Microsoft has unveiled plans to launch a 512MB memory unit for the Xbox 360 console and an increase in the official size limit of Xbox Live Arcade games from 50MB to 150MB.
The 512MB memory unit, which will be available worldwide beginning April 3, 2007, will come with an estimated retail price tag of $49.99 in North America. The unit will be pre-loaded with the hit Xbox Live Arcade game Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved from developer Bizarre Creations for a limited time.
The original 64MB memory unit will simultaneously drop in price from $39.99 to $29.99.
The 512MB memory unit will provide Xbox 360 owners with vastly expanded storage capabilities for gaming on the go, allowing users to easily store and transport their gamer profile and save game data, Xbox Live Arcade games and Xbox Live Marketplace content. The 512MB memory unit also gives Xbox 360 owners the ability to download exclusive content from any of the 45,000 Xbox 360 kiosks accessible at retail outlets worldwide.
In addition, the Xbox Live Arcade game size limit has increased from 50MB to 150MB, giving developers greater flexibility in game design and expanding the opportunity to add advanced game features while still keeping games compact.
The new size limit offers developers increased flexibility and continued opportunities for innovative game development, while also ensuring that the millions of gamers on Xbox Live can continue to easily access, download and play all Xbox Live Arcade games on Xbox 360, said Chris Early, product unit manager for Xbox Live Arcade and Microsoft Casual Games at Microsoft.
In related news, Microsoft has also launched its Dream-Build-Play game
development contest, offering a $10,000 grand prize and the opportunity for a winner’s game to be published on Xbox Live Arcade.
Both of the announcements were made at the 2007 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.