You Can Play The Last Of Us While It's Still Downloading

You Can Play The Last Of Us While It's Still Downloading

the last of us

Naughty Dog understands that we are all busy people, and don't have time to wait for a game to finish downloading before playing it.

Naughty Dog's action-adventure/survival-horror thing The Last of Us will hit shelves on June 14. But, some of us live in the future, and are too busy/important to join the rest of the peasants lining up for midnight launches at brick-and-mortar stores. No, we buy games digitally, and have them delivered to our system directly while we laugh at people who have to endure driving all the way to the store to get their gaming fix. Some of us are even too busy writing news articles for big important gaming websites to actually wait for our digital downloads to complete, and until now, there's been nothing we could do about it.

I have often sat at my TV or computer, silently fuming that I can't play my videogame until that progress bar hits 100%. Luckily, Naughty Dog has me covered, announcing that the game will be playable once the download reaches 50%. The digital version of the game will also be available on June 14, the same day it hits retail. That means, if you have a fast enough connection, you can be playing The Last of Us while those retail plebs are still stuck in traffic on the highway, or waiting for the FedEx man to silently knock three times on their door and then slink away into the night, leaving naught but an "undeliverable" notice.

It was previously revealed that digital downloads on the PS4 will be available to play almost instantaneously while they are still downloading. Furthermore, a system where you can access your PS4 from your phone or PC will allow you to set up a download while still at work/out of the house, so it's ready to play when you get home. Lastly, the PS4 will automatically download updates while it's in sleep mode. These all seem like pretty cool features, but I can't help but feel like they are only to offset the massive 50 GB size that PS4 games are reported to have.

In the meantime, it's nice to see Naughty Dog implementing such a feature to help out its digital customers. Digital distribution has seen a significant rise in the last few years, with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo making a large majority of their games available for download at the same time as their retail release. PC gamers have seen the benefits of digital distribution through Valve's Steam service for years now, and competitors such as Origin and Uplay are starting to become more significant.

Source: Game Informer

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As much as we've all criticized Sony for things like giving integrated social media its own button on the PS4 controller and eschewing backwards compatibility - and rightly so - this seems like a nice opportunity to give credit where it's due: This is not only a very cool and convenient idea, but in an industry where digital distribution is only continuing to grow in prominence, it's also a legitimate forward progression into that future, and a smart one at that. Steam should really get on this ASAP.

Wow, that is a nice feature. I download at 3mb/s and I am still annoyed with having to wait until the game is fully downloaded =/. Loving this idea to be honest! As godzilla said: give credit where credit is due. Nice going!

GodzillaGuy92:
Steam should really get on this ASAP.

It does... for Source games. I remember doing it with Dark Messiah of Might and Magic way back when.

Just as with the different kinds of DRM that are used on top of Steam, it's the publisher's and the developer's prerogative.

Blizzard also do this kind of thing with their insatllers.

The Old Republic (and possibly other MMOs) did this as well.

By god developers are waking up and using tech from this decade, sadly data compression is still a foreign to them, also basic game settings... but hey some progress is better then none.

As has been said, This isn't a new idea, as WoW and other ideas have a streaming downloader. But still this is a taste of things to come with most PS4 games.

GodzillaGuy92:
Steam should really get on this ASAP.

Yes, that would be nice, however it has to be designed into the game from the start, a digital distribution service can't just retrofit it to a 3rd party game.

So, essentially, Last Of Us assets are built completely differently than all current games and are segmented per-level. This means that A: gameplay will be linear and B: it will be so full of bugs youll beg for Bethesda level fo buggyness.
Well that of this is going to be made by programming gods.

iseko:
Wow, that is a nice feature. I download at 3mb/s and I am still annoyed with having to wait until the game is fully downloaded =/. Loving this idea to be honest! As godzilla said: give credit where credit is due. Nice going!

Megabit or megabyte thought? if itsm egabyte than you should get a full game within less than half hour. i usually spend the download time on reading up some experience and gameplay ect. not to mentio i most of the time pre-download it days before playing.

