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The Xbox One June System Update is now live, and it gives you the ability to add external storage to your Xbox One console. 4) Once you've done that, you'll be asked if you want to install things on this drive by default.
My understanding is that [external storage] will not be there at launch because the team’s working on other things.
The first generation of Xbox One consoles will include 500 GB internal hard drives, allowing users to install games from disc for faster loading (in the same fashion as the current Xbox 360), as well as store digital purchases such as arcade games, music, and video. As a comparison, Microsoft’s primary competitor, Sony, will not allow external storage drives for the PlayStation 4.
This week's system update for the Xbox 360 saw the addition of support for USB drives on the console, allowing players - for the first time, officially - to use their own flash devices for extra storage.
Some say that it's too little, too late, citing the fact that there is a hard-set 16GB limit on device support, meaning that even if you buy a 500GB external drive, you can still only use a fraction of it. Even more impressively, you can bag yourself more storage space, faster access speeds and swifter loading times for your Xbox 360 Core or Arcade than the original 20GB HDD bundled with the launch 360 deluxe packs.
While we hesitate to mention it, we've also had a few emails suggesting that the new update, once transferred onto a CD or flash drive, also restores the "install to hard disk" functionality removed from Xbox 360s banned from Live at the tail-end of last year. It's interesting to note that the USB storage option appears to have no limitations whatsoever.
Plug the drive back into your computer and you'll see it's still recognised as a standard USB mass storage device, albeit with reduced storage. Xbox 360 simply hides its files on the drive, mostly in 1GB chunks, but with other config and system info reserved in smaller files.
Overall then, the implementation Microsoft has chosen is fairly neat, efficient and clearly scalable, albeit a touch stunted in some areas. The question now concerns the fact that the new expansion is entirely USB-based with the bandwidth implications that suggests. The objective here was to sample a range of compatible USB devices and to see what kind of performance we could get.
Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis.
In a way, the new Xbox 360 dashboard reflects Microsoft larger ambitions -- a declaration that Xbox is much more than just a games console. The new Xbox 360 dash is heavy on Metro, Microsoft's design language that encompasses modernity and cleanness. In the new update, hubs are now displayed horizontally (left to right) across the top of the dashboard. There is a strong focus on Kinect throughout the new dash, as you are no longer taken to a completely separate dashboard experience when navigating with motion controls. In the social hub you also have access to your entire friends list, social apps such as Facebook and Twitter, and the ability to sign-into a different Xbox user profile, as well as sign-out indefinitely.
As with all the other content specific hubs (such as Music, Social, and Games), the Video hub displays a carrousel of featured video content that switches between three images every 3 seconds. The Music hub features an artist of the week-like tile, featured content in the form of a sliding-carrousel and easy access to the Zune music marketplace, along with access to music apps such as Last.fm. The Apps hub grants you access to all the apps you’ve downloaded, along with a dedicated tile for the apps marketplace, where you can continue downloading apps to fulfill your heart's desires.
The new dashboard is extremely responsive and can be further explored using Kinect or the standard Xbox 360 controller.
When selecting a rectangular or square shaped tile or panel on the dashboard, you drill deeper into the content represented by the tile. It’s definitely feature-packed, but the bombardment after bombardment of tiles may feel cumbersome to some.
Pressing 'Y' in any of the hubs (sans Home, Social, and Settings) will take you to a search box where you can search for content-specific media. Of all the changes that this update brings to the table, Kinect integration is one of the most compelling. While controlling the console with your hands is admittedly pretty cool, it is not as precise or quick when compared to using a controller. Kinect may not always recognize what’s being uttered, and you may need to reiterate yourself from time to time, especially if you’re saying something intricate or if your voice has a strong accent. However, voice control is still a compelling feature that makes searching for content on your console much easier and even enjoyable.
This major Xbox 360 upgrade introduces several new features such as cloud storage, beacons, Bing search, Live TV, several accessibility improvements and a wider variety of apps. After some experimentation, I realized that 511MB is set aside on your on-board console storage device to save back-ups of saves that have been saved on the cloud (remotely on a server).
