DVD Could Hold Back Unreal Tournament 3 X360 (Updated, Reorganized)

By Chris Faylor, Aug 15, 2007 1:40pm PDT The Xbox 360 version of Epic's Unreal Tournament III may face some challenges due to the smaller capacity of the console's DVD-9 discs, Epic VP Mark Rein indicated at his Edinburg Interactive Festival session.

"We may have fewer maps on the 360 version," Rein admitted when discussing the upcoming shooter in the presence of a GamesIndustry.biz reporter. "[The PlayStation 3's] Blu-ray has definitely given us a lot of legroom."

Microsoft's decision to forgo a higher-capacity storage medium in the Xbox 360 hardware has drawn criticism from certain members of the industry. Some claim that the limitation of about 9 GB of data per DVD restricts developers, whereas the PlayStation 3's Blu-ray discs can hold around 50 GB.

At QuakeCon, id Software announced that the the Xbox 360 edition of its id Tech 5-powered shooter-driving hybrid Rage would arrive on two DVDs while the PlayStation 3 edition will occupy only one Blu-ray disc. The PC and Mac editions of the game will to ship on two DVDs as well, with Blu-ray editions a possibility.

"The simple facts state that the optical disc on the PS3 holds more data than the optical disc on the 360. If we exceed size of the 360s optical disc then we'll have to find alternative ways to get the content to 360 users such as making it downloadable," Rein wrote on Epic's official message board. "I continue to be disappointed that folks on the internet treat any positive thing we say about one platform as some sort of critique of another platform."

"We're all very used to downloading extra content for console games and with UT3 there will be lots of it for all supported platforms," he continued. "I don't know the exact numbers but I suspect the version of Gears of War that most of our customers play today on their 360s, when you combine the downloadable content with the content on the disc, is larger than what we could fit on the 360's optical disc alone."

Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed that MMO developers could require the optional Xbox 360 HDD for their games--a concession previously made for Square Enix's Final Fantasy XI and Sega's Europe-only Football Manager 2006. Reported by MCV, the company did not provide any clarification for non-MMO titles, though Rein's comments suggest the HDD may be required for the Xbox 360 edition of UT3 to match the content of the other versions.

Both the PlayStation 3 and PC iterations of Unreal Tournament III are due out this fall, whereas the Xbox 360 version isn't expected until sometime next year. Rein partly attributed the Xbox 360 delay to Epic and Microsoft's inability to come to an understanding regarding the support and distribution of free user-created mods. Rein has also confirmed the PS3 edition will support keyboard and mouse controls, a feature not likely to be found in the Xbox 360 effort.

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37 Threads | 154 Comments

  • I wasn't around the internet boards back in the days of Dreamcast GD-Rom vs PS2 DVD, but did just as many people say that 1GB would always be enough for games and that swapping multiple disks instead of a single DVD was a good idea?

    I guess I just don't get the hate. More space is always a good thing, and the PS3 has more potential space. I'd rather the developers spend time working on making the game awesome then sitting around trying to decide how to compress a texture or that they won't be able to fit day and night cycles in their new game (and please don't tell me you believe Bizarre's damage control measures).

    If something has to come on a few DVDs for the 360, so be it. it isn't that big of a hassle, so no sweat off anybodies nose. If they ever get around to eliminating the core, they can just do HD installs like the PS3 and original XBOX allowed for.

    Some developers have already come out and said that they are happy they have additional space. Calling them "lazy" or saying they are just filling it up with space seems so petty and insecure.

  • I'd love to know how full the DVDs for all the other games have been. I'd be surprised if many games are 9GB at the moment.

    With Rage it makes sense because they've got huge textures in there that make the game easier to create at the expense of large data files. UT3 must have a hell of a lot of different environments and a lot of maps to require that much texture storage, unless the space is being used for something else (presumably not cut-scenes in a UT game, and it'd be crazy to have 7.1 uncompressed TrueHD audio background music in a game so I guess it must be textures).

    Given how much waiting for Bluray to be ready delayed the PS3 (and fucked up Sony's (non-)global launch), on top of the format war uncertainties, I still think MS did the right thing by going with DVD.

    It's weird to think that it was only very recently that we were all bitching about PC games shipping on multiple CDs. Now we finally get PC games on DVD as standard and we're already being told they're not big enough? Meh... And, shit, imagine how long it's going to take to install these things to HDD? Or will all PC games stream/cache data directly off the DVD from now on? (I know some will.)

    My prediction, and I might be wrong, is that only a handful of games will be on multiple DVDs this generation. If it's just one or two then it's not a big deal.

  • What I really fear is that 360 developers will now have to cut their game to the limited length of cloth they are given with respect to storage. If the developer ninjas at Epic are having problems, what about the other guys?

    Both systems have their fair share of limitations, PS3 is difficult to program for, 30 fps for Madden, Carmack calling it a bitch to code for, etc. And 360 now has the limited storage problem. But whilst the PS3 problem can only get better as people get to grips with it, the lack of storage on the 360 can only get worse as bigger and bigger games come out...