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Microsoft Docs Indicate Future Xbox 360 Support For USB Storage

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the good-thing-you-didn't-shell-for-the-big-hdd dept.

Input Devices 130

Internal Microsoft documents obtained by Joystiq indicate that its Xbox 360 console will gain support for USB storage devices some time this Spring. "According to the document, the USB mass storage device must be at least 1GB and the system will do a compatibility check. 'The system partition occupies 512 MB of space, and by default the consumer partition occupies the remainder of the device capacity, or 16 GB, whichever is smaller.' Upon inserting a blank USB storage device, 'consumers are offered two choices: "Configure now" or "Customize."' The 'Configure now' option will use 'the entire device capacity, up to the maximum of 512 MB plus 16 GB,' meaning, regardless of the overall size of the device you're using, the Xbox will only enable 16 GB of usable, non-system storage. The 'Customize' option will allow you to 'preserve some pre-existing, non-console data on the device' such as music." There have also been rumors of a new, smaller form factor for the 360, and hacker Ben Heck has given his thoughts on some leaked motherboard pictures.

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130 comments

Orly? (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534274)

I'm surprised I haven't seen PS3 fanboys laughing about this before.. it's even worse than not being able to watch DVDs on your Wii's DVD drive..

Ha Ha... (0, Flamebait)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534306)

The PS3 sucks just as bad as the Xbox...It just lasts slightly longer (hardware wise). And I can't play most DVD's on my PS3. Don't know why they just never worked right, BluRay works fine though.

Re:Ha Ha... (0, Offtopic)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534350)

It'll be because of region restrictions. I had to buy a region free DVD player to play some stuff. AFAIK they haven't started enforcing region coding on any blu-rays yet.

Re:Ha Ha... (0)

blargster (239820) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534830)

I think you are thinking of HD DVDs, which have no region coding.

Blu-rays most certainly do have region coding: A, B and C.

From wikipedia:

        * Region A includes most North, Central and South American and Southeast Asian countries plus Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.
        * Region B includes most European, African and southwest Asian countries plus Australia and New Zealand.
        * Region C contains the remaining central and south Asian countries, as well as China and Russia.

Some distributors don't use it much, and others are very strict about it. Criterion only is in region A, and Disney tends to only distribute for region A.

Re:Ha Ha... (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534994)

I didn't say they don't have it, I said they haven't been enforcing/using it AFAIK. Now I know slightly better.

Re:Ha Ha... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535064)

They've been using and enforcing region codes from the very first Blu-Ray releases.

Re:Ha Ha... (2, Informative)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535720)

That's only for Blu-Ray Movies... PS3 games use a different region encoding with numbers [1]=US and Japan [2]= Europe [3]=Asia [4]=Australia, and yes, it is a different numbering scheme than the R1, R2, etc. used for DVDs.

Go check your PS3 box or any of the game cases, they'll have the region logo on the back it's a little square with a portion of a globe and a number.

I've yet to see a game disc that enforces this, however Downloaded content IS region locked, though only to the account (IE: you can use European content on a US console if you're signed in with a European registered PSN account).

Re:Ha Ha... (1, Informative)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537066)

PS3 games DONT have region encoding...

The region label on the cover only shows the "intended" region where the game is meant to be played, but the hardware does not lock out a USA disc in a European PS3.

However, there may be a region issues in terms of Online/Downloadable content. However, thats entirely in the software and is up to the publisher.

Re:Ha Ha... (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535660)

I haven't had the DVD problem, although to be honest I've played maybe one DVD on the system. I've been doing a LOT of UPnP playback from my media server though.

Could you elaborate on what about the PS3 sucks as bad as the Xbox? For a long time I was on the fence between buying a PS3 or 360, especially once FFXIII for 360 was announced. In the end I went with PS3 due to Blu-Ray. I'm glad I did, the PS3 seems to be COMPLETELY different in terms of Sony attitude compared to most of their products in regards to weird nonstandard technologies.
Storage is USB with no "oddball" restrictions. (Just lack of support for "oddball" configurations.)
Cameras are USB UVC devices
Wired headsets are USB audio compliant
Wireless headsets are Bluetooth
Standard USB keyboards/mice work fine
The internal hard drive is SATA and nothing (other than maybe power/thermal limits - is the stock hard drive 5400 RPM or 7200?) restricts you from putting a bigger one in.

