Several sources are reporting that "USB Mass Storage Device Support on Xbox 360" will soon become more than idea, with an upcoming Spring 2010 system update. The reason? The document states: "increased market penetration of high-capacity, high throughput USB mass storage devices, a 2010 Xbox 360 system update" will finally let the Gamers of America load, copy and save data from USB devices.
The question on our mind was what kind of data, and that has been answered. Once you download the (more than likely) required update, you can download Title Updates, Xbox Live Arcade games, Xbox Live Indie games, DLC and Games on Demand to the USB device. More importantly, you will be able to store disc games on the device as well! Of course, you will have to have the disc in the tray in order for the game to authenticate, just like it does now.
The USB device support does not come without restrictions, however. Your device must be greater than 1GB and the system will ensure that it is compatible.
The system partition occupies 512 MB of space, and by default the consumer partition occupies the remainder of the device capacity, or 16 GB, whichever is smaller... consumers are offered two choices: 'Configure now' or 'Customize'.
We know that the "Customize" option will give you the option to save non-console data, such as music, to the device, and "Configure now" will use up to 16GB of the drive.
We also know that Microsoft is really done with the Memory Unit game and is aware that the profit is in the hard drives. 16GB is just short of the 20GB that shipped with the first Xbox Pro systems in 2005, which allows Microsoft to get away from having Memory Units on possible future consoles. Not to mention, this puts Xbox on-par with the PlayStation as far as this functionality is concerned.
For all those who are still anti-Microsoft yet own their console, you can use up to two USB devices simultaneously, for a total of up to 32GB. Keep in mind, though, that you will not be able to insert a third device, as the Xbox 360 will only recognize the first two hooked up, due to a fixed limit in place by Microsoft.
Overall, good news from the Xbox 360 camp. Will you be using the new feature when it hits your console? I know the guys here at PLuGHiTz Live! definitely will as we have consoles in all of our offices, and this will make the process of playing the actual games much easier!