Xbox 360 Star Ocean needs 3 DVDs – why Microsoft needs Blu-ray

December 6, 2008

The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 may be virtually indistinguishable on most levels, but the media format they use is one area where they do differ. With the news that Star Ocean: The Last Hope is going to need three DVDs, does this show why Microsoft needs Blu-ray more than Blu-ray needs Microsoft?

No-one can really blame Microsoft for choosing to stick with the DVD format when it was developing the Xbox 360. Blu-ray wasn’t really a viable format at that stage in time, and even now, three years later, its success isn’t guaranteed. But now could be the time when Microsoft needs to change its mind, and go begging to Sony.

Sony was always going to go with Blu-ray, knowing that any sort of success for the PS3 would mean the format received a welcome boost. And that is exactly what has happened, with Blu-ray limited success so far in becoming the new standard for movies being in large part attributed to the Playstation 3.

Although the decision to put a Blu-ray player as standard in every PS3 was derided at first, it’s now proved to be a good one. As well as pushing the format, and helping it beat the doomed HD DVD, the PS3 Blu-ray drive is another reason to buy a PS3 over an Xbox 360, certainly for people who like their high-def movies.

Siliconera reports that the Xbox 360 exclusive Star Ocean: The Last Hope is going to ship on three DVDs, taking us back to the days of the original Playstation and those 3-4 CD Final Fantasy releases. Though it may be trite to say it, I can’t help but consider this being a backward step when the game would fit rather snugly on just one Blu-ray disc.

You could argue that swapping discs is hardly a big effort, and it could actually be preferable to the mandatory installs that seem to be plaguing many PS3 releases these days. But the whole disc-swapping feels so old-school, and I thought with the next-gen consoles it would be a thing of the past.

There have been countless rumors over the past year or so, ever since HD DVD became dodo-esque, of an Xbox 360 Blu-ray drive, either built in to the console or sold as an add-on, but all have seemingly come to zero. Star Ocean: The Last Hope may just be the thin end of a very thick wedge heading Microsoft’s way, and I suggest it needs to act before games at the end of this generation start needing five or six DVDs. Xbox 360 Final Fantasy XIII anyone?

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29 Responses to “Xbox 360 Star Ocean needs 3 DVDs – why Microsoft needs Blu-ray”

  1. darkwhitehair:

    Im starting to believe that you only write these articles to piss off kev… what did he do to you??? did he steal your 360???

    DAMN YOU KEV!!!

  2. glpevx1:

    oh god why to you start the flame wars why

  3. harry sachz:

    Yeah because taking 5 seconds out of your playing time to swap discs is such a big hassle….

  4. Spideydog:

    I know what option I would rather….Play interrupted or play with out distraction ??

    He he

  5. SW:

    Doesn’t really make a difference either way.

    Woudl just mean an install each time you get to the next disc (IF you install your games, I prefer to :) . Big deal…

  6. phranctoast:

    At least the arcade will have that option to install…..oh wait.

  7. Matt:

    If Sony pays me $300 to swap discs while I play a few of the bigger games this geration, I will gladly take the money and swap some discs.

  8. harry sachz:

    It’s rather petty that PS3 boys are claiming this to be some sort of monumental victory. It’s 5 seconds. You can’t even beat off in 5 seconds. Well I can’t anyway, it takes around 12-14 for me the butter corn.

  9. harry sachz:

    It’s rather petty that PS3 boys are claiming this to be some sort of monumental victory. It’s 5 seconds. You can’t even beat off in 5 seconds. Well I can’t anyway, it takes around 12-14 for me to butter corn.

  10. darkwhitehair:

    FINALLY!!! we have some funny inappropriate jokes from harry… I was starting to miss those…

    hey… I saw from “On the Spot” that killzone 2 has a cover mechanic… how weird is that??? it doesnt cover you fully… as you are still prone to head shots… still it looks cool… and everyone keeps talking about the particle thingys… Im hoping for a game of the year for 09…. fingers crossed…

  11. Royzy:

    Can’t say changing disc bothers me much if it is a genuinely big (long) game. I’ll be gutted if they fit all of FFXIII on one Blu-Ray though, that was part of the Final Fantasy experience. Also was a nice way to mark your progress.

