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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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  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday May 07, 2007 @10:39AM (#19021557)
    Taking the source into account brings up the possibility the the interviews were faked, based on the company's history.

    That aside, is it acceptable for a game to release for HD equipped consoles only? I seem to remember way back that a console that required a CD-ROM released one with the game ... perhaps they should look into it.
  • by Hubbell (850646) <brianhubbellii@nospAm.live.com> on Monday May 07, 2007 @10:42AM (#19021627)
    I'm THANKFUL they are running into this problem, maybe they won't make GTA4 the ridiculously countryside game that San Andreas was. I loved Vice City and GTA3, but San Andreas was FAR too open, you had no idea where the fuck you were without looking at the map every 5 seconds.
  • by yincrash (854885) on Monday May 07, 2007 @10:46AM (#19021675)
    What does this sentence mean exactly?

    Rockstar hasn't said anything about a target SKU between the two consoles
  • by Xtravar (725372) on Monday May 07, 2007 @10:54AM (#19021821) Homepage Journal
    I agree. And let's hope we don't have to sugar up girlfriends, feed ourselves, exercise ourselves, and dress ourselves in this one too. San Andreas was like a badass Sims game.
  • by KDR_11k (778916) on Monday May 07, 2007 @11:01AM (#19021941)
    I heard talk from Rockstar employees about how they already hit the limit of the medium with GTASA, due to the slow layer switching (no idea if the 360 still has that issue) only one layer of the disc could be used to keep the load times lower (with streaming it'd be fatal if the loading took too long). Even without the layer switching overhead a "next-gen" GTA game is going to hit the limit of DVD9 very quickly so this report is very likely true.

    From what I heard Microsoft requires that all games are basically playable (i.e. it doesn't matter that you can't feasibly finish the game without saving, it just has to be theoretically possible) on a 360 Core system OOTB, this would make HDDVD-only games not allowed.
  • by Cutriss (262920) on Monday May 07, 2007 @11:07AM (#19022089) Homepage
    Unlike the other reply, I'll try to actually help you out here.

    What this statement means is that the reporter wants to know if Rockstar might stipulate that GTA IV for the 360 requires the hard disk, meaning that instead of potentially inhibiting the game by designing around a lack of hard disk, they would require the hard disk and simply require Core owners to buy one if they don't have one already. Rockstar has not made any indication about that.

    The hard disk is standard in the PS3, so that's a known quantity on the PS3. It isn't required to play almost all the games on a 360 (the only ones I know of that require it are FFXI and the Halo 3 beta, and Halo 3 probably only requires it since the beta content is too big to be stored on a memory card). I don't have any real numbers but anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of Core 360s in the wild without a hard disk attached is very low. Considering the price of the HDD versus the memory card ($100 for 20 GB versus $40 for 0.05 GB), requiring the 360 to have a hard disk would not be an onerous burden for most gamers, I would think.
  • by Kelbear (870538) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:35PM (#19023741)
    For what it's worth, Saints Row already has trouble loading the city at a rate fast enough to keep up with their top tier cars. I'm sure there are optimizations that can help, but there will still be an upper limit on what the Xbox360 can stream. It's not outrageous to believe that GTAIV would benefit from a harddrive or faster stream.

    But there's always a benefit to be had from having more of a resource. You just work with what you have. Crackdown lets you see the other side of the city if you can get high enough. The game is cel-shaded and isn't trying to push photo-realism, but that's how they made it happen with the resources at hand. It plays butter smooth even with hell being unleashed all over the neighborhood.
  • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Monday May 07, 2007 @12:55PM (#19024123) Homepage
    It can't be that strict of a licensing requirement because there are a few games that require the hard drive... FFXI and LMA Manager come to mind, I'm sure there are others.
  • by The Warlock (701535) on Monday May 07, 2007 @01:35PM (#19024801)
    Bigger userbase? Really?

    Given the level of graphics in the trailer, how many PCs on the market do you think could handle GTA4? I'm going to guess a whole hell of a lot less than ten million. Remember, the current market leader in PC graphics chips is not AMD or nVidia, it's intel. Think about that for a minute. Intel doesn't have anything faster than the GMA 900. You think that's going to handle GTA4? It can't even handle GTA3.
  • by TrevorB (57780) on Monday May 07, 2007 @02:44PM (#19026015) Homepage
    I may be in the minority in this thread, but I loved San Andreas' countryside because while it may have been a hindrance to gameplay, there was something else it added that a compressed city map couldn't: Mood.

    The first thing I do when ever I've played any GTA game is to hop on a motorcycle and just drive for a few hours, listening to the radio stations. I'm guessing that not too many people here have ever driven on the California coast, but much like the maps of San Fran and Los Angeles, they absolutely nailed it. Driving through that countryside while tedious to some was beautiful to me. Just don't get out of your vehicle. :)

    I did wish they fleshed out these areas and made them more than just visually appealing. Maybe Oblivion will give them a good swift kick in the ass on this one.

  • by Runefox (905204) on Monday May 07, 2007 @05:36PM (#19028715) Homepage
    Ahem. Not only is the GMA 950 more powerful and more popular these days, but ever heard of the X3000/X3100 [wikipedia.org]? You know, the up-and-coming Intel chip with hardware TnL, pixel shaders, vertex shaders, actual rendering pipelines, and a 667MHz dedicated core? That'll probably do it if you turn the settings down.

    But let's face it here. People who buy PC's for games know what they're buying. People who buy PC's for $500 and expect it to play the latest games don't know what they're doing, buying, or even using, half the time. The problem is, in order for said PC's to be $500, they need to cut them down to be as bare as possible - A decently powerful system will probably cost someone upwards to $1000, which will be adequate to at least run newer games.

    If you're just going for the games, you're fine with a console, though I personally vastly prefer the keyboard/mouse style of control. You'll save yourself some money with a console, though (well, that's the idea), and you'll get a few years out of it. If you're looking to do games, rip DVD's, browse the internet properly, use IM, e-mail, newsgroups, and generally multitask, you're looking at a better value out of a PC. For something that does both, $1000 isn't too far off the mark for the cost of a low-end PC and a game console.

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