Beacons. Ever wanted to play a game with one of your friends -- any of them, but didn't want to take all that time to send individual messages to the 50 people on your friends list? Updated apps include the already established Last.fm, Hulu Plus, ESPN, and a much improved version of the Netflix app. Live TV. Along with the various apps that will come with this update, Microsoft has made deals with service providers such as Verizon and Comcast in order to bring live television to the masses.
Kinect Integration. The dashboard has been updated to make it much easier to navigate through the thousands of pieces of available content on Xbox Live, and you could do it whether you’re using Kinect or a game controller. Bing Search. Now you can search your Xbox 360 console for games, television shows, music, and apps.
Facebook Sharing. While beacons provide you with a way let your friends know you’d like to play a game, Microsoft has deeply integrated Facebook into the Xbox 360. Quick play. You can now access and launch one of 7 of your most recently played games and applications.
Xbox Companion. Along with the release of this update, Microsoft will release a free app for Windows Phone handsets, which allows you to control the Xbox dashboard directly on your Windows Phone.
I’ve had a chance to play around with the new features of the dashboard for a couple of weeks now, and my favorite feature, although it’s a small one, has to be the quick play option. After attempting to use some of the apps on the console, I was greeted by an "Upgrade to Xbox Live Gold" message. As stated previously, Microsoft is taking a major step forward in fusing together many of its products.
This update has the potential of reaching over 57.7 million of the Xbox Live connected Xbox 360’s worldwide.
Gamers and XBOX One fans have now a few reasons to be happy, as recent news tell us that Microsoft will solve the XBOX One storage problem.
Afraid that they will be forced at some point to delete some games to make room for new ones, the XBOX One users repeatedly asked Microsoft to do something about this problem. It couldn’t be easier to increase your storage capacity of games and apps with the external storage support features we’re bringing in June. The second great news, besides the fact that Microsoft will solve the storage problem, is that you will be able to transport your favorite games to a buddy’s house and play there in a blink of an eye, after you signed in into the XBOX Live. Moreover, the update will also make possible the real-name support on your Xbox Live friends list so you can identify the people you play with.
If we were to judge, we’d say that the new update seems to turn the XBOX One into a Sony Play Station 4. Actually, the update steps up the game for Microsoft in its ever-lasting competition with Sony in the console market. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Microsoft has released a firmware update via Xbox live which allows console owners to use regular flash based USB memory sticks to store content. The news is particularly exciting for Xbox 360 Arcade owners, who have until now have not been able to install games, or download games from Xbox Live.
I got so excited the first time I heard this, until I realized your storage is limited to 16GB per drive. All you need is a USB3.0 compatible external drive which is 256GB in size or larger, and you're away. We're going with a 3TB Seagate STBV3000200 external drive (pictured right) in matt black, so it sort of matches the console. If you select "Install new things here", every time you download something or install a game, it will be put on to your external drive. Once you've got your storage all set up, you can start moving things to your external drive via the Games & Apps menu, or downloading things to it right away.


I only mentioned the power supply as most drives that fit that specification will come with a power supply, is all. Join the Nerd Fitness Rebellion and learn how to use your favorite video games, books, and movies as inspiration for adventure. The now delayed feature would have allowed gamers to attach external hard drives via USB to expand the console’s total storage capacity.
Hryb’s comments during the podcast, there has been no official statement from Microsoft regarding the external storage feature. However, PS4 owners will be able to replace the console’s internal drive, also 500 GB by default, with a larger one.
Others reckon it's a cunning scheme to circumvent a lawsuit from unofficial peripheral maker Datel, which used to offer its own MicroSD based solution before injunction-wielding heavies waded in.
Quite why Microsoft has chosen to do this remains unknown, but once again it may tie into the Datel lawsuit. There's no custom partition being created here: the 360 will format the drive when you set it up, but it's in the traditional FAT32 config common to most flash drives.
On the left is our 4GB Sandisk Cruzer Blade, on the right our 128GB Samsung SSD in a USB enclosure.
