Will DVD Size Limitations Affect the Graphics of Future Xbox 360 Games?

From the beginning of time, Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers have been dueling about who's console is the more graphically powerful. In these skirmishes, terms like CPU, GPU, and RAM have been thrown around, but now those folks on the PS3 side of the fray have another weapon in their arsenal: disc format.

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Jamie Foxx3664d ago (Edited 3664d ago )

its already started as RAGE have highlighted,but all machines show there age after time look at certain ps2 games its evolution, sony just thought ahead if microsoft had done the same and included hd-dvd as standard in all honestly i believe with the headstart the 360 had bluray would have failed and ps3 would have struggled alot worse, but as it is now ps3 has the most potential which slowly but surely is becoming evident

Silellak3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

At the time, it made a lot of sense to NOT include an HD-DVD drive in the 360.

It's easy NOW to point and say LOOK, LOOK, THEY TOTALLY SHOULD HAVE, but think about it:

When the PS3 came out at the end of '06, it cost $500-$600, and a large part of that price was the super-expensive Blu-ray drive.

The 360 came out at the end of '05. How much MORE do you think an HD-DVD drive would've cost back then? The 360 would've been at LEAST $600. And at that price, no one would've bought it.

But, if MS had held off on releasing the 360 until the cost of HD-DVD drives went down, they would've lost their head-start jump on the PS3, which would've cost them the console war early on. A head-to-head release with the PS3 would've only led to defeat for the 360: Sony's brand name is just too powerful. The only thing that has kept the 360 as a viable competitor in the console war so long is their year head start over the competition.

So there are a few very, very good reasons the 360 stuck with DVDs.

avacadosnorkel3663d ago

Everybody that bought one at launch would have still got it, they just might have had to skip the Wi-Fi add-on, a Gold membership, and a second controller...unless it was wired.

Isaac3663d ago

Not only would the 360 have been $600, the failure rate would have been even worse, and the console would have been delayed a year just because of HD-DVD, a venture that Microsoft didn't even care for in the first place. Laucnhing alongside PS3 with the same price, a higher failure rate, less technology and a less recognized brand would have forced Microsoft out of the console industry. So it wasn't such a stupid move; however, it does pain me to see how multiplatform games have to be relegated to DVD9 as that is crippling the entire generation.

What Microsoft should have done is sell all 360s with an 250 GB HDD. That would have completely erased the Blu-ray and HDD advantage on PS3. However, Microsoft chose to be cheap and rush the console and that's where we are today.

rroded3663d ago

But fact is b/r is a big factor in all the best ps3 games now. RC/TOD, Uncharted, MSG4 just to name a few just couldnt be done with anything less.

The Wood3663d ago

HD DVD still wasnt enough of a step up in my opinion at that time. MS's hands were tied just like sony's with the rumble. Doesnt mean that they should be let off the hook because sony weren't. The word future proof in itself doesn't make sence BUT the PS3 is the closest a console can get to being Future Proof and the often criticised decision to include blu ray has factored into that.

ukilnme3663d ago

@ Silellak

I agree that MS did what they had to do at that time. With that said though disk space and the lack of an HDD is becoming an issue with some games. I'm still enjoying the hell out my Elite though.

If they can afford it, maybe all developers should make the games to take advantage of the consoles features. What I mean is if the PS3 version of a game gets more content because of bluray then so be it.

Now I know that might not make good business sense because the other console owners may not buy their version if the game would not be equal to the other. It just makes me wonder sometimes how good could GTAIV or Ghostbusters (if it gets released) to name a few could have been for the PS3 if they were not held back by the 360's limitations with disk space or lack of a HDD. Help me understand if I don't know what I'm talking about here.

morganfell3663d ago

To answer the article's question, yes. However, it is not only graphics that will be limited, or should I say have been limited. I say this because Bizarre Creations had to limit PGR4 because of this fact. They were frank about it. Later there was some back peddling but the word was already out.

Issues like this in the gaming world are like icebergs. With icebergs you only see a small part of the ice and by the time you do it is too late. Issues in the gaming world are the same way. By the time you hear about them they have already grown to prominence below the radar.

GTS4 was cut. Not all of it is storage related. Many engineers can run circles around John Carmack on the PS3:


MR : Personally, I want to show off our PS3 technology. We’re one of the few developers who love the PS3 and have a great time with it. We have great technology for the PS3 and we want to show it off.

VG247: Isn’t it the same for the 360?

