50mb Vs 500mb

As you may have read, Sony is trumpeting the fact that PS3 game downloads will have a 500mb size restriction, ten times the current limit for XBLA games. This is effectively no different from Sony’s claims that blu-ray makes the PS3 superior to the Xbox 360 in general. More megabytes == higher quality.

Right.

IMO, the current success of XBLA (and recent success of the Wii launch) are proof enough that customers care about many things, and foremost among them is fun. Fun isn’t measured in megabytes — just ask any devotee of Geometry Wars or Uno. Development cost and team-size, on the other hand, are very much affected by megabytes… and not positively.

XBLA has helped bring back the four-man console development team. It has helped foster innovation in an industry clamoring for just that. It has helped make development budgets reasonable again. It has kept download times to a minimum. Is anyone really in that much of a hurry to blow the ceiling off the house once again?

Sony’s in a tough spot. They don’t have much going for them right now, so they’re forced to keep touting dubious technological advantages. I wouldn’t be too swayed by those when choosing which platform to support. And for the record, I’ve been making arguments of this nature since long before I joined Microsoft. Just read through my blog’s archives and see for yourself.

If XBLA ever raises the size limit, it will be for the right reasons — not because Sony is pushing an arbitrarily high ceiling.

21 responses to “50mb Vs 500mb

  1. I’ve been making arguments of this nature since long before I joined Microsoft.

    You were a Jedi once, but your dark powers will not work on me, Darth Edery!

    Fun isn’t measured in megabytes — just ask any devotee of Geometry Wars or Uno.

    I think you’re ignoring an important aspect of this issue: the target audience consists of game developers, not players. Sure, bigger doesn’t always mean better, but increasing the amount of space available to developers can be likened to increasing the degree of flexibility allowed to developers for the content of their games. By increasing the size limit for downloadable games, Sony is effectively calling more developers’ eyes and ears, or at least the attention of those developers interested in creating bigger games, to the PlayStation 3.

    Is anyone really in that much of a hurry to blow the ceiling off the house once again?

    If development for Xbox platforms produces convenient, innovative results with declining costs and risks in addition to inclining turnaround instead of turnover, then Microsoft should push development for Xbox platforms as the “safer alternative” to development for PlayStation platforms.

    They don’t have much going for them right now, so they’re forced to keep touting dubious technological advantages.

    Dubious technological advantages. Microsoft. Hrm…

    If XBLA ever raises the size limit, it will be for the right reasons …

    The right reasons, eh? And these reasons have nothing to do with the competition, right? I guess I’m at a loss then as to why the inbox storage space for MSN Hotmail was substantially increased after Google Mail debuted. ;)

  2. > You were a Jedi once, but your dark powers will not work on
    > me, Darth Edery!

    LOL

    > increasing the amount of space available to developers can be
    > likened to increasing the degree of flexibility allowed to
    > developers for the content of their games.

    To a point. And after that point, you’re simply creating an environment that will make developers feel pressured to fill the space provided, regardless of whether doing so is economical, improves gameplay, etc. And increasing download times to boot.

    > Dubious technological advantages. Microsoft. Hrm…

    Hey now.

    > The right reasons, eh? And these reasons have nothing to do
    > with the competition, right?

    Sometimes the right reasons are related to moves made by the competition. But not everything the competition does is worthy of emulation. We’re not lemmings, you know. ;-)

  3. Sony has to help justify the price point too…

  4. Hey – it’ll probably just be games of 50mb with 450mb of padding files…
    http://ps3.qj.net/Resistance-Fall-of-Man-has-17GB-of-garbage-/pg/49/aid/74232

  5. After that point, you’re simply creating an environment that will make developers feel pressured to fill the space provided …

    There are several fast-food restaurants in my area, but I don’t feel pressured to eat fast food. When developers feel pressured to use what’s available regardless of necessity, that’s a production management problem. That’s abuse of resources. The solution is the adoption of a “make every byte count” philosophy. Decrying the notion of more flexibility in the name of nature over nurture is exactly like decrying the availability of fast-food restaurants. We need education and training in the fine art of healthy decision-making, not less choices.

  6. Which David is this exactly?

    ;-)

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