Friday, February 25, 2005

xbox 2 hard drive?

a while back, there was some talk of ms abandoning the onboard storage within the Xbox. this storage capability is presently in the form of a hard drive. however, the new rumour is that Microsoft will offer three different versions of the Xbox. at least two of these rumoured versions feature flash memory storage capacity. the question is: how much room could there be on these flash cards? if they're reasonably sized, it's great news for the gaming industry.

why is onboard storage important? the other game consoles don't have drives, why keep them around?

the answer to these sorts of questions is simple; keeping the onboard storage will advance the evolution of the gaming industry. a system with more storage capacity plainly offers more development options.

until the Xbox came along, the console developers were hamstrung by the lack of a hard drive and the PC developers were frustrated by the vast spectrum of possible PC system configurations. the situation hasn't changed for the unfortunate PC programmers, but it is much better for Xbox devs.

some people argue that few games actually use the hard drive -- so why bother having it around? sadly this is true. no Xbox game has done for hard drive what Myst did for the CD-ROM game. however, this still isn't a strong argument; it implies that the hardware makers should cater to game producers who are too lazy to take full advantage of the console. Ok, maybe "lazy" is too strong -- but it does get across the idea that they're catering to the lowest denominator. if the game companies feel that they don't have the resources to expand games to the point where they are maxing out the platform, that's fine. however, they shouldn't restrain the ones that are willing to go the extra mile and innovate using the full potential of the hardware.

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