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Author Topic: [X360] Good News! Oblivion will NOT require the hard drive.  (Read 2718 times)
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Hetz
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« on: August 18, 2005, 01:19:45 AM »

This post is stickied on the official forums:

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For those of you that have been wondering, just a quick word. Oblivion does not REQUIRE a hard drive to work on Xbox 360. It will work on every Xbox 360. We would recommend you get one if you have the means, but it is in no way a requirement.
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Hetz
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2005, 01:24:08 AM »

Also this is up at Game Informer about Oblivion and the XBox 360:

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WILL ELDER SCROLLS IV WORK ON XBOX 360 WITHOUT A HARD DRIVE?

Bethesda, maker of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for Xbox 360, has previously boasted considerable use of the hard drive for its massive RPG. Many gamers are wondering if they can still play Oblivion if they purchase the hard drive-free Core System. We contacted Bethesda directly to find out.

"We've known since day one that there would be versions of the 360 without a hard drive, so Oblivion will still work on every 360," assures Todd Howard, executive producer at Bethesda. "That being said, Oblivion takes full advantage of the hard drive and uses it extensively, so we'd certainly recommend that everyone gets one."

This indicates that the hard drive can be tapped for more than just MP3 and photo storage. It seems developers are not afraid to utilize the hard drive for optimizing load times and streamlining their games much like the original Xbox.

Game Informer has also heard rumblings that Microsoft mandated all Xbox 360 games be playable without hard drive assistance (MMOs are excused from this requirement). It's up to the developer to choose how much hard drive optimization to include in their games from that point.


I wonder what will be the advantages of having a hard drive for Oblivion, since they say it uses it extensively. Faster load times maybe?
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Hetz
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2005, 01:35:44 AM »

Some more comments from the devs about it:

About it being 'scaled down' to work without a hard drive:

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No, it won't be scaled down at all. It'll be the exact same game, with the exact same content with or without the HDD. And no, that doesn't mean it's scaled down to begin with.


About what Microsoft has mandated about the hard drive:

Quote
The Microsoft line is that games may take advantage of the HDD if it's there, but must be able to run if it's not. Beyond that I can't be more specific.


About the saved games going on the hard drive:

Quote
Yeah, you can save games to either HDD or memory card, just like on the original Xbox.
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2005, 01:39:54 AM »

I'm not worried about being scaled down or a different game, but let's be honest, the game running with the HD with have an exponential performance gain over the game running with out it.

Having games "run" or "work" or "play" without the HD isn't same as having them do the same with it. That's why it stinks.


It's great to hear that for the most part you won't need the HD to run games, it's just that there will more than likely be a performance difference.


Hopefully, all developers will make their games run Great to Awesome without the HD.
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2005, 02:03:32 AM »

This isnt good news IMO.

Obviously, Oblivion could run better on a HD.  Will it run better on a 360 with a HD?  How much better?  Who knows.  But its another reason to get the PC version in my book.

The real disappointment in all of this is that the base 360 does not have a HD.  That means very few games are going to take full advantage of it.

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EddieA
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2005, 02:07:03 AM »

That's good news for all the people who plan to buy the $300 version.  All 3 of them slywink
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2005, 02:27:37 AM »

I wasn't worried about Oblivion.  I figure it, like every other game won't need the HD - which makes the HD useless - $100 extra for a memory card.
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Dimmona
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2005, 02:30:26 AM »

Um, so does this mean there will be no mod support for Oblivion?  

Either way, MS can eat a bag of hell for this whole HD fiasco...
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2005, 03:18:41 AM »

Too bad it'll still require the mod community to add the fun. biggrin

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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2005, 03:26:54 AM »

This is good, but I am still worried that we are settling for less by not requiring the HDD.
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2005, 03:29:22 AM »

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This isnt good news IMO.


I agree.  I was a little suprised to see "Good news" in the heading.
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2005, 08:53:24 AM »

Downloadable Content. That is what makes the HD worth owning. I post on another forum with a developer from Bethesda, he pointed out that Morrowind was the only game that really optimized the HD for the Xbox. He also said that buying the 360 with out the HD was stupid, just because of the value of the total package. I can't say that I disagree.
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2005, 10:44:22 AM »

I was told that it will run FAR better with the HDD.  That alone makes it worth the extra jack for me.
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2005, 11:20:12 AM »

Quote from: "Bullwinkle"
Quote
This isnt good news IMO.


