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360’s DVD > PS3’s BluRay

November 5, 2012

Johann informed me last night that Halo 4 will be served up on two discs, and I think that is fantastic news.

When the 360 and PS3 were just being launched, Sony’s propaganda machine, powered in part by frothing fanbois, was running full tilt, declaring the awful fate of 360 gamers who would inevitably end up with tennis elbow for all the times they would have to swap low capacity DVDs. PS3 gamers would, on the other hand, be relaxing on the couch with their one disc humming quietly in the tray, movement required only for picking up their drink or digging their hand in the bowl of snacks.

What has been the reality? There have been very few games that have required multiple DVDs, and most of those that have, have had the content divided cleverly into campaign and multiplayer discs, requiring the minimum amount of swapping. Even better, however, is the fact that when our two copies of Halo 4 arrive, for instance, 8 players will be able to play the campaign mode, while another 8 players were simultaneously playing the multiplayer or forge modes. We can’t even fit that many people into our Man Cave! In the meantime, PS3 gamers with their “massive” BluRay discs have still had to dump most of their titles onto their hard drive because the data streaming was too slow, or for other technical reasons.

With the release of the next generation of consoles most likely no more than a year away (I don’t consider the WiiU next gen), it is time to take a look back at the spin and outright bullshit that was served up to cloud the vision of even the most prescient gamers. What other selling points pushed on consumers have turned out to be utterly false?

  1. November 7, 2012 7:49 am

    I think as far as games go, BluRay could be a good thing. It allows higher resolutions and apparently more storage for game. This is a good thing for gamers. And here’s why: Giving more tools for developers allows us to get better games. It’s amazing to see what a developer can do with 528 mb of memory on the 360. Imagine a gig though. By giving them more to work with from the get-go, you, as a gamer win by possibly having a richer experience. You’re right in that most games don’t have two discs nowadays, but that’s based on the content. Most SP campaigns are 12 hours or less. It is nice that you don’t have to pay additional money for that extra disc in Halo 4, but it’s also telling in how much you’re getting ripped off. Two discs? Three? Four? Same price.

    While it is cool that you have more options and can split the experience, there’s a few points of note there that I mentioned. I’m not saying its a bad thing, but I think smaller storage equates to a diminished gamer experience as far as the possibilities go. You shouldn’t have to do an 8 gig install for a CONSOLE title. More and more it seems, consoles are akin to PCs. My problem with that is they lack the freedom a PC offers. But that’s my two cents.


    • November 7, 2012 8:46 am

      Ty, I agree with your technical comments. However, for me, the bottom line with all of this is related to ONE thing. Community. We have built a group of gamers that enjoy each others company. The chosen (default) was / is Xbox. If we had met on PC or PS3, we’d be in an alternate Universe so to speak. With that said, I am always interested in discussions going on with other systems and their games. For example, I’d Love to play BF3 on a PC (with 64 player servers). What a Hoot!! But… I’m locked into Xbox. Yes, I could get a PC that is capable of giving a great experience, but I already have the expense of 2 Xbox systems and the games (2 copies of pretty much any new game we buy). 2nd is Time. If was was playing PC or PS3, I’d probably be on Xbox less and less. My expression is this situation is “Ignorance is Bliss”.

      My main point for responding is that same as I always give you. Come on man! Get back on Xbox (at least a little bit) Give Halo 4 some love and we’ll rock it like old times (except now our sons will be gaming with us too) Rant over.

    • November 7, 2012 4:00 pm

      Ty, I hear ya, but the fact is, PS3 is forcing install anyway, so they aren’t taking advantage of the increased storage space, and because of the slower drive speed (what is it, 4x compared to the 32x+ speed of the data transfer for the DVD), even the HD installs take much longer. LOL But, I think you are talking mostly as regards PC.

      When Tablet PCs start sporting high end graphics cards capable of BF3 top resolution, etc., then I can see myself making the switch. (I won’t get into the reasons because it boils down to a Console vs PC argument, which for me, still tips in console favor. – Having said that, if Kinect come built in to the next gen system, I may have to put my foot down. The violation of privacy issues are too significant to just ignore. THIS is simply terrifying.

      Let me get back to the topic proper, something I just realized is that, with the exception of the need to make physical discs available to customers, in which case, the 720 would need an optical drive, that is the ONLY reason Microsoft should include a BluRay player with their machine. They don’t want people to rent BluRay discs anymore. They want people to subscribe to Netflix and the like, or purchase digital movies (and games) from their market place.

      Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft offered a 720 without an optical drive. Make the machine cheaper, lighter, with less breakable parts, pass those savings on to the consumer, and then sell digital stuff like hotcakes!

