So the wife and I put the baby to bed a little earlier (and easier) than usual, so we ended up with a bit more time left in the evening than we usually do.
After an episode of Torchwood (Season Two, and wow, Gwen is a moron) we were kind of spinning our wheels until I remembered that I bought Heavy Rain's The Taxidermist DLC quite a while ago, and had never gotten around to it. Since we're both fans of David Cage's games, more or less, that seemed like a good direction to go.
The key word there? SEEMED.
At 9:09PM, I had pulled the Heavy Rain disc out of my stack, had it spinning in the PlayStation 3 (PS3), and was promptly greeted by a required update message.
I really don't know what I was thinking, since I had kind of assumed we'd be able to play it right off the bat. Naturally, there was an update that needed to happen, just like there ALWAYS is every time I turn the machine on. Then, after the update downloaded, it needed to install.
We waited a while, and after the install completed, the game started up. However, I hadn't realized that there wasn't enough free space on the hard drive and Heavy Rain is another of the oh-so-wonderful forced-install PS3 games. It wouldn't play until I deleted some data.
I have to say, I find few things as irritating as a console game that will not play without being installed to the drive.
This is a very simple concept that has been happening without issue for a few generations now. The fact that I have to turn my system on at least half an hour before I intend to actually play never fails to infuriate me.
Anyway, getting back to the sequence of events… after scanning the drive and seeing what was expendable, I axed the DC Universe Online beta content, and was a little taken aback at how long it took to delete. With that gone, there was enough space to install Heavy Rain, and so that process began.
I meant to time exactly how long the install of the game itself took, but I was getting a little heated by this point and I forgot. Regardless, it took quite a bit of time. In fact, I actually had enough time to straighten up my office and tidy up the rest of the house. I did a few dishes. Literally.
After the game had completely installed, I jumped into the menus to figure out how to access the DLC. As I was trying to navigate, it seemed as though my controller didn't work properly. After a moment or two, I realized that the game now automatically defaults to use the Move as the primary means of interface. I don't even own a Move controller yet, and the console did not auto-detect that I was using a wireless pad. A small issue, perhaps, but still irritating. However, that was not nearly as irritating as finding out that for some reason, the Taxidermist DLC that I had previously downloaded needed to be downloaded again.
After the series of downloads and installs I'd just been through, this one took the cake. Still, by this point I was bound and determined to play the damn thing, so I began to re-download the purchase and walked away to do some deep breathing and calming exercises.
The DLC download completed, installed itself, and the wife and I finally began to ACTUALLY PLAY The Taxidermist at 10:43PM—a little more than an hour and a half after we originally intended to begin.
Now, talking about The Taxidermist DLC itself, I didn't think it was bad at all. It was essentially one scene taking place in a house that had five different endings, and it was definitely creepy and interesting enough to keep our attention for two of those five. We both also found it interesting to return to Heavy Rain after such a long time away from it… the controls felt alien and unfamiliar, but we were quickly reminded of what a great job it does in terms of creating emotion and tension. Was it worth $5? I think I'd say so, considering that I've paid more for worse, and that I picked Heavy Rain as one of my top games of the past year.
So, we definitely enjoyed The Taxidermist, but we both felt as though we had seen enough by 11:26PM… about forty-five minutes after pressing start.
That's right, it took twice as long to access the content as it did to play it through to completion two separate times.
What's wrong with the PS3? That is.