I've actually been very pleasantly surprised by the system compared to what I expected prior to owning it. Without planning it, I have a massive pile of accessories for my PS3 which were bought for other purposes.

Re:Ha Ha... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536820)

The internal hard drive is SATA and nothing (other than maybe power/thermal limits - is the stock hard drive 5400 RPM or 7200?) restricts you from putting a bigger one in.

Except the shitty-quality screws Sony uses in the HDD caddy. Chances are you'll strip one minimum while changing the HDD.

Re:Ha Ha... (1)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537158)

That only applies to the newer Slim version. however, they are just normal screws, easy to obtain. Nothing special.

But yeah, they fitted the "softer" screws to avoid people from damaging the thread on the HD from being idiotic. That was a common issue they observed fromt he earlier PS3, Joe sixpacks ripping the threads on the HDD due to overtightening, or misalignment.

Easier (and cheaper) to replace a screw than a HD.

Re:Ha Ha... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31538162)

Except the shitty-quality screws Sony uses in the HDD caddy. Chances are you'll strip one minimum while changing the HDD.

Try using a jewelers screwdriver set (you know, the ones made for tiny screws) and you won't have any problems at all. Frankly, it's scary (and sad) to watch those YouTube videos where people are using their 8" Phillips head screwdriver to work with small parts.

Re:Ha Ha... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537098)

Whoops, I meant to go back and reply to some of your other points after previewing, but hit Submit instead of preview.

Cameras are USB UVC devices

There are cameras other than the EyeToy that work on the PS3?

Wired headsets are USB audio compliant.

The 360's headsets plug directly into the controller. Unfortunately, this means they probably have a proprietary connector.

Wireless headsets are Bluetooth

Since Xbox 360 wireless controllers are Bluetooth, I'm assuming wireless headphones are too.

Standard USB keyboards/mice work fine

Same applies to the 360.

Having said that, I own all three of the modern systems, but the Wii and PS3 are the only ones I paid for. The PS3 was a recent purchase... a used 60GB model, whose HDD I immediately upgraded to 320GB*.

*That's approximately... 298GiB? Stupid HDD manufacturers using 1000 numbering instead of 1024 like OSes do.

Re:Ha Ha... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31537666)

Actually, the connector looks pretty standard.
They just have that extra plastic to attempt to match the controller's look (It didn't work for the Halo 3 Special Edition machines, though -- The controllers are Spartan Green with black Charge 'n Play pack, but the header for that headset is grey).

Re:Ha Ha... (1)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537830)

Xbox 360 controls are not Bluetooth, they use a proprietary MS wireless technology, and have less range than PS3 controls.

Re:Ha Ha... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539786)

Standard USB keyboards/mice work fine

Same applies to the 360.

no it doesn't.

Microsoft's guidelines prevent 360 games from shipping with standard USB devices for game input, including but not limited to USB joysticks, USB/bluetooth mice/keyboard(UT3 supports keyboard/mouse input, FWIW; UT for PS2 did the same thing.), etc.

Re:Ha Ha... (1)

anexkahn (935249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538524)

The only reason I bought an xbox was for windows media center. I have played maybe 3 hours of games on it since I purchased it. I tried mythtv with the original xbox, but it just wasn't as elegant. There just isnt a media center out there that is as good as windows media center in terms of the look and feel....there are some solutions out there that contain more functionality though.

Re:Orly? (4, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534602)

>>I'm surprised I haven't seen PS3 fanboys laughing about this before.. it's even worse than not being able to watch DVDs on your Wii's DVD drive..

Or, uh, PC gamer fanboys, who have been able to use USB drives with their gaming boxes since ~1998.

Re:Orly? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534860)

Yep, but they don't tend to chip in so much and so obnoxiously in these console wars.

