Blacker, bigger and more expensive
Hardcore Xbox Live downloads will continue to swap drives

Prior to the announcement of the 120GB hard drive add-on for Xbox 360, the only way users could officially cram more demos, videos and other media was to simply purchase an additional hard drive. Just after rumors of a larger hard drive circulated last fall, Microsoft offered a temporary solution for those seeking more storage.

“At this point we’re not ready yet to roll out a bigger hard drive,” Aaron Greenberg, Xbox group product marketing manager, said last November. “I can tell you what people tell me they do to get around this. What they do is they put their Live account on a memory unit and then they have one hard drive that they put their games or related content on, and then they have another drive that they put their movies and TV on.”

He continued, “So you know, this isn’t ideal, but there’s some ways to work around that today. If you download the content on one hard drive, and save your Live account on the memory unit, you can still have your hard drives hold all the content. That’s not a perfect workaround, but there’s some flexibility that people can do.”

Greenberg wasn’t kidding when he stated that the workaround of having multiple drives was far from ideal and perfect. According to translated documents from the Japanese launch materials, as translated by Wired, the data from two 20GB drives cannot be combined onto one 120GB drive and “transferring data in the other direction, or any other combination, is not possible.”

The 120GB drive will only store information from the last drive transferred, meaning that any attempt to transfer more than one drive will overwrite the previous one. Furthermore, all contents previously written to the 120GB drive be automatically deleted. Also, once the data has been moved from a 20GB to a 120GB drive, it cannot be moved back to the 20GB drive. Presumably, a special cable will facilitate the transfer of data from one drive to the other.

So, for the hardcore Xbox Live downloader, it appears that swapping hard drives could be here to stay for a while longer.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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