We moved across a folder of files from one drive to another, and the data was completely ignored: the 360 simply treated the device as though it was completely empty. Backup options are limited and there's a 16GB limit on the size of the partition the 360 can address. We were interested in how much of a throughput deficit there would be up against the SATA interface of the Xbox 360 HDD, and whether the flash storage option was actually competitive. To see the interface tested to its limits, we hooked up a full-on SSD via USB enclosure to effectively remove the bandwidth and access time limitations of the storage device.
The console has been around for just about 6 years, but in that timeframe, through the distribution of numerous software updates, the company has kept the console fresh and competitive. It's a full-blown entertainment system that not only competes with the likes of game-industry rivals Sony and Nintendo.
It’s "all about content and typography", according to Microsoft’s basic description of the language. Due to this, the navigation is similar to the original ‘blades’ that were introduced when the Xbox 360 first launched in 2005.
These tiles are found in nearly every facet of the new dash and make it much easier to select content using Kinect hand gestures.
Formerly, you could only navigate around the dashboard after waving your hands and being taken to a completely different experience.
This hub displays a giant search box encouraging you to search Xbox for games, music, movies, and apps. Right away, you are treated with a glimpse of your virtual avatar, recent achievements, gamerscore, and the avatars of no more than 3 friends who are also online. Additionally, selecting your avatar takes you to a new area in the dash that enables you to change your console theme, read messages, see your achievements and customize your avatar. Alongside with that, you have access to all your downloaded video apps and a dedicated tile for the Zune video marketplace.
Here you can view a list of all the games you’ve ever played or downloaded, access to the game marketplace, and featured content in sliding-carrousel form. Here you can modify system settings, preferences, your profile, account, privacy, parental controls and even turn off your console via the dedicated tile existing solely for that purpose. In order to navigate using Kinect, you simply use your hands or voice to perform your desired action. The Metro design really compliments the big screen and invites the user to explore by drilling into the tiles.
For example, navigating to the Games hub and clicking on the 'Games Maketplace' tile will take you to another list of tiles that provide you with several options to find general game content. Let’s just say you get a good idea of just how much content is available on the Xbox Live network. For example, press 'Y' while in the Games hub and you will see a search box inviting you to search for game titles. As stated, you can use a standard Xbox 360 controller to navigate the dash, but the dashboard turns into something right out of Minority Report once you throw Kinect into the mix. On the other hand, using your voice to control the console is fantastic and mostly accurate depending on the sound of your voice. For example, if you are in the music hub and see a tile for Smashing Pumpkins, saying "Xbox. Generally, when you play a game for the first time, you are asked where you’d like to save the game data.
This is great for those who want to access their saves on a different Xbox or someone who lost all their saves after a hard drive freak accident involving a cat and lots of magnets.
Along with the existing apps come an assortment of newcomers such as Today, Daily Motion, SYFY, and dozens of others. For example, the SYFY app takes a good minute to download, awhile to start and load up, and doesn’t have a single full episode of any SYFY show available. Use hand-gestures and your own voice to float through menus, select options, launch games, music, movies, applications, and much more. With the new 'share' feature you can brag about your newly acquired game achievements and post in-game triumphs with instant posts.
You can see recently played games, browse the Zune video marketplace, launch an app, game, TV show, or movie directly from your phone, see friend activity, and even rewind or fast forward video or music on your television -- all from your phone. It’s great if you have a ton of arcade and indie games saved on your hard drive or tend to use the same apps often.
This will not only give these users a brand new taste of Xbox, but it will also give them a taste of Windows Phone and the forthcoming Windows 8 OS. It’s an evolution of sorts and feels like the equivalent of playing with a brand new console. So far, avid players could store their favorite games on the rather insufficient 500 GB hard drive. The storage problem is haunting the XBOX One from its very birth, but Sony understood that gamers can’t be satisfied with only 500 GB of hard drive storage and provided the PS 4 with an upgradable hard drive from day one.
While Sony had some of these features from the start and an attractive price to top them all, Microsoft is tweaking the XBOX One so that it can boost sales and gain new fans, especially from Europe and Canada. This is not limited to music and movies, but rather allows users to essentially use a USB flash stick as if it were a dedicated Xbox 360 harddrive. All you need to do is connect up the USB cable between the drive itself and your Xbox One console, and (if required) plug the drive into the mains.
