266w ago - I have found Microsoft's updated version of Xbox Live to be a mixed bag navigation-wise. And I haven't used a few key features like parties or Netflix yet.
But there's one feature I'm using that is undeniably awesome: Saving games to the hard drive. As soon as I got the NXE (new Xbox experience) beta test, I immediately saved "Fable 2" to the hard drive, mainly because the game is constantly accessing data from the disc and it is loud, even by Xbox 360 standards.
I was hoping I would no longer be distracted by the noise of a disc spinning with such fury it could fly out of the machine and behead me and I was right. The 8 minutes or so it took to transfer the game to my hard drive was well worth it, because the 360 is now virtually silent while I play.
But there was one extra, unexpected benefit: "Fable 2" looks noticeably better. The graphics are sharper and brighter. So much so that it's like the game, or my graphics processor, has gotten an upgrade.
Perhaps someone more familiar with programming can tell me why, but I assume it has to do with the fact that it's easier for the console to access and process all the requisite data, so it has to make fewer compromises to deliver me graphics in real time.
Nobody at Microsoft (or anywhere else) has talked about this benefit that I've seen I can't say whether it will happen with every title. But presuming so, it really makes transferring games to the hard drive a no-brainer, so long as you've got the space. Who doesn't want their videogames to look as sharp as possible?
In terms of hard drive management, I imagine I'll be regularly transferring and deleting different games based on how much space I have and what games I'm playing the most at the moment.
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Surely it can only speed up loading times, scene to scene.
I have to say that on a PC with a slower hdd or running from a cd dvd would hinder load times but not effect the colour or contrast of a game maybe caching of textures but the dvd drive in a 360 is fast enough to get textures cached in rather quikly.
On a last note all 360 games bar addons are created to be used without a hdd and have handles in the code to deal with load times, this makes the xbox cache all scenes as quick as it can before displaying.
Looks too strange.. I believe game can load textures faster from HDD or system doesn't have to wait for other content to be loaded from DVD. I think that possibly could increase FPS.
But I really doubt it can make game 'sharper' or 'brighter'...
It's like if you had a PC and and the same game would look sharper with 48x speed DVD drive and 'darker with more blur effect' with 2x speed drive :-D
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