I agree.  I was a little suprised to see "Good news" in the heading.


It's good news that they are not splitting the market by requiring a hard drive, but also saying it will run FAR better if you have one.

How is that bad news? It satisfies both sets of people. The ones that want to pay the bare minimum will still get to play the game and not be shut out and the people that want to pay a little extra will get the best play experience.

Good news all around!  biggrin
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2005, 01:11:13 PM »

Quote from: "Hetz"
Also this is up at Game Informer about Oblivion and the XBox 360:
Quote


"We've known since day one that there would be versions of the 360 without a hard drive, so Oblivion will still work on every 360," assures Todd Howard, executive producer at Bethesda.


That's interesting. Hadn't MS been saying fairly recently (E3?) that all X-Box 360's would have a HDD? Apparently, they were knowingly lying.
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2005, 01:20:20 PM »

That'd be correct Ralph-Wiggum.  I was sitting dead center, 1 row back, about 8 feet from J Allard when he said it at the press conference.  I have it here in my notes from E3.  Its not the price that bugs me, I don't care about that...its the bait and switch tactic.  This isn't choice, this is manipulation.
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2005, 02:10:48 PM »

Quote from: "Nick Bean"
Downloadable Content. That is what makes the HD worth owning. I post on another forum with a developer from Bethesda, he pointed out that Morrowind was the only game that really optimized the HD for the Xbox. He also said that buying the 360 with out the HD was stupid, just because of the value of the total package. I can't say that I disagree.


I posted this on GWJ but I think it fits here too.


Why am I stupid for not getting the $400 bundle?

I don't play on Live, so I don't need the headset or the wireless ethernet.
I don't have an HD TV, so I don't need the cables.
I don't sit on my couch but right in front of my TV, so I don't need a wireless controller.

The only advantage for me is HD caching. Well how much will that improve my life? $100 worth? $60 worth (since I will have to get a memory card)

I don't think I am a complete idiot - I think the $400 bundle sucks for anyone not playing on line.
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2005, 02:51:49 PM »

Quote from: "Hetz"
How is that bad news? It satisfies both sets of people. The ones that want to pay the bare minimum will still get to play the game and not be shut out and the people that want to pay a little extra will get the best play experience.


But will it actually satisfy those who purchase the $300 version?  Resident Evil Outbreak technically didn't require the harddrive either, but most seemed to think that the excessive loading times made it almost unplayable.  

Oblivion has to be able to run without the HDD, but that doeesn't mean that it has to run well.  I'll be very curious to see what the performance difference actually ends up being.
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2005, 04:05:01 PM »

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How is that bad news?


It's not good news in the sense that this reveals the nail in the coffin all too clearly.  By not making the HDD standard, no game developer is going to develop for it, which will make all games suffer.  If Oblivion required the HDD to run, there might be a push to that trend if it sold at all well (and it is bordering on being a system seller).

Quote
Why am I stupid for not getting the $400 bundle?

I don't play on Live, so I don't need the headset or the wireless ethernet.
I don't have an HD TV, so I don't need the cables.
I don't sit on my couch but right in front of my TV, so I don't need a wireless controller.


But will all of those things be true in five years (or ten years, if Sony has its way)?  Accessories and the like don't really come down in price, so as HDTVs become cheaper and standard, those cables may be in your future.  I wouldn't say you're stupid.  Just maybe not prudent.

Also, you're going to ruin your eyes.  Sit on the couch.
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2005, 04:10:30 PM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
Quote from: "Nick Bean"
Downloadable Content. That is what makes the HD worth owning. I post on another forum with a developer from Bethesda, he pointed out that Morrowind was the only game that really optimized the HD for the Xbox. He also said that buying the 360 with out the HD was stupid, just because of the value of the total package. I can't say that I disagree.


I posted this on GWJ but I think it fits here too.


Why am I stupid for not getting the $400 bundle?

I don't play on Live, so I don't need the headset or the wireless ethernet.
I don't have an HD TV, so I don't need the cables.
I don't sit on my couch but right in front of my TV, so I don't need a wireless controller.

