Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bungie Says "No" to HDD Install for Halo 3

My favourite feature of the New Xbox Experience is the ability to install games to your HDD. Not only is it a much quieter experience, but many titles have increased performance in the form of reduced load times.

Like all new features, not all "older" games are able to properly take proper advantage of this simply because they were never designed with this feature in mind in the first place. Unfortunately, such is the case with Halo 3, the best selling Xbox 360 game to date.

Bungie did such a great job optimizing Halo 3 for use with the Xbox 360's DVD drive that the nature of how the game caches and loads maps simply takes longer if it's installed to your HDD. While this doesn't really affect the Campaign, it _does_ effect Multiplayer, forcing everyone to wait for the maps to load longer. This has led people to quit more games before they start, and thus has increased the wait times when Matchmaking and trying to find proper games to join.

In response to this discovery, Bungie has officially advised people to play Halo 3 the traditional way via the DVD drive, and _not_ to install it to your HDD if you plan on playing Multiplayer, though of course the choice is yours in the end.

For full details, as well as Bungie's official technical gobblety goop about why maps load slower from the HDD, head to their blog post here.

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