Bungie warns against full Halo 3 install

Following NXE launch, studio warns that putting entire shooter on the 360's HDD will actually increase load times.

As more and more Xbox 360 owners download the New Xbox Experience, more and more will begin performing full game installs. The feature, just one of several in the dashboard-redesigning, Avatar-imposing, top-to-bottom update, lets gamers rip an entire game onto their Xbox 360 hard drive. With no spinning disc, the console's high-speed DVD drive will fall silent, reducing the console's infamous noisiness. (Note: The game disc must be inserted for authentication purposes, but it does not have to spin.)

Another assumed benefit of full installs is improved load times, a very desirable upgrade in games that have many locations and saves such as Fallout 3. However, the makers of one massively popular hit are urging its millions of players to act counterintuitively and not rip that game onto the 360's HDD.

Today on the now-independent studio's official Web site, Bungie chief caching officer Mat Noguchi posted a lengthy explanation on why fully installing Halo 3 will lead to "significantly longer" load times.

"When Halo 3 runs, if a HDD is present, we copy maps from the DVD to the utility partition (on the HDD)," said the engineer. "Think of it as an on-demand install of Halo 3 to some scratch space on the HDD. Halo 3 doesn't actually know where it's running from, so it always assumes it's running from a DVD. ...And as a result, it means that even if Halo 3 is already installed to the HDD, it will still copy maps to the utility partition." Ipso facto, the load times increase.

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like Bungie will have a patch ready soon--if ever--to fix the problem. "It would be a significant undertaking to try and retroactively patch/update Halo 3 to be optimized to take advantage of the HDD-install features of NXE," summarized Noguchi. "The risks of doing that and the resources required has to be carefully considered against what could really be a rather insignificant change to the player experience. For now our team is focused on making great games for the future, like Halo 3: Recon and other unannounced projects, but we will continue to monitor this situation."

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Discussion

269 comments
Gothic-360
Gothic-360

oh c'mon... I though I just can play without the disk... gay

Criros
Criros

hehe that sound retarded...

Slagg3r
Slagg3r

Has anyone tried out installing Rock Band or Rock Band 2 to their disk drive yet?

punkologist
punkologist

Forza 2 works well. I noticed the difference in load times.

ShroudedEagle
ShroudedEagle

Halo 3 isn't the only game that runs slower. My friend installed Gears of War 2 and Saint's Row 2 to his 360, and he said that the loading times are really slow. I'd hate to see Oblivion then, lol. This is one of the reasons why I don't play Halo 3 matchmaking anymore because despite all the warnings people are going to install it anyway and just make it a bad experience for the rest of us, and matchmaking takes long enough for me as it is.

choas_theory
choas_theory

if noise is a problem turn the volume for the tv up

benboz
benboz

I only got a 20GB HDD on my Xbox 360, I don;t want to waste all my space on installing a game and getting faster load times by only a few seconds. Noise ain't a problem with me but its a waste of time installing and I rather place the disc in because you have to put the disc in anyway.

Binarynova
Binarynova

Considering my XBox 360 isn't hooked up to an HDTV but to my computer monitor and is sitting on the desk, I'm actually pretty close to mine when I play so yeah, the noise is an issue. Load times have been horrible ever since the advent of the PSX, so I'm used to them. I couldn't give a flip about improved load times unless it was as fast as the NES. :p The only reason I install games is the noise and frankly, given my gaming setup, that's reason enough. Not to mention, if the disc isn't spinning then it's not being worn out needlessly. 360s die often enough as it is without the disc drive's help.

Shmoe82
Shmoe82

This is the first time I have heard of a full install taking longer to load then from a cd/dvd/etc.

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

I love halo 3...... I love it alot. alot. alotttttttt! Hellhound30 is the name.....

Shmoe82
Shmoe82

This is the first time I have heard of a full install taking longer to load then from a cd/dvd/etc.

tomizzo
tomizzo

I agree with that KsigMTSU. There was a list for downloadable games that wouldn't be bad for gaming.

KSigMTSU
KSigMTSU

Now if Ms could just make a harddrive that didn't cost 10x what a standard retail harddrive costs at newegg, installs would be awesome.

MFDOOMED
MFDOOMED

Halo 3 is garbage anyways.

DJJ2
DJJ2

PS3 copies trophies, 360 copies game installs... Fair trade I might say.

Spyder25000
Spyder25000

Image future games that require over 15gb on a disk / 25gb for ps3 / 50 gb if the blue prototype works. it will kill your harddrive, i like my 250 gb PS3. :D

nappan
nappan

The only one I've installed so far was Fallout 3, and I was shocked at how improved the load times were. They were hardly instant, but especially in fast-travel loads, the time was decreased by at least a third. I think the issue here, is that games like Halo 3 are relatively old in the life of the system... far from being optimized for install, they were made under a requirement that it NOT require an HDD. I must say, as a 360 and PS3 owner, I'm glad that MS has caught up to Sony on the install issue... Perhaps now Sony can make an SDK that doesn't suck. Lets face it, both consoles had room for improvement on launch (to put it mildly).