The only advantage for me is HD caching. Well how much will that improve my life? $100 worth? $60 worth (since I will have to get a memory card)

I don't think I am a complete idiot - I think the $400 bundle sucks for anyone not playing on line.


The one reason to own a hard drive that you failed to mention is backwards compatibility with older Xbox games.  The mentioned yesterday that the hard drive will definitely be required for backwards compatibility because so much caching had to be done.

I probably won't get rid of either of my Xboxs, but for someone that likes to stay streamlined, you could probably get close to $100 for your Xbox from an individual or at the very worst $60-$70 in trade from a game store.   Just makes good sense if money is an issue and you have a decent library of Xbox games.
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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2005, 04:35:49 PM »

out of curiousity, how many XB games use the current hard drive for anything other than custom downloads and cacheing?
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2005, 05:28:41 PM »

Quote
Why am I stupid for not getting the $400 bundle?

I don't play on Live, so I don't need the headset or the wireless ethernet.
I don't have an HD TV, so I don't need the cables.
I don't sit on my couch but right in front of my TV, so I don't need a wireless controller.

The only advantage for me is HD caching. Well how much will that improve my life? $100 worth? $60 worth (since I will have to get a memory card)

I don't think I am a complete idiot - I think the $400 bundle sucks for anyone not playing on line.


Why are you buying an XBox 360, a game console designed around Hi Def, Online gaming and wireless technology, if you intend to use 10% of the functionality?  Why not just keep your XBox, or better yet a PS1?
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« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2005, 05:40:24 PM »

Quote from: "Rowdy"
Why are you buying an XBox 360, a game console designed around Hi Def, Online gaming and wireless technology, if you intend to use 10% of the functionality?  Why not just keep your XBox, or better yet a PS1?

You're kidding me, you think all the 360 games are going to offer no entertainment, and nothing you haven't seen on an Xbox or PS1 unless you have a HD television and play the games wirelessly online?  Do you hear what you're saying?
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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2005, 05:43:05 PM »

Quote from: "Rowdy"
Quote
Why am I stupid for not getting the $400 bundle?

I don't play on Live, so I don't need the headset or the wireless ethernet.
I don't have an HD TV, so I don't need the cables.
I don't sit on my couch but right in front of my TV, so I don't need a wireless controller.

The only advantage for me is HD caching. Well how much will that improve my life? $100 worth? $60 worth (since I will have to get a memory card)

I don't think I am a complete idiot - I think the $400 bundle sucks for anyone not playing on line.


Why are you buying an XBox 360, a game console designed around Hi Def, Online gaming and wireless technology, if you intend to use 10% of the functionality?  Why not just keep your XBox, or better yet a PS1?


If it was designed around that technology, you'd think they'd include it with every one they sell... slywink

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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2005, 05:48:46 PM »

I'm as irritated and chafed as the rest of you, but lets look at how the other half lives.

This thing has half a gig of memory.  That is a truck load of memory to use in addition to the dedicated memory on the graphics card.  If a game is 1024mb in size and you can effectively load half of it in one swipe thats pretty impressive.   More realistically, we'll say that the game uses 4000mb.  Well, you can't play the whole game simultaneously so maybe it loads 8-10 times?  Ok...so graphics uncompressing and such....maybe 20 times in the course of a game?  It could be better than we think.

It still stinks. smile
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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2005, 06:09:34 PM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
I'm as irritated and chafed as the rest of you, but lets look at how the other half lives.

This thing has half a gig of memory.  That is a truck load of memory to use in addition to the dedicated memory on the graphics card.  If a game is 1024mb in size and you can effectively load half of it in one swipe thats pretty impressive.   More realistically, we'll say that the game uses 4000mb.  Well, you can't play the whole game simultaneously so maybe it loads 8-10 times?  Ok...so graphics uncompressing and such....maybe 20 times in the course of a game?  It could be better than we think.

It still stinks. smile


Well, I think you are right-I think it probably won't be anywhere near as bad as we are imagining-just more load times then before-but if the game is able to make good use of the HDD for the real version of the 360, then it might not be an issue at all.
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« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2005, 07:04:51 PM »

Quote from: "Bullwinkle"
Quote

I don't play on Live, so I don't need the headset or the wireless ethernet.
I don't have an HD TV, so I don't need the cables.
I don't sit on my couch but right in front of my TV, so I don't need a wireless controller.