MR: We’re running the same game for both platforms but if we made a PS3-only game, for example, you could double the amount of objects on screen that you’re seeing. The PlayStation 3 has seven processors and the 360 only has three, so seven versus three means you can do a lot more on the PS3. We’re keeping the game the same over both platforms so we don’t want to take out any features.

VG247: So is the game scaled down because of the limitations of the 360?

MR : For example, we’ve reserved one whole processor on the PS3 for Dolby Digital 5.1 sound whereas on the 360 you have part of one processor to do that. So we can have a lot better sound mixing and a lot more effects going on at the same time. That kinds of makes us do a little bit less in the game [360] but makes for better audio. If we’re doing a PS3 only game however, we could be doing a lot more. We could be pushing a lot more on the screen.

Genesis53663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

In a nut shell yes. They have left themselves no room to grow. I guess well see in a couple of years. The author of this article seems to think 9 gigs is enough. I disagree.

harv0523663d ago

Some developers say they can put a lot more on screen, some say it just can't be done...hard to tell who to believe. But, I tend to believe those who says it can, due to the fact it has been proven possible. Those who says it's impossible, just don't like the PS3's "hard to write code for" console...

The Lazy One3663d ago

A developer said that? Was it a programmer, a producer, or a game designer? Cuz that is a bull**** way to look at it. It's not 7 vs. 3. It's 1+SPEs vs. 3. The problem is that it's both hard to get the power out of the SPEs, as well as to accurately know how much you can squeeze out of those SPEs.

That said, the DVD issue is only an issue as long as M$ makes it one. If/When they remove the royalties on the DVDs (they really need to understand that a lot of people could care less about switching a dvd once in a while. For games with MP and SP, you can just put them on separate discs and you barely ever have to switch) the problem will go away.

You have to remember that the 360 isn't supposed to last till 2010. DVD is more than enough to last the next 2 years, maybe 3. Then we all move on.

Armyless3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

You said, "DVD is more than enough to last the next 2 years, maybe 3. Then we all move on."

Not all of us. Some of us were never limited to DVD in our consoles.

Diugu3663d ago

Some already moved on.

kinggeoff3663d ago


thank you!!! I don't get why people automatically assume that ps3's cell makes it more powerful FOR GAAAAMMMIIINNGNGGG than the 360.

All things considered, the systems perform VERY closely in actual game situations.

The devs in sony's pocket love to spout about how they NEEDED blu ray to fit everything in.

What ever happened to running some R&D to find some GOOD NEW compression algorithms. There are new video and audio codecs coming out constantly...with each fitting more data into less space with less artifacting.

Blu Ray's size is ABSOLUTELY an advantage that the ps3 has. And I love watching BD movies. But honestly, they're not so much better than the HDDVD movies I still own. The audio is where blu ray truely shines IMO. But in the end, the size limitations are only a problem if the devs ALLOW it to be a problem. Whining about space doesnt help anything and copping out just because of space limitations is a true sign of dev laziness

morganfell3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

Lazy, you need to catch up. It isn't MS that makes DVDs an issue. MS can only respond with DVDs. The issue is the expanding nature of games as developers seek to push new limits and offer an expanded gaming experience.

And for the above, simply tossing in a extra DVD isn't enough. That's why Sony didn't try to buy an exclusive with FF13. You think Id is having issues with DVD9? Consider FF13. That game has been in development specifically for the PS3 for over 3 years. Wait until they try to shoehorn that onto the 360. Look, it's Atari 5000. Anyone that is a serious fan of FF13 is going to get the game on a PS3.

Yes a developer (something you are not) said that. They can dump all the physics onto one core. All the AI onto another. Let a 3rd core handle vertex lighting, etc etc. And as we have already seen, graphically the PS3 has beaten the 360 soundly.

Also we have moved on but how are you moving on in 2 years? Getting a PS3? I ask because, and I won't go into the lengthy issues why digital download only won't work for several generations, I ask because I want to see you figure out the conundrum MS can't. Whether it is the lack of infrastructure in 2-3 years or people being unwilling to spend money on something they can't own and trade. They may do it with small expenses but not $59 a pop. And don't kid yourself by saying that without hard media prices will drop. Now that same money has to be spent on infrastructure, service, and support and we all know how MS likes to charge online fees.

With MS having no next gen storage ability, what would you move to?

At the above, it is precisely compression that is the issue. And did you just accuse a dev of being lazy? How does that shoe feel on the other foot?

