Yesterday, I bought Far Cry 2 for the Playstation 3. I popped the Blu-ray disc in, and had to wait a while for yet another mandatory install, this one 3.2 gigabytes out of my larger-than-normal 60 GB PS3. Ever since Devil May Cry 4 and Metal Gear Solid 4, we've had to take a chunk out of our PS3 hard drives every time we purchase a new big game in order to keep their load times nice and short. Well, like global warming, we have to stop this irresponsible behavior. These games are forcing my PS3 to take one more for the team just so their specific game can load faster, and I have to start deleting my old downloaded games and getting rid of my music to make sure I have enough space for the next one. Eventually, these five gig installs just won't be possible anymore, as my PS3 will be full to brimming with whatever mandatory installs put on it.
Soul Calibur IV at least offered gamers a choice. Their install showed serous benefits on load times, but you had the choice to install and uninstall that magic data and play it either way. That way, you didn't have to just wait for 45 minutes upon putting your disc in the drive for the first time, either. That would probably be the model I'd support, though clearly I can't guarantee that every game is even engineered to work without the install.
Mandatory installs come from complications developers meet when switching from DVD to Blu-ray. Blu-rays have more space, but they have a different way of reading data that causes longer loading times when given exactly the same data DVDs use. Installs fix the problem, at a cost, but alternative methods are being devised. Fallout 3 has enough space on the Blu-ray disc to copy the game's assets over more than once on the disc, which reduces load times significantly. This kind of innovation is necessary to prevent my PS3 from filling up and leaving me with no free space.
Game developers need to have a greater conscience for my drive space and stop making the installs a regular and almost accepted part of playing PS3 games. Bioshock, which I'll surely get around to owning after dealing with Fallout and LittleBigPlanet releases, will take another five gig chunk away. Don't let them make this the industry norm. There are other ways around it, but the install shifts all the work they'd have to do coming up with a solution to PS3 development onto the consumer. It will end some day, out of necessity.