    ‘Yeh mate, I’m on disc 3 already’.

    Ahh, the good ol’ days.

  12. CAD:

    Oh my goodness. I was convinced Mike wrote this but I see that Dave wants some of the attention that Mike has gotten. You Wannabe!! Your bitting Mike’s style. Why you guys thrive to be the Garbage of all Journalism is beyond me.

  13. SW:

    I doubt digital downloads will become mainstream that quickly. I bet your internet connection is still contented 25:1.

    As for the install thingy, I don’t know if the 360 requires just the first disc of a set (e.g disc 1 of 3) to be in the drive for authentication or the disc that was copied to the hdd (in which case you’d have to swap the discs anywhoos). I don’t have any multi dvd games to test this tho.

  14. CAD:

    Well I got Lost Odyssey so I’ll tell you when I try it tonight.

  15. el-stupid:

    as a ps3 owner, and having the ps1/2 as well i dont have a problem with it, just word is that FFXIII is looking like using more then one Blu-ray disc, does that mean a box set with free carry bag for the 360 version?

  16. SW:

    Don’t get me wrong Carl, I would LOVE DD to become mainstream :)

    I only buy pc games from d2d or steam these days, don’t care about no box etc etc. And I’m sure in the end we’ll be downloading our games or just logging into some kind of ‘remote games machine’ or something in the end – They will use ANYTHING they can use to control copyright and our reselling of games etc :) Because we all know the second hand market makes ‘them’ mad ;)

  17. SnakeskinCowboy:

    Again, it shows 360 is creaking at the seams. Another price Microsoft paid for rushing that crap out the door.

  18. Barnabe Jones:

    I will LMAO when Final Fantasy XIII ships in a 20 disc box set. Hopefully 360 owners will have to pay a little more for all of the DVD9s.

  19. Happyhockum:

    3 x DVD’s eh?

    So that’s 3 x 8.5gb = 25.5gb.

    In otherwords it takes a mere 3 DVD release to exceed the capacity of a a single layer (expensive) Blu-ray BD25 1 disc release.

    Whoopey-do.

    I’d like to see the numbers but I’d be willing to bet large amounts that creating as many as 10 DVD game discs (at factory prices) costs the same as a single BD25 game disc (not only are the BD discs more difficult & expensive to produce but also because their replication capacity is so limited).

    Unless you fill a BD50 with umteen tedious & stupid cut scenes no-one is using a BD50 for games, and neither are they likely to, BD50s are so expensive.

    So, what was this story supposed to be telling us?

    Blu-ray production numbers, compared to DVD, are minuscule so it is unlikely in the extreme that we will see a situation where the Blu-ray version is cheaper than the DVD.

    At 3:1 DVD is easily going to continue to remain the cheaper option.

    With loading to the HDD on XBox now an established option the truth is that no-one cares, except the PS3/Blu-ray fanboy.

    It makes no difference
    (except that the PS3s load times are kind of funny).

  20. Happyhockum:

    The sad truth the Blu-ray fans have yet to face up to is that no-one actually ‘needs’ Blu-ray.

    The only people who can seriously claim to enjoy any substantial real benefit are those with recent massive HD TVs and very high-end audio kit.

    Everyone else (with small to medium size HD TVs and ‘ordinary’ audio kit) is perfectly fine with DVD and/or kidding themselves.

    PC storage is now ruled by the incredibly cheap price of HDDs which offer GB/$ 2nd to none.

    Flash drives & solid state are also quickly catching up.

    Blu-ray as a back-up media is laughably over-priced when compared and so selling in tiny numbers.

    But why let the facts get in the way of propaganda and the on-going PR campaign?

