While the PS3 and the Xbox 360 ushered in better looking 3D graphics and more of a focus on multiplayer, by the time the PS4 and the Xbox One had rolled around the very way in which we buy games had totally changed. Forget taking a quick trip to the shops, with a few button presses we can download and buy games from the comfort of our own homes as the consoles inch ever closer to becoming PCs.
Our older consoles weren't really equipped for this sort of thing though, meaning that the PS4 and Xbox One had to step their games up, with both consoles launching with 500GB of hard drive space. But is this half a terabyte of space enough?
Given that that space has to be spread across downloaded games, HD movies and recorded gameplay footage, many say that it's a minuscule amount. On Xbox One this figure was only set to get smaller with a huge day one update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection announced last week but now. Even after buying the disc, players must download a 20gb file to access all of the game's features and for that developer 343 Industries has apologized.
Stemming from the fact that Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes up 45GB (almost the entirety of a Blu-Ray disc) many fans asked why the game couldn't just launch with two discs such as Halo 3 ODST or Halo 4. Explaining in a post on NeoGAF, 343 Industries boss Frank O’Connor says that multiple discs would go against its design.
"The game is designed to run as a single, unified product, digital is seamless obviously, but we also wanted disc users to have the same experience, without swapping discs. Since the bulk of it is MP or MP related, the logic is sound. There will ALSO be a TU [Title Update] in there, but that in itself is a tiny fraction of the content.”
However, while this is not how The Master Chief Collection was designed, O'Connor further explains that two discs could have been possible.
"Anything is feasible, it simply wasn't practical for this product, this year in this timeline.
The Xbox One platform continues to improve and mature, arguably faster and more meaningfully than others and maybe next year two discs or some other method would have been the right approach, but this year it’s the option we have available that on balance, makes the most sense for this giant, ambitious project."
The fact that a disc method was possible but wasn't done will be hard to hear for many users. Due to system software the Xbox One only has an estimated 362GB to play with and when you do the math, that means that the 65GB of Halo: The Master Chief Collection will take up over 15% of the console's hard drive. And that's not even including all of the other post-launch updates that will take place. And this news comes while some of our own staff are forced to uninstall games to manage hard drive space on a console that's less than a year old.
It's also difficult for that 20GB to be justified when full games like Titanfall and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag are just 20GB in their entirety. With figures like these, players are quickly running out of space and while the Xbox One does now come in 1TB flavors and it also allows for replacement hard drives, shelling out for either is expensive and not something anyone will really want to do.
O'Connor can sympathize somewhat, offering the following in apology:
“For some folks it will be straight up annoying and I both apologize unreservedly for the irritance, and hope that the package and the way it works more than makes up for it.
I’ve been playing the whole enchilada for a week now and the ability to sample, jump from aspect to aspect, customize with skulls and playlists has been absolutely addictive and mesmerizing.
I think I would have enjoyed a box set with the same fidelity, but the way it all connects has for me at least, made it more than the sum of its parts.”
The game is out in a few weeks though so we'll be able to find out just how much that update is worth it soon. Then again, it is four games in one.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection comes to Xbox One on November 11, 2014 for most of the world; November 12, 13 and 14 for Europe, Japan and France, respectively.