Xbox Live Arcade Technical Size Limit Pegged at 2GB

While the artificial size constraint on Xbox Live Arcade titles has been steadily increased since the platform's launch, Microsoft now tells us that no Xbox Live Arcade game can exceed 2GB in size due to technical limitations.

The current "limit" stands at 350MB, but several Arcade games already exceed that boundary, including Portal: Still Alive (629MB), Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (368MB) and Watchmen: The End is Nigh (1GB). "Our technical constraint is 2GB," said Microsoft director of digital distribution Scott Austin. "If there's a quality reason to go over 350MB, [then we will]."

The original limit was set at 50MB at the console's launch, and then increased from 150MB to 350MB last year.

Chair's upcoming action-platformer Shadow Complex, announced last week at E3, is expected to weigh in around 800-900MB, according to studio creative director Donald Mustard.

From The Chatty
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    June 9, 2009 4:27 PM

    Isn't there a HDD format that can't deal with 2gb+ files? FAT32?

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      June 9, 2009 4:31 PM

      my thoughts exactly.. i bet it's fat32 formatted. another example of how M$ doesn't think about the future.. who was it that said that 640k was enough memory for anyone?

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      June 9, 2009 4:32 PM

      FAT32 is 4GB... 16 might be 2, but I can't imagine they'd be using something that dated. :P

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      June 9, 2009 4:38 PM

      Think it's 4,096 mb but it's never really been an issue for games. It's not like a game is a single file. Probably the only people that will run into the file size limitations are those in a company dealing with some database.

      Your generic user would probably run into file size limitations if they were to record video with like fraps. I've recorded a good 30 minutes and when it hits the limit it simple creates a new file and continues recording. Then you basically just take your encoder and tell it to compress & combine the files.

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      June 9, 2009 4:39 PM

      I'm sure there are (FAT32 is limited to 4GB, by the way). There are plenty of legacy and specialized filesystems that have bizarre filesize limits, recommended cluster sizes, and other things.

      A little bit of Googling pulled up an XBox-Scene forum post that suggested that FATX (the XBox/XBox360 file system) has a 4GB filesize limit, but things start acting 'weird' at 2GB.

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      June 9, 2009 4:59 PM

      kinda strange they have a limit on XBLA games, when they are going to start selling full Xbox 360 games from the dash, and some are well over 2 GB.

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        June 9, 2009 6:58 PM

        some Xbox originals are already over 2 GB

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      June 9, 2009 5:08 PM

      not really much of a point to that argument since the Xbox Originals downloads are bigger, and Microsoft is bringing full retail 360 games to the online marketplace

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      June 9, 2009 5:24 PM

      I don't think this is a limitation of file system given that full games will be available for download. Although it could be that it downloads it all in one file and full games will come in parts or something.

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        June 9, 2009 5:25 PM

        Yeah, definitely not a file system limitataion. Originals are bigger, movies are bigger, etc.

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        June 9, 2009 6:05 PM

        Oh yeah, that's a good point.

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      June 9, 2009 7:09 PM

      Maybe it's a limitation of the way the Xbox 360 extracts the game data at runtime? I can't imagine these games all come in loose files - they're probably in a specific image format. Maybe 2GB is the ceiling limit for this images?

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        June 9, 2009 9:29 PM

        This is my theory as well. We've been trying to get more details, but no dice yet.

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        June 10, 2009 3:19 AM

        I think that makes sense. The Xbox 360 runs things in 32-bit, and they use a derivative of the Windows kernel which has a 2GB address space limit for user-mode apps. In 32-bit windows, you can't open a file larger than 2GB so it wouldn't surprise me if the Xbox 360 has that limit as well.

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      June 9, 2009 11:13 PM

      Kinda like the old 32bit Linux limit -

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