Disclaimer: I own a PS3, Wii, DS, PSP and used to love PC gaming too but have no need for it at the moment.

Re:Orly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534662)

it's even worse than not being able to watch DVDs on your Wii's DVD drive..

http://wiibrew.org/wiki/MPlayer_TT/ [wiibrew.org]

The next Wii Menu (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534774)

it's even worse than not being able to watch DVDs on your Wii's DVD drive..

wiibrew

Watch Wii Menu 4.3 break your homebrew.

Re:The next Wii Menu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534804)

And then watch it be fixed in under 24 hours.

Or, alternatively, watch me not update.

Re:The next Wii Menu (1)

nutznboltz2003 (832752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534900)

And then watch it be fixed in under 24 hours.

Or, alternatively, watch me not update.

That was my original goal once I got WiiBrew installed. Sadly, I had a friend gift me several WiiWare titles. I never could get the store upgraded alone via WiiBrew, so I ended up just upgrading my Wii. I only used WiiBrew to add watching DVD movies and streaming video from a network share. As I also got a 360 at about the same time, I did not mind loosing the DVD playing on my Wii.

Re:The next Wii Menu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534950)

I'm pretty sure the latest version of the Wii system menu is still hackable. Of course, there are also less-than-legal alternatives to the Wii Shop channel, but not wanting to go that route is perfectly understandable.

Re:The next Wii Menu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535110)

How convenient. DVD players are under $20.

Re:The next Wii Menu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535316)

And DVD players can't run Snes9x or Mario Galaxy. It's one less thing to have plugged into the wall.

Re:The next Wii Menu (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535240)

And then watch it be fixed in under 24 hours.

4.0 to Bannerbomb took over a month.

Or, alternatively, watch me not update.

No updates, no new games. If you're not playing new games, why not buy a cheap DVD player? And watch new consoles come with the new firmware. Remember the old days of PSP hacking, when people would analyze the boxes to find a sign of what firmware they came with?

Re:The next Wii Menu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535800)

4.0 to Bannerbomb took over a month.

Which was quite irrelevant to people who already had their Wiis hacked.

No updates, no new games. ... And watch new consoles come with the new firmware. Remember the old days of PSP hacking, when people would analyze the boxes to find a sign of what firmware they came with?

You reference the PSP homebrew scene - if that's any indicator, then I have no worries about being able to run homebrew and commercial games in harmony from now into forever. As for future console revisions, I guess that sucks for people who don't already have a Wii.

If you're not playing new games, why not buy a cheap DVD player?

Better yet, why buy a cheap DVD player? It's redundant. Of course, using the Wii as a DVD player is not an ideal solution for a lot of people, but the option is there.

When you wear out the drive (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536028)

Better yet, why buy a cheap DVD player? It's redundant.

Redundancy has its advantages [wikipedia.org]. When you wear out the drive in a $30 DVD player, you're out $30. When you wear out the drive in an unhacked Wii console, you're out $75 for a drive replacement. But when you wear out the drive in a $200 hacked Wii, on the other hand, you're out $200 plus your savegames. HackMii.com appears to be down right now (returning only "502 Bad Gateway"), but it ran a story sometime last year about Nintendo repairing a console with a dead DVD drive after warranty expiration and charging the owner for a whole new Wii because it was found to have been modded.

Re:The next Wii Menu (2, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535948)

No updates, no new games. If you're not playing new games, why not buy a cheap DVD player? And watch new consoles come with the new firmware. Remember the old days of PSP hacking, when people would analyze the boxes to find a sign of what firmware they came with?

It almost seems like you are cheerleading their efforts to break someone's setup. The constant updates that these companies are throwing at us now are getting ridiculous. I don't like the idea of not owning the equipment in my home.

If this were any other consumer products, where 'unauthorized' repairs resulted in more than simply voiding your warranty, you would have consumer protection groups raising hell.

"Looks like you fitted your lawnmower with an aftermarket air filter. Don't worry, we fixed that for you and glued up the holes that you drilled to fit it. We also welded a piece of metal so it sticks out into the area where you had the old filter, just so you don't try it again."

