Home / We Must Find Alternatives to PS3 Mandatory Installs

We Must Find Alternatives to PS3 Mandatory Installs

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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.

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About Nathaniel Edwards

  • kE

    gIVE ME A BREAK!!! i can wait an hour for an install for a better game…. Socom and other games could never be on CRAPBOX360 because it can;t process like the PS3. gO SMOKE A JOINT WHILE IT IS INSTALLING……LOL

  • musicforanimals

    Dude, stop whinning or get an xbox. there really cheap now

  • Uh right…

    Anyway, I believe the slow read lead to installs is because of the 2x blu-ray drive. Right now, there are 4x-8x blu-ray readers, and those are darn fast, but I don’t know about reliability. If sony had aim for a 4x blu-ray drive, the ps3 may have been more expensive, or delayed further.

  • greenbudman

    Wow! so go to Amazon.com and buy a bigger hard drive. iv got the 60 gig ps3 and one week after I bought put a 300 gig external on it. Its almost filled so it will soon go to the usb port for movies, pics and photos only and ill get a 250 gig for games only. Theres a reason sony made this thing with the option to put in bigger hard drives and you found it.

  • greenbudman

    movies, music and photos. oops 🙂

  • bill d.

    320Gb hard drive = $80. If you can’t wait 20 minutes to play a game then you should really go see a psychiatrist because you may have adult ADHD. Personally I like the install times, it gives me time to take a crap, make some food and other preperations befor a solid 8 hours of game play.

  • Shendow

    Buy a solid HDD, no moving parts and get one that fast. they stop your bitching because its a simple problem that can be fix.

    That or by Far Cry 2 for PC….oh wait? you do the same thing but a long wait -_-

  • Tule

    It’s the developers, not the PS3. Naughty Dog made Uncharted without a preinstall, see the trick is to install the game while you are playing it. If developers had any sense they would start the game, have the 10 minute learning/lessons/walkthrough/start you off part and load all that data behind that 10 minute learning curve and thus no one would complain.

  • Phantom81x

    I have both a 360 and a PS3 and I only buy all my games that are multiplatform for my XBOX 360, Simply because of these hard drive guslin installs. Sony needs to make these an option or I will continue to give my money to Microsofts Xbox. At least the XBOX is getting and install option soon its not mandatory which sony needs to stop if they want my money and others money too.

  • birdman

    to the people saying get a new HDD… please, i work at best buy and know how much those cost.. its ridiculous to have to buy MORE hard drive space because there is a mandatory install on them.. 95% of the people who own these machines, would have no idea how to do that anyway. you cant just say buy a HDD and hook it up.. what about the 40gb systems? they have 2 usb ports.. so are you saying that we should buy an external because not only do we not have enough space, but we also only have 2 usb ports.. its just not a smart business practice with a home console.

  • N4G gives your site some nice traffic, but it comes along with some really awful commenters. You should see what’s been edited out, and this isn’t even a controversial issue or anything.

  • MrBCut

    #8 (Tule) made the best comment. It’s the game run time process that should be better implemented. Now, if you want to expand the hard drive space on your PS3 that is an excellent move because the console’s versatility to support other media and files will eventually require for you to need more space as your wide library (types) grows, but you should not have to wait for many minutes of game saving and loading before the start of a newly inserted game. I noticed it’s 3rd party, mulitplatform developers that do it this way.

    Consider the alternative: a property hard drive where you would need a special device to transfer data – that would just be stupid.

  • dannyfoo

    stop whining!!! there is a reason for the HDD. everyone i know has a 320gb HDD> maybe u’re backdated.. there are photos movies pictures to put in as well.. demos!? dude!!! 60gb isnt enuff.

    whine more. thn like the rest said go get a 360.. those are install free.. wat do u need to install wit a 9gb dvd!?! LOL 5gb!? hahaha

  • Kev50027

    Wow, you are incredibly whiney. A bigger hard drive can be had for under $50, and it allows you to store more music and movies on your PS3 as well. If you have enough games to fill up 60 GB with installs, then you have enough money for a cheap 120GB hard drive.

  • Anne Onomus

    Really? You think that waiting for a while for a game to install is that big of a deal? I’d personally much rather have slower load times than have to wait for 5 to 30 minutes once so that the game can be installed.<-- Possible sarcasm detected!! Imagine if computer games were like that? I wouldn't know about the hdd space because I spent a few bucks and upgraded to a 250 gig. Enjoy the game!

  • qahar360

    45 minutes?? thats redicules, because my GTA4 had a 4gb install and it too about 10-15 minuts. Thats some stupidshit your talking about.

