When looking at the Xbox 360 compared to the original Xbox, the main difference between them is that the Xbox 360 allowed the consumer the option to go with or without the hard drive. When speaking to The Bourne Conspiracy’s lead game designer Rory McGuire, this very option is forcing developers to cater to an audience he wishes didn’t exist in the first place.
“In retrospect I wish Microsoft had made the choice to have [mandatory] hard drives like Sony did with the PS3,” stated McGuire.
The first package Microsoft marketed without a hard drive was the Core bundle which was recently replaced with the Arcade bundle that comes with an included memory card. By giving the consumer the choice to go without a hard drive, this forces game developers to make sure their games can be played without one. McGuire feels this puts a serious restriction on game developers.
“They did it with the original Xbox. I’m not sure why they decided to not require a hard drive on the 360. From what I understand they don’t move many [Core/Arcade] units,” McGuire continued.
“Developers certainly benefit [from a hard drive], if you have a hard drive, the whole game loads faster. Obviously you’ll be facing a short install time, but the developer benefits from it and you definitely benefit from it as a player.
“So I think that was one of the mistakes that Microsoft made with the 360,” McGuire added.