The next Dashboard update for the 360 will bring one improvement you might not even notice without looking: it appears that the update drastically cuts down on the size of game installs.
The 360 might not exactly be the Wii when it comes to limited space for storing all your precious save data, downloadable games and game installs, but if you've got enough junk on your hard drive, well, it can fill up just as fast. Good news for those types who just cannot bear to delete anything off their drives, then. According to some folks who have taken the 360's upcoming Dashboard update for a spin, it dramatically cuts down on some game's install sizes.
That means King of Fighters XII sheds a ton of weight going from a 3.4 GB install to about 700 MB, while Raiden Fighters Aces goes from 3.4 GB to 484 MB in another example of dramatic memory slimming. Left 4 Dead trims off 1.3 GB to go from 5 gigs to a comparatively light 3.7. The magical weight loss doesn't work for everything, though: apparently games over 6.5 gigs don't lose more than a couple hundred megs, while some games just don't show any change at all.
So what's the secret? Eurogamer theorizes that it might be that the Dashboard is a lot smarter about only transferring over the data it needs when you install a game onto the hard drive - no more useless copy-protection or duplicated data that takes up space.
Whatever is going on, this is undoubtedly good news: smaller install sizes could mean faster loading times, and obviously more space for all the random demos, videos, etc you download, not to mention the titles which will be available on the 360's Games on Demand service which will launch in the near future.