So it’s rumored that the PS3 version of Soul Calibur IV is going to require 8 gigs of hard drive space. A six gig install and two gigs for saved game data. I read through the post’s comments and the two types of people on this subject emerged. 1) PS3 installs suck, and 2) PS3 Installs Rock!
I personally fall into the former category. I find installs to be my biggest annoyance to the PS3. I personally think the benefit of a hard drive on a console should be to hold downloadable game content and downloadable games. That’s just me. I just don’t see as much benefit to it as its proponents do. From most reports, the installs help the PS3 keep up with the 360 in loading times if not barely beat it out. Is five gigs of space worth saving yourself five seconds loading on a game? I personally don’t think so. Are marginally better textrues and performance worth it? Remember, I did say marginally, not WAY BETTER!!!!1111ONE 1337 graphics.
Installs aren’t even the things that bug me the most. I’m most annoyed by the people who try to defend them. I’ve noticed that they defend them with two main arguments. 1)Buy a bigger hard drive, and 2) delete installs for games you’re not playing.
Here’s my take on those defenses.
1) Buy a bigger hard drive. Honestly, I could see myself buying a hard drive, hell, I want one for the Wii. Notice, I italicized want. Why? Because I use my Wii’s space for saved games, game content, and full downloaded games and have filled my current space with all the stuff I want. I want more, so I want a hard drive. How is this different than with the PS3? Because with the PS3 I feel like I have to get one. My PS3 isn’t being filled with games and content that I wanted. Its filled with game installs that I don’t think are of a great benefit to me. Yes, I know hard drives are cheap now, but I want to fill that hard drive with stuff I want, not stuff I’m forced to install if I want to play my game.
2) Delete game installs for games you’re not playing. I suppose when you only own a few games a generation and only ever play one game at a time that its the perfect solution for you. That is not me, however. I may not play all of my games, but I do jump around from game to game often enough. When I have friends over, we may go through sevral games, or if I’m just randomly in the mood to play an old game and jump back and forth between it and another game. These are the situations I’m much, much more likely to be in. Hell, I was playing Halo, a game I don’t play much or at all, online with a friend and we wanted to play a different game as soon as we beat the level we were playing. We played GRAW 2, a game I haven’t picked up in quite a while. On the 360 it worked out like this: pop Halo in the X-Box, play, pop GRAW 2 in the X-Box, play. On a PS3 with installs it would work a little bit more like this: delete previous game installs, install game 1, play, delete game install, install game 2, play, delete game install, re-install game 0. Not quite reasonable for short bursts of play, I think and not reasonable for me.
At this point let me quickly rant about a semi-related subject before returning to my previous rant. The use of Blu-Ray on the PS3. Yes the format can hold a great amount of data, but I don’t think it has proved itself all that much beneficial to gaming. A lot of proponents of the format for gaming point out Metal Gear Solid 4 because it couldn’t be done on DVD.
I personally think Metal Gear Solid 4 is the perfect example of why Blu-Ray isn’t up to the point to be necessary. First off Metal Gear has a 10 minute install. Then it has frequent loading screens in between areas and cutscenes and finally a 3 minute install whenever you load a new act. Could this be done on DVD? No! say Blu-Ray proponents. But let’s look at it this way. Let’s take Metal Gear Solid 4 and divide it up into five discs, one for each act. Metal Gear Solid 4’s data on disc is estimated to be around 32 Gigs, hardly filling up a Blu-Ray. That would be less than 6 gigs on each disc. What about the installed data? Well you can add a gig or two to each disc if you wanted but I doubt that would be entirely necessary as Devil May Cry 4 had a similar install on the PS3, but the game obviously fit on a single DVD.
Now if I wanted to play the REX vs RAY battle I could just pop in the appropriate disc and load my data, even if it does take a slightly longer time to load, it shouldn’t come close to the three minutes to install the Act.
What I don’t get is why multiple discs have become so generally disliked nowadays. As a defense for blu-ray I always hear the what if you lose a disc argument and everytime I almost break out laughing before dying a little inside. I have hundreds of games and have never lost a single disc. And let’s look at it like this. Let’s say you WILL lose a disc. You will lose half of all game discs you have. You have two single disc blu-ray games and a single two-disc game. Now you lose half from each pile. You’re out one blu-ray and one dvd. Well, if you have a saved game you can still play the remaining disc from the 2-disc game and find a replacement disc online fairly cheap (as it is a partial game). But let’s look at the blu-ray pile. You’re out one full game. And if you want to replace it, you’re going to have to buy it as a full game again. You can argue if its better to have one game half-playable than no game at all, but I still think the losing a game disc defense of blu-ray is incredibly stupid.
Anyways, that’s about it for my rant. I’m not a developer (yet) or particularly apt with the technicalities of programming, but I am a gamer and all this comes from what I’ve seen before and what I’m seeing now.