Or if when you took your Toyota in for the recall, they ripped out your upgraded head unit and replaced your performance shocks with stock equipment.

Programmer art (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536318)

It almost seems like you are cheerleading their efforts to break someone's setup.

Once I was looking to develop Wii homebrew games myself. But then I saw two drawbacks.

First, I ran into the so-called "homebrew complexity wall", where a lone developer with a day job will lack the time to provide both high-quality code and high-quality art. In order to replace notoriously bad programmer art, I'd have to charge for my game in order to afford to pay an artist. Reactions to the sale of copies of BootMii-related tools show that the Wii homebrew community likes to keep it strictly non-commercial. Or can you recommend a way to make programmer art better without sticking to making Tetris clones over and over?

Second, I worry that working on homebrew for current consoles, as opposed to PC games, will jeopardize my chances of being hired by an established video game studio once I move out of the backwoods town of 200,000 people where I currently live.

Re:Orly? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534748)

it's even worse than not being able to watch DVDs on your Wii's DVD drive..

Is this actually a problem for anyone? Who owns a Wii, doesn't own a DVD player but has a desire to play DVDs? DVD players are so cheap you just go and buy one.

Re:Orly? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534954)

Is this actually a problem for anyone? Who owns a Wii, doesn't own a DVD player but has a desire to play DVDs? DVD players are so cheap you just go and buy one.

That may be so, but it doesn't explain why the Wii doesn't offer DVD playback even as a feature available for a nominal sum of money. Some people don't like having two devices plugged into their TV when the one they already own is more than adequate for the task.

Re:Orly? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534986)

It's just a pain in the ass. It's much nicer to have one device that does everything. At my mum's house there is a freeview box, PS2 and a Wii. The TV only has 2 SCART inputs too - one of which is taken up by the freeview box. So if the Wii is plugged in and you want to watch a DVD you have to go round the back of the TV and switch the cables around (or use a switcher box as I'm sure some people want to point out).

Compare this to my PS3: I can play my music, watch digital video files, watch TV (with the PlayTV freeview receiver), play CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, browse the internet, all using one device - only needing one remote control even (although I think the lack of volume control on the PS3 remote is a major oversight, so I do usually still keep the hi-fi remote handy). I've not had to change the input on my TV since I got my PS3. I definitely think Sony have the right idea here.

I'm trying not to be too much of a Sony fanboy here - just pointing out that convergence of devices in the living room is a Good Thing. And short of rolling your own combo gaming rig/media center PC (which even now has got to be more expensive than buying a PS3 when you factor in stuff like a blu-ray drive and small form factor) there isn't anything equivalent out there right now.

Re:Orly? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535036)

I'm surprised I haven't seen PS3 fanboys laughing about this before.. it's even worse than not being able to watch DVDs on your Wii's DVD drive..

The PS3 let's you plug any FAT formatted devices into the PS3 and read / write unprotected content to & from the device. You can also backup your files to a device assuming it has the space. What you can't do is use the disk for ad hoc storage of protected content except through the backup mechanism.

The MS solution appears to repartition the device. Presumably the partition will be formatted and encrypted so the 360 can read & write protected content. The advantage would be that it probably allows the device to store games and other data, but it doesn't help if you intend to use the device in other ways or to transfer content.

Re:Orly? (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539412)

The Xbox plays media content from USB Mass Storage just fine. This is talking about storing game data (savegames, probably DLC and so on), which is at the moment only possible on the internal hdd or custom memory cards.

Re:Orly? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539702)

Ah, that's not so bad then - but the artificial limitations are still pathetic money grubbing on Microsoft's part.

Still Xbox 360? (3, Interesting)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534300)

They're still developing new Xbox 360 versions? Usually after so many years, there appear new consoles. But this time it seems none of the big 3 console makers has any plans for this.

Another indication that processing speeds aren't really increasing anymore these days?

Re:Still Xbox 360? (0)

Rijnzael (1294596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534328)

Hopefully it's evidence that they plan to actually create a stable piece of hardware that doesn't suffer from the RRoD at an absurd rate (at least in MS' case). Plus they've just sunk their teeth into digital distribution and they want to milk it and mature it for all this generation is worth (read: they might want to release the next generation only compatible with game downloads).

