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Dead Rising 3's Ridiculous Patch Shows What's Broken & Brilliant About Xbox One

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Capcom Vancouver, Microsoft, Xbox One, Xbox One Games

Dead Rising 3's Ridiculous Patch Shows What's Broken & Brilliant About Xbox One

13GB.

A year ago, this was nearly double the capacity of an entire Xbox 360 game, but now Dead Rising 3 players are being forced to download a monstrous 13GB title update just to be able to play online. Containing a few performance tweaks and what is very likely to be DLC content, this outrageous mandatory drop is a stark reminder of what we can expect from this new console generation; the ability to easily deliver content patches resulting in developers wasting our time after the fact and addressing issues that should have been ironed out before release.

However, it's also thrusts one of the Xbox One's most under-rated features into the spotlight... and suggests that things might not be as bad as they first appear.

Dead Rising 3's Ridiculous Patch Shows What's Broken & Brilliant About Xbox One

For the record, Dead Rising 3 is brilliant. Rather than pushing for "1080p 60FPS OMFG!?!1" in a soulless tech demo, Capcom Vancouver converted the Xbox One's horsepower directly into fun and massive numbers of simultaneously-rendered zombies. However, this lead to an irritating degree of texture and detail pop-in alongside other technical issues, which the team have finally decided to tackle post-launch.

We like the idea, but in practice it requires a light touch. The culture of releasing games unfinished before patching them up over time has become commonplace on PC (even leading to the exciting Early Access model), but on consoles, it still feels lazy and wrong. Convenience is still the only major selling point of a console over a gaming PC (barring those tasty digital prices... and variety... and visuals... this isn't the time for that discussion), so developers need to ensure that tweaks and improvements are delivered in small bite-sized patches that let us get back to the action as quickly as possible rather than waiting for a colossal mandatory download. Or, to be blunt, actually make sure that games release without the need for extra downloads and downtime - those all-too-prevalent day one patches included.

Certification exists for a reason. Come on console manufacturers, use it to improve AAA quality rather than grind indies down.

Dead Rising 3's Ridiculous Patch Shows What's Broken & Brilliant About Xbox One

It's certainly annoying. Not just because our time is precious and saving it should be publishers' top priority on consoles, but that hard drive space comes at a premium on Xbox One. 500GB will fill up fast since we have to install every every single game, and we currently can't manually organise our content to free up space. Plus, those on limited data plans can only grit their teeth and wait for the inevitable throttling or extra charges. Surely this state of affairs is absolutely unacceptable?

Not quite.

Dead Rising 3's Ridiculous Patch Shows What's Broken & Brilliant About Xbox One

I was planning on covering this patch yesterday, but as a hack who actually likes to fact-check their material, I held off on the story while waiting to verify the size and installation time of the update myself. Throughout the day I logged onto my Xbox One, fired up Dead Rising 3 and found the game to be playable with no hint of a patch or update anywhere. Us Europeans often get the back of publishers' hands when it comes to new releases, so I assumed that the rollout had been staggered here in the UK.

Nope. What had actually transpired was very different. Without any effort on my part, my Xbox One had automatically grabbed the update, downloaded it and installed it in standby mode the night before, leaving the game ready to play straight away. Better yet, the update actually overwrote most of the game's pre-existing installation, leading to only a net increase of about 2GB in total file size all told.

Dead Rising 3's Ridiculous Patch Shows What's Broken & Brilliant About Xbox One

Microsoft's "Always-On" mantra raised eyebrows last year, but it's great to see that those two much-maligned words have actually translated into meaningful time-saving benefits for us gamers. With our consoles able to conduct busywork while we're asleep or at work, it's clear that being always connected has its perks, and lets us game on our terms. It's something we can look forward to over the coming years, especially if updates are kept small to ensure that they're always hidden behind the scenes. And, erm, if Microsoft gives us more control over the amount of data we're willing to download on strict broadband plans.

Though this might be small comfort to gamers who just wanted to play some Dead Rising 3 with a friend mid-update. Just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should, so now that the rushed-out launch titles are giving way to games with much more time to iron out any creases, we hope that developers do their best to keep the post-launch patching to an absolute minimum. Our time is valuable. Earn it.

Add a comment15 comments
OliverBanks  Jan. 21 at 13:05

I honestly think that people need to be better made aware that this update basically wipes 90% of the existing DR3 code that will be stored on the hard drive and replaces it, hence the small net increase.

Too many people are - understandably - thinking that they are losing another 13GB of hard drive space whilst the DLC is downloaded without choice.

I personally think it's great that they have fixed some of the game's problems. Although I've not played it myself yet, knowing that it hasn't been left 'broken' makes me far more likely to pick it up.

