I’m getting a little tired of the constant comments I read from people making the false claim that the Xbox 360 “needs Blu-ray to support larger games”. Some even go so far as to extrapolate & hypothesize that “game developers are limiting their games to fit them into the storage footprint of Xbox 360’s disc format, DVD9.
I’m sorry – I just don’t believe that.
<1% OF ALL TITLES PUBLISHED REQUIRE MULTI-DISC
Developers simply have not been running out of disc space to the point of limiting their vision. Out of the 1000+ titles that have been released for the Xbox 360, here are the only titles that have gone “multi-disk”, using more storage than what was available in DVD9 (7.95GB) in the past 5+ years.
- Castlevania (2 discs)
- Dead Space 2 (2 discs)
- Final Fantasy XIII (3 discs)
- Mass Effect 2 (2 discs)
- Blue Dragon (3 discs)
- Infinite Undiscovery (2 discs)
- Last Remnant (2 discs)
- Lost Odyssey (4 discs)
- Magnacarta 2 (2 discs)
- Star Ocean: The Last Hope (3 discs)
Only 10 titles out of 1000+. And 5 of them were Microsoft co-funded… as in they wouldn’t have existed if Microsoft Game Studios themselves hadn’t explicitly commissioned them. Each of these sponsored titles are of a specific genre as well: They all represent Japanese adventure games – somewhat in the mold of Final Fantasy – which surprise, surprise: Is a 3 disc game itself.
Generally speaking, there is a very specific type of game that goes hog wild in needing disc storage. And it’s an extreme minority.
GAMES DO NOT MANDATORILY REQUIRE MORE STORAGE AS THEY GET MORE SOPHISTICATED
Newer games very often require LESS storage on disc than older games. I know this is a hard concept to understand but as developers get more sophisticated and as gaming libraries become more optimized – such as Unreal Engine – games are often smaller on disc than their predecessors.
Take the following examples:
- Crackdown (original) required close to 6.2GB on disc. Crackdown 2 requires 3.4GB.
- MechAssault was 3.42GB. MechAssault 2 was 2.29GB.
HARD DRIVE GAME INSTALL != DISC REQUIREMENTS
There’s this contention that just because a game takes up space on the drive that it’s actually the size of the game’s codebase. That’s simply NOT TRUE.
For example, “You Don’t Know Jack” requires 2.1GB on an Xbox 360 hard drive when installed locally. Does anyone seriously believe that a game that took less than 100MB on the PC, is driven by Adobe Flash, has NO VIDEO playback, and has had more sophistication on Windows than on Xbox 360… somehow requires 2.1GB on the Xbox 360 disc?
NEW HCDF RELEASES 1GB OF SPACE
So if Xbox 360 doesn’t need the extra space – why did they ‘allegedly’ release High Capacity Disk Format or HCDF?
The story goes according to Eurogamer (not me) that HCDF betas make an additional 1GB available for developers to use on standard DVD9 disks, which has historically had 7.95GB of storage total, however 1GB was used for a mandatory VideoTS file/partition which supposedly contained copy protection and some other stuff in there that Microsoft mandated. This left developers of Xbox 360 with 6.95GB to work with.
The new HCDF disk allegedly eliminates the need for the VideoTS file/partition and instead makes available the entire 7.95GB of accessible storage on a DVD9 disk.
The basic answer one has to believe is that if the storage is there: Why not make it available to developers? If innovations in copy protection and how Xbox 360 handles disks make it possible to provide 1GB of breathing room… why not? It doesn’t cost users anything other than a system update to read the new format.
Bottom line: It’s not necessary – I believe it’s more of a luxury. When almost none of Xbox 360’s games require expanding beyond what was available with 6.95GB of storage, you have to believe that this is more of a “because we can” move.