Re:Still Xbox 360? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534690)

Hopefully it's evidence that they plan to actually create a stable piece of hardware that doesn't suffer from the RRoD at an absurd rate

They've already done that. [youtube.com] Now, apparently, they're working on cramming the system into a smaller form factor so they can have another wave of hardware issues.

Re:Still Xbox 360? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534368)

The more accurate term would probably be "revision" rather than "version".

With the limited exception of assimilating certain things that used to be optional extras as they become cheap(eg. original PS2 had ethernet as an add-on module, by the time the PS2 slim came around, an embedded NIC was much more sensible than an option port), console makers don't really have much incentive to change specs too often, since they are generally trying to cut costs over the console's lifetime, and avoid fragmentation of the market.

However, while substantial spec changes are comparatively rare, and have historically proven to be a bad idea, most consoles go through numerous revisions(some fairly subtle, and visible only to people who care about inspecting motherboards in detail, others quite visible for marketing purposes, like the new PS3 design) that leave the specs largely the same +/- a few nonessential peripherals; but aim at reducing production costs and correcting flaws in older designs.

Re:Still Xbox 360? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534820)

Square-Enix posted job(s) for someone to work on next gen hardware. I'm sure that's not a pc, so something is already being planned unless "next gen" is the new ds.....

Re:Still Xbox 360? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536016)

Processor speeds are increasing. However they are irrelevant for most home-and-garden computer varieties. Heck, I actively look for processors that have less power and are smaller for home (Mac Mini vs. Mid-Tower).

I also work with a biomedics lab and I'm actively looking for a "quiet" 4-way or 8-way workstation which can also fit a couple of nVidia Tesla's - something you need a 1.5-2kW power supply for. I'm waiting for the new Xeon's to come out first though since they think the current generation 2-way quad cores are not enough for them and a small cluster of them doesn't have fast enough interconnects.

Re:Still Xbox 360? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537414)

Another indication that processing speeds aren't really increasing anymore these days?

They are increasing, hugely. Clock speed != processing speed, despite Intels' stupid Pentium 4 marketing.

No more expensive memory cards? (4, Insightful)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534304)

Does this means i can use my simple USB stick instead of a memory card to keep my savegames on? (i have two xboxes, so i need portability)

Either MS just killed their memorycard business, or this usb stuff is rather useless..

Also, YAY now you can just get the cheapest arcade xbox you can find, and a $10 usb stick, and have massive fun

Re:No more expensive memory cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534470)

Hard drives in consoles killed off the memory card business years ago.....

Re:No more expensive memory cards? (3, Insightful)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535044)

to a certain degree yes, but as i pointed out, i have two 360s, and i need to move my profile from machine to machine (along with saves). The only easy way to do this is to have the profile and saves on a memory card, which are frickin expensive.

Also, not all 360's come with a hard drive, the arcade/core version have no hard drive (later arcades come with built in 256mb flash). And again.. If you want to move around profiles/saves on the xbox, a memory card is the only easy way to do it (for profiles you could 'recover' it through XBL, but that is a bit stupid when gaming at a friends place, and requires internet. You could also swap hard disks, but that doesnt allow you and your buddy to both use your own profiles at the same time)

Re:No more expensive memory cards? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535818)

as i pointed out, i have two 360s, and i need to move my profile from machine to machine (along with saves). The only easy way to do this is to have the profile and saves on a memory card, which are frickin expensive.

Why not just detach the hard drive and transfer it? They're external modules, designed to be easily removed and replaced. I'll admit I've not tried this - perhaps it doesn't work - but this seems like the logical approach.

Re:No more expensive memory cards? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535936)

Read the comment you're replying to, dumbass:

"You could also swap hard disks, but that doesnt allow you and your buddy to both use your own profiles at the same time)"

Re:No more expensive memory cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31537258)

Please reread the comment you're replying to.

Some of us actually have friends to play with, so swapping HDDs becomes problematic when you both want to play on a system.

