Microsoft Rolls Out Xbox 360 System Update for USB Compatibility

Microsoft's Major Nelson announced via Twitter that a system update for the company's Xbox 360 console should have reached all owners. The upgrade allows users to connect a USB storage device to the console.

Xbox 360 manufacturer Microsoft announced via a Twitter post that a software update for the gaming console that enables support for USB devices should have reached all Xbox owners. The system update was released over Xbox Live on Tuesday.

Microsoft's Major Nelson, who authored the tweet, also noted users can have two devices connected to the console at a time, enabling up to 32GB of simultaneous storage, and explained 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)," Nelson wrote. The preconfigured, official Xbox 360 8GB USB Flash Drive by SanDisk comes with a one-month Live Gold membership and retails for $40, while a 16GB drive costs $70. The Xbox 360 reserves 512MB of storage for system use and can only support 16B of storage. While Nelson noted that most USB devices should be compatible with the console, there were no guarantees.
Microsoft has big things planned for the console in 2010. In March, the company sent out "save the date" notices to journalists regarding its Project Natal unveiling at the E3 video game trade show in June. Project Natal is the code name for a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" for the Xbox 360 video game platform, which enables users to interact with the console through a user interface using gestures, spoken commands, or presented objects and images. Announced at last year's E3 convention, Project Natal is scheduled to hit stores by the 2010 holiday season, though no price point has yet been set.
Last week the console was in the news again, with Microsoft defending itself from a U.K.-based third-party controller maker. Microsoft filed a lawsuit against technology company Datel Design & Development, whose Xbox 360 controllers bear a striking similarity to Microsoft's. The technology giant claims the controllers infringe on a number of patents. The suit specifically targets Datel's TurboFire and Wildfire controllers, which are sold in various big-box stores, including Wal-Mart and Target.