Microsoft made a surprise reveal this morning for something most Xbox 360 owners likely figured would never become a reality. A 500GB "Media Hard Drive" will be released for the 360 soon, a 180GB jump on the currently available 320GB hard drives. What's perhaps even more startling is that the 500GB hard drive will cost just $109.99, which is $20 cheaper than the retail price of the 320GB drive.
Obviously Microsoft must have an assortment of reasons for releasing this large hard drive at such a price. One can only speculate as to why that is, however. It could be due to the Xbox 360's life cycle currently in its elder days. It could be Microsoft consolidating its hard drive production for the console, retiring smaller drives in favor of this single larger one. It could just be Microsoft pricing the hard drive at a price that fits the current market environment.
The only thing that's for certain is that Microsoft is still making a healthy profit on these bad boys, as non-Xbox branded external 500GB hard drives go at half the price -- and probably twice the reliability.
Still, Xbox 360 owners who want to secure their console's future, as well as their large digital library, now have a great new option to consider. While the Xbox 360's 500GB hard drive is not yet available for purchase or pre-order, expect more news in the months ahead. I'm certain it will be available for the holidays -- probably bundled as part of some some extreme holiday Xbox 360 package.