Does (File) Size Really Matter… - subsaint Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Does (File) Size Really Matter…

Did you notice the news story from a few days ago talking about the Dead Rising 3 update that weighed in at a whopping 13 GB (you can find it here if not)? I especially liked Mike Futter's analysis on the matter. Maybe it's just the old school PC gamer in me that remembers when hard drive space was measured in megabytes - not gigabytes. It wasn't all that long ago the thought of downloading a file greater than a gigabyte was unheard of. Now it's quite common. So is 13 GB really excessive or not?

Well, if you thought that was bad...

How about 30 GB.

I've really wanted to play World of Tanks, but every time I go to the website and start to download it, I'm reminded how big the file is and how long it will likely take. And of course it's usually right before I'm hopping on some online game where I want as much bandwidth available as possible. So, I don't download it. In fairness, the minimum spec does say 16 GB...which is still 3 GB more than the Dead Rising 3 update...and over half of the original file size. So now I'm wondering if I want to play World of Warships and/or World of Warplanes, can I expect similar file sizes? Well, seeing as how the World of Warplanes lists the minimum hard drive space as 19 GB and the recommended as 30 GB...I'm going to say it would seem so. Does that mean 90 GB to install all three?

I don't know why that would surprise me. When I installed Dota 2 on my gaming rig it seemed to take a really long time. Just out of curiosity I acted like I was going to install it on my laptop and yeah...it looks like it would take about a day and half to install it.

Now of course I'm mixing and matching and not comparing apples to apples. The Dead Rising 3 is an update and not a game, and it's for the Xbox One, not the PC. But the pipe is still all the same and whether its 30 GB or 100 GB or even 13 GB, that seems like an awfully big file size to have to download.

I realize bigger file size is a necessity. It usually translates to a bigger game, better graphics and more content. But what I wonder is whether this transition to digital distribution is going to be able to keep up with the ever increasing file size required by our games and their updates. It may be a necessary evil, but is it one we'll accept. I suppose we might have to whether we like it or not. It does seem problematic if you want to download a new game but it'll take a day or two to download it. That's assuming you have a connection that can handle it and you don't have to pay by the kilobyte. I can see it now...it'll be like, "Hey Mojo, what are you playing this weekend? I need to know so I can start downloading it by Wednesday so I'll be ready to go." Truth be told, a similar event already happened one night when Kyle, Jeremy and I were going to play Sniper Elite. By the time I downloaded the mandatory PS3 upgrade and the DLC for the game, it was 2:00 AM and I had fallen asleep in my recliner waiting for the download to finish. Needless to say, we didn't play that night. At least not together.

Thankfully hard drive space doesn't seem to be the long pole in the tent. Hard drives are cheap and large (and usually easily upgradeable). Of course if 13 GB updates become the norm, that might change, but right now it seems like the issue is downloading these large files in a timely manner over a small pipe.

I'm all for digital distribution. I was a bit hesitant at first but I have since consumed the Kool Aid. And I'm all for high quality games and big updates that fix issues. But when you start combining the different pieces of the puzzle together, you have to wonder how this is all going to fit together.

Do you have an issue with the file size for the games, patches and DLC you download or is this just the future of gaming we are going to have to deal with?

Cheers.

 

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