  • Michael

    Well I dont mind these installs, because I total a game in 4-8hours of game play. there after i dont need the game for quite some time.. and the ps3 offers you to removed and replace hardrive, i just baught a 120gb sata 2.5″ hdd and swapping them greatly helps XD well thats my opinion… I cant wait for developers to turn to blu rays 50 gb content advantage, enabling them to create vast games, wich will easily reign over the 9gb of content games xbox boasts over. Bigger is better.. in my opinion..

  • Varela

    “We must find alternatives to the lack of space in X360’s format of choice (dvd’s) because licensing a game in more than 2 discs isn’t practical”


    Who are you?

  • Ok for any of the dumbass that say the prices are to high for HDD for PS3 $89 bucks for 320GB’s…. so how much did you pay for your crap 60 HD? oh yeah a lot more for a lot less.

    The thing with Sony is they are a big 3rd party now, which means you don’t buy over price HDD that cost more because it says their name. No you can buy it anywhere and that what makes the PS3 much better then the 360 as well as easy on your wallet. Because hey what if prices go up? then you be wasting more money keeping online an all on your 360 as I sit at home playing on my free online.

  • Gman

    Dont be a s1$sy. go install a 320 hd. its all over youtube, it is an easy procedure.

    Put the game in, and grab some food while it installs.

    Geeze people cry too much

  • James

    Do you have to keep all these installs on your hd? Even after you’ve completed them? You could say the same about the PC… If I want to keep all my games on my PC I just upgrade the HD… The PS3 HD is upgradable with any off the shelf HD..

  • aminal

    just bought a new 320gb 2.5 sata drive replaced the 60gb inside the ps3 within 10 mins and it cost me £45. I know that the install is a pain but at least a replacement hard drive is cheap not like xbox products.

  • Can’t believe how many people are defending installing games on the PS3. The reason is clearly the slow BD drive. But there is also clearly developers who have gotten around the about 5 GB install.

    The PS3 is not a PC. And for the commenter who posted the John Carmack quote – he is a pretty smart guy, and has been able to deal with compressing files before. I doubt very seriously he has forgotten about compression now that RAGE is his new baby.

    For the record I put a 320 GB drive in my PS3 because I had to, because of all the games I play, and no I am not going to uninstall a game to play another. If I was done with it, that would be a completely different story. But even if I am “done” with a game, I do like to go back and play them once in a while.

    Here is the bottom line. If some developers can do it, then the rest of them can. If the 360 can do it without hard drive installs, than the PS3 can.

    Lets take BioShock for example. It did not all of a sudden balloon to huge sizes just because it is now on PS3. It installs about 5 GB. That is the majority of the game sitting on the hard drive.

    That is not needed. I should not have to factor in the cost of a hard drive when I am planning to purchase a home console. Period.

    We have talked about this subject on our weekly radio show in the past, but you can be rest assured that we will talk about it this week because of these comments.


  • Mister_G

    Oblivion handled with seamlessly. Whilst you did the opening prison escape it was installing data in the back ground.

    Oblivion was released ages ago.

    Does anyone remember the orignal Tekken on PS1? when that was loading you got to play Galaga.

    Really all it needs is some imagination from the developers, so there’s loads of ways to hide the install from the user (if the install is needed at all).

  • Rob

    What all the negative commenters don’t understand is that this is bad practice for the masses. Sure you know you can go buy a TB of external storage for the PS3. You’re hardcore. You’re 1337. You get high and fuck up baddies in MGS4. You tell your parents to fuck off when they summon you from the basement for a home cooked meal. Like I said, you’re hardcore. Not every PS3 owner is hardcore. When they keep installing content onto the stock 60GB or 80GB or 40GB models it will eventually run out of space. They will be left with a serious “WTF?” moment and that will be a nightmare for Sony. After all, the entire PS3 installation demographic aren’t hardcore. Some people might drop the PS3 all together. Then you’ve got less money coming in for games and consoles and, when all is said and done, games will get shitier and shittier.

  • Beldin

    +1 for cheap storage. This is not Sony’s problem, they have created a great system with lots of storage off the shelf and a very easy option to upgrade that storage if needed. If your to impatient for these simple installs talk to the developers, they’re the ones that make the games.

  • i think installs are great because they let us take advantage of system hardware that never existed in previous console versions. if the install did not improve the gameplay NO developer would ever require it.

    stop complaining and enjoy the fact that your version works better than that of the competition.

  • Dante K-7

    Alternatives, Alternatives…
    What Alternatives?
    Just put any 2.5″ HDD in your PS3. Mine is 500Gb 4 now, more than enough!