Time_Is_On_My_Side3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

The PlayStation 3 has one Power Processing Element (PPE) and up to eight Synergistic Processing Elements (SPE).Each SPE has its own fast memory for true parallel processing; that's what makes it different from most. Developers can only use six of the eight from my understanding.

With the DVD comment the disc limits developers to what they want the gaming expereince to be. Like for example Infamous it exclusive to the PlayStation 3 due to disc space. Grand Theft Auto IV took up the whole disc space on the XBOX 360 and I'm pretty sure their (Rock Star) games aren't going to get any smaller.

juuken3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

Microsoft shot themselves in the damn foot. Sure, they have good games for the 360 and XBL is good but this is going to be a huge problem they'll need a solution for.

And morgan, well said. That's why I'm not upset about FFXIII going multi-platform anymore. Square is going to have even more problems trying to get FFXIII on the 360 and I'm sure they don't want to cut corners especially when this game is HIGHLY anticipated.

dan-boy3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

after reading all the comments on here, i didn't realise that over 90% of n4g's members were developers with an intimate knowledge of both consoles. i feel slightly humbled to be in the presence of such learned scholars....and there was me thinking that that the biggest determining factor was the hardware iself, not the storage medium. it just shows you that if ever you need to learn something, just check out the n4g coments section to know what the people "in the know" have to say......

or is this just more blog tripe wrote to get hits knowing that the n4g bottom feeders lap this sh1t up on a daily basis???

Guwapo773663d ago

I thought this article was going to state the obvious but it failed to do so. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Xbox 360. It has everything to do with MS charging per disk.

So what is the solution...stop charging companies per disk and problem is solved.

The Lazy One3663d ago

You'd think I killed jesus.

The reason I questioned what part of development he was in is because EVERY DEVELOPER knows it's not 7-8 vs 3. You have to compare usability of either to the usability of the other. I could stick 20 intel 8088's in a computer, but that wouldn't be better than a 360 despite the number 20 being larger than the number 3. All he proved is a simple knowledge of integers.

I'm all for anyone who can tell me why the processor is faster (don't actually do it, I already know the pros and cons of both), what I dislike is the comparison of completely irrelevant data to come up with a questionable outcome.

Comparison. the 360 has 1 exterior power brick PS3 has 0. 1>0... it's the same logic the guy used. In all extensive purposes it doesn't matter if there's an exterior or interior power brick, what matters is that they do their job, and how well they do it.

That said, it isn't a hardware problem, and yes it is a microsoft issue. DVD is not limiting developers. Microsoft charging for each DVD is. As long as the game engine doesn't take up 90% of the disc, changing the DVD is a realistic alternative. I understand some of you moved on, as far as I'm concerned, I don't really care if you did. The fact of the matter is DVDs still work fine for games, do they work better than blu-ray? outside of cost, no. Do they work? yes. That is what is important.

amigaman3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

It looks to me that the developer is forcing Microsoft to lower the costs of publishing the game on the 3 discs. Probably internal negotiations failed, so it is taking the matter to the gaming public announcing that the game will look worst on the X360 do to disk limitations. Microsoft may concede, lower the cost, and everyone will be happy. I think that is why they are forcing the issue, its all about the money, there are many games released on more then 3 disks on PC then on any other platform and gamers live with it, on PC you can install the game on HD, so that's not an issue.

crazypuppet3663d ago

I barely know anything about cell, or the ps3 hardware. What i do know is that saying 7 cores is always better then 3 cores is a complete lie. Also the cell processor is a new architecture so the 7 hes talking about arent cores they are SPEs. The cell in the ps3 has one core you wont see a duel core cell processor for 5 years let alone 7. The reason devs prefer the xbox has nothing to do with hardware, its all about software. The development tools that microsoft made are simply incredible but thats to be expected since they are a software company. In the same sense the hardware on ps3 is much more sturdy and well built but once again that is to be expected since sony is a hardware company. I am a developer professionally, and unprofessionally. One i cant talk about, one i can http://www.pinstripegames.b...

jlemdon3663d ago

I think they should've made the collector's edition of games using HD-DVD rather than DVD9, remember the word "Collector" it's a choice to have not neccessarly to own.

M$ said there motto is about giving people choice, the people that wanted HD-DVD should've gotten a choice as well.

