Call of Duty: Modern Warfare proves game download sizes are getting ridiculous

It was recently revealed that the PC version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will eventually reach 175 GB, which is over 100 GB more than most major versions. This size even makes the PC port of Red Dead Redemption 2 blush because it will take “only” 150 GB of space. The trend is pretty obvious to anyone watching games closely: Video games are getting bigger and bigger as games start to support 4K and offer absolutely gigantic game worlds. However, what size is too big when it comes to the size of game downloads? This is a question that is starting to arise, especially in areas where the internet is slow.

The size of video games is increasing due to technical capabilities. The games were originally designed around the limits of their delivery method. Floppy disks and the early 8- and 16-bit cartridges meant game developers had to keep their file sizes small, and it wasn’t until the introduction of CDs that we started to see game sizes increase dramatically. while adding pre-rendered and enhanced cutscenes. audio quality. It was not uncommon to see titles spanning multiple CDs, and this trend continued in the DVD age.

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A real shift to bigger games began once the PlayStation 3 was released, as Blu-ray discs gave creators so much more space than ever before. This is the reason why Hideo Kojima said that an Xbox 360 version of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was not possible and why the 360 ​​version of Final fantasy 13 came on multiple DVDs rather than a single Blu-ray like the PlayStation 3 version. Despite these increases, there was still a fixed cap of 25GB initially, and developers eventually started using dual-layer Blu-rays. that have gone up to 50 GB. This generation we have once again seen the size of games increase as they start to offer 4K support and increase in size and content. We are now seeing developers exceed the old 50GB limit, as commercial Blu-rays now support up to four layers, and this is largely due to the advent of digital distribution.

Even the physical purchase will not avoid the increase in game download sizes.

With increasingly large games, they introduce new problems for consumers. The most obvious is that downloading big games can take literal days in areas with slower download speeds. A natural reaction would be to tell these consumers to just buy physical versions of bigger games, but that’s still not a real solution. Many games have started requiring downloads because the entire game is not included on the disc (like the Spyro remasters). The reasons for this are varied. Sometimes it’s a publisher looking to keep costs down, which is why many physical Switch games require downloads as they ship on smaller cartridges rather than opting for more expensive games that have more data in them. . And sometimes this is because the games are worked on until launch and after. Either way, gamers need to spend more time than ever before waiting for games to download rather than just inserting a disc and then enjoying what they bought.

As games reach sizes of 150GB and up, there has to be some serious conversation about games alienating some of their audiences. Many parts of the world have much slower internet speeds than in Europe or North America. For example in Chile, it will take almost three hours just to download a 5 GB file. So by downloading the new one Call of Duty on PC can take up to 100 hours depending on their connection. It’s ridiculous, but gambling is a global rather than a regional pastime, so it’s an issue that needs to be addressed. This is also an issue that affects gamers in the United States, as gamers in more rural areas have much slower internet connections than those in cities. Their speeds are well below the US average internet speed of 32.89 Mbps.

Even if you have a great internet connection, the increased size of games can still be a problem due to the reduced size of hard drives on today’s systems. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both launched with 500GB hard drives, and that’s now barely enough to hold a handful of retail versions with games like NBA 2K20 Running at over 70GB. We’ve seen newer systems like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro release with a terabyte of memory, but that’s still not much considering that games alone exceed 10% of this size. The next generation of systems will need to launch with at least two terabytes of memory, unless they expect gamers to constantly delete and re-download the games they want to play. And since they’ll have fast SSDs instead of regular hard drives, they’ll be even harder and more expensive to replace.

Big game download size issue that isn’t going to go away anytime soon

game download sizes

Unfortunately, this problem will get worse before it gets better. As developer Rami Ismail explained on Twitter, doubling the resolution of a game “roughly quadruple the size of the texture file”. In addition to this, the developers also place “multiple copies of files in the data so that hard drives can load a copy of the file faster.” As such, the games are going to continue to gain momentum as gamers continue to expect more from them. This is an unfortunate compromise that Sony is trying to remedy on PlayStation 5 by allowing players to install only the single-player or multiplayer parts of certain titles. Additionally, faster SSDs apparently won’t require files to be copied as many times to combat longer load times. These are decent attempts to fix the problem, but won’t outweigh the ballooning file size as well.

There aren’t many ways around this, as asking for a better internet connection worldwide is a slow solution, as even advanced countries have areas with little in the way of options for service providers. Internet. Until then, many gamers will have to watch the games get a lot bigger and wait days before they can actually play the game they bought. And those with fast connection speeds will still need to keep several spare game discs. It’s a frustrating part of the game that gets more and more tedious every year. Hopefully the next generation doesn’t push this boredom to its breaking point.

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