Alternative distribution to optical disks : SSD, cards, and download*

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Cheezdoodles, May 26, 2008.

  1. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Yep! Maybe with 3D printing, accuracy and functionality can improve? Although as you say, thermal and vibration tolerances are going to be extremely small. If one arm is a little warmer than another an expands that little bit longer - bam - out of whack and the thing dies. I don't think the limitations of physics will allow synchronised control to such accuracy as required.
     
  2. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    I know I'm not close to the speeds some folks are enduring. Before pre-loading, which only benefited WATCH_DOGS and Destiny for me so far, I used to just start the download at 1 minute past midnight - I'm often up at this time anyway.

    Pre-liminary install times on PS4 (before you can play) are bordering on unbelievable. It's like some unexplainable voodoo is going on. Going from the PS3 tortoise-like pace to the unreal times on PS4 is all the more impressive.
     
  3. -tkf-

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    I cancelled my Destiny DD pre-order after my Infamous Second Son experience. I was on the fence but figured the convenience of having the game ready at launch after midnight would be cool, but just the thought of having to wait for the game to download when i at some point want to re-install it made it a deal breaker. Destiny is an always online game so DD in this case was acceptable..
     
  4. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Well pre-load is active now on PlayStation 4 - at least on the UK PlayStation store. Future games, including Destiny, will begin to preload a day or so in advance.

    So you might be ok!
     
  5. Pixel

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    Perhaps this is an ignorant question but why hasn''t something like Zen Research TrueX cd/dvd reading multiple tracks at once on a single platter been explored for increasing hdd read bandwidth?
    Instead of reading one track on one platter at a time on a hdd, read multiple.

    I'm sure all the geniuses in the multinational engineering labs could work together to create new memory layout techniques that would work. Instead of a small single company working on multitrack reading if several of the tech & hdd companies formed join ventures like they are doing for all the other emerging technologies they do better than Zen research.
     
  6. taisui

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    #1926 taisui, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  7. 3dilettante

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    Dual-head hard disks have been done before, at least briefly.
    The mechanical and firmware challenges to getting that to work were significant, and it was in an era where drives were measured in MB of capacity.
    (edit: That was the dual read heads on one arm. There was a later two-actuator hard drive with 2 GB).
    The drives would be larger, more expensive, and more power-hungry.

    The complexity and power would lead me to expect reliability would likely suffer.
     
  8. Pixel

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    Ah, makes absolute sense thanks!
     
  9. Lalaland

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    The mechanics and disc layouts are very different between magnetic hdds and optical drives. Multi-headed read works well on optical because the data is laid out in a long spiral from the centre out making it easier to space several heads above the platter and not having them crash into one another. Data on a hdd is all but randomly arranged meaning you need multiple independent heads all flying all over the place mere micrometers above the disc surface.

    There used to be such drives as MrSpiggott points out [strike]above[/strike] on the previous page but the cost of several hard drives in RAID was better and offered easier scaling. Once hdds became commodities fancy magnetic drives were a pointless luxury, even more so now in the age of SSDs the cost/benefit analysis doesn't add up for a marginally faster mechanical drive.

    Edit: Doh! didn't see that this had spilled onto another page and 3dilettante had already answered
     
    #1929 Lalaland, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  10. Shifty Geezer

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    A change to a subscription model would be the strongest driver IMO. It'd circumvent download's limits versus hard copies by being more economical. The technical issues will still remain regards download times and caps and such, but I think the infrastructures getting there, especially with partial-download launching. A few GB an hour is possibly the average now (in a world with a huge range).
     
  11. eastmen

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    none of those games are close to 50 gigs. aside from that if you go to the source of the article you will see that the xbox one has longer install times but that actually includes the update while they list much lower times for the ps4 that doesn't include the update

    We both know 50 gigs wont be installed in 40 seconds
     
  12. -tkf-

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    Maybe i read the article wrong but "Xbox One install was several minutes long and required downloading an update before beginning the installation" so if the ONE requires the update and the PS4 doesn´t it´s still a clear win for the PS4.

    My experience with the PS4 is a whole different way of handling the Optical media shortcomings, it´s like if they read this thread :)

    First and foremost, games are segmented into at least 2 parts that has to be installed for the game to run.
    The moment you insert the disc into the PS4 these first GBs are copied to the Harddrive, you don´t touch anything it just happens, and you can do other stuff while it copies, there is no install process anymore.
    And you read the numbers yourself, it´s bloody fast. And the drive doesn´t stop when those first Bs are copied, it continues in the background, while you play the game with the copy process.

    So our predictions of loooong installs caused by slow optical media were totally wrong.

    I don't know what is up with the ONE, that 5 minutes 50 seconds vs 42 seconds must be caused by something. Even a exclusive like Ryse seems slow.. after the update it´s another 5 minutes to install the first part.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wipdx30snfw
     
  13. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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  14. MrFox

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    You didn't read the article completely, they address the question of updates. First game on the list, it's right there.

    Assassin’s Creed IV:
    Xbox One (offline, no update): 5 minutes 50 seconds
    Xbox One (with update): 10 minutes 32 seconds
    PS4: 42 seconds

    Neither does 10GB. This is meaningless.

    At the PS4 unveiling, Mark Cerny said games would be playable within tens of seconds and would be fully installed by the time the game needs the additional data. It's a new paradigm of progressive disc layout to allow background installation while playing, and still have all the advantages of internal storage speed. It's much more elegant than installing everything before starting, or the suggested brute force high speed distribution media, which would be great, but too expensive.
     
  15. DSoup

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    The install process on PS4 allows devs to package up the opening of games first, so as soon as this is done (which is typically well under a minute), the game starts. It can even be made to work on open world games. For example, WATCH_DOGS opens with inside a stadium and the game starts as soon as the installer has put all the game data for the stadium on the HDD, after which it begins installing the rest of the game.

    Unless you blast through the opening level, which typically players don't because it's partly a tutorial and is teaching you game mechanics, you'll never know.

    Try installing a game fresh on a PS4, it is.. dare I say it, almost magical :yep2: It's a very clever mix of asset managing and packaging and streaming. Hardly rocket science but I've never seen it implemented so well on any platform.
     
  16. function

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    There were Xbox 360 "games on demand" that you could start playing before they'd even half downloaded.

    Xbone's approach to game installs is a bit clumsy and a step back. I'm sure it's something that can be fixed though.
     
  17. MrFox

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    I agree, there's no hardware reason why they couldn't. MS have to provide the right hooks in the storage API but it's just software. I'm thinking maybe the only reason this is ubiquitous on PS4 is because the API was available for launch, and they forced everyone to do it, maybe it's a TCR?
     
  18. DSoup

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    Yup, PS3 had something similar but 'PlayGo' on PS4 is much better. For WATCH_DOGS, you needed just 3.4Gb of the 22Gb install to start playing. Obviously it's a bit tricksy, after 40 seconds it's installed a little over a gig on the HDD but by the time you've gone through the splash screens, any contrast calibration and created a same game file, the installer's bought more time.

    But because the user is actively engaged in starting the game and not watching an install bar, it feels much quicker :yep2:
     
    #1938 DSoup, Jul 31, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2014
  19. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    ah yeah thats "games on demmand" what i mean by PS4 maybe using instalation method like Xbox 360.

    it seems many features were lost in the move from X360 to X1. maybe the rumor about X1 being rushed have some truth.
     
  20. taisui

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