Xbox 360 HDD loading gives minimal benefits

Written by Joe Martin

November 12, 2008 | 09:53

Tags: #new-xbox-experience #nxe

Companies: #microsoft

According to Eurogamer who took it upon themselves to test the New Xbox Experience, loading games from the Xbox 360 hard drive doesn't always offer improved load times in games.

The New Xbox Experience is part of a major Xbox 360 update that will soon be released by Microsoft. The update will completely overhaul the Xbox 360 interface, as well as bringing wholly new features - most importantly the option to run games from the Xbox 360 hard drive. Oh, and there''s also that avatar system that Microsoft claims to have invented as well.

With many gamers getting regular disc read errors from their noisy old Xbox 360 disc drives, the option to run from the disc is eagerly awaited.

Unfortunately though comparisons from Eurogamer reveal that the load times for most games aren't massively improved. While some titles like Valve's Orange Box have load times that are substantially decreased, the bulk of games show little to no improvement - including titles like Halo 3.

The reason for the lack of improvement is, we reckon, quite simply that many Xbox 360 games (particularly exclusives) were designed to run only from the optical drive and are therefore unable to take advantage of any speed increases the hard drive might offer. Games that were ported from PC however, such as The Orange Box, are more adaptable to running from the hard drive and can therefore harness the extra power.

The comparison did note however that running from the hard drive eliminated the noise coming from the revving disc drive, so it isn't all bad.

Have you had disc read errors and red rings on your Xbox 360? Let us know in the forums.
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