How important is storage capacity for today's games?

From Joystiq.com: "Remember the days when games had to fit on a few 1.4MB floppies or they were physically impractical? The extent to which those days are long gone was put into stark relief by a recent Eurogamer interview in which Sony worldwide studio head Phil Harrison said that some PS3 games were already nearing the 25GB capacity of current Blu-ray discs. In the same interview, Harrison said he expected PS3 games to fill newer 50GB-capacity discs by the end of next year. It's enough to make us wonder -- what's going in to all that space, and what are we as gamers getting out of it?

Historically, storage capacity has been an important factor in game design. Adding more space to early arcade, PC and console games meant adding more floppy discs or RAM chips, increasing the cost of production and reducing profit margins. This forced game designers to be resourceful, making the best of what they had with innovative graphical and programming tricks."

PS360WII6337d ago

Now personally I won't care if a game spans accross another disc. In fact I'd be happy with it for it would mean more bang for my buck. But I don't see how they are saying that the blue-ray is going to be more expensive seeing that the games already seem to be 60 dollars just like the 360's. Movies are more money but that's at the hands of the studios. Dvd's are cheap as all get out now and everyones liking that except for the ones who sell them. I don't know there will be games that use the 25 gigs very well and there will be games that use 25 gigs and we ask why,how, and what where they thinking. However, you can say that with every console

Retard6337d ago (Edited 6337d ago )

He's right, any agreements?

Don't say digital distribution is the future until there’s a next-gen net or something... I'd be crazy to wait for a 50Gb game at 300kbs... Or have 5 DVDs...

I don't like Sony CV, or any of the VPS. They shoot there mouths off entirely too much...

I just can't deny the developers opinion.

Other then that I think I'll enjoy both my x360 and ps3!

12Volt6337d ago

But Optical internet ISP's are around the corner, so we're about to experience a distribution renessaince once everybody gets it. Also, they'll rely on compression with us getting the files and "installing" them. It will be more like 35gigs...

lalaland6337d ago

I've personally gone from 56kbps modem to 20mbit broadband connection in a 5 year period. There are a number of places around the world where it's possible to get up to 100mbit connections at a reasonable price -- and few places with 1000mbit even.

It might not be massmarket yet, but in 7 years time, my guess is 100mbit isn't unusual at all.

A 50GB title on a fast enough server and connection, would today take approximately 7 hours to download on my connection -- that's not too bad. But hardly any servers exists that can deliver a throughput like that.

specialguest6337d ago

you're running at 20mbit broadband connection?!? damn! that puts my Comcast 6mbit connection to shame... how much do you pay monthly for that rate and who's your broadband provider?

12Volt6337d ago (Edited 6337d ago )

>> Historically, storage capacity has been an important factor in game design. Adding more space to early arcade, PC and console games meant adding more floppy discs or RAM chips, increasing the cost of production and reducing profit margins. This forced game designers to be resourceful, making the best of what they had with innovative graphical and programming tricks."

Who wrote this? Oh my god, who wrote this garbage?!

Historically? Do us all a favor Wiistiq and type "home computer" at wikipedia.org and go to class!

There are alot of reasons why space capacity will always increase:

1 - The quality of content increases, the need for higher capacity and cheaper mediums.

2 - The amount of content available is increasing leaps and bounds with the ultimate goal of complete digital immersion. Think virtual reality...

If the gaming community doesnt push through with higher capacity disk they are making a disservice to our digital future. What does it have to with games though??? Everything

Typical of Joystiq to talk about "Today" but only reference the past... juiceheads

nambo6337d ago

I really don’t think PS3 games will utilize the extra storage Blu-Ray offers them to enhance game play or experience all that much in the near future. Sure they’ll use it, but with what? We know that RFOM contains all the regional games on one disk, but I haven’t seen anything else to warrant the 25GB, albeit I’ve only seen video footage of the game. Compression technology has come a long way, and will only get better. Maybe in 4 years games will start to require the extra storage, but by then the next generation of systems will be right around the corner. I don’t think any of the current gen systems have the horse power for virtual reality. But I guess time will tell.

nstott6337d ago

Did anyone read the review on superman returns? The city is 80 square miles. The whole thing fits on 2 gigabytes. Oblivion was 16 square miles and used 5 gigabytes. The graphics of Superman return may or may not be on par with Oblivion, but the screenshots look impressive.

12Volt6337d ago

What don't you agree with exactly?

That "Today" games can run on DVD's, what about next year? and two years from now? 3 years? what about a 7 year console life span? Can you confidently say that we will be alright with DVD formats?

The same thing was said with the DVD, Video Discs were getting hot until DVD came out with 10X times the storage capacity...

BIadestarX6337d ago

@12Volt "What don't you agree with exactly?" with what "nstott" said? Di he say something that bothered you? I don't see anything wrong with what he said, except he is stating a fact. For some strange reason these huge games, "Oblivion, superman" fit fine on DVD9 and still have extra room, which is why people question the need for having to pay extra to play games. Notice: no ones argues that more room is required for Movies only for games. The good thing is that time will tell. Soon the PS3 will be out, and we will be able to see if space was not enough. If the space is not enough I can see people having lots of problems over the fact they have to deal with 2 DVD intead of 1.

nstott6337d ago

The trend in media storage is to fit more on less space. Hence the invention of vc-1 to replace mpeg2, mp3 to replace wav, procedural synthesis and other techniques replacing developers current methods.
I think that fitting a game with an 80 square mile city on it into 2 gigabytes speaks volumes for the compression techniques they are using. Obviously DVD-9 is going to be enough for the next 7 plus years. Why? because it will be the dominant media type for 3 of the 4 major gaming platforms, so it will have to be enough.
Plus why would developers want to put three times as many levels/maps/time/levels in a game and charge the same price as another developer who only puts in a third as much. I wouldn't and I doubt they would, but what I would do is break it into 3 games and charge $60 for each game and triple my revenue. Each new version could be bigger more detailed and take advantage of the latest advances in programming techniques or hardware in case of the pc. This is better for the consumer and developers.
Blu-ray is cool because all regions will be on one disc and you can put a bunch of extra stuff in there. May be hour long movies that set the story for the game. That would be cool. Plus, A lot of people will like playing the different regions. When disc manufacturing costs come down than it will be cheaper because you won't have to estimate the demand for a game by region and won't be stuck with excess inventory for a specific region.

12Volt6337d ago

My apologies, I know what he said, and I didnt argue with what he said, I just was curios why he disagreed... but what you say is true, but eventually we will need larger space. As I said everyone doubted we need dvd space but look how far we've come with that.

Plus now that I think about Edistribution, if lets say 30 gigs can't be downloaded faster than you can go to the game store and buy it, be back home to pop it open, (not to mention servers will lag with other people downloading) whats the point?

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OC_MurphysLaw6337d ago

Look...over time new media (read Larger capacity) will always be needed as tech and inovation occurs. Present day... i.e. right now...DVD-9 is more than fine. Two years from now...my guess is DVD-9 will be stretched to its capacity regularly and the need for new formats (insert Blu-ray or HD-DVD) will be sought after ESPECIALLY if the PC community on a whole has made the switch. The transition will occur its really just a question of when. Now? Not really, next year...probably not, two years...probably.