Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb said Friday
on his blog that an April Xbox 360 system update will add support for USB flash drives, which will be able to store profiles, saves, demos and other data for Xbox 360.
The new functionality will give users more control over the way that they store Xbox 360 data, and it also introduces more storage options for consumers who bought hard drive-less Xbox 360 models. The system update is scheduled to arrive on April 6.
After the update, users will be able to plug in any USB flash drive that's over 1GB into the console and configure up to 16GB of memory.
While the update will only support 16GB of storage space, remaining storage on the flash drive will still be manageable on the user's PC or Mac. The update will also support two connected storage devices at a time for a total of 32GB of configurable memory, manageable through new menu options on the Xbox 360 dashboard.
Hryb added that "USB hard drives may work," but recommended using flash drives over spinning media for better performance. Microsoft is also working with SanDisk to release an Xbox 360 brand flash drive in May, Hyrb said.
: Consumer blog Joystiq spoke to Hryb
about the move and reports that he says the retail channel is "being drained" of Xbox 360 120 GB hard drives and flash Memory Units. These accessories are being phased out in favor of the USB solution announced today.]