Product Type: Microsoft hard disk drives
Newest Review: ... system files and saves, it seems logical they would charge a less ridiculous price, but Microsoft do like to be extortionate in their pric... more
An Xbox 360 essential
Microsoft Xbox 360 Hard Drive 20 GB
Member Name: zombieflesh
Microsoft Xbox 360 Hard Drive 20 GB
Advantages: reliable hard drive unit, easy menu options to move or delete data
Disadvantages: outdated and not enough storage space for my needs
The original Microsoft Xbox 360 console was released with a 20GB hard drive fitted as standard and at the time this seemed pretty generous, but since then there have been vast leaps in storage solutions and it's not unusual to find external hard drive storage weighing in at a whopping 1TB these days. I have recently chosen to upgrade my Xbox 360 hard drive rather than purchasing a whole new console, and thought I should give a fair review of my previous hard drive which has served me well over the years. Because this came as standard within my original console package I did not have to purchase it as an individual component. The RRP for an official Microsoft Xbox 360 20GB Hard Drive is £39.99, which I feel is overpriced, particularly when considering that an official Microsoft Xbox 360 120GB Hard Drive is around £79.99 so you get 6 times the storage space for just double the price. You can pick up a preowned 20GB hard drive unit for less than £10.00, and I was offered a trade in value of £4.00 for my old one, which I declined as I preferred to keep my old unit as a backup / spare.
Product description: "Expand your Xbox 360 experience with downloaded content. Save your games, Xbox Live gamer profile, game demos, and custom soundtracks from your own music collection. The Xbox 360 Hard Drive also lets you play an array of original Xbox games and even comes preloaded with an Xbox Live Arcade game, music, and videos."
The hard drive unit is a small little block that neatly slots in and out of the front side of the console. Mine is a light shade of grey in keeping with the white and grey accents from the original colour scheme. It came fitted into the console when I first bought it so I did not need to do anything to set it up, and I was simply ready to start playing games! The 20GB hard drive is actually a little misleading, as a full 7GB is already spoken for in terms of formatting, drivers and system files etc. This gives you a total of 13GB leftover to work with, and as soon as I hooked my Xbox 360 up to the internet I found that the amount of space I had on my hard drive rapidly dwindled, until my most recent Arcade game download where I was left with a few measly MBs remaining and then I panicked and realised that this hard drive was no longer sufficient for my needs. As a handy hint, every time you create a new save game file it will display all of the available storage devices and show a little meter with the remaining available space and how much in MB/GB this amounts to, so it was no surprise that my hard drive was getting full as I was able to see this amount frequently and know exactly how much space was left over. Everything that you can access via the Xbox Home pages will use up some of that space and even though I like to keep my hard drive clean and up to date, the amount of games and applications I was running became too much. I store my gamer profile on the main hard drive, along with my best friend's profile and my boyfriend's profile for when we're playing 2-player games. There's also a big backlog of save game data from all of the games that I am currently playing and have previously played through. I have some music saved onto the Xbox for when I want to use my own soundtrack playing over a game but this is a minimal use and I think it's best to avoid putting too much music on here as it's quite a laborious process and not really necessary unless you're going to listen to the music and game at the same time, otherwise I prefer to keep the bulk of my music files stored on my computer and transfer to my MP3 player or phone as needed. I like to use my Xbox for viewing content through Lovefilm, Netflix, youtube, iPlayer and 4oD, each of which needs to have an application installed to allow direct access to the video content. I have also found a few great games through the Xbox Marketplace, and downloading these has taken around 2GB of space each time, so in order to continue getting new game downloads through the Marketplace it was obvious that I would need more storage space.
Considering that I have had the console for about 7 years, and only started using it with my wireless internet connection about 18 months ago, I would have to say it has performed perfectly so far. If you are just going to use your Xbox to play games and only need the storage space for save game records then this 20GB hard drive will probably be enough to see you through. It's only since I got more into using my Xbox Live Account and discovered some great download-only games and add-on content that I've really started eating away at the memory space. You can directly access your storage devices through the main Xbox system menu, and this is a great way to keep a check on what you currently have saved. Everything is laid out clearly and you can find exactly what you're looking for through the menu sections. Next to each piece of data is a column that shows how much hard drive storage space is allocated to that individual item, which is really helpful for finding out what items are crowding the hard drive. Here, you can delete any outdated information that is no longer required. By viewing the information and file sizes, I decided to delete some of my old avatar items which were not really ever going to be used, and this freed up some extra space which was essentially just being wasted on pointless items. I also noticed that there were some applications I had downloaded but never used, so once again these were deleted straight away. You are also given the option to copy and move data, which I have done before to transfer save games onto a portable memory unit so I can continue with previous game progress through a friend's console. The hard drive has always performed reliably for me and I have not once had any issues with accessing any of the saved data. It is essential to have the data stored securely and Microsoft's expertise ensures that this hard drive is a safe option.
Overall I am really happy with the performance of this hard drive as it has allowed me to safely save and retrieve information for years without any problems or errors. The menus are incredibly user friendly and it's simple to use this hard drive to maximum effect as you can clearly see each thing that it stored on it and access/move/delete this as necessary. The only problem which I am now experiencing is that it has become outdated in terms of size, and I require a larger storage space to allow for the way in which I use my Xbox features. I can definitely recommend this hard drive unit in terms of performance, ease of use and reliability. However, based on price and value for money I think it makes more sense to purchase the larger 120GB hard drive if you need a replacement.
Summary: An Xbox 360 essential