DivideByZero  Jan. 21 at 13:21

LOL at the game auto-updating. PS3 has been doing that for years with PS+, has it not? Though maybe it was only games bought from the Store? - either way, tech has been there for years. You can set when it checks too, so the console coming on wont wake you in the night or break your broadband download limit in peak times.

Andy@XCite  Jan. 21 at 13:25

Auto updating on PS3 (for PS+) works with any disc, PSN store game.
Been a nice feature which I think is absent from the PS4 atm.

phil16  Jan. 21 at 13:27

13Gb downloading in the background unprompted. Sounds like a great way to rack up charges for those with a download limit. Hope MS have a data limiter like my phone does? (Thankfully I don't have such limits or the 200Gb or so i've downloaded from steam in the last few days adding games to my new laptop would have been worse...)

Late  Jan. 21 at 13:43

LOL at the game auto-updating. PS3 has been doing that for years with PS+, has it not? Though maybe it was only games bought from the Store? - either way, tech has been there for years. You can set when it checks too, so the console coming on wont wake you in the night or break your broadband download limit in peak times.


Really? That's a canny feature.
I'm used to a game only downloading when I want to play it and only recently joined steam, so the whole idea of games keeping themselves up to date is new to me. I definitely like it.
On the ps3 can you tell it not to update certain games - like if for instance you've sold it? (Oh. Now I think about it, the 360 probably didn't do it as installation to HDD wasn't necessary, so the console wasn't sure which games to keep up to date, but I think HDD installation is mandatory on the ps3 isn't it?)

Anarchist  Jan. 21 at 19:02

Board just munched my post. CBA to retype it :\

Canadianfubar  Jan. 21 at 23:59

Sad state for next gen gaming. Release broken or glitchy games and fix later with patches.
Remember the days when a game had to work??
This trend is going to get worse with the budgets of these next gen games. Publishers are going to push for release dates whether the game is 100% or not. The mentality is release it now and we will fix it later with huge patches.
What is you don't have the bandwidth for these patches with your internet company?? That is why I bought the retail game, so why do I have to redownload the whole game again as a patch??
Thanks for letting me say my opinion.

Breadster  Jan. 22 at 06:50

Auto updating on PS3 (for PS+) works with any disc, PSN store game.
Been a nice feature which I think is absent from the PS4 atm.


It is on PS4, barely noticed it had updated BF4 the other day.

It's good that the total data for the game only increased by 2GB, but I still don't want to be downloading several GB updates all the time. Devs need to start finishing games before they release them, and stop making us download whole dlc packs just for compatibility.

JonLester  Jan. 22 at 14:41

@Breadster: "It's good that the total data for the game only increased by 2GB, but I still don't want to be downloading several GB updates all the time. Devs need to start finishing games before they release them, and stop making us download whole dlc packs just for compatibility."

Right on. That's the key, really, and the main thrust of the article. It's great that next-gen consoles make updating easier, but just because developers can push out massive updates after the fact to fix issues with their games doesn't mean that they should. Sadly, as we often see with Steam releases, it's oh so tempting to launch first, use early adopters as beta testers and eventually try to put things right (all while crying "user feedback" - see also BF4, Total War: Rome II, King Arthur II etc).

Knowing that a complete game will run well out-of-box used to be the best bit of console ownership for me. This mustn't change.

Last edited by JonLester, Jan. 22 at 17:55
Tsung  Jan. 22 at 17:22

I remember a time when patches patch. Eg. They would only contain the changed data rather than the whole game again. You reduced your download size at the cost of time extracting and applying the patch data. I guess someone made the decision that it was easier just to offer the whole game up for download again.

Upon saying that, recently on the PC I got the new Splinter cell game, and that was a total ball ache. After downloading the game from U-Play, it then decided to download each patch in turn and install it. I would of preferred the original download to be the fully patched latest release.

Dammed if they do, dammed if they don't :). But being a console game I do hope that massive downloads do not become the norm. :/

Breadster  Jan. 22 at 19:48

Yeah I love going back and playing old games knowing that they work without ever having any patches. Yeah there's the odd bug here and there but nothing game breaking.

TheRealTruthIsOutThere  Jan. 22 at 23:49

LOL, The $0N¥ PauperStation NOTwork would crumble with such a patch.

Late  Jan. 23 at 10:45

I see what you did there.







[Nurse! He's gotten out of his padded room again...]

Breadster  Jan. 23 at 20:06

LOL, The $0N¥ PauperStation NOTwork would crumble with such a patch.


Er...what?

hashrat  Feb. 12 at 17:56

And here I was looking forward to my console arriving and spending 2 days downloading a sodding patch before I could play, nice to know it does this in the background while I play.

Still, 13gb? Wtf.. We don't all have fiberwire, some of us might never have it, very large part of the M$ market won't, they live in cloud cukoo land if they think this is acceptable.

And what is the deal with "included in the box" titles needing to be downloaded? They must think everyone on earth has amazing connections.

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