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darkness within3663d ago

I think that the xbox will be headed for mandatory installs.
Especially with the larger hard drive model and the new feature in the fall update.

ukilnme3663d ago

I hope so but that will screw over a lot of 360 owners unless MS starts shipping out free HDDs to every 360 owner without one.

morganfell3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

Well darkness that sounds good but now MS would be forcing people to buy a larger HDD and that won't happen. People won't do it. What is the alternative? Having to install a different game every time you decide you want to p[lay something different or a friend PMs you and says "Let's jump into some other game? With very little space on a 360 HDD, and face it over 90% of the 360s are 20GB or no drive at all, you download one movie how much room do you have?

Also remember they denied Id the use of the HDD.

zypher3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

if Microsoft wants one if its gamers (me) buying all multiplatform games on the PS3, then they will start making installs mandatory. all i have is a 360 Pro, with about 12 out of 20gb left. i absolutely refuse to spend $180 on a 120gb stand alone hdd. $80 maybe, but not $180.

Aleshy3663d ago

"Developers can only use six of the eight from my understanding."
Thats under linux, under the PS3's kernel mode(not in OtherOS) it has access to all the cores. Wtf is this "7 cores is always better then 3 cores is a complete lie" programed correctly it unleashes shocking power and speed. Not only can you run 8 calculations simultaneously each SPE is capable of doing 2 simultaneous calcs, you do the math.

Eg. You have two large pile of rocks which is the data that needs to be processed and then you have a large crate somewhere else which is the main memory. You have the 360 on oneside and the PS3 on the other.Each core is a man that needs to move the rocks to the crate. Now the 360 has 3 cores that arnt parallel so all 3 of them need to carry one rock at a time. The PS3 on the other hand has 8 simultaneous cores (men) and a leader(PPU), each man can carry 2 rocks at a time, so the 8 men are commanded by the leader(PPU) to carry all the rocks to the crate. 360 3 cores @ 3.2Ghz carring 1 rock, PS3 8 cores @ 3.2Ghz carring 16 rocks.

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Silogon3663d ago

I love how every ps3 "only" owner is now dropping their hopes in this "RAGE" bank. You all think just because 1 game us utilising a bit more disc tech to store textures on it's going to change the future of gaming as we know it.

Truth is if the CPU and GPU can't handle the textures to begin with unpacking them on a disc is going to do little to solve the problems of inferior hardware or complicated hardware.

john carmack simply said they have more freedom with Blu-ray, which is true I am sure, but he did not say the ps3 version was going to be superior for sure. He said they were looking into other alternatives for the xbox 360 and that RAGE was even made for the xbox 360 and pc 1st. It is the primary platform of it.

So all this talk about DVD9 isn't too small... Well, I challenge you all to find a multiplatform game that says otherwise. HA and HA!

avacadosnorkel3663d ago

It's already a done deal that Microsoft waives the royalty fee for the 3rd disc on 360.

AStupidXbot3663d ago

Silogon, that's because devs want both products to be the same as possible. Too bad the majority of devs arent using the advantage.

The Wood3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

Do you REALLY think that this RAGE stuff was the start of ps3 fans saying that bigger storage was needed?

Sorry but if we are meant to be playing HD gaming then its obvious that bigger storage would be needed just like EVERY other generation step up. If HD movies needed bigger space why wouldn't games?

What this whole BS boils down to is the fact that MS chose not to or couldn't use a bigger storage and Sony did. I bet you if they both had larger media then the argument would be something to do with read speeds or some next BS and multiplats will be the affected whilst the ps3 exclusives will use it to its full potential and I really think that MGS should of proved this. If you need more proof just take into account that Siren blood curse takes up more than 9 gig on my HDD.

Next gen sound, graphics, needs next gen media

Vicophine3663d ago

I like how you said "multiplatform game" because PS3 exclusives destroy that argument.

thewhoopimen3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

Sure let's look at GTA4. One look at infamous and you can tell that disc space was a HUUUUUGE problem. It limited the available game types in the singleplayer, it limited the polish of the graphics, there's only one city compared to previous GTA iterations. The storage limitation, coupled with the graphical "update" of GTA4 basically made this game a lesser game than San Andreas or Vice city.

Isaac3663d ago

"I love how every ps3 "only" owner is now dropping their hopes in this "RAGE" bank. You all think just because 1 game us utilising a bit more disc tech to store textures on it's going to change the future of gaming as we know it."

I love how you generalize with the word "every", no to mention that you assume it is only PS3 owners that criticize the 360s lack of a next-gen storage format. Also, I love how you are ignorant enough to assume that disc space is only important for high res textures. I wouldn't be surprised to know that you think it would have made sense to make GTAIV on 3 discs.

