We will be releasing a system update over Xbox LIVE for your Xbox 360 that will allow USB flash drives to be used for storing profiles, game saves, demos and more.  I’ve been testing this feature out for a few weeks, and I have to say it’s really great. Once you take the system update on April 6th, you’ll be able to connect your USB flash drives to your console and head over to the memory section to configure your new storage device. Once you do that, the system will conduct a one time performance and integrity check to confirm the drive is working properly. You will then be able to configure how much storage to use on the device, up to 16 GB. The remaining space on the flash drive will be accessible by your PC or Mac. USB Hard drives may work, but like flash memory, you’ll only be able to use up to 16GB of space. Since performance on flash based USB storage is usually better, I highly recommend using flash based instead of spinning media like a hard drive…it’s just going to give you a MUCH better experience.

 

We’ve also enhanced the memory management functions, so you’ll be able to have better control on what you want to copy or move between storage devices.

 

A couple of points: 

  • You can have 2 devices connected to the console at a time, enabling up to 32GB of simultaneous storage.
  • The system won’t just configure the device once it is connected to the console. You’ll need to head to the memory area in system settings, select your USB Device, and choose from Configure Now (Format and Configure the Full Device), or Customize (you can choose how much memory you want configured for Xbox360 from the free space on the device.) 

While any flash drive can be used, we are partnering with SanDisk to release an Xbox 360 branded USB flash drive in May that comes pre-configured out of the box and ready to go. I’ll provide links to those drives once they’re available. Until then, starting April 6th (when we release the system update) you can pop any flash drive over 1GB into your Xbox 360 and configure it as storage.

 

I’ve posted a bunch of screen shots that show you what the experience is like with a USB flash drive, as well as a look at the new memory management screens.

 

Xbox 360 USB Mass Storage

 

We hope you’ll enjoy this flexible new way to manage your Xbox 360 profile and game data.

Sometime over the next few hours when you sign in to Xbox LIVE you’ll receive a prompt to accept this mandatory update. If you are signed into LIVE already, you may be signed out and asked to accept the update and you’ll be back online in a few moments.

 

Read the FAQ on Xbox.com which may answer some of your questions.

 

Post your comments here, or drop by the Xbox forums to share your experience with this new feature.

 

Edit: Most USB memory will work, or you can purchase one of the official SanDisk 8 or 16 GB flash drives that are pre-configured and also come with a free month of LIVE.

Credits go to MAJOR NELSON :)