HaloArchAngel
HaloArchAngel

What other games are not going to see a change or slower in speed? Oblivion did not seem faster. Civilizations did seem to run a little better though.

evilr34
evilr34

Whats the point of installing the game if you have to put the disc in anyways? And reduce the noise of the console!? How god dam close are you to the Xbox to hear the thing? And if you have problems with heat output, get an intercooler! The loading times dont really seem to change either. Pointless add-on.

cerealkiller8
cerealkiller8

tigerfan, thats a terrible idea. All people would do would rent a game, download it, and pass it around to their friends and family for them to download too, and then return it. Does that sound like a good marketing strategy?

HisCreation
HisCreation

@ fiskefyren " i remember MG4 for the ps3 (god an aweful bad game) between each act you could go make dinner because it took the ps3 like an half hour to install the next part and the worst thing is, if you wanted to replay an act that had been "unloaded" then you had to reinstall it... AGAIN!!! what a retarded console (and game). " In fact; Act 1 on MGS4 was the longest install time. Every act onwards from there was on average five minutes, not even most of the time. So please, before you spew false information about a game to try and represent in your opinion how "bad" it is.. Please have the facts to back it up.

Shadow_Fax87
Shadow_Fax87

I don't really care about the noise that much to waste all that space on my hard drive

athenian29
athenian29

Hmm... Consumer Reports should test this. I'm curious to know the truth of the matter.

iNyCzOwnJody
iNyCzOwnJody

This sucks,my halo 3 doesnt work for some reason but when i downloaded it,it works perfect but this had to mess it up.

biggy887766
biggy887766

theres benefits to installing it besides noise, like previously stated it reduces heat output and theres no spinning disk so its not going to be scratched

rob123911
rob123911

I think that the install thing is a good idea its just not worth that much memory, espiecially if you only have say 20gb, like a certain me!

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mgs_freak91
mgs_freak91

to tigerfan1993. that would be stupid action to take, if that were to happen then there is nothing stopping people from returning games or just renting games and not having to pay for the whole price. shops can just give away games if this was possible.

tigerfan1993
tigerfan1993

I wish the feature would allow you to play games without the disc.

HK88
HK88

It will help Fable 2's load times and makes your system run without any sounds and a greatly reduced heat output. I recommend Mass Effect, Gears, Lost Odyssey, etc. for installs. I have installed those games and they run significantly better when dealing with popins and load times are cut. The elevator rides in Mass Effect are bearable now at 5-10 seconds compared to 15-30 seconds before install.

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

but i wonder... will it help on fable 2? because those load times are god aweful!! >_

fiskefyren
fiskefyren

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jknight5422
jknight5422

Well some people aren't seeing a problem. I wonder if he QA'ed this before telling everyone it was a bad idea to load it on the drive? Nonetheless, I'll accept the developers word that the HDD install isn't a good idea & leave it at that.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

good thing my ps3 doesnt have those problems

chibidaniel
chibidaniel

the install is kind of pointless. Now, if, per say that you could download it and not have to even put a disc in or actually change discs, then it would be awesome, but the no sound? pointless, you aren't going to hear the noise over the sound effects and dialogue

B1G_DADDY
B1G_DADDY

Just don't install it, it saves you 6 gigs of space anyway.

n4m3l335
n4m3l335

Does anyone else realize that PS3 has had this same problem for since its release? Most PS3 games, including multiplatform releases, require a hard drive install, which takes up massive amounts of space and does almost nothing to help framerates or load times. Its just a useless addition that took up the time Microsoft would have used to add something that would let you save on devices other than proprietary hard drive, like thumb drives or external hard drives.

Fareru
Fareru

Well, if it's an issue then just don't install it and use the disc instead. I mean... we were happy using the disc up until now, why should it turn into an issue all of a sudden? Do the install for games that it will work for and don't do it for those that might have an issue... If the XBox noise is a problem... turn up your TV! Besides... as I've read in the comments, not many people seem to be having an issue anyways. And you still need to have the disc in the console anyhow, so if it does cause problems then don't install it and just play it regularly. You still get the same game out of it.

ZabuzaR
ZabuzaR

I still installed it and played online. I didn't notice much of a difference... I don't care as long as my drive is silent.

themc_7
themc_7

funnysplay: this isn't downloading games, you still have a disc in the xbox, it just doesnt spin. You still need to buy the game from a retailer.

dmish82
dmish82

Gotta love it when one of your best developers calls out your brand new features.

brian_13un
brian_13un

I did install halo 3 it worked ^_^

funnysplay
funnysplay

I'd rather buy games at retailers, that way i can trade them back in if i don't like them. Or get tired of it.

Futil1ty
Futil1ty

prioritymail: I installed GTAIV on my 20GB HDD. I wanted to stop the pop-up and just help the game out a bit. Now I only have a little over 1GB remaining. I'll probably delete it soon and just return to the spinning disc, although I haven't really tested whether it works better or not (it does start up the game in about 2/3 the time, though).

OmegaCookie7
OmegaCookie7

"Wonder how this happened." ...the article sorta explains that.

Crazylightsaber
Crazylightsaber

Who cares this? Just play the damn game and enjoy it.