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XBox (Games)

360 Limiting GTA IV In Some Ways 268

Posted by Zonk
from the just-use-the-hdd dept.
Last week CVG had a story from the Official PlayStation Magazine, a print entity partnered with the website, about limitations Rockstar faces on the 360. For almost the first time, we're now hearing about a title where lack of space on the disc and the lack of a guaranteed hard drive may be detrimental to Microsoft's console. "[Rockstar's creative vice president Dan Houser] continued, 'To be honest with you we haven't solved all those riddles yet.' The difficulties aren't limited to working on Microsoft's box, as Houser explains that 'both have enormous challenges' and that 'both have their own particular pleasures and pains'. Rockstar hasn't said anything about a target SKU between the two consoles, but they're currently demoing the game to press running on an Xbox 360 - so we wouldn't worry too much if you've only got Microsoft's console. Look for more on GTA IV in the next few weeks."
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360 Limiting GTA IV In Some Ways

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  • system requirements (Score:4, Informative)

    by underwhelm (53409) <underwhelm@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday May 07, 2007 @11:41AM (#19021587) Homepage Journal
    One of the contributors at Kotaku suggested that Rockstar simply require the hard drive to play. I think that would be a great solution, but I'd be surprised if Microsoft let them do something like that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2007 @11:56AM (#19021837)
    Stock Keeping Unit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_Keeping_Unit [wikipedia.org]
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:01PM (#19021947)
    That aside, is it acceptable for a game to release for HD equipped consoles only?

    No, because no 360 models come with an HD-DVD drive - not even the Elite. And Microsoft has forbidden developers from using the HD-DVD drive for games (thus I'm not sure it's even technically possible to do so the way it's connected and boots).
  • by TB (7206) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:08PM (#19022095)
    Wardevil is one of the more recent ones.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:12PM (#19022149) Homepage
    You know what, call me stupid but any time I watch a dual-layer DVD on my 360, the point at which it switches layers is practically unnoticeable. Compare this to my year-old standalone mid-range DVD player that takes nearly a full half-second to switch layers.

    All I'm saying is that the whole "switching layers" argument seems like complete bullshit to me. I mean, heaven forbid it takes an additional quarter of a second in the loading times...

    Would additional space be a virtue? Yes, of course it would be. However, I'll take the smaller medium if not for it's cost, then if nothing else at least for its time as a proven technology.

    Optical discs are NOT the wave of the future.
  • by Mr_eX9 (800448) * on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:13PM (#19022165) Homepage
    I thought from the very beginning that making the hard drive optional was a step backwards in the system's design.

    The original Xbox was a really ballsy system overall. It was the first (commercially successful) console to have a hard drive and internet connectivity built-in. It brought LAN gaming and broadband online gaming to console gamers in a really big way. I thought it was really cool that if I played the same couple of maps or levels in Halo over and over it only had to load them once because Bungie was able to stream the files to the hard drive.

    I feel like MS pussied out on the 360's design by removing the hard drive because they took that away from developers. Instead of innovating the console market again, they just seem to be riding on the success that they've already created. Now we're finally seeing a successful multi-platform developer complain about the 360's limitations. I don't think this looks very good for the 360 or for Microsoft.

    P.S.: I'm sure the PS3 has development issues too--mainly the long load times as a result of the Blu-Ray disc and still figuring out the Cell architecture. But Rockstar is used to taking crap from Sony, so they're not complaining about it.
  • by Carbonite (183181) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:13PM (#19022187)
    I think the "HD" refers to hard drive, not HD-DVD.
  • by Stevecrox (962208) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:16PM (#19022259) Journal
    You've seen the GTA IV trailer right? The size of the map looks much larger than San Andreas, the texturing, AI and everything else has improved (I can see them using a DVD in texturing alone.) It not like they can even use mutliple layers for the DVD because streaming issue would (probably) kick in.
  • by TB (7206) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:21PM (#19022341)
    GTA4 is smaller than SA in land used but is much larger is the terms of textures, models, sound, shaders, and such, not to mention the addition of multiplayer.
  • by Lectoid (891115) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:42PM (#19022709)
    Oblivion requires a hard drive. And that's been a pretty popular game.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:46PM (#19022813) Homepage Journal

    It not like they can even use mutliple layers for the DVD because streaming issue would (probably) kick in.

