who are buying the arcade really don't care if there is an extra 256 MB or not. If they cared about internal storage, they would buy the pro or elite.

nynthninja
nynthninja

LithuanianGamer i bought an arcade unit..its awesome for a replacement to my pro

deltron77
deltron77

honestly im glad they make an arcade, if you get the RROD, dont have the cash to fork over, and your warranty is up, its a cheap alt, snap off your hard drive,use it on the new one...plus there trying to sell to a bigger audience..i see why they have it

maverick_76
maverick_76

I'm surprised that they just don't give it 1 gig and call it a day. Oh well like Lithuanian said people who actually care about this news are the ones who buy the pro or elite model.

LithuanianGamer
LithuanianGamer

If MS wants to sell arcades they should make them with 20Gb HDD.

LithuanianGamer
LithuanianGamer

Who cares about arcade no one buys them everybody gets a premium or an elite.

Barhooom
Barhooom

My bet is that no one is manufactoring 256 MB anymore.

mini_guv
mini_guv

How long until they kill off the core? woo 512mb memory what are you going to do with that! Like Shani_boy said the cost of flash drives is minimal! But in my opinion why not do a 20GB, 60GB and 120GB model and ditch the arcade?

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@ joevit Nail on the head. With all of the features they keep adding MS had to make it available for their core model.

joevit
joevit

It's just for software updates. They have a lot of new stuff to download on live.

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

flash memory means storage, so called 'smarter people'. 512MB of space? you gotta be kidding. nowadays you can't even find 512MB flash drives, and 1GB drives go for less than $1.

xboxps2cube
xboxps2cube

do it matter? nobody should be buying this one anyway

CVM_123
CVM_123

they probably buy them at best buy lol

Xb0Xer
Xb0Xer

just so you know it is not hard drive space, it's Internal Memory... so if i were you i would read the fine print before thinking you know it all hehehe druggernaut

groupofus
groupofus

...................................................wow.....................................

nynthninja
nynthninja

theyre doing it for Marvel Vs Capcom 2 mark my word

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

seirously there are alot of "SMART PEOPLE" that keep going on about this being a RAM upgrade.. READ BEFORE YOU POST OR LEARN ABOUT COMPUTER TECH BEFORE YOU GO TROLLING. RAM = Random Access Memory, this is storage space like a memory card.

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

seriously, why in the **** would anyone care about this story enough to post?? oh wait.. i just posted.. ..I don't know the difference between 256mb and 512mb is not going to make much, if at all of a difference.. but at least its a upgrade. .. as far as the "why don't they just add 2gb or 4gb??"; its simple, people could actually make do with 4gb, and therefor not as many pros/elites/harddrives would sell. ..And to all who complain about microsofts expensive hard drives, yes they are WAAAAY overpriced, but that's just how there business model works, GET OVER IT. So many complain about the cost of these drives, yet NO ONE says ANYTHING about the cost of Wii's..

Justforfun44
Justforfun44

Why ask why? Maybe the new flash memory is less expensive than the old.

blackace
blackace

They added the additional memory to help accommodate the new firmware update that will include the Twitter, Facebook and Natal configurations. I'm sure it won't take up much memory, but M$ probably felt the additional memory would be good for the gamers who want to download more XBox Live games. I plan on getting the Elite before the year is over.

wiiplay1
wiiplay1

You have GOT to get the Elite version. It's a lot of money, but it's seriously worth it. Especially compared to this one.

simonsworld
simonsworld

BtmnHatesRbn,DamnedApples hello.i know he left,but i feel comfortable with associating bill with microsoft, he screwed me and many in past, and maybe i wanted some form of revenge,on here a big giant talking computer didnt seem as intimate to abuse(a personal vision of mine,work with me people), plus i on my 3rd xbox the red ring saga still haunts me,let a guy spill his soul

thirdykal
thirdykal

... this wasn't done in the States? My Arcade bought a few months ago from HK has this 512mb of internal memory. Not exactly new news over here.

atest123
atest123

Ya thats fine and dandy, but Valve still does not have enough ram to upgrade the 360 version of the Orange Box.

ieatnoobs18
ieatnoobs18

i think bill gates still helps out M$

DamnedApples
DamnedApples

Yeah...Gates isn't with Microsoft anymore. As rich as he became, he still donated a significant amount of money to charities. He's not Andrew Carnegie, but he doesn't strike me as an evil PC baron.

OverkillAzault
OverkillAzault

so if you buy an arcade you got a 512mb memory right then add a hard-drive to it and you got a memory loaded xbox

BtmnHatesRbn
BtmnHatesRbn

@simonsworld Bill Gates left Micro$oft almost over a year ago. Where have you been?

vampyre_dark
vampyre_dark

This has nothing to do with natal or red rings. it's just a built in memory card. The 256 is too little because the NXE upgrade uses it almost all up.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Maybe they got a better deal from newegg on the 512 chip than the 256... Happens to me all the time, might as well GO BIG!

simonsworld
simonsworld

maybe it prevent the red rings of death........ha! no it wont nothing can!!!!!!!!!!!! stick a extra cooling fan in the box please bill,you corrupt bussniess man, i still love you, but am not sure why.

gonrb8
gonrb8

I think they are over analyzing the situation. It may have something to do with the above mentioned in the future, but for right now I think it's simply for XBOX Live arcade games. Almost every game I download from the Arcade now says it requires a hard drive or 512MB memory.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

"With Microsoft's game division struggling to eke out a profit" so sony is making more money in their game division