Note that the internal drive that comes with the system will always be called "Internal" and it cannot be changed. You can move it later (find out how) but it'll initially be installed on your external drive. It is therefore still unknown how and when the feature will be activated for customers who will purchase the console at launch. The Xbox One’s internal drive will not be accessible to customers for service or replacement.
With the new update, virtually any reasonably sized device can be used for all storage functionality the 360 offers. However, looking at it from a wholly positive perspective, the new upgrade offers a number of compelling advantages: you can carry around your profile, save games, DLC and even game installs on a key-sized drive.
We were even able to connect cameras directly to the Xbox 360, format their internal SD cards and then use them to install Halo 3. Just plug in your USB flash device, go to the memory area of the dashboard, and from there you can either set-up the drive automatically or else configure how much space you'd like to make available to the Xbox 360. Configure your PC to view hidden files, and you'll see the 360's file allocation right there and then.
However, the files can be backed up on your PC, and then copied back onto the same flash drive. There is nothing to stop the platform holder raising that in the future should it ever feel the need. The latest major software update is now available for the 57.7 million Xbox 360 consoles that have been sold worldwide, and with it comes a brand new Metro based user-interface along with a number of fresh capabilities that not only improve the Xbox experience, but moves it several steps closer to being the jack-of-all-trades device of your living room.


Following a 2007 dashboard update deemed the "New Xbox Experience", nearly all Xbox owners became accustomed to navigating around the dashboard hubs (My Xbox, Inside Xbox, Games, and Videos) vertically by pressing up and down on the Xbox 360 controller thumb stick. The vertical text navigation and overall Metro-design of the new dashboard is similar to that of Zune, Windows Phone and Windows Media Center.
These tiles mirror those found in Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system as well as the forthcoming Windows 8, which gives the notion that the Redmond giant won’t have much of a crisis merging select experiences on all three platforms.
You are now able to control the same exact dashboard with either a controller or with the power of your voice or hand gestures, as the new design compliments all of these forms of control.
On this hub, you’ll see a number of tiles, each with the power to perform a different task. You can perform searches using the Xbox controller to type letters and numbers, or you can simply use your voice to articulate what you’re looking for. Furthermore, tiny boxes showing what some of your friends are currently doing are displayed over the heads of your friend’s avatars every couple of seconds. While all of these actions can be done using Kinect, you will need to use a standard Xbox 360 controller in order to modify system settings such as display settings, audio settings, Kinect settings and Network settings, among others.
For example, let’s say you're on the Home hub and you'd like to navigate over to the Music hub.
With that said, the new interface is sometimes more pleasant to use with Kinect than it is with a standard 360 controller, specifically the voice control. Drilling down even more, selecting 'New releases' will display a vertical list of game boxes. For example, exploring the game marketplace for the first time may potentially make your head spin due to the 35 selectable category tiles (such as New Releases, Kinect Games, Games Showcase, etc.) within the marketplace. It feels as if you’re always being sold something, but on the upside, what’s usually being sold tends to relate to gaming or sandwiches.
So now, there’s less of a need to carry your Xbox hard drive or a memory card when you want to continue slaying dragons at your friend's dwelling. Previously, the available options were the Xbox Hard Drive, the built-in storage if you have the 4GB version of the console, or a USB stick if one is formatted for use on your console. Beacons allows you to post alerts that can be viewed on Facebook or the actual Xbox 360 dashboard. Unlike what you may find in another available console, every single app is consistent with the new Metro-design of the dashboard, so you naturally already know how to navigate through each one. New apps can easily be downloaded via the completely new apps Marketplace, with each app weighing in at about 50MB.
Everyone else will have to wait a bit as Microsoft attempts to strike deals with more providers. Simply navigate over to the Bing hub with your controller and type what you’re looking for in the search box.
While writing this review, I received a notification on my Xbox informing me that my subscription is no longer active and that my membership has been reduced to the free version of live. Even Zune Music, even if you’re already paying Microsoft $7.99 for a monthly Zune Pass subscription. This breed of UI is destined to become synonymous with Microsoft hardware and software products in the future, especially when the company releases Windows 8 to the world. Kinect will play a major role in the future of the Xbox as it becomes a one-stop destination for all forms of media -- whether it’s movies, music, apps, photos, or games.
