Tech Blog

Microsoft Hints at New Disc Format for Xbox 360

by Blogger on ‎03-31-2011 07:58 AM - last edited on ‎05-01-2012 04:13 PM by Moderator

Xbox_360_disc.jpg

 

Many Canadians were disappointed to find out earlier this week they would not be allowed to take part in the spring update preview. The program allows Xbox users to test out new features on the dashboard before they get released to the public. But this time around Microsoft made it clear only Americans would be able to take part. The reason? Those in the program would need a disc mailed to them from Microsoft.

 

It seemed strange the update would be on a disc rather than simply downloaded to your console as in the past. But if you read the information closely the description of the program explained part of the preview included testing a new disc format. Many speculated Blu-ray...but that's doesn't appear to be the case.

 

Microsoft employee and community member Larry Hryb (Major Nelson) spilled the beans on his blog mentioning the new format. Further investigation revealed the "special discs" may just be regular Xbox 360 discs with increased storage.

 

A 7.95GB Xbox 360 disc can hold 6.8GB of game data on it. The rest of the disc space is reserved for anti-piracy measures etc. Digital Foundry claims Microsoft has found a way to either shrink the reserved space or remove it all together, essentially giving the disc an additional 1GB of storage.

 

The addition of 1GB may not seem like a lot, but in theory it could reduce the number of games which must ship on multiple discs. Of course it's something the Playstation 3 doesn't have to deal with since all the games are on Blu-ray.

 

I have reached out to Microsoft to comment on the "new format" and will post an update when I hear back.

 

Comments
by Trusted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎03-31-2011 08:08 AM

As long as they don't get to a point where new games will only be able to be played on the slim 360, I'm happy.  They can test in America all they want.

 

JB

by Trusted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎03-31-2011 09:17 AM

Oh, and something else I just thought of:

 

The new disc format would NOT be blu-ray.  This would require a hardware revamp, thus another new console coming out within a year.  I suppose if Mocrosoft wanted to alienate a good chunk of their user base they could do that.

 

Besides, the only real benefit to adding blu-ray support for the Xbox would be the ability to play blu-rays and not having to have some games on multiple discs.  Everyone already knows (or should know) that a game being on a blu-ray disc does not make it graphically superior to a game on a DVD by virtue of it being on a blu-ray disc.  PC games, when coupled with the right hardware, can be superior to the same games released on consoles, and they are still released on DVDs. 

 

JB

by Blogger on ‎03-31-2011 09:38 AM

Exactly! Blu-ray would require completely different hardware. You and I know that, but many other causal gamers who speculated the new "format" would be Blu-ray don't understand the difference.

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