IGN: Mass Effect 2's Strange Disc Swapping Explained

Last month, BioWare Community Manager Chris Priestly noted players had to do one required disc swap for the Xbox 360 version of Mass Effect 2.

But that is no longer the case.

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josh143993216d ago

i hate switching discs i hope i can install one of the discs and the game will run properly with just the first in. i doubt this would be allowed though because you could install it on your mates 360 and leave him the second disc while you keep the first and still be able to play the full game

Cold 20003216d ago

You hate swapping discs ? What do you do then when you want to switch games ?

Eamon3216d ago

lol @ Cold 2000

To be honest, if you're not made to swap discs very frequently then I see nothing wrong with swapping. Obviously a single disc is the much preferred option.

dragonelite3216d ago

duh not change he just plays one game all gen long.
Or call his mom to change his games i know i would im a lazy bastard :P

kewlkat0073216d ago

I mean, that's like playing an individual "Whole(20hr)Game" in itself then putting another disc in but still playing the same game obviously.

Now if I'm on Disc 3 of a game and had to travel to an earlier world or part of the game but had to throw in disc 1 just to collect an item, well that would be a nuisance, if it's part of the main story game.

A side quest, not so much.

Sez 3216d ago

That made me laugh so hard.

Bubble +

Cartesian3D3216d ago

by your logic ,a game with 1200 disk can make same experience as 1 disk game .. right ?

think about that for a minute .. swapping discs between games is different from swapping discs in ONE game!

thanks god you are not a manager in tech R&D, imagine 100 CDs (with 1000x speed ,drives sound like a tank or sth) for HD movies.. because swapping discs isnt a problem for ONE product.

OmarJA-N4G3216d ago

Well no swapping & problems for me since I'm getting the PC version. :)

Cold 20003216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )


ME 2 is about 20-30 hours long and 2 discs. That makes a 10 second break to change discs every 10 hours or so.

Lost Odyssey is 40 hours long with 4 discs. Same thing, all together it will take you 40 seconds to swap discs in 40h+ game...

Changing discs every 10 hours or so isn't more inconvenient than changing blurays every time you beat a 10-15h long game, which is the average length for a game.

Harry_Manback3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

No sense in b1tching about it as we all know how limited data space is on dvd's.

As long as the overall gaming experience is worth it then so be it.

I'd much rather have an epic 20hr 2-disc game than a 10 hr 1-disc game.

ryuzu3216d ago

But none of those storage solutions you're jerking off over exist in a console today - hell they're barely even available for home PCs.

A disk swap isn't a problem - well 'cept for the hardware issues in 360.

Even so, MS should either make much bigger disks and much cheaper or, if they really want their console to last for a few more years, provide some kind of cheap add-on drive, Blu-ray or whatever other circle jerk tech you prefer, I don't care.

I just don't want to see devs constrained.


lowcarb3216d ago

This whole disc swapping argument reminds me of The Cosby show episode when Bill was to lazy to get up and change the channel because he could not find the remote.

Saaking3216d ago

There's nothing wrong with switching disks.... if we were still in the 90s. People We're in 2010. The PSone era is long gone and MS is stuck all the way back then. Switching disks is something that should be unacceptable today. It was okay back with the PSone and the early PS2, but not anymore. Right now, it's just a joke.

commodore643216d ago

@ saaking

.. but funnily enough, required installs seem to be a-okay with you?

Cartesian3D3216d ago

now thats a logic.. 10 hours per disk is enough..

but your first one was stupid.. anyway Mass effect is a AAA RPG and 2 disk for 20-30 hours of AAA experience isnt a problem imo.

zack613216d ago

You just owned him. LMAO

Ausbo3216d ago

the fanboys are just trying to find something bad about the game. Since all the reviews have been fantastic, they bash the fact you have to switch discs a couple of times. HAHAHA.

Mike134nl3216d ago

Some people have the same problem with picking up a remote or a controller. It's a inconvenience but not a hassle. In the old days getting to the second or even fourth disc simply gave a sense of accomplishment.

Maybe they should give an achievement for the players to swap the disc to motivate them to swap the disc.

EVILDEAD3603216d ago

I change changes games, dvds, blu-rays every single day. Multiiple disc still and always will be a non-issue.

I'd rather swap Mass Effect 2 a couple of times then not have it on my console at all.

Let's face many people leave every single game that they start in their console until it's completely finished and the credits are rolling? Especially one that is going to take 20+ hours.

