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HDD Questions

Michael sent me some more questions that I thought I’d tackle. Please add your opinions.

What are the advantages to having a hard drive in a videogame system, proformance wise? I’m ultimately asking this question to find out how a HDD would benefit the ps3, but I doubt you know the answer directly.

Actually, I do know. 🙂

A HDD can be used to cache data while playing the game. So when the game loads up (or anytime during the game, actually), the game can load information from the BD (Blu-ray Disc) onto the HDD. The HDD is much much faster than an optical drive, so the game has much quicker access to the information it needs as you play the game. For example, this will allow more seamless transitions between levels, or even levels that have no obvious transitions at all. But in general, any data that the game needs can be cached on the HDD, which will increase performance. It would be even better if the HDD cache were not removed between one playing of the game and the next, because then the game doesn’t need to load the data every time you play the game.

Does the xbox 360 allow players to save a game whenever they want like pc games do, or does it still only allow you to save at check points? If no, do you think that ps3 games might allow the player to save whenever?

I really have no idea. But you’re better comparing the PS3’s HDD to the original Xbox. Because in both those cases, the HDD is always there (not optional). I know of at least one Xbox game that let you save the game whenever you wanted. But this is not really a function of the HDD’s inclusion or not, except that the saves are slower without an HDD.

Does you have any idea how advanced the linux os will be on the ps3? Could it possibly be a full up version of linux like pcs use, which could let the user download pc software, such as, photo and video editing, text program, etc, etc?

Sony hasn’t released any details about this.

Will the ps3 have full internet access like pcs do? If so, couldn’t an internet virus corrupt the whole system and ruin it?

Yeah, maybe – better be careful! 🙂 Seriously, though, the PS3 is connected to the internet, yes. But it is connected is severely restricted ways. You won’t be able to do just anything with the internet. You’ll have to go through predifined access points like a chat program, browser, or game. That helps restrict the openness of the system to outside influences. But I guess anything is possible. It hasn’t been a problem for the Xbox 360.