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Microsoft Testing New Xbox 360 Disc Format

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Disc, DVD, Games news, Xbox 360

Microsoft Testing New Xbox 360 Disc Format

Probably Anti-Piracy Measure Rather Than Increased Capacity

The Xbox 360 frequently comes under fire from pundits and developers alike due to its DVD disc format, and Microsoft have announced that they're now beta-testing a new standard. Rumours suggest that this new format will slightly increase disc capacity (giving developers more space to work with), but will primarily be a defence against piracy. More details below.

In a recent blog post, Microsoft PR Guru Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb announced that US Xbox 360 owners could take part in a testing program for the new disc format that will "improve" upon the current DVD offering. As well as netting a copy of Halo Reach for testing usability updates (sorry fellow Europeans, but we're not eligible for the trials), they'll be used as guinea pigs for the "updated Xbox 360 disc format" that may soon become the gold standard for Xbox 360 development.

Current rumours - and rampant speculation - suggest that the update will kick the format up from XGD2 to XGD3 (standing for Xbox Game Disc, natch), and possibly provide an extra 1GB of disc space for studios to do with as they see fit.

However, the main objective is probably an anti-piracy measure. Currently it's possible to make an image of an Xbox 360 title and burn it onto a commercially-available dual layer DVD... but since this new format would be proprietary, this should effectively cull the practice for future games. For a while, at least.

And, no, this new format is not in any way associated with Blu-ray, as Hryb told IGN during the night.

Add a comment4 comments
Gunn  Mar. 30, 2011 at 12:07

Extra space is good news, I'm sure developers could do a lot with an extra 1GB, but I'm now wondering why was it limited to 7GB in the first place?

fanpages  Mar. 30, 2011 at 12:12

"...sorry fellow Europeans, but we’re not legible for the trials..."

legible or eligible? :)

"Currently it’s possible to make an image of an Xbox 360 title and burn it onto a commercially-available dual layer DVD… but since this new format would be proprietary, this should effectively cull the practice for future games. For a while, at least."

Do you (still) need to "burn" DVDs in order to play copied game titles? Perhaps addressing the ability to use digital copies of titles downloaded from sources other than Xbox LIVE Marketplace should be tackled first.

BFN,

fp.

Jonathan Lester  Mar. 30, 2011 at 13:01

Oops, that was a flub. Cheers FP.

As far as the piracy situation is concerned, you're right, tackling the issue requires a holistic approach rather than just stopping the creation of physical copies. But this is a step in the right direction, and should ensure that making images of AAA titles will be much more difficult to accomplish (and hence distribute).

Geurge  Mar. 30, 2011 at 16:36

Piracy might be slowed down for a little bit, but there's no way a proprietary disc format will stop piracy. Look at the dreamcast, and the Wii, the DC used GD-Roms, and the Wii uses Wii Optical Discs.

Hopefully the extra gig does allow for more space for actual games, but if it's purely anti piracy, it won't work.

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