January 17, 2007 4:05 PM | Simon Carless
Having just got the newest February 2007 issue of EGM (you guys should subscribe and keep print alive, it's wholesome and woody!), perhaps the most interesting tidbit is hidden in the middle of a story about Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD. Specifically, it comes from Todd Howard, talking about the PlayStation 3 version of Oblivion.
Howard notes: "Drive speed matters more to me [than capacity], and Blu-ray is slower", with EGM revealing that "the PS3 Oblivion team compensated for the slower drive by duplicating data across the Blu-ray disc, making it faster to find and load."
Well, I say ugh - that sounds like a terrible kludge to have to do. What happens if you don't have your pieces of data correctly sync-ed and one of them is an old version of an object/piece of code and one is a newer version? Unless this was well-dealt with, it could lead to some nasty issues, I'd imagine.
OK, so apart from you wags who are now proclaiming: 'So _that's_ what the Blu-ray's extra disc capacity is used for!', it's worth mentioning that Oblivion for PS3 has now been pushed out to March 2007, even though it was officially going to be a launch title until November 8th or so of last year - that is to say, very close to the PS3 launch date.
Not sure if this was unfortunate planning on Bethesda's part or technical difficulties, but I noticed a bunch of two-page adverts for Oblivion, specifically mentioning the PS3 version, in the holiday issues of Official PlayStation Magazine and EGM - so I'm guessing that marketing was booked before the game was pushed back. Ouch. Still, I imagine that the final product will be up to scratch.
[UPDATE: A perceptive comment from 'Marvin' is worth reprinting: "You'd automate the duplication at the image creation stage to avoid any stale data problems. People have done this on other platforms before for the same reasons - particularly the PSP, with its horrible UMD seek times. However, it does rather negate the whole increased storage capacity advantage."]