Strazdas:
So, essentially, Last Of Us assets are built completely differently than all current games and are segmented per-level. This means that A: gameplay will be linear and B: it will be so full of bugs youll beg for Bethesda level fo buggyness.
Well that of this is going to be made by programming gods.

iseko:
Wow, that is a nice feature. I download at 3mb/s and I am still annoyed with having to wait until the game is fully downloaded =/. Loving this idea to be honest! As godzilla said: give credit where credit is due. Nice going!

Megabit or megabyte thought? if itsm egabyte than you should get a full game within less than half hour. i usually spend the download time on reading up some experience and gameplay ect. not to mentio i most of the time pre-download it days before playing.

Oh yeah, in the old days this would be a rental game we'd probably finish up in about a week and move on, much like Bioshock Infinite. Personally I kind of miss the old retail video-game rental business since it saved people a ton of money and forced developers to figure out ways to make their games more interesting in the long run.

Also, from my experience imperfect games that are open to the mod community last longer than these singleton, over produced story driven titles that rely too much on Hollywood level action and story. They are basically "movie" games.

So you can play the Last of Us while it's still the First of Us?

DVS BSTrD:
So you can play the Last of Us while it's still the First of Us?

Your entire existence.

It's all for the puns.

my guess is that The Last of Us is going to be a VERY LARGE download. based on naughty dog's track record; Uncharted 2 was 20 GB and Uncharted 3 was 43GB. The last of us could very well be 40-50GB in size, which would take me ages to download.... even up to 50%

I don't see why this is so surprising or revolutionary when File Servers were the very reason that LANs were developed in the first place (and they were partly the reason why, or at least how, consumer PCs ended up being connectible to the wider internet)... instead it's shocking that we've had to wait this long for it to happen, given that in my first year of secondary school - TWENTY YEARS AGO - there was a lab full of cheapass 386 SX machines with tiny internal hard disks but a huge range of software available that all ran directly from a central server's disk instead.

With a line speed of 10Mbit or so you should be able to stream almost anything with enough speed to have it up and running within a quarter hour or so, as that's practically 1x DVDROM speed... or in other words, roughly 4.5GB per hour, and easily 1GB in 15 minutes. If the beginning stages of your game need more than a whole gig of program and other data to get going, and can then bang their way through an average of more than 1GB every quarter hour, then you might have some problems to work out, as that still works out to a somewhat slow initial load up and a lot of disk access throughout the rest of the game even after it's on the disk.

And really, it should be a minute or two to get into, say, an initial setup and hardware capability testing bit (including line speed, so it knows how much to buffer before starting), and maybe ease you into actual interactivity and storyline scene-setting within 5, perhaps 10 minutes. The PS2 was... what, 4x DVD? Or just 1x itself? I can't remember. But that's the sort of speed domain we're working in. I've actually assumed 10mbit because that's what my mother's low-end domestic fibre broadband had worked its way up to for at least a year before I moved out - in August 2011. It should be about the lowest you'd expect unless your local provision is really poor. My own, even cheaper ADSL can sustain about 13mbit, and the provider offers much faster service than that, for a price. Really, 20mbit or more is what's often on offer.

Plus, given that most operating systems' I/O routines work on a write-thru caching principle these days, it would be practically no effort at all to mirror that data to the local HDD (i.e. downloading it for keeps) at the same time as it is being livestreamed into RAM ready to play. Starting the DL *becomes* you loading the game up for the first time. OK, it's about as slow as reading Daley Thompson's Decathlon in off a tape, and you might wanna go fix some lunch while it's happening (or, IDK, play something else?), but it's far more reliable, you get a lot more bang for your time-buck, and every time after that it'll be like you were only playing the tape in order to copy it to a floppy disk.

Personally I ain't that bothered, I'm still often in the "physical disk" bracket and have no qualms hanging on an extra week for stores to restock after the initial rush so I can just drop in on the way home from work and pick the thing up at a time cost of about 10 minutes overall.

