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PS3’s Genji uses HDD as Cache

I find it telling that Joystiq posts an article about the PS3’s HDD being used as a cache and many of the replies take this as an opportunity to diss the PS3. The constant PS3 bashing was starting to get on my nerves, but now at this point I just let it wash over and past.

But anyway, the real news here is the first confirmed instance of the PS3’s HDD being used to cache game data to speed load times. There’s a menu item in the game named “INSTALL” which will install 4GB worth of game data onto the HDD. This will decrease load times from about 15 seconds to 4 seconds, which is a great improvement.

No matter what the folks at Joystiq think, I think this is great. The fact that it’s 4GB worth of data is crazy – that’s a bit much! But the fact that load times are so much better is a good thing. One complaint is that you can’t do this with too many games before your HDD is full. I have two responses to that. One, not all games will use such a large cache. One game is hardly a statistically valid sampling of cache data sizes. Two, this was an optional thing, which is great. The developer actually gives you the option of whether or not to install the cache data. Thus, your HDD won’t be filled up with cache data unless you want it to. And, you don’t need to do this with every game. So you can just choose to save the cache data for those games that you play a lot.

The only downside here is the original 15 second load times. Hopefully those times will decrease as developers get used to developing for the PS3. Even then, though, 15 seconds isn’t the end of the world. What really annoys me is when, in racing games, you’re given the option of redoing the race you just finished. Why do they have to reload the whole level when it’s already in memory? Ah well, some things I’ll never understand.

PS3’s Genji uses HDD to quarter load times

[Edit: according to this thread over at IGN (IGNInsider membership required), this isn’t the only game. VF5, RR7, and Gundam will do this too.]

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