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It’s true you can skip that patches and just not log in, which is what I usually end up doing, which in turn only leads to more updates when I actually *want* to go online. As a consequence, I just end up not being on PSN hardly at all. When this kind of a discussion turns into “blame the developers” or “blame the user”, I think it only points out the obvious: the update process itself is flawed. When you find yourself playing something on XBLA or a hand-held while waiting to download a patch or update on the PS3,… Read more »
Being fortunate enough to have both the 360 and PS3, I almost always go with the 360 when the game is multi-platform. Why? Because the PS3 requires that often lengthly game data load, whereas the 360 is virtually plug-n-play (especially if I’m offline). While some may say “big deal”, having young children myself, I can understand where Brad is coming from. There’s been more than a few times where after getting the kids to bed, doing a few chores (e.g., bills, laundry), I’ve sat down and fell asleep while waiting for the PS3 to finish updating itself or the game… Read more »
A lot of the points I would like to make have already been made. This seems like something you should have left to your blog, Brad! It’s not so much in keeping with the tone of the rest of the site. Installs do annoy me too but this is a little much I think. I love this site because I get opinions on the games and the industry from people who love them. You can find a rant re: the bugbears of either console on any fanboy forum going. My 2 cents anyway: I own both consoles. The Xbox definitely… Read more »
Though I can agree…patching and updates can be a bit annoying, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty as soon as I get moved in, as I haven’t made phsyical contact with my PS3 since October =/… but a good portion of your issue seems a bit…self inflicted. I rarely download betas and demo’s so I already find that as wasteless space that gets deleted immediately after sampling…but thats subjective. However, if your an average gamer, you should know the bounds of your hard drive space-which could have prevented a good bit of this ‘hot mess’ And skipping patches will help… Read more »
Come on, Brad. Is this sort of article what GameCritics is really about? You usually post some great, thought provoking articles which have us all contributing quality replies which continue the flow of ideas. This article contributes nothing to the community and is better found on a site like N4G.com. What you’ve offered is like a motor journalist finding their car battery dead and back tire flat, then turning around writing an article about it and how it’s the car manufacturer’s fault that these things have ruined your Sunday drive. It’s boring and it’s not what this site is about.… Read more »
Seems to me you do not know how to manage data, also unlike the 360 you can pop out the Hard drive and pop in a fresh one if you run out of space or just upgrade to a larger HD altogether, tho I would say you need a HD just for beta/demo stuff. The 360 is as bad at the ed of the day its up to the user to understand the nuances of the system IE how much crap you have on your hard drive and what you need to delete to keep a decent amount of free… Read more »
You seem to prepare hard to get accustomed to PC fun. 😉 This article is how many (PC) demo xy got released threads work. Many comments on the issues everyone has, “i have awesome download speeds”, or not, and opinions on the game in the minority. I even think PC has less wasted time in the patching process, because PC is really for everything, uses his cores for something. I can surf the net meanwhile, i can even play another game in the meantime. While the game loads its patch or even while installing. Though the box seems to be… Read more »
The limit on patches isn’t always good – I’ve played a few multi-platform games like IL-2:BoP that have received patches on PS3 and not on 360 because of MS’s policies. Generally, when you look at multiplat releases, they patch the same things in both systems – ie, what you’re suggesting doesn’t happen for most games (multiplats form the majority of both consoles’ gaming libraries).
Only 15 comments? Quick, somebody post a link to this article on a PS3 forum! 😉
[quote=Anonymous]Unfortunately, the reason that games need to install on the ps3 is because blu ray discs are only read at one speed. Red laser drives, xbox dvds, can be read at variable speeds. [/quote]
From which fortune cookie did you retrieve this false information?
“You then go on to say, its the devs fault for releasing the games unfinished and patching later, but foolishly you seem to forget the games are released just as unfinished on 360, yet the updates go much faster and are far fewer, again, this is a Sony issue NOT a developer issue. And finally, the 360 does get a lot of updates, hard drive or not, they just go quicker, and install themselves, and there are far fewer.’ 360 patches are fewer and far between because microsoft only allows so many free updates. Devs know this and have to… Read more »
With PlayStation Plus the PS3 installs your updates for you when idle… Obviously you’d have to have the game installed first but really I’ve never had a big problem with updates.
Unfortunately, the reason that games need to install on the ps3 is because blu ray discs are only read at one speed. Red laser drives, xbox dvds, can be read at variable speeds.
I own both systems and I can tell you right now if a game is released for both systems hands down I buy it on 360 just for the simple fact the required updates go by almost instantly.
It is the worse thing ever that an up download takes as long as it does on the ps3 and even worse still is the fact that once it downloads you STILL have to wait for it to actually install the update, which sucks, terribly!
