Product Type: Microsoft in Flash Memory
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£29.99 For 512 MB - Worth It ?
Xbox 360 512 MB 8x Memory Unit
Member Name: Xbox_Tipster
Xbox 360 512 MB 8x Memory Unit
Date: 18/01/09, updated on 27/05/09 (214 review reads)
Advantages: Portable, Enough memory for plenty of game saves
Disadvantages: Over Priced, 20 GB Hard Drive available for £10 more
The Xbox 360 512MB Memory Unit was created with Casual Gamers in mind. For those of us who didn't want to buy the Premium or Elite XBOX 360 units, the alternative was and still is the arcade version. The difference between the Arcade and Premium / Elites is that it doesn't come bundled with a hard drive to save your games on. Instead, the arcade version comes bundled with a 256MB Memory Unit which is the exact same product as this one, but with only half the memory capacity.
So that really begs the question - who buys the 512mb version ? Well, I guess Microsoft figured that if somebody runs out of room on their 256mb Memory Unit then they would naturally purchase a 512mb Memory Unit to be able to continue saving their games, which is a fair assumption.
Another reason to buy the 512mb version is quite important if you have access to xbox live. The reason is that if you are connected to xbox live you are now required to install the new xbox experience update. This update requires 136mb of storage, so if you only have the 256mb memory unit you are left with only 120mb to use for game saves, etc - but if you install the NXE update using a 512mb unit you will have a larger 376mb left to use.
My main gripe with the product is that the 512mb Unit costs a staggering £29.99 which is astronomically high for a mere 512mb of storage. It's nothing special - it's just a piece of plastic that stores data, no different to USB Flash Memory sticks that you can buy for your computers for under £5 for the same amount of storage.
Sadly though the xbox 360 doesn't let you save data onto standard flash memory sticks, so you are forced to use Microsoft's own storage products.
However ignoring the price, you can't really fault the product - it's a memory storage device and it does what it is supposed to do - and that's store memory. The Memory Unit allows you to store your game saves which are typically between 50kb and 1mb, so the 512mb of storage should be more than sufficient for most gamers. However if you have access to xbox live gold you will not be able to download the latest demos or game upgrades that are available as they are typically around 1GB in size.
The memory unit itself is rather small and slots into the front of your xbox 360 console. It looks physically nice as it matches the xbox nicely in colour and shape and can be left connected to your xbox 360 for as long as you like, even if you are not using it.
I would recommend the 512mb Memory Unit to those gamers who don't plan on connecting to xbox live unless they don't have the desire to download any content such as demos from the market place. The main advantage of the Memory Unit is that it is extremely portable as it is extremely light in weight - so taking it around to a friends house is a breeze. These memory units are also popular for transferring data between two hard drives (copy the file from hard drive A onto memory card, then copy the same file that is now on the memory card onto hard drive B)
The product is fine for the casual gamer who primarily wants to store their game saves, but there's little point in buying a 512mb Memory Unit if you already have the 256mb Unit that comes with the Arcade Console unless you plan on using it for portability reasons or transferring purposes. If you're seriously planning on upgrading from a 256mb Memory Unit to a 512mb Memory Unit just for storage purposes, then you're making a bad decision.
Given the price of the 512mb Memory Unit (£29.99 - Amazon.co.uk) you are far better of upgrading to a 20GB Hard Drive which are now available for as little as £39.99 (from Gameplay.co.uk). For the extra £10 that you spend you get roughly 12.5GB more storage space than you do with the 512mb Memory Unit, so you get a lot more value for money. (The 20GB hard drive only actually allows you to use 13GB of the space)
Also, another incentive to upgrade to the hard drive rather than the 512mb memory unit is the fact that the new xbox experience update allows you to install your games to your hard drive (typically takes 5GB+ per game) which makes your games run faster and your xbox run quieter & cooler, potentially extending the life span of your console.
Plenty of storage for game saves
Can transfer data between two hard drives
20GB HDD is available for £10 more
Review also now published on Ciao.
Summary: Does its job well but why not upgrade to a 20GB Hard Drive for £10 more...
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