If it leaves the tray..and you put it back in at's the same as a disc swap.



fr0sty3216d ago

if this were a ps3 game, and it only had a dvd drive, where 360 had the bd drive, the tone of this thread would be drastically different.

as for swapping, if it's a linear game, it's ok. but rpg's where you have to go back to an old part of the game to do certain things, no go.

you can bash not wanting to get up to change discs all you want, but you can't deny that it limits the way developers can make their games. open world games that span more than one disc have to be cut down or designed differently in order to make it so you aren't swapping discs just to go to another area (like GTA for instance, or an RPG that isn't linear). this puts a limit on the developer as to what kinds of gaming experiences that they can give you. they must craft it around hiding the inconvenience of the disc swap as much as possible, spacing the need to do so as far apart as they possibly can. anything that restricts their creative vision is a bad thing IMO, no matter how little or how much it does.

wicko3216d ago

Buy it on Steam if that bothers you so much.

soljah3216d ago

i will wait for the 1 disc version on ps3 bluray lol

well for now disc swaping version it is. but as time goes on this is going to become a real problem for 360 versions of multiplats unless co's do like square did for ff13 and dumb down the game to fit old dvd tech

HDgamer3216d ago

Get the pc version just like me, it's superior in every form. Mods > xbawx

webeblazing3216d ago

they said they made the game that way to make it a non-linear game and to put more content on the game im glad they did this hopefully more games will be more ambitious and make their game more bigger im definitely gonna support these guys. it seems like yall dont wont more out of your games.

IaMs123216d ago

I honestly dont see the problem right now with it if you have to only switch it out twice.

Yes we all know MS screwed up, WHO DOESNT? Sony is hell of a ways from being perfect and yes that includes your freaking PS3. Im sorry to burst your bubble.

But honestly people, fighting about it wont do anything. What will it accomplish? Oh you have to switch your discs, that system officially sucks, time to buy another console that doesnt have the game you want on it.

There is no argument here. Yes it sucks they had to make it on 2 discs but there is nothing WE can do. Do you really want the other console to fail? Without Gears the PS3 would not have anything to shoot for, and now look what we got.

Its called competition, and Sony would suck without it, and so would MS. Good im glad the PS3 has the best graphics, because now MS just has to top that and vice versa. STFU and GTFU. Seriously you are a bunch of kiddies fighting about which is better the blue car or the red. In the end they both play games.

SO, try to enjoy what you got, and be thankful for what we got. Spoiled B#@$CHS

Steffl3r3216d ago

You'll be waiting awhile. Bioware doesn't love your kind XP

kalebgray923216d ago

preordered it but that sucks

mastiffchild3216d ago

Changing discs within a game is an unnecessary thing, these days in most cases and anyone who says they don't care at all is lying-everyone would prefer games on the one disc. Fair enough, it's not the end of the world and if you only change once it's pretty much OK(outside of the fact having two discs increases the chances of a damaged disc wrecking your game-and I've had a few scratched by 360s and a few killed by my kids and dogues)but if it goes like SO4 on 360 and they're in and out it becomes an actual problem rather than just not ideal.

Besides, can't we just install them now anyway-I install a lot of my games to 360 purely for their performance-so for practically everyone it's going to be a one time deal, isn't it?

gamer20103216d ago

This is honestly a non-issue for me. I couldn't care less. I will probably switch it out 5 times more just to play other games in between sessions of Mass Effect 2.

Let's face it, the vast majority of games do not need more than 1 DVD. Having a couple long RPGs that require multiple discs is not a problem at all.

kalebgray923215d ago

got disagrees saying it sucks even when mentioning i basically own it..payed in full but fanboys only see the word sucks and say "NO it doesn't" when really they would rathter not switch.

nycredude3213d ago


Way to rationalize how it's ok in 2010 to be swapping disc on a hd "next gen" console. Can someone explain to me how swapping disc is somehow better than having everything on one disc? It seems you would have people believe swapping disc is the new thing to do to be cool.

Let me ask you would you want to get up during the middle of a great movie to flip the disc to the other side or would you rather watch it through without interruption?

Sorry i don't agree but I also own a 360 and although it amounts to not much more than an inconvenience, it still is unacceptable this far along in the industry.

+ Show (29) more repliesLast reply 3213d ago
Karooo3216d ago

bioware has really improved mass effect 2 Disc 2 ftw.

Immortal3213216d ago

you want bigger games, get bigger space that's all.

How hard is that concept to adapt?