I prefer the Update method Msoft uses with the Xbox 360, however, I’ve never had as difficult a time as you had with the Heavy Rain DLC. Do you use your Ps3 on a daily basis? I find that people who turn it on maybe, once a week, feel like they get prompted for updates constantly. As someone who uses my Ps3 daily, I have gone several weeks at a time without any update prompts. And yes, it took FOREVER to delete the DC Online Beta from my Ps3 HDD. It was over 13 gig (the bigger the file the… Read more »
These issues you are complaining about are because you obviously do not play PS3 that much. It has, on average, the same amount of game updates as xbox 360. PSN servers have, on average, the same connection speed as XBL. The PS3 deletes data quicker then xboxs system software. These points have all been proven (google it). In fact this happens on most games (including xbox), if you install a game and then delete it and install DLC quite a long time after, the following will happen: 1. You will need to reinstall the game (albeit only required on a… Read more »
Okay, the Blu-ray issue has been dead for years now. YES, when there was a competition between Blu-ray and HD-DVD, I wanted HD-DVD to win. Not because it was supported by the 360, but because I thought it was technically superior to BR…and at that time, I wasn’t a fan of Sony at all. I knew deep down if HD-DVD won, the PS3 would be finished. With that said, Sony won – you may not agree with thier tactics in winning the format war, but Blu-ray is where HD content lives. As a result, the PS3 has become the main… Read more »
@ Scott C. “You see games like GTA IV for 360 and PS3 taking different approaches to loading – on the 360 you don’t need to install it – on the PS3 version it’s required. Why? Because I’m guessing developers found it was easier to load content off a HDD instead of a disc constantly” First off the reason Devs force installs on PS3 is because of the speed issues of running games off Bluray, a disk format Sony stuck in PS3 to win a format war, NOT developers, there is no one to blame but Sony for that issue.… Read more »
1) go into your router settings and make a QOS rule for your PS3- set your PS3s Mac address priority to ‘Highest’.
2) Download DLC overnight.
Could be worse, I have a 1.5 mbps connection and anything over a Gig usually takes 12 hours or more.
btw (conspiracy theory)- Ive always had a sneaking suspicion that Sonys network gets the short end of the bandwidth in the US, to mix metaphors.
At least you’re not turning on your console hoping that it doesn’t decide to die on you and hold the content you purchased hostage until you transfer licenses to the new machine… sometimes multiple times, since it doesn’t always “take” for some reason. Can you tell this has happened to me? Maybe more than once?
I find that much more disconcerting than the occasional wait on the PS3. As a consequence almost all of my multi-console arcade downloads are PS3 at this point.
I’ve owned a PS3 since 2008 so I think I have plenty of experience in dealing with updates and here’s what I have to say: While updates in general suck, your anger should be pointed at the developers, NOT the system or PSN service itself. You see games like GTA IV for 360 and PS3 taking different approaches to loading – on the 360 you don’t need to install it – on the PS3 version it’s required. Why? Because I’m guessing developers found it was easier to load content off a HDD instead of a disc constantly…and since not every… Read more »
You can SKIP any and all patches on the PS3 and go straight to gameplay. It even tells you on the screen. Why keep a 17GB expired beta on your system from two weeks ago then complain you have to delete it? Beta’s over, plus it’s 17GB. It takes that long to delete stuff on PCs too. The PS3 has mandatory hard drives. That lets you have stuff like said whopping 17GB open world MMORPG that you can’t on the competition’s systems with their new 4GB memory packs (which incidentally wasn’t enough memory to play Halo Reach co-op at launch,… Read more »
Well the PS3 can do everything…including frustrate users. I think you could’ve skipped the update (which I bet was the Move patch) by pressing triangle or circle when you saw the update prompt. But yeah, that’s pretty much the norm for the PS3. Lucky you didn’t have a fairly updated game like LittleBigPlanet where you have to download tons of patches (if you haven’t been playing regularly) before you can get back into the game. It’s a damn shame Sony can’t be bothered to fix things like that.
Brad, your frustration is my frustration as well. It’s worse if you happen to own both a PS3 and Xbox 360, cause Xbox 360’s update process is way less hassle-free.
From experience, Xbox 360 games update so much faster than PS3 games. Also, on X360, once the update finishes, there is no install dialog, and the game starts up again automatically.
Does anyone really complain about this? Because you seem like the only person who did. So late into the PS3’s product cycle, yet I’m still hoping Sony would eventually address this issue.