Moreover I have a hard time conceiving of how you can happily wait a year or two for something to slog through the development process, but then can't spare another couple hours for it to automagically beam itself across a piece of glass and then some strands of metal into your magic game box at the literal press of a few buttons, and without you even having to leave the couch if you don't want to. Honestly, just do something else whilst it streams in. Like, perhaps you could sleep for a bit, given that most of these launches happen at midnight. As far as your own perception's concerned, it might only then take ten (conscious) minutes...
(Anything I download myself these days, unless small enough to only take five minutes or so (like, a 300mb FLAC album), gets queued up either of an evening and runs overnight, or of a morning and happens whilst I'm at work; I can quite easily bang through 60GBs in 24 hours, plus regular web browsing, video watching etc on top. It's like an express courier delivery service that's open 24/7 and doesn't even charge postage...)

...though of course I make those speed estimates, but there's no accounting for how hard the publisher's servers and uplinks might get hammered on launch day. Having a 50mbit line to your ISP means nothing if the game company "only" has 10Gbit of total uplink but they get inundated by 10,000 download requests all at once. 1Mbit is a rather slower prospect, 2 1/2 hours per gig...

Mr.K.:
By god developers are waking up and using tech from this decade, sadly data compression is still a foreign to them, also basic game settings... but hey some progress is better then none.

sad isn't it? next they'll realise we don't need loading screens anymore and they'll flip their biscuit entirely when someone points out that a simple spread sheet can hold all the checkpoint data you could ever want in a game, checkpoint per cell with instant-in no loading and no saves? what is this madness??? PFF sci-fi, clearly.

computers are so powerful, but they're so misused it makes me want to cry :(

"This" decade?

Games were being compressed to an impressive degree in the early 90s from what I remember, at least the ones which came on floppies, and you could happily use the same stuff to cram all your personal files into less space - Zip didn't come along til the mid 90s, but we already had LZH and various custom packers back then. Pirates were quite big on them, especially.

And like I said, file servers. Directly load the bare essential files for starting the game, then whilst those are in use progressively DL the next bit, and the next, and once you've enough of a buffer just fill in the rest in whatever order makes it most convenient for the server... you don't HAVE to load it all in as one monolithic block. And this works for compressed titles as well, if you divide it up into logical chunks. If your system is moderately powerful you could even recompress it post-transfer to try and save on disc space.

This implies people buy from the PS Store.
Excluding PS+, it's a fucking rip off. Seriously, it's like 60 for a month old game.

Mr.Tea:
It does... for Source games. I remember doing it with Dark Messiah of Might and Magic way back when.

Just as with the different kinds of DRM that are used on top of Steam, it's the publisher's and the developer's prerogative.

Alfador_VII:
Yes, that would be nice, however it has to be designed into the game from the start, a digital distribution service can't just retrofit it to a 3rd party game.

Oh, is that how it works, then? My mistake, if so; sentences like "It was previously revealed that digital downloads on the PS4 will be available to play almost instantaneously while they are still downloading" made me think it was an innate PS4 feature. If that's not the case, does this simply mean that Sony is mandating that all developers implement this system?

Colt47:

Also, from my experience imperfect games that are open to the mod community last longer than these singleton, over produced story driven titles that rely too much on Hollywood level action and story. They are basically "movie" games.

Yep, sounds like a Naughty Dog game to me.
I play them all, mostly because of the high production values (well, I want some shiny on my big LCD screen sometimes), but they always leave me with a sour aftertaste.
What was the point of that? The story was crap (I really don't understand how some people can find Uncharted's narrative "compelling" but, hey, live and let live), the gameplay was linear and dumbed down, I beat the game and get absolutely no sense of satisfaction...
I like my games to be GAMES, like Super Mario Galaxy 2, Dark Souls, Batman Arkham Asylum or the new Tomb Raider (that IMO has a great balance between linearity and exploration). Not handicapped movies with lots of chest-high walls, regenerating health and pew-pew-pew.

