Halo: The Master Chief Collection went gold last week for the Xbox One. 343 Industries also revealed that the four Halo titles released as a single product are too big for just one Blu-ray disc, and will require an additional 20 GB download. This understandably left some gamers wondering why. 343 Industries Franchise Director Frank O’Connor provided an explanation over the weekend.
In the original Xbox Wire announcement, 343 Industries’ Dan Ayoub stated, “Yes, the update is large, but we weren’t about to cut corners to save disc space. This ensures that you are getting every bit of Halo goodness we can fit in.”
The four campaigns in The Master Chief Collection will be playable while the game is being installed and the content is being downloaded. It’s primarily the multiplayer portion that will not be available during this time.
One poster on NeoGAF was confused about exactly what is included in the 20 GB update. O’Connor was quick to explain not only what is in the update, but why Halo: The Master Chief Collection is being delivered in this fashion.
“That’s not a patch. It’s content,” O’Connor said. “The game is designed to run as a single, unified product, digital is seamless obviously, but we also wanted disc users to have the same experience, without swapping discs. Since the bulk of it is [multiplayer] or [multiplayer] related, the logic is sound. There will ALSO be a [Title Update] in there, but that in itself is a tiny fraction of the content.”
“We realize that this isn’t ideal for everyone, but it’s the path to the smoothest eventual experience,” he added.
There also appears to be some technical limitations around the Xbox One handling more than one disc for a single game. While this was a common occurrence with the Xbox 360 and its 8 GB DVDs, the use of Blu-ray disc with 45 GBs worth of space probably made support for multiple discs a low priority item.
O’Connor further explained the decision for utilizing a download to deliver the 20 GB of content that don’t fit on the disk in a separate NeoGAF post. He also provided an apology for those that are inconvenienced.
Anything is feasible, it simply wasn’t practical for this product, this year in this timeline. The Xbox One platform continues to improve and mature, arguably faster and more meaningfully than others and maybe next year two discs or some other method would have been the right approach, but this year it’s the option we have available that on balance, makes the most sense for this giant, ambitious project.
Do I understand the inconvenience and annoyance for some users? Of course. I’m not going to blow smoke or ignore it.
For some folks it will be straight up annoying and I both apologize unreservedly for the irritance, and hope that the package and the way it works more than makes up for it.
He then spoke of his own experience with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. O’Connor explained that he did this on his home Xbox One where his internet is “lame” and connected via WiFi.
I’ve been playing the whole enchilada for a week now and the ability to sample, jump from aspect to aspect, customize with skulls and playlists has been absolutely addictive and mesmerizing.
I think I would have enjoyed a box set with the same fidelity, but the way it all connects has for me at least, made it more than the sum of its parts…
I also get that 20 gigs is a fair old chunk of bits and it is not ideal. Most players will have a smooth and happy experience. The game will launch (including digital version) before installation is complete, so there is plenty of content to play around in while the red installs.
And we are continuing to look at ways to reduce that inconvenience.
Data caps appear to be the primary concern among Xbox One owners interested in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, aside from the time it takes to download and install. Does the 20 GB update concern you? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Halo Waypoint]
[H/T Total Xbox]