  • For dumbass that can’t read or seem to get their heads out of their ass. The PS3 runs a SATA HDD, which means yes it is running a computer laptop Hard Drive and for the other dumb people. No its not hard to intstall -_- as long as you got the brains….which so far I don’t think some of the people do.

    P.S. Red Ring Of Death is a new add on coming soon to your 360 🙂

  • DJ

    Wow, could you please give this a rest. I’m sure you’ll be the first one all excited when the 360 offers it’s installs.

    Bottom line is that the installs are necessary to stream data quickly. The games will suffer without them and developers would be doing the same thing on the 360 if hard drives were garaunteed.

    So please stop trying to make an indirect argument for an optional hard drive. Let’s move forward with technology.

  • Tom

    I can’t believe all of these comments.

    “Go stick a 320gb drive in”


    Sony should either have put a faster drive in the PS3 in the first place or sort out this mandatory install crap.

  • Its called 3rd party support [Steady on there, old chap. Comments Editor] which means they are making it cheaper for you and the 160GB is coming out but thats going to be $599 most like. Its all about using that thing god give you…you know? your brain.

  • John Doe

    Dude, are all these guys in here fags and don’t have lives or something? “Just stick a 320 gb hard drive and stop whining already!” WTF are you talking about!?! Yes, you can do that and that’s all great but do I need to go purchase more hardware for a console I shelled out about $600 for? I have both the 360 and PS3 and to be honest I have WAY MORE games on the 360 than PS3 and it’s for these reasons. Rachet and Clank didn’t make me have to wait and take a chunk out of hard drive. Neither did Uncharted. Funny thing is that people make it sound so easy and I bet it is but should we have to? F-ing retards commenting on this site. So you mean to tell me that if I go to Best Buy and am looking to purchase a PS3 the guy is going to be like “Well, you want an HDMI cable, an extra controller would be nice, and an external hard drive to upgrade your capacity.” I hated doing this every act for MGS4. I loved the game but it was just every time a new act started. This article is good and needs smarted people commenting on it. It is because BD read times are slower but Resistance did it, Rachet did it, Uncharted did it, Ninja Gaiden Sigma did it. WTF!!!

  • BD is slow [personal attack deleted], your 360 is running the samething the PS2 runs. DVD!!! you problem don’t even know how to work your PS3, let alone put it at is best and its not a external hard drive [personal attack deleted]. Its a SATA 2.5 inch, you really own a PS3 then you would know this by reading the manual that came with the system. But some 360 owns I guess can’t read or something.

  • P.S. 360/PS3 owners mostly sell their 360 when they can’t keep wasting money on Xbox Live or other crap for it and because the PS3 has free online more people keep it then the 360. Which makes the PS3 as well as the Wii, the two best low costing systems.

  • some guy

    To the person at number 10 that said he works at bestbuy… they cost a lot less at any actual computer store.It also does not matter how many usb ports you have because you are installing the larger harddrive internally.

    I would rather install all the information on to a harddrive then have the system constantly read the information off the disk burning out the laser.

  • Poo Face

    Like many others commenting on this thread, I swapped out the 60 GB HDD for a 320 GB one that I bought for $70. Quick, easy, painless… except for those tiny screws.

    All my videos, pictures, music, games, save files transferred without a hitch. My trophies were another story, I had to sync them with the server because you can’t copy them to an external. Initially, my Uncharted trophies didn’t appear after the swap, but once I put the disc in and loaded up my saved game file, my platinum baby was right there…

    I personally don’t mind the mandatory installs, and I’m glad Sony had the foresight to allow users to swap out the HDD if necessary. My advice, quit whining, accept that no system will ever be perfect, and learn to enjoy gaming again.


  • Jackson

    The Blu-Ray Drive isn’t slow . But unlike a harddrive (and much like all optical media) It wont last that long if it’s over-used . There’s no point re-reading the same data on an expensive blu-ray drive everytime you play a game , when you only have to use the blu-ray machine to copy the files to the harddisk – allowing you to preserve the life of your expensive blu-ray rom drive . I have a old scsi harddisk thats going on 18yrs old and it still works like a charm . I wish I could say the same about my 80’s bang and olufsen cd-player . It doesn’t really matter if a cheap ‘lite-on’ 360 dvd drive is over used because they are cheap pieces of crap that cost microsoft about $3.00 , but a state-of-the-art sony blu-ray machine . I think I’d rather wait for the game to install!! . (Why re-read the same data , over and over again on such an in-durable death-prone piece of hardware!!) .