Xbox 2 set to feature removable hard drive - reports

But are these sealed units, or is the fabled xPod making a return to the rumour mill?

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console is set to feature a removable hard drive bay, according to online reports today, which will allow users to upgrade their entry-level systems to include mass storage capabilities.

Citing a "reliable source", technology news site Engadget revealed details of the removable hard drive, claiming that the unit attaches to the top of the console "in a really slick way, almost like the hood scoop on a muscle car."

The report tallies with claims from developers working on the system, who have told in the past that Microsoft has disclosed that there will be a mass storage device, but that they should not rely on its presence for their games.

It's been assumed for some time that this means that Xbox 2 will be sold in at least two basic configurations - with and without a mass storage unit - and today's report seems to indicate that it will be possible to upgrade between those models by adding the hard drive.

One vital question, however, is whether this hard drive will simply be a sealed memory unit (which may actually be a hard drive, or may be a very high capacity flash drive) or if it will sport a screen and buttons, allowing it to be used as a portable media player.

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