A firmware update planned for Spring 2010 will reportedly allow Microsoft's Xbox 360 to recognize USB mass storage devices.
The above-mentioned report is based on a document obtained by Joystiq and authored by a Microsoft engineer who wrote: "[Due to] increased market penetration of high-capacity, high throughput USB mass storage devices, a 2010 Xbox 360 system update will enable users to save and load game data from USB devices.
"USB storage devices may, however, have far greater memory capacity than MUs (at the date of writing, the largest MU is 512 MB), and may therefore support previously infeasible operations-such as installation of a full disc-based title."
However, Jim Sterling of Destructoid responded to the news by warning readers not to get "all that excited."
"Microsoft is too smart to pass up on the lucrative profit margins that current 360 hard drives provide and have put some limitations on how the drives work. Drives used with the 360 will have its write-capable space limited to 16 GB," wrote Sterling.
"This seems to be more like an expansion/replacement of 360 memory cards, which are probably a product MS doesn't sell a ton of anyway. That, or Microsoft figured out that they may be losing Live Marketplace business on Arcade owners who refuse to pay the exorbitant price for a 360 HDD."