Sez 3216d ago

Yes cause "EVERY" game on the ps3 is 40+ hours long thanks to blu-Ray disk. /s

most games on ps3 ( except rps) are if that 10hours long. Only thing blu-Ray has helped so far is in the graphics department and unconpressed sound. It did nothing to make the game longer or anything. So what are you getting at.

infamous-butcher3216d ago

Ohh I thought Final Fantasy XIII just realeased on 1 Bluray disc with no compression and soon to be realeased on at least 3 DVD9 discs with compressed audio AND visuals. Or did I just dream that?
Swaping discs these days implys you've got a bad, format (ie DVD9) whereas back in the day with the PS it made you think WOO this must be a BIG game if its on three discs. Now we have far bigger memory avaliable on discs which eliminates the need for multiple discs. When a game comes out now on 3 discs we think thats dated hardwear when a bigger game is still available on one disc.

Sez 3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

i see you didn't notice that i said (EXCEPT RPG'S) there aren't any games that go over 10 hours. yet the first game you mention is Final Fantasy XIII (which is a RPG). which is mostly CGI and cutscene. which takes up most of the space on disk.

game dev's focus too much on graphic and how close to realism they can get a game to look. instead of the lenth they can get out of the blu-ray disk. again how many games on blu-ray are over 10 hours? none. MGS4 even at over 50 gigs. without the codec and CGI isn't over 10+hours. so with so much space blu-ray has. why aren't dev's making games longer than 10 hours on blu-ray. because they are focusing more on graphic and uncompressed sound. i'm not sayng this is a bad thing at all. but for $65+ dollars (including DLC) games should be longer as well as look good.

i can't speak for anyone else. but i rather have a be over 10 hours.(especially if it's a good game) than have the best graphic ever. again thats just me and my opinion.

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Whitefox7893216d ago

I can agree with you on developers focusing too much on visuals instead of game time

Sez 3216d ago

Do me a favor ok. Stop acting like I don't own a ps3 ok. I haven't seen anything other than graphic or unconpressed sound that can't be done on dvd9. Stop kidding yourself ok. I haven't seen these long levels your talking about that you claim blu-Ray adds to. The distructable enviroments your talking about can't be done on any system. You bring up KZ2 and R2 ok let's take a look at these games. Halo3 is on dvd9 right. Yet it has 4 player co-op, split screen, forge,open world,vehicles, and more. Yet KZ2 and R2 don't have most of those feature if any. So what has blu-Ray added to as far as FPS's goes? Nothing but graphic like I said.

Oh and no MGS4 is not 15hours. It may have took you 15 hours skipping though the cutscenes and codec. But it's not 15 hours. Again stop fooling yourself.

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gamer20103216d ago

Graphics are a function primarily of the GPU and memory, and to a lesser extent the CPU. Disc capacity has almost nothing to do with graphics. It only gives you more room to fit more content.

But like Vega75 said, most PS3 games are no longer than 360 games anyway. The dirty little secret is that many PS3 games simply repeat content on the disc in order to help with load times and seek times. That is only to offset the slower speed of the Bluray drive in the PS3.

Most games this generation simply do not need more than a DVD.

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heroprotagonist3215d ago

No, it's because most developers don't want to spend the time or money to create worlds that big that many gamers will never finish, which would also cause the price of games to go up. That is the real reason most games fit on a DVD this generation. A bigger capacity format will be very useful next generation, but it definitely isn't necessary this generation.

If all games were as long as Mass Effect 2 I would simply play far fewer games, because I wouldn't have the time to get through very many games. The length of most games this generation is just fine for me. Even games like Heavenly Sword and Halo 3 ODST were great games to me and I actually appreciated that they were short but sweet.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 3215d ago
LONEWOLF2313216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

Ahh.......better buy GPGs for it.

To be honest id much rather have in between game installs ala Metal Gear 4 than this game disk swapping. BUT since not many have HDD on their 360 this option is out of the question...........

Sitdown3216d ago

swapping a disc once takes less time than the load times that MGS 4 had between some chapters. Again, not that big of a deal as some people would want to make it out to be. I can honestly say I felt no repercussions of the one time I had to get up and switch the Resident Evil 4 disc on the gamecube.

Foxgod3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

Complaining about swapping a disc once every couple of days, is a poor attempt to make blu ray look good.

Thats how sad the current state of blu ray is, they have to make poor excuses like that.

Dead_Cell3216d ago

In a world of technological evolution, mass media data streaming, bigger hold capacity and constantly upgrading processing...
Swapping data discs is old, it should have gone out of the window a long time ago. If this wasn't something that one side of an oh so precious console war is sensetive about and was just another piece of technology the opinion would be unanimous.
It is archaic.

ActionBastard3216d ago

Hell, I have more Gmail storage than the 360's media has.