Or, for games with four-up action (Call of Duty 3, local play comes to mind), you run into another problem unless you have two 360s and two copies of the game, because SOMEONE won't be able to plug in a memory card and play on their profile.

Re:No more expensive memory cards? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537328)

(later arcades come with built in 256mb flash)

The Xbox 360 Arcade has always come with a built-in 256MB flash. This was announced before it even came out.
The model it replaced, the Xbox 360 Core, didn't have a hard drive.

Re:No more expensive memory cards? (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535572)

Does this means i can use my simple USB stick instead of a memory card to keep my savegames on? (i have two xboxes, so i need portability)

What I would like to know if they'd support memory card readers. I can play music on Xbox 360 off USB drives, but not SD memory cards through an USB card reader... which is a little bit silly, because to my Linux box, the card reader just shows up as a yet another USB mass storage device. (I haven't tried the photo app on 360, which sounds like it could conceivably support card readers.)

Either MS just killed their memorycard business,

And good riddance to that! Console-specific memory cards suck, standard card formats rule! I cheered when I found out that Wii uses bog-ordinary SD cards. I cheered when I noted that Xbox 360 supports HDMI in addition to Yet Another Useless Proprietary RGB/Composite Port With Funny Cabling.

Re:No more expensive memory cards? (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537748)

Yes it does, and yes they have. The assumption is the upcoming 360 slim doesn't have space for the memory card slots.

yawn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534348)

i wanted to come here and troll but this place is so boring that i can't even find anything i feel like trolling about. hopefully they just take slashdot down soon. you dimwits would die with nothing to do sitting in your mother's basement.


FAGGOTS!!!!!!!!!onehundredelevenoneone!!!

Oy (5, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534388)

So you can connect an external storage unit, but it'll only use 16GB of it? That's a bit less then the size of the smallest 360 hard drive, which they don't even sell anymore.

I guess they don't want to cannibalize their outrageously priced upgrade drive business.

Re:Oy (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534476)

Actually, once you've lost space to the various cache partitions the 360 wishes to have to speed up your loading, and the ones that are required to offer compatibility on XBox 1 games, the useable partition for saves / installs / whatever on a 20Gb 360 drive is only about 13.5 Gb. So this isn't as bad as it sounds.

Re:Oy (2, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534516)

For comparison I've upgraded my PS3 with a 320GB internal drive for installing games and recording TV, and I regularly connect up external USB drives to transfer media or save games. Any FAT32 formatted drive works, including my 500GB Passport.

Microsoft are really fucking people over here. Big surprise..

Re:Oy (2, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534594)

Although given how rife savegame hacking is on the PS3, it does demonstrate that MS aren't _completely_ talking out of their backside when they claim this is why they have until now not liked third-party memory units. I'm guessing there will be some barriers to playing around with the data in these custom partitions.

Re:Oy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534636)

And savegame hacking is a problem how?

If people want to ruin their game experience by cheating or whatever, that's up to them.

Re:Oy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534752)

If people want to ruin their game experience by cheating or whatever, that's up to them.

Or, in the case of Sonic Unleashed, drastically improve their game experience by skipping the shitty stages and just playing the ones they bought the game for.

Re:Oy (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534792)

And savegame hacking is a problem how?

If people want to ruin their game experience by cheating or whatever, that's up to them.

It's not the ability to ruin your game experience as much as the ability to run that of your online opponents.

Re:Oy (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535522)

Any online game that allows a savegame hack to affect online play violates the "do not trust the client... EVER." mantra.

Violating that mantra almost always leads to crap multiplayer with rampant cheating for one reason or another. When I first saw Crysis' description of why they separated DX10 players from DX9 (more powerful systems to perform physics calculations on, implying that world physics was *offloaded to the client*) I was worried that multiplayer was going to have some cheating problems. Boy was I right... I played multiplayer for about a week then uninstalled Crysis. It's NOT good when someone can change one XML file and make their pistol bullets do 9999999 damage and their vehicles immune to all weapons fire.