    If your streaming is designed intelligently enough and your disc layout is also well-designed, this does not have to be an issue.

    I also have a hard time imagining that with all of the power involved in the Xbox 360 that procedural textures are outside the scope of the system...

  • by Neon Spiral Injector (21234) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:24PM (#19023541)
    It is not the single layer switch that happens when watching a movie. This is predictable, and always happens at the same place. The head also does not need to move during the layer change, it just reads from the inside to the out on L1 and then switches to L2.

    The problem comes from random access reads between layers.

    To decrease this issue each layer has to be treated like its own disc. Once the transition is made to L2 you stay there. That means any part of the game engine that is not always in memory has to also be on both layers. Along with any textures, models, sounds, etc. that are used through out the game. So going to two layers does not double the ammount of space available due to having to store a lot of data twice.
  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:27PM (#19023593)
    I agree and I squeeled like a stuck pig on my xbox forum of choice when I learned of no Hard Drive option in the 360's. I think the decision was made for a few reasons. First, I think the Hard Drive was what eventually bit MS on the rear towards the end of XB1 as far as cost. If I remember correctly (maybe not) that size drive went out of normal production and was expensive to include as the lifecycle ended. Also, besides the tard pack low cost option, I think they made the decision to up the RAM instead of including the Hard Drive which all the developers loved at the time. If this continues, I think we will see Hard Drive only games become more prevalent, however, it makes ya wonder how Oblivion can be so vast and not be dragged down w/o one as well as recent games like Crackdown which is massive and is even in the same type genre. Im leaning towards lazy devs and not the system holding them back.
  • by Jearil (154455) on Monday May 07, 2007 @02:14PM (#19024467) Homepage
    FFXI for the 360 requires a hard drive and it has (obviously) passed Microsoft's certification to run on the system.

    Just saying that it's not an absolute requirement to run without a hard drive.
  • by Firefly1 (251590) on Monday May 07, 2007 @03:00PM (#19025261) Homepage
    Ah yes, that mission; fortunately, it's only required if you want to complete the Zero strand. Oddly enough, the last mission in the strand - 'New Model Army' - could actually be easier: someone suggested going around and bombing all of Berkley's tanks before laying the bridges.
    I, too, found it much less stressful to simply leave that job on the shelf. In an attempt to provide some perspective, here's a short list of gaming challenges I've run across recently:
    • fighting the final boss (the supership Ragnarok) in Warship Gunner 2's campaign without a wave cannon;
    • the final battle in Black; and
    • many of the (sub-)boss battles in The Red Star - yes, the game is finally out, but has not to my knowledge been shipped in great quantities
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2007 @03:01PM (#19025289)
    Actually, the Xbox 360 game Final Fantasy XI (http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/f/finalfantasyXI/ ) is not playable without a hard drive, so clearly some developers are defying Microsoft's rule. Which is a good thing in my opinion.
  • by cornface (900179) on Monday May 07, 2007 @05:52PM (#19028159)
    Plus the original Xbox supported 1080i and 720p. Only the upcoming "Elite" will support 1080 progressive.

    All of the 360 models support 1080p over component and VGA. This was added in one of the dashboard updates. All the elite adds is HDMI support.
  • by calderra (1034658) on Monday May 07, 2007 @08:57PM (#19030157)
    Oblivion also fits on a fraction of a DVD-9. What is Rockstar's problem? Anyone? "Waaah. No hard drive is required." -Oblivion does just fine when users have only a memory card. You know, kind of like GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas for Playstation. I know this "memory card" thing is really new to you guys since you only developed three top-tier titles in this same series using this exact same process before, but I think you can manage. "Bu-bu-bu- One DVD is too small." -Nevermind that they destroyed space limitations with compression and smart coding when they fit GTA3-San Andreas on one disc, all of a sudden NOW this is some kind of new problem. As I've said so many other times on this site: Wacha wanna bet they'd never gripe if this wasn't Microsoft they were talking about? They did just fine for years on Playstation, but NOW it's a problem when it's the EXACT SAME issues on a Microsoft console.

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