updated 03:10 pm EDT, Wed March 30, 2011
Xbox 360 spring update adding 1GB of space
Microsoft's new Xbox 360 disc format is actually a way of getting a full 1GB of storage back for games, a development source said late Tuesday. Current Xbox 360 games are forced to set aside a DVD video partition for anti-piracy measures that limits the actual, usable space to 6.8GB. The spring update Microsoft is testing wouldn't need that partition, Eurogamer heard, and would leave virtually all of the 7.95GB of a dual-layer DVD.
The free copy of Halo: Reach being given out to preview program members is most likely testing the very same format to see how it works. Like PC builders and other console makers, Microsoft has used different optical drives over the course of its history and may be keen to see if games load too slowly on older drives. The partition is reportedly on the inside of the disc and would force some drives to slow down.
Microsoft may not be rejecting anti-piracy measures altogether and might just have a leaner system that doesn't depend as much on the disc.
No comment has come from the company, but the method could lead to games that need fewer discs or can improve the quality of video, textures, and other content on an existing game DVD.