  21. CarlB:

    SC,

    A new format isn’t necessarily the format of the future.

    I think it is humorous how people get excited by this stuff, somehow thinking history will not repeat itself and technology will not continue to advance after they have bought their video library on a physical medium. I could understand this with the DVD shift, but haven’t we learned our lesson by now?

    @BJ

    20 discs? Try 2-6, tops, just like some popular PC titles and PS titles in the past.

    As far as I know, 1 BR disc is still more expensive than at least 20 DVDs retail. I don’t think 360 owners will have to pay any more than PS3 owners, but I could be wrong.

    So lets say FF XIII does max out a BR disc, it would be 6 DL DVD’s, not 20.

    Does anybody know how big FF XIII is yet?

    Regardless, I think now that FF XIII is no longer PS3 exclusive, “360 multi-disc!?” is the latest rallying cry for the PS3 supporters, kind of petty really.

    Let me think here… 3-6 discs changed out over two weeks to a month or two equals about a minute extra change out time equals still not worth another $400 (w/o taxes) to me.

  22. Barnabe Jones:

    Carl B: I was only kidding. FFXIII will probably be around 6 DVD9s.

    Does everyone “need” Blu-ray? No probably not. More people now own HD TVs. If you own an HD TV, you will probably want to take advantage of that HD TV with HD movies. It seems logical to me. As more people purchase HD TVs, and Blu-ray becomes less expensive, Blu-ray will take over as the dominate format.

  23. SW:

    ‘With loading to the HDD on XBox now an established option the truth is that no-one cares, except the PS3/Blu-ray fanboy.’

    I own a 360 so don’t get me wrong. But the irony there is that the 360 xbots were screaming from the rooftops when the ps3 had mandatory installs. Now it seems its the saviour of the 360…

    Anywhoos, Happy makes a good point. It probably costs the same/less to make a 3xDVD set and the disc swapping time is tiny anywhoos.

    Blu ray is nice, but i’d rather be given the option to legally download .mkv’s of 720p/1080p movies. Fuck the extras.

  24. darkwhitehair:

    the hdd installs is a savior for them because it makes the 360 not sound like a lawnmower anymore.. not my words… but the entire game critics community…

  25. kev:

    it’s funny the author doesn’t mention the amounts of CGI that’s taking up the disk space… i wonder why…. ;)

  26. SW:

    dwh – To be fair, the ps3 is only quiet until you make it work, then the leafblower kicks in and its like a 737 in taking off (the 360 being a 747 ;) )…

  27. CarlB:

    Barnabe: No problem. Considering Mass Effect could easily fit on one DVD9, I’m guessing that if FFXIII tops out at around 46-50 GB, it will be long enough to either justify the HDD and or minimize DVD changing woes to where it is a moot point. To narrow the window on how many, I think 3 or less DVD9′s is a good guess.

    And I definitely agree with SW, as I’ve seen more HD downloads that are the same quality as Blu-Ray, and I don’t really care about extras.

    Another point for those of you who may think of broadband availability as a problem for downloads, if you can afford the HDTV and console, you can probably afford the broadband connection, unless you are in Iraq like I will be for a few more months (my own personal PSP/DS reservation time).

  28. Arvis:

    CarlB,

    Mass Effect did not “easily” fit on one DVD9. They said they barely got it all on there, and you can tell by playing it they had to use some mega compression. The pop-in is atrocious.

    But hey, guess what, the game still rocks so who really gives a crap?

    -Arvis

  29. CarlB:

    Wow, I didn’t really notice the “pop-in” from the time I started playing to the time I finished the last of the achievements. If it was there, I certainly didn’t find it to be “atrocious”. I still would have enjoyed it just as much on two DVD9′s.

    I have read that the file size for Mass Effect was 6.74 GB and that a DVD9 holds 8.5 GB media.
    I guess it depends on what your definition of “easily” is. If you have a different quote for what “they said,” please share.

    Also, isn’t DVD18, the 17GB version, also an option for the 360 in the future?

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