Despite the early attempts to make games accessible to all versions of the Xbox 360, Microsoft has finally given its approval for developers to create titles that require the use of the hard drive.
This announcement, although targeting developers planning an MMO, opens the future possibility for developers to use the hard drive for caching. This was one of the problems cited by developers of GTA IV, who stated that their difficulties designing for the Xbox 360 stemmed from making the game work without the use of the hard drive.
This announcement also comes as a blow for purchasers of the Core model of the Xbox 360, the only version that comes without a hard drive.
Microsoft has also deigned not to place limits on the amount of Hard Drive space MMO developers can use, although Microsoft designer Ian Lewis offered this one caveat. "Feel free to require 30GB for your game - that's just going to make your potential audience a lot smaller."