It’s definitely a change for the better, but as with everything, there is always room for improvement. Simply plug in your 256 GB or larger USB 3.0 external hard drive and once formatted, copy and move games, apps and game add-ons to increase your storage capacity at home. This isn't exactly recommended (at all), but it does serve to illustrate that the implementation in terms of device accessibility hasn't been deliberately nerfed: so long as the device exceeds Microsoft's own (extremely low) performance test threshold, it's show time.
A different amount of files are set up depending on how much space you have allocated, or the size of the flash drive itself. A backup option limited to the exact same device from which the data came from is clearly limited, and the way that 360 files are embedded into the "Data" chunks means that you can't back-up individual items in the way you can on PS3.
On top of that, we also added the laptop drive we removed from a 40GB PlayStation 3 and mounted it in another USB to SATA enclosure. The hubs present in this release of the dashboard include Bing, Social, Video, Games, Music, Apps and Settings, with Microsoft introducing Live TV to the mix later in the year.
Correspondingly, this updated design of the Xbox dashboard is a significant step in Microsoft unifying their entire ecosystem. You’ll have the option of launching the game in your Xbox 360’s disc tray, viewing featured content, watching the latest video on Inside Xbox, as well as launching recently played games and apps using the brand new 'quick play' option.
This along with all the avatars performing random movements definitely helps make the dash feel more "alive". You'd simply hold your hand out -- palm facing the Kinect sensor, and leave your hand on navigation text reading ‘Music’ for a second.
The interface does take some getting used to, but navigating around becomes second nature once you get the hang of it. Instead, once logged into your Xbox Live account, you'll be able to access your game saves via the cloud and continue playing Skyrim from where you last left off — wearing woman’s clothing and rolling cheese wheels down a mountain. These alerts let anyone viewing their friends list know that you would like to play a game or watch a movie.
Microsoft has stated that new apps will continue to trickle in throughout 2012, with about 40 officially confirmed including apps from big names such as HBO Go and BBC.
I suppose this is great for fans of a specific show, but having an app just for this seems like a waste with services like Hulu already providing SYFY content. I decided to use my Bing Rewards points to redeem an extra month of subscription for the purpose or completing this write-up. This update also provides a glimpse of what we can expect once the next illation of the Xbox is announced -- a major focus on motion and voice control. Microsoft is determined to dominate your living area, as this update drives them ahead and further away from the likes of Apple TV or Google TV enabled devices.
It’s great to navigate around with a controller, but the experience is greatly enhanced for those with a Kinect. The Microsoft update also solves the issues of non – Gold members not being able to access Netflix and the rest of the entertainment apps bunch, as it will allow them to freely benefit from them at no cost once the update becomes active. It would be nice if it happens, but somehow we doubt it's even on the to-do list at Seattle. For comedy value, we also added in a generic 8GB MicroSD card with adaptor, designed for use with mobile phones, where bandwidth and speed aren't exactly prime requisites. The Home hub, as most of the hubs on the new dashboard, also includes an advertisement on the lower right tile.
An alternative to this is, of course, using your controller to switch over to the music hub, or simply saying "Xbox, Music" and the magic of Kinect will do the dirty work. If you do decide to save to the cloud, this does not mean that you won’t be able to access your game save if you can’t sign in to Xbox Live. Similarly, the alerts can also inform your friends on Facebook that they should log-into Xbox Live and to play a round of Halo Reach with you. I always knew that a Gold membership opened up a world of new capabilities in the world of Xbox, but I never got the chance to actually experience just how necessary a subscription is for an Xbox owner.
Having to pay extra to use a Microsoft service (Zune Music) that is already paid for is a little annoying. It’s a step forward in terms of Microsoft’s goal of unifying its products, delivering compelling content, innovating with new features, and making the Xbox 360 the center of your entertainment universe. Smashing Pumpkins" will use the new Bing integration to show you a list of everything on Xbox Live related to Smashing Pumpkins. Voice control takes the hassle of using the Xbox 360 pad to type your desired queries letter-by-letter.




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