"Truth is if the CPU and GPU can't handle the textures to begin with unpacking them on a disc is going to do little to solve the problems of inferior hardware or complicated hardware."

The problem of complicated hardware can be solved with skill, and there is no problem with inferior hardware on the PS3. PS3 exclusives say hello, and they are also taking a dump on you.

"john carmack simply said they have more freedom with Blu-ray, which is true I am sure, but he did not say the ps3 version was going to be superior for sure. He said they were looking into other alternatives for the xbox 360 and that RAGE was even made for the xbox 360 and pc 1st. It is the primary platform of it."

And he also said that the game would look worse even though he thinks 360 is the better platform because it is easy to program for. Basically, he is trying to do some damage control for the platform that has fed him ever since he started making games (Microsoft) when he says 360 is better, but the results will probably be so evident that he won't be able to deny it.

"So all this talk about DVD9 isn't too small... Well, I challenge you all to find a multiplatform game that says otherwise. HA and HA!"

The challenge is pointless because developers make games with the lowest common denominator in mind (in this case, it is Xbox 360). However, Carmack just admitted RAGE will be the first game, and FFXIII will be another game. There will probably be several more in the future because these platforms are supposed to be here for a long run. Unless of course Microsoft is set to release Xbox 720 early screwing everyone of their consumers.

However, there have been developers complaining even before the 360 was launched, that includes Epic's Mark Rein, Bizarre (they had to do sacrifices for PGR), Rockstar (Houser said GTAV might be exclusive to PS3 because DVD9 is a limitation and PS3 will have a big install base by then, "One of the problems with the 360, and it affects games like Grand Theft Auto if you think about how much content we put in the actual machine, is the fact that they don't have a significantly larger storage medium than the previous systems. It's a slightly bigger DVD disc," Houser told 1up."), the makers of 2 days 2 vegas (they admitted it is a lot better to have Blu-ray on PS3 especially for an open world game like theirs, Loo comments on the Blu-Ray as a distribution media, "Blu-Ray solves a lot of our problems."), Konami (Kojima thought 50GB wasn't enough so you guess what he thinks about DVD9), among a few others. There's your stupid challenge.

TheExecutive3663d ago

@ Vicophine

You sir, are absolutely correct.

juuken3663d ago

I'm sorry Siligon but everyone just destroyed you there. It probably would have been better if you stayed out of the discussion.

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Alexander Roy3663d ago (Edited 3663d ago )

I don't know if the graphics will be toned down, but something ("content"/"qua lity"[i.e. bitrates, texture resolution, etc.]) will have to be cut someday.
Don't even start with compression. De-compressing stuff takes CPU cycles, which in return mean less power available for the game itself. So maybe they can fit 20GB worth of data on a DVD-9, but the algorithms to make that executable again will take up lots of power.

Want to test it yourself? Take any big amount of data (I'm talking about GBs here, the more the better) and put it in a .rar or .zip or whatever archive you want. Now, start a game that you know runs smoothly. As soon as the game starts, open the archive and decompress it to any place on your PC. Switch to the game again. Unless you play a less demanding game, you will see the impact yourself immediately.

We won't see the drawbacks of de-compression in the next few games, I'd say (don't own one, so can't talk about it). But as soon as games come out that really push the hardware (high CPU load), you will see them choke on it, since power needed for the DC can't be used for something else.

thewhoopimen3663d ago

actually there's an easier way. turn your game into a zip or rar file and try running it from there.

Pain3663d ago


want proof? how much dose that HD porn u kids download take up on your HDD eh?

Sir_Ken_Kutaragi3663d ago

Future??? + xBox 360??? There isn't one!!! ;-D

DevastationEve3663d ago

So, why so many ps3 fans commenting?

3663d ago
syanara3663d ago

@1.3 well there soo many ps3 gamers here and I read news from everysection cause I mean just cause its 360 news doesn't nessicarily mean its not gonna affect ps3 gamers

you sound a lot like ps3rd the turd a complete fanboy who cant consider the other console because you are so bent on beliveing the 360 is better that you will fight to defend it. in the 360's defense halo 3, gears of war 1, and fable 2 look great but then again so does the entire ps3 library of 08 and 09 games. don't judge a game or console without playing it first. I am guilty of that sometimes but then again it is right to be skeptikal.

TheAveragePs3User3663d ago

i am 13 yearz old, have prefect splleing and knwod for sho tht Ps3 is teh winsz x100029 i cantss wait tisl 2014 wehn teh frist games comeout that s way my mommy can bye me onew!!!!11!!!!!

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