Microsoft readies hard drive only Xbox 360 games

Microsoft announced on Monday that it would soon allow MMO developers to require hard drive space when playing games on Xbox 360 despite the console maker's previous denial of such claims.

"Feel free to require 30GB for your game - [but] that's just going to make your potential audience a lot smaller," a Microsoft representative told a group of developers while speaking at GameFest.

Effective immediately, Microsoft will not restrict the amount of hard drive space MMO game developers can use. It is unclear if non-MMO games will be allowed to require hard drives when playing future games on 360.

An estimated 20 percent of 360 owners don't own a hard drive, which is optional for those only wanting to purchase the Core model.

Developers will be able to create a single "Master Storage File" on user machines so long as the server-based games illicitly state the amount of hard drive space required on the front of the game's box.

Microsoft also said the that it will not increase the allowable size of Xbox Live Arcade games which currently stand at 150 mb.

Just last week, Microsoft denied reports in an email to GamePro that Xbox 360 Core owners would be unable to play certain games labeled with the "hard drive required" sticker.

"Every game will work with every Xbox 360 system," a Microsoft spokesman told us. That no longer appears to be the case, at least with MMO games.

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