2 GB is the New Size Limit for Xbox Live Arcade Games

2 GB is the New Size Limit for Xbox Live Arcade Games

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The size limit for Xbox Live Arcade games has been growing for a while, and now the only limit is imposed by the system itself.

Microsoft has revealed that 2 GB is the current size cap for Xbox Live Arcade titles. It has nothing to do with Microsoft, and is instead a technical limitation of the way the system works. Recent titles such as Shadow Complex (awesome, by the way) and the Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Commander's Challenge (starring Ric Flair, by the way) have totally bowled over the recent 350 MB limit, leading to questions about if that limit was still in place. Apparently not, and with good reason now that the 120 GB Xbox 360 Elite is the standard SKU being sold in stores, and with a relatively massive limited edition 250 GB bundle on the way.

For a little history, when Microsoft first introduced Xbox Live Arcade, there was a stipulation that no game placed on the service could exceed 50 MB. This was no doubt a challenge to certain developers with bigger plans, but was likely deemed necessary when the Xbox 360 only had a 20 GB hard drive, around 6 GB of which was used for backwards compatibility and other system operations requirements. Microsoft had also said that another purpose for the limit was so that the service was more about smaller experiences, rather than big budget masterpieces.

The limit was later raised to 150 MB soon after an exception was made for the release of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which just couldn't fit within the 50 MB limit. Exceptions were again made for certain titles that went above the 150 MB limit, including Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. The cap was next raised to 350 MB, which was broken by titles like Watchmen: The End is Nigh.

I like how Microsoft handled these limits, at least publicly. If a popular game had to go over the limit, the company allowed it. After raising the limits, if certain titles still went over , Microsoft allowed them to again. Now, Microsoft acknowledges that larger experiences are in demand and can be massively popular on Xbox Live Arcade, such as Shadow Complex which set sales records. Artificial limits just don't fit anymore.

Source: IGN UK and Ars Technica

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Looks like Microsoft is moving to digital distribution, how long before full games are available for download?

Markness:
Looks like Microsoft is moving to digital distribution, how long before full games are available for download?

I really hope they don't move fully to Digital Distribution, if they do I won't be able to game anymore, as I can't take my console online... *sigh*

(Before you ask, Mobile Broadband)
(Before you comment, my Mum is in debt, we have no other choice)

2GB limit - so the HDD is FAT16 formatted then?

Sampler:
2GB limit - so the HDD is FAT16 formatted then?

Probably not... It's probably a limitiation in the netcode rather than the hard drive format. But I've never disected a 360.

Markness:
Looks like Microsoft is moving to digital distribution, how long before full games are available for download?

Full games already are available.

They launched their Games on Demand service for downloading selected 360 games on the 11th of August, and you've been able to download X-Box Originals for about 22 months.

Markness:
Looks like Microsoft is moving to digital distribution, how long before full games are available for download?

Full games are already available for download as Games on Demand. Though it's only older titles, there's no technological reason why.

Neither Microsoft nor the publishers want to antagonize game retailers though, so moving into new releases probably won't happen any time soon.

Sampler:
2GB limit - so the HDD is FAT16 formatted then?

No, the 360 has its own file system, XTAF, and there are plenty of ways to get files larger than 2gb on the system. I'd guess the limitation is a part of how the games are packaged for distribution, or a part of the process that runs them on the 360. With the DRM and likely sandboxing, there's a lot of areas where a limit like this could be hit, especially if they hadn't been planning for games of this size with the original release. Just takes a few signed 32-bit integers in critical positions.

Virgil:

Sampler:
2GB limit - so the HDD is FAT16 formatted then?

No, the 360 has its own file system, XTAF, and there are plenty of ways to get files larger than 2gb on the system. I'd guess the limitation is a part of how the games are packaged for distribution, or a part of the process that runs them on the 360. With the DRM and likely sandboxing, there's a lot of areas where a limit like this could be hit, especially if they hadn't been planning for games of this size with the original release. Just takes a few signed 32-bit integers in critical positions.

Huh, good to know, thanks.

I'm guessing that the on demand titles actually exceed the 2 gig limit.

Sounds good... if they'll send me a free 120 gig hard drive. My 20 gig is getting smaller and smaller...

Oh so thats where those 6 GB magically disappeared to. I still don't see whay they didn't give us 20 gb on top of those 6gb though.

I am glad that they have officially increased it. Should mean some quality titles comin down the pipeline. I just hope they don't mess around with the pricing because of this.

Well, if all games start going up to 2gb, I won't be able to play anymore arcade games.

My 12gb hard drive has about 2gb left, plus downloading 2gb on my internet connection would take about a month, seeing as how I would only be able to download it during nights, and thats if I'm lucky.

I would get a better internet, but nothing better than "fast" dial-up is offered.
They have DSL all hooked up and ready to go, but their not selling it.

Markness:
Looks like Microsoft is moving to digital distribution, how long before full games are available for download?

You mean like Games on Demand? >____>

SharedProphet:
Sounds good... if they'll send me a free 120 gig hard drive. My 20 gig is getting smaller and smaller...

Same with me. I'm running out of space.

I was having serious space issues till I got a new PC, alot of my high value Xbox games are getting rebought for PC and deleted from my Xbox HD.

Thank god I have a 120 GB for all the stuff they offer now. Ah who am I kidding, I just use it to install my games so my damn disc drive doesn't sound like it is about to explode.

Dark Sector (Installed to the HDD) was only 1.9 Gigs... So I think 2 is a good size for most things...

 

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