'Halo 4' multiplayer requires 8GB installation

Halo 4's multiplayer mode requires at least 8GB of space on an Xbox 360 hard drive or external storage.

Halo 4's multiplayer mode requires 8GB of free space, according to Microsoft.

The requirement leaves owners of Xbox 360 Arcade and Core consoles or 4 GB units out in the cold, forcing them to procure USB memory. External storage in the form of a USB hard drive or flash memory will suffice, although Microsoft recommends an Xbox 360 hard drive "for an optimal experience." The company offers Xbox-branded SanDisk flash drives in 8GB ($39.99) and 16GB ($59.99) capacities, as well as a 320GB hard drive ($129.99), but any USB external storage will work once it's been formatted by an Xbox 360.

Halo: Reach had a similar requirement: it needed an Xbox 360 hard drive, but only for its Firefight and online campaign co-op modes — not its entire multiplayer component.

We've reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update this post with any information we receive.

Update: Despite what Xbox.com says, 343 Industries put out a title update for Halo: Reach last fall, in advance of the release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, that removed the hard drive requirement for Firefight and online story co-op. We have updated the article to reflect the correction.

Update 2: According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the reason for the 8GB storage requirement is that "Halo 4 will push the limits of the Xbox 360 in terms of visual and audio fidelity, and will be delivering significant post-launch content."

Microsoft spoke specifically about the new Spartan Ops mode, calling it "a massively ambitious endeavor that will (include) ten weeks of unique episodic content for Season One," and explained that the storage requirement was implemented "to ensure the scope of the experience offers unprecedented value to our fans."

When asked how Microsoft will convey the message about the requirement to all of those fans, the spokesperson said, "We are actively communicating the requirements via all our official Halo 4 channels, on back of box, as well as during press interviews."

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