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Xbox 360 USB memory support coming April 6

Microsoft dates, details upcoming system update allowing the use of third-party storage devices.


Last week, rumors surfaced that Microsoft was planning to introduce USB memory device support for the Xbox 360 through a firmware update this year. Not only has that rumor proven true, but gamers won't have to wait long to check out the new functionality. Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hryb announced today through his official blog that a system update allowing the use of third-party USB storage devices with the Xbox 360 is scheduled to arrive on April 6.

Xbox Live just picked up a few more menus.
Xbox Live just picked up a few more menus.

With the update, users will be able to store up to 16GB of Xbox 360-related content on a third-party storage device. Any remaining space on the USB drive, which must have a minimum capacity of 1GB, can be allocated for use with a PC or Mac. Two 16GB storage units can be used concurrently, allowing for up to 32GB of external memory.

Hryb went on to note that while USB hard disk drives are compatible with the update, flash drives should perform better and are thus recommended. Users will be able to use their devices to store profiles, game saves, demos, and other information. The update will also tweak memory management functions to allow better control of what the user wants to copy or move between devices.

Until now, users wishing to increase the memory capacity of their Xbox 360s were limited to Microsoft's own memory cards and hard drives. Attempts to circumvent this have led to system updates locking out unauthorised storage devices. Late last year, Datel, a manufacturer of storage devices, responded by taking legal action against Microsoft and accused the software giant of antitrust violations.

Hryb also revealed a partnership with SanDisk to release an Xbox 360-branded flash drive preconfigured for use with the console in May. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that its 250GB hard drives for the Xbox 360 are now available separately for $129.99 in North America.

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