Microsoft has apparently confirmed reports that Xbox 360 consoles featuring the new ‘Jasper’ motherboard also include 256MB of flash memory storage.
"We are constantly updating the console's more than 1,700 internal components," an unnamed Microsoft spokesperson told consumer site Xbox 360 Fanboy
. "We can confirm that we are moving to internal memory for the Xbox 360 Arcade. The physical internal memory is the same size as the previous external memory units - 256MB."
The statement appears to imply that the internal storage is only utilized in the Xbox 360 Arcade, which is not bundled with a hard drive. Its presence should remove the need for the Arcade model to rely on external memory cards for storage – the same solution used for the Wii, which has 512MB of internal flash memory.
First rumored in October
of last year, the Jasper board is intended to replace the current ‘Falcon’ models, in an attempt to reduce production costs and improve reliability. The Falcon, in turn, was introduced to replace the original ‘Zephyr’ board, which has been most prone to the infamous "red ring of death" problem.
Microsoft has always been reticent to detail or confirm the hardware changes, and new hardware packaging does not make them easily identifiable. However, sightings of the Jasper model began in U.S. stores late last month, and users reported the presence of the flash memory.