Just this past Monday, Microsoft rolled out a rather sizable update to their gaming console, the Xbox 360. The update, which we’ve known about for at least a couple of weeks, enabled users to use any flash drive or USB hard-disk drive on their Xbox 360 to store data, game saves and even installed games. The update basically gives the Xbox 360 the same features the PS3 has had since the beginning of it’s life.

What’s the catch? It only allows up to 16 gigs.

Ok Microsoft, thanks for trying, but you lost me on “hello”.

What the console does is this: you plug in your flash drive or hard drive, sizable anywhere from 1 gig (minimum) to 40 terabytes, if such a thing exists. The console recognizes the drive and tells you that it will erase everything on it and set it up for the console. Well, ok then, go ahead.

After a minute or two, you notice that your 418 terabyte drive is down to a measly 16 gigs. “What the crap!?!?” was the first thing I said.

Yes, Microsoft makes you limit all the drives to a maximum of 16 gigs. You can, however, have two devices (only two) plugged in at the same time for a grande total of 32 gigs!!

In this day and age, what with downloadable content and game installs becoming more and more popular, it makes sense that Microsoft would allow us to use the random flash drive sitting around in our house. But the limit is such an obvious restraint to make it so we still have to buy their overpriced hard drives; it makes me sick! Can’t you, Microsoft, give your users something that benefits them entirely instead of trying to make a pretty penny off ALL of us ALL the time?! They’re even selling a 16 gig “Xbox” flash drive, selling for $50, which is laughable considering I can find a 16 gig flash drive for under $20 easily.

Regardless of my complaints, I am actually using the new system. I have a modded Xbox and sometimes my burned games don’t run exactly perfect unless they’re installed to a hard drive. Trouble is, all I have is a 20 13 gig hard drive. So I’ve plugged in a 40 gig USB hard drive (partitioned to bloody 16 gigs) and another portable 20 gig hard drive into my Xbox and have installed a few games to them. I have to say, the games installed to the USB drives run really fast compared games installed to the 360’s hard-drive. I’ve seen a good five or six seconds of improvement on loading times and almost 100% framerate on most games.

Anyways, I suppose the newest Xbox update wasn’t all terrible. It was a great idea on paper, but as soon as a Microsoft employee said “Hey, if we let them do this, won’t they stop buying Xbox 360 hard-drives?” and they added the limit, the “awesome-ness” factor dropped nearly 24 super points for  me.

Microsoft, come see me when you’re increased the limit to 32 or, heck, no limit at all.