Here's a post I made a while back when it was rumored Enter the Matrix (PC) would never see a DVD distribution. Any new thoughts?
As GLQuake pushed hardware sales for Voodoo boards, MGS2: Substance, and any future titles published on DVD-R or even DVD-R-only formats *will* push sales of DVD-ROM drives. End users will not on their own buy DVD drives. Publishers will have to make the first move just as GLQuake made us buy Voodoo boards.
There is no longer a sensibilty to continuosly push A-List titles through the trenches in 2-Disc (Average, slightly bothersome), 3-Disc ("Mafia", "RallySport Challenge" port), and 4-Disc ("Baldur's Gate", Final Fantasy VII and VIII ports) and up distributions when DVD drives can be had for no more than $30-45 (At the time I wrote '60') (y'know, instead of buying another game, expand your compatibility across the board?) and most OEM machines come with DVD-ROM drives standard or as cheap-or-free upgrade packages. Now we face a title that may never see DVD-R format in a six disk distribution. I'm sorry, but no matter how good the game turns out I cannot support the title with my $50 in CD format. If publishers are willing to make the big push to DVD9 we will have fewer disks to manage, fewer to print when publishing, and piracy will likely come to a temporary slowdown while DVD-Burner drives are still too expensive for the common man to own without buying with an OEM machine. Hardware will only slowly sell better software while software and media thereof has a far more dramatic affect on hardware sales and advancement. Please consider boycotting the CD-R format even if your finances don't currently support the purchase of a DVD-ROM drive. (I was being a bit of a dumbass, shouting from my ivory tower packing a 16X slot-loading Pioneer mentioned below) The game and the industry deserve it. (I took a lot of crap from Dr. Evil and a few people on the GameSpot forums for assuming piracy would slow down. This was about two years before I discovered the Sig2Nat network and all the eDonkey clones and virtual drives and mounting and such; I guess I was limiting myself to 'not everyone can afford DVD-burners'.)
... DVD9 offers obvious and significant advantages to managing six frikkin CD's. Pray for the poor bastards who conduct a full install or even a partial install of a six-CD game! Assuming Enter the Matrix turns out to be a noteworthy 20-30 hour romp, either the game takes 45-75 minutes to fully install vs. the plug-and-play (or 'pray') of a console, or you swap CD's 3-6 times (say for instance two or three CD's were just textures and dialogue and the other CD's were geometry and cut scenes, of which textures and sound could be installed while level geometry and FMV were streamed from the CD's) for a few hours of gameplay.
DVD-R can be spun at slower speeds for greater output, and if one finds the Playstation 2's 4x drive to load and run software with acceptable speed, then surely the Pioneer slot-loading 106S DVD-ROM drive's minimum approximate 6.6X (8.91MB/s) will satisfy as well as it's maximum approximate 16X [21.6MB/s] speeds creating the possibility of the long-lost (Again I'm waving my DVD drive like an exposed penis) long-coveted 'Zero Install' that console gamers frequently enjoy. (remember Excalibur 2055?) PC Games could be run entirely from the disc and load far faster than their console counterparts as both faster drives are available and heavy compression to fit into limited memory wouldn't be necessary facilitating 256MB- 2GB of a PC's system memory.(I think I had 512 at the time)
How many 1.44MB floppies were required to install The Ultimate Doom? Four? Versus the simple fact that one 640MB or 700MB CD could install every Doom-engine game ever made? How many floppies were required for the Windows 98SE distribution? I think (unconfirmed) twenty-five? Again, versus one CD? My highest-held argument is that the 700MB CD format is no longer sufficient for most A-List games, and six CD's is far in excess. Many could easily cross their arms look downward and nod to the fact that 700MB CD's are no longer sufficient to backup what must be salvaged for a long overdue low-level format 'n' reinstall. One CD can barely contain the latest Windows OS, LinuxOS distributions hold 3 CD's as the standard, and all require shelf space in the physical world. Would you like to install Soldier of Fortune II from 2.88MB or the abominable 120MB-Superdisc floppies?
The time for DVD is at hand (actually, "It's time for DVD to make a big comeback"; we had a Tex Murphy game, Star Trek Academy, Baldur's Gate and the like for a little while), and it comes down to the existing facilities for printing retail DVD-R media for consoles and DVD-players and physical shelf space for a jewel-case DVD game in the bargain bin versus a *cough* *cough* six CD game.
(A~nd here I go pitching my white retail DVD case idea in another DVD post)If DVD became the rule, I could see even the PC's recent retail minibox distributions giving way to the then all-encompassing standard double-height DVD cases taking up less shelf space plus having the advantage of allowing PC gamers to preserve the retail case- namely the cover art. Before the [goof-offs] in the crowd point to one simple [item] and throw the whole rant out ("We should switch to DVD for cover art? Oh [bugger] off..."), consider the Soccer Mom mentality. (No, I'm not implying that your mother buys your software; she shouldn't simply because if you still live with your parents you know that 'Parental Controls' really means sheltering your parents from offensive content) PC Games shipped in DVD cases with greater standardization in labeling** would look just as valid to non-gamers as console games with like packaging who would previously dispose of PC gaming as a crashes 'n' bugs fiasco endured by mentally damaged hamburger shovelers in white paper hats; further mainstream recognition could ensue. (That and PC Games would better retain their resell value as so few people can manage to hang on to those clunky boxes, as I found out trying to sell off some old'uns at my local EB Games- funny, the bastards were trying to push off plenty of games with bad discs, broken cases, MISSING DISCS, and missing manuals but were dismissing all but box/manual/disc combos in the most pristine condition)
** At the time I imagined specifically a white double-height DVD case, with a banner above the front cover with the four-square Windows XP logo in the center and Microsoft's 'system requirements' format on the bottom of the rear cover.
Any input, any 'fuck off' 'shut up' or anything like that would be cool. Thanks
This comment was edited on Apr 11, 01:03.