OT: I can play after I have downloaded 50% of an 40 Gigabytes download?! Well, that is GREAT. Considering how PSN servers are SHITE for downloads (on my region, at least), I think it may take just A WEEK 'til I can start it.
Call me again when I can start playing with 10%.

DVS BSTrD:
So you can play the Last of Us while it's still the First of Us?

Technically, it will be the Half of Us.

GodzillaGuy92:
As much as we've all criticized Sony for things like giving integrated social media its own button on the PS4 controller and eschewing backwards compatibility - and rightly so - this seems like a nice opportunity to give credit where it's due: This is not only a very cool and convenient idea, but in an industry where digital distribution is only continuing to grow in prominence, it's also a legitimate forward progression into that future, and a smart one at that. Steam should really get on this ASAP.

I'm gonna wait until I see it in action. I've gotten very used to empty promises. However, I will say it's a promising and (if it actually works) quite cool advance.

Strazdas:
So, essentially, Last Of Us assets are built completely differently than all current games and are segmented per-level. This means that A: gameplay will be linear and B: it will be so full of bugs youll beg for Bethesda level fo buggyness.
Well that of this is going to be made by programming gods.

iseko:
Wow, that is a nice feature. I download at 3mb/s and I am still annoyed with having to wait until the game is fully downloaded =/. Loving this idea to be honest! As godzilla said: give credit where credit is due. Nice going!

Megabit or megabyte thought? if itsm egabyte than you should get a full game within less than half hour. i usually spend the download time on reading up some experience and gameplay ect. not to mentio i most of the time pre-download it days before playing.

megabyte. so yeah half an hour sounds about right. still,half an hour man! I want to be playing NOW ;-).

captcha: on the gt. damn right!

GodzillaGuy92:
[...] sentences like "It was previously revealed that digital downloads on the PS4 will be available to play almost instantaneously while they are still downloading" made me think it was an innate PS4 feature. If that's not the case, does this simply mean that Sony is mandating that all developers implement this system?

Well, it is an innate feature by virtue of the Playstation being a closed platform; They don't have to mandate the developers so much as the system they put in place on the PS4 is the only one it will use. It's not even very hard to do, I imagine... The installer just has to download all the assets used by the beginning of the game instead of, say, downloading all textures at once, then moving on to all sounds, then all animation files, etc.

But this is the PS3, so it was Naughty Dog's choice.

I think this would be a little more amazing if Tray and Play for Halo 2 Vista hadn't come out... in 2007.
That said, it's cool to see more games doing this.

This is pretty neat, though other games have done it. Also, maybe it's just me, but I find PSN has abysmal download speeds. Not really sure what's up with it, but once it took me like 8 hours to get the DMC HD collection, wherin I can get a 10 gig game on steam in under an hour.

Can consoles pre-load downloads if you preorder? Oh right, you can't preorder digitally on the Sony store. Not that I'm an advocate of preordering.

iseko:

Strazdas:
So, essentially, Last Of Us assets are built completely differently than all current games and are segmented per-level. This means that A: gameplay will be linear and B: it will be so full of bugs youll beg for Bethesda level fo buggyness.
Well that of this is going to be made by programming gods.

iseko:
Wow, that is a nice feature. I download at 3mb/s and I am still annoyed with having to wait until the game is fully downloaded =/. Loving this idea to be honest! As godzilla said: give credit where credit is due. Nice going!

Megabit or megabyte thought? if itsm egabyte than you should get a full game within less than half hour. i usually spend the download time on reading up some experience and gameplay ect. not to mentio i most of the time pre-download it days before playing.

megabyte. so yeah half an hour sounds about right. still,half an hour man! I want to be playing NOW ;-).

captcha: on the gt. damn right!

Patience is a virtue. and really peple wait in line for a game for 6 hours, you cant wait 30 minutes while you still can do something else (like visit the escapist)?

Very cool, though I may decide to buy it day one physically. We shall see what pre-order bonuses PSN has as opposed to the nice EB Games across the street.

 

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