Game Installation and Update Blues

Game Installation and Update Blues

I just want to play the thing I own

Do you remember the glorious time before these ridiculous game installation requirements and day one updates? A time when you were given a console game, you popped it in the disc drive and played it without any fuss! When you could go over to your mates place with a copy of Metal Gear Solid and show off the cinematic opening without having to wait an hour for the game installation. When you bought a game and were given the whole experience, not something that was patched day one that made the game work properly!

How many kids and adults alike out there excitedly opened up their new console or game for Christmas, only to have to wait to get their game on? I haven’t played one of my favourite games of the yearForza Horizon 3, for quite a while now because the required update is just close to 50GB! It would have been a very disappointing Christmas for a lot of people I’m sure.

The death of the midnight launch

I’ve been to many a midnight launch in my day. I remember fondly lining up for Halo 2, bringing it home and finishing it that first day it was out (with a nap in between).

My last midnight launch, fittingly, was when I purchased my Xbox One. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to play straight away as I had read online about the required update to even play the thing, but went for the experience of being there. This initial update was due to Microsoft’s changed vision from having an always online console to allowing you to play offline.

Where we are today is pretty much what Microsoft were initially touting. Sure, the Xbox can be played offline, but many games are not in the best state without that day one update. And while we all laughed at the video below, I’m sure I’m not alone in watching a heck of a lot of TV through my consoles and loving all of the online features.

This amazing video was made by Darkbeat

There is a better way to do things

Here is a simple solution for disc based games that I’m sure you’ve probably had yourself or heard somewhere before: Allow game installation and patch updates before the purchase of a physical game. Just like pre-installing a digital purchase, but without having to buy digitally.

There could be a tab in the Xbox or PSN marketplace called “Installations & Updates” or something. Here there would be every game and patch that can be perused and installed to a home console without having to have the game yet. Allow for pre-installation of a game even before it is released and have the update automatically install as soon as it’s made available. While many day one patches are truly released at the last minute, discs are printed a long time in advance, so let gamers get a head start at the very least.

We can’t play the games that are installed without having the disc in the drive, so there is no difference here. This is a pro-consumer solution that would make everyone’s gaming time more efficient. Sure, there are still going to be those surprise gifts, but the savvy parent (or gift giver) could preempt this and get the ball rolling early.

Game Installation
Better times

Were you stung by a long installation or update on Christmas? Let us know your stories in the comment box below or drop us a line at We’ll happily share your tale on our Versus Player podcast.

Happy gaming!