How to not trust a nondedicated server? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535860)

Any online game that allows a savegame hack to affect online play violates the "do not trust the client... EVER." mantra.

In all but MMO games, one of the clients also acts as the server. Whom should the players trust?

Re:How to not trust a nondedicated server? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537492)

Many companies have server infrastructure that handles things to make cheating and save games harder.

Re:How to not trust a nondedicated server? (2, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538030)

Maybe it has changed, but for a long time, most games had "dedicated" servers.

Yes, you had to trust the server admin, but at least they would have incentive to "play honest" - otherwise no one would use their server. Since dedicated server admins usually have a bit more invested into hosting a server (in terms of bandwidth, etc), they're less likely to screw around.

Client-side cheaters, on the other hand, can be douchebaggy on any server.

Also, as someone else said, a lot of games have hosted servers for non-MMOs. See battle.net for Diablo II as an older example.

Re:How to not trust a nondedicated server? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539714)

Any online game that allows a savegame hack to affect online play violates the "do not trust the client... EVER." mantra.

In all but MMO games, one of the clients also acts as the server. Whom should the players trust?

Computations such as physics should occur on multiple clients, and if the results don't agree to within a specified error, the clients in the minority gets booted.

Files should be hashed before play begins and only players that have matching hashes should be allowed to play together. If you want to cheat, there should be a way to allow that as long as all players are informed of the "cheats". I had a lot of fun in the original Jedi Knight game with several cheat mods. I wasn't using it against anyone and pretending to be better than them, but I played with a group of other modders bombing the crap out of each other with tie-bombers. Fun stuff.

Re:Oy (1)

illaqueate (416118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535538)

most multiplayer games are locked, most major releases have been locked since trophies actually

Re:Oy (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537288)

I'm very unhappy with this situation. I really preferred portability of my game saves over trophies. I don't really play online so I could care less about that aspect of it.

Re:Oy (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534854)

Were you only playing single-player titles, I couldn't care in the least, although it does rather indicate why people don't care about Trophies as much as they do Achievements. When you use it to create an unfair advantage in multiplayer games, it reminds me of the worth of my Live subscription fee.

Re:Oy (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534848)

Some games do restrict copying of savegames. Others don't. I don't see why it should matter anyway, it's up to the player if they want to miss out on half of the game by cheating.. personally I don't usually mess around with cheats until I've completed the game properly.

Re:Oy (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535584)

I guess they don't want to cannibalize their outrageously priced upgrade drive business.

I figured they'd go for something like an optional SSD in the same form factor as the hard drives. Should be good for some high margin.

Re:Oy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539608)

Seems to be a limitation of the 360's software design. The Datel memory cards also stopped at 16GB.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31534744)

Why cant i quit microsoft...?

I'll care... (2, Insightful)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31534890)

...when I can hook up a mouse and keyboard and actually be able to control games with them. My own personal hell is to have to play CODMW2 with a damn joystick.

Re:I'll care... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535488)

you are such a little bitch.
 
Consoles are great because of the standardization and even playing field. i.e. it doesnt favor the uber-dorks like you who spend $5,000 on a video card and $2,000 on some super mouse/keyboard combo.
 
You only like PC games because you are that much of a l00ser and know you will get your ass handed to you once the playing field is even.

Re:I'll care... (0, Flamebait)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535868)

I can't believe I'm actually going to engage in conversation with you, but here' goes.

Actually, my whole computer is worth less than $1000. Even with this setup, I find myself in the top 5 on most of the servers I play on, regardless of the frame-rate I can squeeze out of my machine. This has to do with skill and the fact that I've been doing it for 10 years. Had I cut my teeth on consoles FPS's like you, I'd be able to say the same thing about playing on console servers. Your argument is weak; had you brought up the fact that you damn near have to hack the servers to gain an advantage (try finding a CS server without a cheater) then you may have gotten somewhere.

Truth is, if MS allowed PC and console gamers on the same server it would be you, sir, who would have his ass handed to him.

Re:I'll care... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535966)

I can't believe how much of a little bitch you are.

