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Running Out of Room on Your Xbox One? Microsoft Is About to Fix That

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Microsoft is finally tackling one of the biggest problems with the Xbox One.

A June system update will enable support of external storage devices, alleviating fears that owners will have to delete games when they max out the console’s somewhat paltry 500 GB hard drive.

The new feature, which Microsoft says was one of the most requested since launch, enables support for up to two external hard drives at once. Unlike the Xbox 360, which limited the size of supported external drives, there appears to be no limit here. Microsoft says any drive that’s 250 GB or larger (and, crucially, USB 3.0 compatible) will work, though you’ll have to format it to the Xbox system first.

More good news: Games stored on those external drives can be transported to a friend’s house and played instantly once you’ve signed in to Xbox Live.

The storage issue has plagued the Xbox One since its launch. Though 500 GB seems hefty enough for, say, a laptop, it vanishes quickly if you download lots of games for your console. Sony’s PlayStation 4 also sports a 500 GB drive, but Sony supported external drives from the start.

The June system update is adding another feature already found on Sony’s machine: real-name support on your Xbox Live friends list, which should help you better identify the people you play with.

The company noted that participation in the real-names program will be voluntary, though.

“We heard your feedback that to make this most useful you need full control,” said Xbox spokesman Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hryb. “You’ll be able to share with all your friends, a subset of your choosing, friends of friends or none at all. The choice is yours. Also, your name doesn’t show up in games, and you can change your settings anytime from your profile and when adding new friends.”

Checking off another box on the highly requested feature list, the update will also make it possible to automatically sign in to your Xbox One when the power is turned on. The update will also upgrade the SmartGlass app, adding a universal remote capability and (in select markets) the ability to import all of your local TV listings.

This is also the update that will finally free Netflix and other entertainment apps from their Xbox Live Gold prisons, letting non-Gold users enjoy them at no cost.

Follow Chris Morris on Twitter.