Thursday, November 02, 2006

Run PS3 on HDD

In an effort to get around long load times with Blu-ray discs on the PlayStation 3, some publishers are looking to install game content to the internal hard drive to speed things up. Two games that take advantage of the hard drive install include Ridge Racer 7 and Genji: Days of the Blade.

In the case of Ridge Racer 7, gamers have the option of using up 5GB of storage for game files. With Genji, as much as 4GB can be taken up by game files to quicken load times. According to Sony representatives, a three minute one time only procedure will load the 4GB of game data to your PS3's hard drive. As a result, in-game load times will be cut from 15 seconds down to 4 seconds.

Console gamers have long lobbied that their PlayStations and Xboxes didn't have to worry about such silly things as multi-gigabyte installations or patches to enjoy their games. And now as we progress further with console development, we're seeing consoles take on some of the same characteristics as their PC counterparts. And just today, we saw the release of a patch for Saints Row that fixes a number of issues that should have been caught before the game went gold -- and this is two months after the initial release.

And this leads us all down the road that Sony executives have been hinting at for the past few months -- an always connected, disc-less console with massive amounts of internal storage. Sony's Phil Harrison first talked of a "disc-less" future when he commented that the PlayStation 4 was unlikely to have an optical disc drive. Sony's Jamie McDonald followed up in early October by saying that the majority of gaming content would be provided digitally in the next five years.

So as we all sit around and battle over DVD-9 vs Blu-ray for the current generation of gaming consoles, it looks as though it may become a non-issue in the not too distant future if Sony has its way.

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