Re:I'll care... (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536428)

You have articulated your argument very well. I see clearly now the intelligence you bring to the table and I have no choice but to change my stance on the subject.

You win this time...

Re:I'll care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31537920)

Oh you are so enlightened. How silly of me to behave informally on slashdot.

Quit taking yourself so seriously you fucking videogame loser.

Re:I'll care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535918)

What a presumptuous twat. A cheap 10 dollar internet mouse is still loads better than a dual joystick setup, and I can still use it to frag any idiot dumb enough to spend more than 200 dollars on a video card.

Re:I'll care... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537436)

Last time I checked, the 360 itself supports USB mouse and keyboard.

Which means the developer decided not to support it, or you just never tried it.

Re:I'll care... (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537806)

Games are not allowed to be controllable via mouse/keyboard although the system does support them for entering text etc. The PS3 is the same, FYI. There are a number of reasons for the restriction, some good some bad.

Re:I'll care... (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537868)

You're right, it does. That's why I said "...actually be able to control games". But is it the developers or is it that MS never built it in to the SDK? I would think that MS would rather keep their PC and console games separate so hardcore gamers are forced to stick with PC because that's more potential revenue for them. Maybe some software developers out there know the answer to this...

The 16GB limit (3, Interesting)

NeverNow (611234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535216)

In TFA, they asked Heck whether the 16GB limit is a technological limitation of file systems or a deliberate choice. It seems pretty obvious to me that it's artificial and meant to protect their disk drive market. Considering that USB devices will, unlike now, be trusted storage where one can write DLC, XBLA games and even full game installs and GOD, there's no reason why one would use an externally powered USB drive instead of a small pendrive. That would mean 100$ for a 1TB drive, going in the drive maker's pockets, instead of 100$ for a 120GB drive, going in MS's pockets.

Re:The 16GB limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536120)

Great Point:

I own an early Model PS3, 60GB. I bought it for the backwards compatibility, played mix of PS3/PS2 games until they started hitting their stride with some good titles. Just ran out of space with all the RB music n saves, few demos, etc. Went and purchased an ext USB drive for $50 and a 640 GB SATA laptop drive for $100. Once formatted I still am getting about ten times more disk space.

The 60GB drive lasted almost 3 years. This is a silly limitation for MS to be putting on their users.

Re:The 16GB limit - Karma (1)

NeverNow (611234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539312)

Exactly. But in a pleasant episode of karmic justice, the 360 had a very early firmware hack and is now torn apart with the JTAG hack, while the PS3 is - at least practically - still unhackable.

Not very useful (1)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535688)

When I first read about this, I thought that I'd finally be able to use my NTFS formatted FreeAgent external drive on my 360. Too bad this isn't the case. It's ironic that the 360 doesn't seem to be able to use external drives formatted using the same file system being used in current Windows operating systems.

Already has mass storage support (4, Informative)

paulhar (652995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535740)

My xbox 360 has a 250GB external USB drive attached to it that is used to store copies of home movies.

Although the article isn't as clear as it could be, this is really about adding support for Xbox downloadable content to use USB storage.

Oh, and for a laugh - currently the Xbox can't read NTFS format drives. FAT isn't suitable. So... use a mac, format as HFS+, and the xbox will happily use them.

Re:Already has mass storage support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539218)

Yeah...I had an old mac formatted ipod back when the 360 launched, and it worked perfect with the 360. I was quite surprised.

what about cheating? (2, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538886)

When MS dropped the hammer on Datel's large, 3rd party memory cards, they said they had to do it since those devices allowed cheating. That is, they were read/writable from non-Xboxes since they used SD cards for storage and thus you could easily mod saves.

How does MS square that with this action? This device is read/writeable from non-Xboxes since it's regular USB, isn't it?

I personally never believed that MS' actions were for any reason other than to protect their revenue stream. But can't really go back on their story now, can they? Can Datel sue over something like this if they do?

Re:what about cheating? (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539550)

It may be read/writable but you can bet bet your a$$ it will be encrypted. You can probably only copy stuff to it from an Xbox and vice versa. Stop those cheats hacking their saved games.

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