LONEWOLF2313216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

See i have no problem with disk swapping WHATSOEVER just with disk swapping scratches! I mean games now adays are expensive its not like they are cheap and due to normal disk swapping use and no matter HOW much you try to take care of the game they will scratch and Fck up your game disk! A fcked up game disk means youll have to rebuy that said titles IF you plan on getting the future DLC. I know that this sounds more like excuses and i am sorry for that BUT it is the truth! IT would be alot better if we had game install rather than disk swapping!

OmarJA-N4G3216d ago

Nobody mentioned the blu-ray here insecure much?

BTW there's no need for excuses the blu-ray won the format & it's already the best.

Foxgod3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

Only morons scratch disc's during swapping.
Also, Even Blu ray will feature disc swapping eventually again.
Its commong to a media format, when it nears the end of its life cycle, that data has to be spreaded over multiple discs.

So dont act like that because you have to swap a dvd now, that you will never have to swap blu ray.
As soon as UHD becomes the standard (displayport), game and video data will no longer fit on a 12 or so layered blu ray anymore either.
Then you will need two 200GB blu ray disc's to store one game.

And just cause a media format ends its life cycle, it doesnt meant you can dispose of it right away, theres plenty of reasons left right now to favor DVD over blu ray still, like budget and manufacturing.

Blu ray is not the best in any way.
HVD got a lot more storage potential then Bly-ray, and theres more media formats that can do more.
Blu ray also isnt the fastest media, thats Dvd, and Blu ray also isnt the most widely distributed.

I personally am more into Flash storage, theres already 32GB sdcards, and by 2015 they will hit the 2TB per disc.

Dead_Cell3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

You do realise disc swapping basically doubles your need production at minimum, right? Disc swapping is far far off on a upgradable storage media.

Foxgod3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

Only 5 % of 360 games are on more then one disc, so its still better to manufacture 360 games.

If 100% of games where on multiple disc's then you would be right, but your not, cause you didnt use your brains when you wrote that comment.

Instead you wrote that ungrounded argument in an attempt to make me look bad, which i frankly do not take lightly.

Doc Sony3216d ago

lol, STFU FoxGod

Blu Ray IS better.

You're a dumb 360 fanboy who's is trying to make inferior technology seem better than superior tech. You're basically saying you would CHOOSE to swap disks rather than have everything on one Blu Ray.

I don't mind swapping a disc once, but you should just keep your mouth shut with that sh!t.

Blu Ray won, HD-DVD lost, its over, move on.

Foxgod3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

Also, the reason i dont like blu ray, is because its again another optical format.

I am tired of using these ugly coasters all together, and want to move on to something different, at least with DVD we know its gonna be gone soon.

We have been using disc's for almost 40 years now, its getting stupid, even tapes didnt last that long.

@doc sony,
Better then what?
It sure as hell aint better then HVD, HVD will allow UHD on one disc, while blu ray will not.
I see Blu ray as an annoyance, its far too limited compared to what is about to come in the near future.

Blu ray is some annoying bridge that Sony build to close the gap between DVD, HVD, which isnt ready yet to manufacture.

But again, i did like something new, instead of Optical media.
It would be nice if everything becomes flash based, so that our games get stored on cartridges the size of a fingernail

And in before, but i would lose my games, or comments like that, we already use SDmicro cards, i dont hear anyone complaining about losing those.

Dead_Cell3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

I never mentioned the 360, I was talking about why the need for multiple discs for single media is a problem. For people to say it isn't is for them to logically favour the CD player over the Ipod.
Hard media is the problem.
Once again anger arises from over zealous console supporters who would rather defend a piece of emotionally void technology than actually see the point in what somebody else is saying.

Karum3216d ago

Blu-Ray doesn't need to have excuses made for it, it's performing fantastically. What sad state is Blu-Ray in exactly? It's being well marketed, it's being adopted faster than DVD and BD movies get day and date releases with their DVD counterparts with TV ads saying "on dvd and blu-ray from xx date"

Where are you seeing these excuses being made for Blu-Ray? It certainly wasn't in the comment you were responding to.

If you feel swapping discs isn't a huge issue then just say that, nothing wrong with it. Fabricating something in your own mind about Blu-Ray and commenting on it when noone else did seems a little bit stupid to me.

Now as for my opinion on disc swapping, I'm lazy and I find it annoying for the 30 seconds it takes to do, but it's certainbly not annoying enough to not buy a game with 2 discs for my 360, not by any means.

