Xbox 360 creator Microsoft will offer refurbished hard drives at a reduced price and free memory cards to users worldwide, in order to ensure that as many system owners as possible will be able to use the New Xbox Experience dashboard update.
128MB of storage space is required to download and install the new firmware update, due on November 19th. Since the Xbox 360 Arcade hardware bundle comes with only a 256MB memory card, instead of a hard drive, Microsoft is concerned that some console owners will not have the storage space to download the update.
In order to address the issue, Microsoft has begun a new "Memory Upgrade Program." Users can enter the serial number of their console at www.xboxstorageupgrade.com
, where they will be told if they are eligible for either a free 512MB memory card or a refurbished 20GB hard drive for $19.99 (or $29.99 for the hard drive and three months of Xbox Live Gold membership).
The offer appears to be valid in all major Xbox territories, including Europe and Japan, but there is no indication of how long the promotion will be continued.
The New Xbox Experience will introduce a new, more user friendly interface for the Xbox 360 dashboard, as well as the new customizable Avatars -- which many have compared to the Mii avatars on Nintendo's Wii.