We've been hearing rumors about the possibility of USB storage for the Xbox 360 for a while now. On Friday, Microsoft's Major Nelson confirmed the reports and said a system update to allow USB storage would land April 6.
"On April 6th, we will be releasing a system update over Xbox LIVE for your Xbox 360 that will allow USB flash drives to be used for storing profiles, game saves, demos and more. I’ve been testing this feature out for a few weeks, and I have to say it’s really great. Once you take the system update on April 6th, you’ll be able to connect your USB flash drives to your console and head over to the memory section to configure your new storage device."
Nelson writes that when you connect your drive to your Xbox, the will conduct a one time performance and integrity check to confirm the drive is working properly. With that out of the way, you're free to configure how much storage to use on the device, with the option to go up to 16GB. Though USB hard drives "might work," you'll still get the same 16GB limit that's present with the flash drives. Users can connect two devices at once for a limit of 32GB.
You can use any 1GB+ flash drive you like but Microsoft is partnering with SanDisk to bring out pre-configured Xbox-branded flash drive. Expect to see these in May.
In related news, a hacker claims to have gained access to Major Nelson's online account, and Microsoft is now investigating.