Can you patch an X-box game?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jay H, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I was just theoretically thinking the other day, since the x-box has a hard drive do you think MS could of standardized some kind of programming language, API, whatever, to allow for a software patch without having to release a new game disc? Like say, there was a major bug in a game and instead of having to recall a disc, they could have people download it through the internet and the ethernet port and store it on the harddrive. Then by some already predefined protocal when a game is loaded, it could link some compiled code and stuff on the hard drive and voila, a software patch.
    Just curious on a snowy monday [​IMG]
    Jay
     
  2. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    God I hope not!! That just means that they will begin to release games that are not completed... much like the PC counterpart.

    Honestly though, I don't see why they couldn't. If rosters can be uploaded and used, why not instructions to "fix" a game bug?
     
  3. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    The only thing you will see with the Xbox is game upgrades, not patches. The main reason for this is why consoles are so nice to develop for; every unit has the same hardware so patches to fix compatibility problems won't be needed.

    Upgrades such as extra levels, characters and so on are possible and are already on the way for at least one game (DOA3). There are rumors floating around that one for Halo might be in the works soon, but I haven't heard anything official yet from my contacts.

    Dean
     
  4. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Dean, but not all "bugs" are due to compatibility issues. Sure, there are usually alot of beta testers for console game releases, but that doesn't mean a playability bug will not sneak it's way into production. If that was to happen and something was to be done, a patch would be a good way to rectify such a situation. There are alot of PC games where data is stored in a binary file, like say offensive and defensive statistics for weapons, armor, etc. It's fairly common knowledge that anybody with a hex editor can go in and create killer shotguns, impenetrable armor, etc. I could see something like this being real easy to do with a console with a hard drive. We all know that the Xbox is similar to a PC, except tweaked for gaming and stuff, so what's the next logical progression for it? Speaking of HALO, I mean the version for the PC is supposed to have customizable levels and stuff, something that the hard drive on the X-box should allow for, in addition to a patch. One reason why I got the xbox is that I was tired of unstable games on my PC, but there can be playability bugs, not just compatibility issues.

    Jay
     
  6. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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    Patchable console games are both a blessing and a curse. One of the biggest issues with console gaming is that if there's a bug, you are stuck with it for the life of the game. With a PC game, chances are you'll get a patch. Woo-hoo...no more bug! This even goes for playability issues. For example, Civ3 was recently patched with bug fixes and some genuine improvements to the game as suggested by the fans.

    The drawback, of course, is that this allows developers to get lazy. They rush out a poorly tested product, forcing those who buy the game early to be de facto beta-testers. If the game sells well, you get a patch...meanwhile the most loyal fans (who bought the game early) are forced to play with a buggy product. If the game sells poorly, you can probably forget about the patch completely.
     
  7. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    Brian I understand what you're saying and completely agree that there will be patches snuck in there. The only thing is the player is not going to "see" it, it’s a fine line I know but MS is going to stick with that "upgrade" statement even if both of us know it isn't entirely true. I doubt we will ever see a patch only download for a game, but anything can happen I guess.

    Dean
     
  8. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    I agree that developers will depend on Patches if they happen. But then again, I bought Fever 2002 and if a Patch would get me my true money's worth then I'm full for it. It's a fine line that would be abused for sure, but still, it goes both ways for the consumer.
     

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