    • Blankman permalink
      November 7, 2012 8:12 pm

      The hypothesis that the next Xbox might not include an optical drive has been covered by several notable game journalists, as well as financial advisor, Pachter. There’s no way MS would do that. Digital d/l won’t be a serious alternative for another five years since North America hasn’t adopted high speed broadband like much of the world. Since Japan is no longer the land where games actually matter, publishers are concentrating on North America & Europe. It would be financial suicide for any next-gen console if they excluded a physical media option. That would be a truly moronic move. MS isn’t about to push that tech movement hoping that others will follow suit. Nintendo has already committed to the WiiU (we should rename it to the FailU). There are just too many consumers that want an actual physical item to disenfranchise them. Consoles like the vaporware Phantom & OnLive didn’t fare well on Cloud-based gaming. That is enough proof to scare the big three console makers away from adopting that strategy.

      We love gaming with you, Ty, and we miss those days. You can tout the gaming goodies of the PC as much as you can, but there’s no way that many of us are dropping that kind of cash on rigs when we’ve already found a platform that suits our needs. Drop in & grab a few games with us. Camaraderie and the sense of community has kept us committed to the Xbox despite its many hardware failures. Being able to sit on the couch & game on you 50″+ HDTV is what the doctor ordered. Even though you can somewhat duplicate that experience with a PC w/ controller, it’s just more intuitive with consoles since we’ve gamed on MS’s machine for over seven years. We don’t have to screw around with updating drivers, making sure graphics cards can handle specific games, etc. Once we fire up the Xbox, there’s a comfort in knowing that every game will work without fiddling with this or that. Come back, brutha.

    • November 7, 2012 8:40 pm

      I didn’t mean as the only SKU, but as one of several. Yes, I agree that they will not ditch optical drives yet. That isn’t where they make their high margins and easy money though.

    • FrenkoFrenik permalink
      November 9, 2012 11:05 am

      They don’t have to exclude the optical drive. They just have to start putting games on demand from day 1 release. Steam does that.

      Sure the first few days suck as a massive community tries to download the game at the same time, but that will eventually go away as the service keeps growing.

      Also Blank I think you are off in saying that it is moronic. PC discs are evaporating more quickly than the so called vaporware. Heck MS must have that data right on their desk with their windows live games. They too are selling their PC games as downloads as well as discs.

      I wish I knew for sure which one sold better, but I am willing to bet Downloads are close.

      and the other thing is that digital downloads have won the other fronts, music, movies, books. That same argument was applied there, and it’s having less and less of a relevance.

      Heck Tablets and Phones provide all their content without drives.

      I am thinking the 720 may have a drive on it’s first outing but it probably will not have one on a re-design.

  2. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    November 9, 2012 12:01 am

    Well here’s the thing. Playstation has made available all the latest multiplatform game as downloadable from day 1. Including Borderlands 2.

    So to me the whole BR vs. DVD is null because you can go right now and download all the latest games and also including the big downloads like Mass Effect 2-3 20gb+. Currently Microsoft has none of the games that require 2 discs for Games on Demand.

    Also you can’t share Halo 4, it’s like Forza, you only put the disc in to install the content on your hard drive.

    There’s also another advantage that BR provide for redbox users. Redbox has taken the habit of including only one disc in games that have 2 discs. So for the xbox that sucks royally because in most games you get either the MP or SP disc. Meanwhile the Blu-Ray version has both.

    Now if I were to compare the last two games I played AC3 on the PS3, minimal install. Halo 4, I was looking at screenshots for a good 10-15 minutes, and then had to install the whole game anyways if I didn’t want my drive to run at all, which I do with the games I play the most if I don’t want my machine to be really hot because of the drive.

    I wouldn’t give any type of advantage to the DVD whatsoever. Less now that this year alone: Max Payne, Medal of Honor, Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed 3, Resident Evil 6, and Halo 4, to add to BF3, and Forza 4 from last year, they all come with 2 discs.

    It’s getting to be quite a list.

    • November 9, 2012 5:57 am

      Blank and I were talking yesterday about the (2) Halo 4 discs. It is set up so that you only download the 2nd disc (never to use it again). You always have to play with disc 1 in the tray (even if you download disc 1 also).
      Bummer because you can’t use both for MP like I did with Mass Effect 3 (Seth and I could play MP on different Xbox’s with only buying 1 game).
      Bummer #2 is that you will need to make space on your Hard Drive to install discs 2 (I don’t remember how much memory it eats, but likely in the several Gigs….)

      With that bad news, I will say that H4 is a Blast. Blank and I had an Awesome game together on the Raganck (the New Vahalla). We both had 15+ kills (multiple assists), low deaths and hilarious moments of Pwnage, AND we lead our team to a last second victory.

      Late last night (with Franks help) we found the game in Theater mode history, downloaded it to saved films, and then relived all the glory again (but now we switch between views, players, etc…). Fun watching yourself kill dudes from a third person or aerial perspective. Even more fun watching Blankman’s character do his thing (now I know what all the hootin and hollerin was all about. :0)

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