But will all of those things be true in five years (or ten years, if Sony has its way)?  Accessories and the like don't really come down in price, so as HDTVs become cheaper and standard, those cables may be in your future.  I wouldn't say you're stupid.  Just maybe not prudent.

Also, you're going to ruin your eyes.  Sit on the couch.




Is the expected life cycle of the 360 really 5 years?  The Xbox launched Nov. of 2001...so 4 years.... Why would the development cycle slow down?
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« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2005, 07:07:34 PM »

Quote from: "Rowdy"

Why are you buying an XBox 360, a game console designed around Hi Def, Online gaming and wireless technology, if you intend to use 10% of the functionality?  Why not just keep your XBox, or better yet a PS1?



Games.  I can't play Oblivion on the Xbox.  

And, I may be wrong but won't games look better on the 360 - even without a HD TV?  I can't believe that without the HD TV they will only look as good as the current Xbox games.
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« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2005, 02:37:55 AM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
And, I may be wrong but won't games look better on the 360 - even without a HD TV?  I can't believe that without the HD TV they will only look as good as the current Xbox games.

While yes, the games will look better (more polygons displayed at once, etc), you have to keep in mind you're viewing them at the exact same resolution you've been viewing games at since the NES era.

Scary when you think about it, no?
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« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2005, 09:08:24 AM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
I wasn't worried about Oblivion.  I figure it, like every other game won't need the HD - which makes the HD useless - $100 extra for a memory card.


you get a lot more than the hard drive.
The remote, the cordless controller, the HD cables.

that's worth more than 100US. I managed to get my Monster HD cables (incl. audio) for ~60US for the Xbox. I'd rather not have to go 3rd party again. (let's just hope the quality is higher than the "breakout box" MS was selling)
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« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2005, 05:54:46 PM »

Quote
You're kidding me, you think all the 360 games are going to offer no entertainment, and nothing you haven't seen on an Xbox or PS1 unless you have a HD television and play the games wirelessly online? Do you hear what you're saying?


Um, yes, I do.  Of course the games will offer entertainment.  The games on consoles in generations past offered great gameplay too.  You can find great games on any console.  "Better Games" isn't an included feature of the 360.  There will be good games and crap games, like every other system out there.  I suppose if you want to spend $400 (before the cost of the game) just so you can play Oblivion, that's your perogative, but I would personally qualify that as stupid.

What are the features of the 360?  Graphics designed around higher resolutions and high definition TV.  Integrated Wireless controllers.  Online multiplayer built into nearly every game, with Live becoming more and a more a part of the core as opposed to an optional add on.  You're kidding yourself if you don't think MS has designed the box to be an online gaming gateway.  If you don't intend to take advantage of any of those features, why spend the money?  Sure, you'll have different games to play, but they too are going to include hosts of features whos development you'll be paying for when you buy them and then not using.

Quote
If it was designed around that technology, you'd think they'd include it with every one they sell...  


Agreed... isn't that why people are pissed off?  Because MS has now decided that the $299 price point they hinted at before is essentially for a crippled version of the console that doesn't include many of the core design features?  That in order to take advantage of the real power of the 360, you need to buy the $399 version?

Obviously MS decided they weren't willing to take that much of a hit on hardware, but didn't want to scrap the $299 point altogether.  They also probably know how much Sony is hurting with the PS3 and realize they're not under as much pressure as they were in the past.
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« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2005, 02:27:05 PM »

Quote from: "Rowdy"
... with Live becoming more and a more a part of the core as opposed to an optional add on.  You're kidding yourself if you don't think MS has designed the box to be an online gaming gateway.  If you don't intend to take advantage of any of those features, why spend the money?  ...


How many people have 4x4 vehicles, and how many truly go off-roading? Just because the technology has been developed doesn't mean the pricepoint is overly inflated for it. You may be paying extra for that feature, however given that Live service is consumer-paid (Live kit, server maintenance, etc) the cost on the developer is significantly less. Also, they don't need to reinvent the technology every time they create a new game.

EGM a couple of years ago (sometime between 2000-2002) put out a "cost to get game to market" and piracy only cost (on average) $1.25 extra on the price. The levels of marketing and packaging and shipping add significantly more. I doubt the development of "deathmatch with stats tracking" is driving both cost and development time through the roof.
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