Microsoft to start testing updated Xbox 360 disc format

By on March 30, 2011, 10:00 AM
Microsoft is reportedly looking to implement a new disc format for its Xbox 360 game console that will allow an extra 1GB of storage compared to current media. The company announced a public preview program for the new discs, calling for "multiple thousands" of U.S. based participants, but wouldn't elaborate on what's actually different about them.

According to Digital Foundry's "highly placed development source", the maximum space allocated to game data on the current disc format is just 6.8GB out of a maximum of 7.95GB on a standard dual layer DVD, with over 1GB dedicated to a DVD-Video partition that also contained anti-piracy security sectors. Support for the new format will come along with the next system update for the console and it basically frees the aforementioned locked-off portion of the disc.

The idea, apparently, is to lift some limitations on graphics and game size by optimizing how the video partition and anti-piracy system work. To participate on the beta, U.S. based Xbox 360 owners must register at the Microsoft Connect site with their Windows Live ID connected to their Xbox Live Gamertag. Those selected will get a free copy of Halo: Reach, in a disc using the new format, and Microsoft will presumably collect performance information from their systems.



User Comments: 13

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Mizzou Mizzou said:

I wonder if this is the DVD format Toshiba was developing after the HD format war, it was supposed to retain backward compatibility and still offer more storage space. There's a little bit about it in this audioholics article from 2009, Toshiba's New BD Attack Vector. Free game, I might go ahead and signup for the trial.

Guest said:

Microsoft tried that back in the 90's with the 1.44 floppy disk. Other than

their own software, it never went anywhere.

Guest said:

remove the signup link it is closed

brianmsu said:

Mizzou said:

I wonder if this is the DVD format Toshiba was developing after the HD format war, it was supposed to retain backward compatibility and still offer more storage space. There's a little bit about it in this audioholics article from 2009, Toshiba's New BD Attack Vector. Free game, I might go ahead and signup for the trial.

Guest said:

.... microsoft tried this before....

I think you are both misinterpreting it.

a dvd allows X amount of storage

the current games have D amount of extraneous bulsh

thus the current games can only be X-D big

microsoft is trying to get rid of D

there is no new media TYPE, just different format of the same type

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The real question is why does it take a GIGABYTE of data for antipiracy measures?

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

gwailo247 said:

The real question is why does it take a GIGABYTE of data for antipiracy measures?

Five men threatened by pirates every morning and a bucketload of insecureness :3 , no seriously - companies need to take action now, piracy is costing them BIG money by the second. (sigh)

Guest said:

If the game industry wants give a boost to the market (except the better graphics) the best which can do with the current hardware consoles, is to focus on games that require high Artificial Intelligence procedures.

The problem comes from the the shooters (like halo, call of duty, battlefield etc) because they use long range combat and the gameplay goes to hide, aim and shoot. If they had close range combat (like ninja gaiden for example) the gameplay would require much more work in the piece of AI and the final result would be much more complex and interesting for the player.

Guest said:

To bad they just don't use Blu-ray.

mccartercar said:

In other words...

Microsoft is admitting defeat on piracy and instead of spending money and space on DRM they got smart and will be saving money from less production materials. IMO

ramonsterns said:

mccartercar said:

Microsoft is admitting defeat

Haha.

Oh wait, you're being serious.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

Guest said:

To bad they just don't use Blu-ray.

Sony would sue them XD

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

I feel like this may actually be mroe to deter pirates than increase space by 1GB. I mean... why 1GB? What is the big deal there... why make this big deal in doing this when instead they could come out with a new format and double storage space. The technology is here.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

wow! 1GB! what the hell is stored in that space to stop pirating? It still happens so obviously 1GB of whatever it is doesn't work so why not get rid of it completely? seriously though that is all the data that current xbox games have had to use? no wonder why games such as Forza have had to use 2 disks. most the space is taken up with anti-piracy code! which doesn't work!

This is probably a good thing and will help prolong the life of the Xbox 360 but I do wonder what the next Xbox will use? Sony would License the crap out of Microsoft for Blue-Ray? maybe Microsoft could use HD-DVD exclusively for the Xbox? thats 5 times more storage space and since its already a failed product Toshiba would probably License it without charging some silly amount.

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