Good news for Xbox 360 owners: Microsoft's Major Nelson has confirmed last week's reports of USB storage coming to the Xbox 360. And it's coming soon.
The software update that will make it happen is due April 6, giving gamers only a week and a half more of having to rely on Microsoft's proprietary memory cards and hard drives for system storage expansion--at least if they're happy with 32GB.
One detail that was confirmed from last week's leak--and that gamers might find disappointing--is the size limits on storage formatting are relatively quaint. As mentioned before, users can only have between 1GB and 16GB per USB storage device, and only two can be attached at once, maxing out external memory at 32GB. This also means you won't be able to re-purpose one of your old USB sticks as a memory device if they're smaller than 1GB, and that you can't utilize a large and cheap external hard disk drive as an alternative to Microsoft's existing hard drive options. Still, it's a step in the right direction for a console that will celebrate its fifth birthday this fall.
Nelson (whose real name is Larry Hryb and who is the director of programming for Xbox Live) also announced that Microsoft would soon be releasing Xbox-branded SanDisk USB sticks that come ready to be used right out of the box. Otherwise, to use the new storage feature on their own USB keys or external hard drives, gamers need to run a small formatting utility through the Xbox 360 dashboard. The SanDisk sticks are set to be released in May, though Hryb could not offer capacities or pricing.
For more of this story, read Microsoft confirms, dates Xbox 360 USB storage on CNET News.