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Expanded storage likely given new Video On Demand

At a recent Microsoft event to promote upcoming games and the new Video-On-Demand service, a retail Xbox 360 unit was shown with an 80GB hard drive installed. While it's 20GB short of the previously rumoured 100GB hard drive, it still offers a fourfold increase in storage capacity for users to download their new content onto. As with the stock 20GB hard drive, a portion will be allocated for system use. Nevertheless, the photo shown is purportedly of a stock Xbox 360 with an upgraded drive.

More detailed space requirements for the new Video-On-Demand service have come to light as well. A 44-minute TV episode weighs in at approximately 550MB in 480p widescreen and just under 2GB in 720p format. Movies are much larger with a two-hour movie reaching 1.7GB for a 480p version and 6GB for the 720p version. Although the Xbox 360 recently gained the ability to output 1080p, no content has been offered yet at this resolution.

Also being shown off was the HD-DVD drive in its retail packaging and in action.

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