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USB Flash Drives and Game Consoles: Xbox 360 and PS3 Facts

Xbox and PS4 Controller Illustrations

Game consoles and USB drives were not always a match. Earlier generations of gaming technology had their limits. Without USB flash drive capabilities, you were often chained to your room if you wanted to progress in the particular game you already invested hours in playing. Because of that, you could forget about taking your saved game profile to a friend's house or other console. Updating firmware required used discs or was flat-out impossible. The idea of storing music and photos alongside your games was also unheard of.

Gamers can breathe a huge sigh of relief that they don't have to live in that kind of world anymore, thanks to the implementation of game console flash drives.

How to Use Flash Drive on Xbox 360

Last year, Premium USB wrote an article that weighed the idea of purchasing the Xbox 360 USB Flash Drive by SanDisk compared to going with a cheap flash drive. The primary requirement of this alternative drive is that it is 16GB with a minimum of 1GB of free space available in order to move and store data. The downside to using your own USB drive is configuration instead of use right out of the box.

First you'll turn on your Xbox and plug in the flash drive. Go to "My Xbox" and select "System Settings". Next, click on the "Memory" tab and scroll down to "USB Storage Device". Once selected, you'll have the option to "Configure Now" or "Customize". If you select "Configure Now", be mindful that it will format your flash drive, meaning all files will be removed for the console's storage needs.

If you "Customize", you'll be able to designate how much space to give to the Xbox. This may be a good option for those who don't want to erase all of their files or don't anticipate more storage. In this case you'll still need at least 768MB of free space. The settings allow you to adjust your designated space. Once you make your selection, it will test compatibility between the console and drive. If the configuration is a success, you can proceed to transfer data from your console or hard drive to your destination source-your USB drive. Through an intuitive menu, Xbox will tell you how much space each file takes and how much is available.

How to Use Flash Drive on PS3

The Sony Playstation 3 boasts 4 USB ports for easy use of a mouse, keyboard and other peripherals, like the USB flash drive. While you won't have to deal with configuring a flash drive on PS3 you will need to be aware of formatting. Generally, today's PCs use the NTFS format, but Playstation requires the FAT32 format, which can be done on your computer.

Go to "My Computer", right-click on your removable flash drive and select "Format". Click on FAT32 under the file system and deselect "Quick Format". Formatting will erase all of your data currently on the drive. Click "Start" to complete the formatting process.

Once you've started your PS3 console, you can plug in your formatted flash drive on one of the available front facing ports. Next, go to the Video, Audio, Picture section on the home menu, select "USB device" and press the triangle button. Press the "x" button to play or view the file. Be aware of any special software that your files use in the event that they are not recognized by the PS3 console.

What other tips can you share about using flash drives on game consoles like Xbox 360 and PS3?