Officials from Microsoft have confirmed that the maximum total size of an Xbox Live Arcade download has been increased from 50MB to 150MB.
Although a new upper limit has never previously been discussed by Microsoft, then Xbox Live Arcade group manager Greg Canessa did indicate in January that the company would be willing to relax the 50MB limit
The size limit was originally imposed so as to ensure that Xbox 360 owners without a hard drive could still download games onto a memory card, which has a maximum capacity of 64MB. As a result, Microsoft has also announced a new 512MB memory card for the system (the same size as the internal Flash memory of the Wii).
The new 512MB memory card will be available worldwide from April 3rd and will sell for an estimated retail price of $49.99 in North America. The card will also come pre-loaded with popular Xbox Live Arcade game Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
. At the same time the price of the original 64MB memory card will drop from $39.99 to $29.99.
"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.
"If you take a look at current games like Roboblitz
and Small Arms
, it's clear that our developers deliver amazing game experiences within a compact size limit. Our focus is on continuing to provide developers with an environment that allows for the creation of cost-efficient games and that nurtures an artistic and creative approach to game development,” he added.