Sitdown3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

Your post seems so extreme; Seriously, switching a physical disc is outdated? Should walking be considered outdated since there are other means of getting from point A to B? Just because new technology is out...doesn't mean everything else is old and know why? Cause not every country has the ability to take advantage of the new technology. Not everyone has access to mass media data streaming...and even if they did, I think I would rather switch a disc every now and again than have to pay the extra money a month for a faster internet connection. Likewise...I don't mind having to switch a disc than putting my faith in a hard drive not going bad on me....I own an ipod, but still prefer playing cds in my car.

Dead_Cell3216d ago

We have the ability to use larger storages of media, we can stream data endlessly, upload and download it as we wish.
And yet we're still swapping hard data discs because...because what?
It's just easier in general.

ActionBastard3216d ago

Outdated is outdated. See, walking can't really be outdated as it isn't an evolving tech. You put one foot in front of the other, in succession, and move. DVD swapping? Outdated. Now, I hate the fact that children in Bosnia can't play or enjoy the PS3/360 via a 25MB internet connection, but technology waits for no one. It's always been that way.

PopEmUp3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

Foxgod is just one of those HDvd owner, so you see he got mad that Blue-ray is now a successful format, so now he have no other choice but to aggressively support the last gen format XD

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Karum3216d ago

He isn't talking about HD-DVD, he said HVD which is Holographic Versatile Disc. Which whilst it is capable of more data storage than Blu-Ray, it's way off being mass market not to mention the movie industry has so much invested in Blu-Ray.

Basically it's about as relevant to this particular topic/article as the price of cheese in sweden.

Erotic Sheep3216d ago

Oh Foxgod.. you did it again. Just when I thought mankind could not be anymore stupid, you proved me wrong.


Please, elaborate us on the so-called "excuses" we apparently are making for Blu-Ray. Because it seems that you're the one making excuses for DVD and why Blu-Ray seems to be worse.

kewlkat0073216d ago

if there is enough competition and a market demographics for whatever product/services you may offer.

Take for example Nintendo/MS/Sony and look at who has had the most success up till now(On Paper) and examine each individual hardware specs.

Even the past tells us, being the first and sometimes way ahead of the curve can spell failure.

So having some slight limitation in Hardware never spells doom if your doing lots of other things right. In this case, yeah Ms went with DVD but is doing way better than the Original Xbox and have yet to see where it really matters as much since it's all relative to the Dev/Game being made..

Sitdown3216d ago

because you are calling a simple action as outdated...everyday jump drives are swapped, hard drives are swapped, etc.. No matter how fast your internet is and how big your storage medium some point you are going to need to swap it. Swapping will always be inevitable at some point....and will never go away....that is why saying it is outdated seems weird. Having viable alternatives does not necessarily mean something else has to be outdated.

@Action Bastard
Well how can swapping disc be outdated, because its not an evolving tech...its an action involving tech. And you are off base if you think technology waits for no one..if necessity is truly the mother of invention, does not technology sometimes wait on someone to need it?

gamer20103216d ago

"Because it's archaic."

Well, for that matter so are mandatory installations. The Bluray drive in the PS3 is slow so many games have to be installed to help with load times and seek times. It's just as archaic.

Not only that, but there are a lot more games on the PS3 that require mandatory installations than there are games on the 360 that require multiple discs.

I'd take the 360's situation over the PS3's situation any day.

Karum3216d ago

Installing software to a hard drive is archaic? Really?

I guess every PC in the world is archaic then? Considering the majority of software requires an install?

Mandatory installs on the PS3 have to do with developers own tech not being up to the task of being optimised for the PS3's hardware. The majority of games don't actually require an install at all and the games with the best graphics, the biggest and best tech and those with the most going on at once don't require an install. This alone disproves your claim that Blu-Ray and the PS3's optical drive isn't up to scratch.

Please keep the stupid comments to yourself, they won't fly around anyone with half a brain.

Also, as for preferring the odd disc swap over the odd install, all up to personal preference. Although I personally prefer a 1 time install so that I never have to swap discs or anything like that. In fact, given the option I'd prefer installing all of or part of a game to my hard drive if for no other reason than to prolong the life of the optical drive and cut down on the system heating up. That's exactly why I install all my 360 games to it's HDD.

kalebgray923215d ago

so many newcomer fanboys like cold2000 have taken his place

+ Show (22) more repliesLast reply 3215d ago
heylo3216d ago

PC cracked no-disk version FTW!

LONEWOLF2313216d ago

HEHEHEHE..........i just "borrowed" that version.
I am too impatient to wait for the 360 version to hit
Ill be getting my Sapphire 5870 in about 3 to 4 hours so i cant wait to play this.

toaster3216d ago (Edited 3216d ago )

Stupid consoles are still fussing with disks?? That was so 2003.