Updates Are Starting to Get in the Way of a Good Gaming Experience

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Updates Are Starting to Get in the Way of a Good Gaming Experience

There is one thing about this gaming generation that I'm not at all happy with, and so I'm taking today to make mention of this point. You've likely already gleaned it from the headline, and my problem of the day is the growing number of updates games are requiring.

Now, I'm glad for one great move Microsoft made recently, allowing users to pause downloads for specific times. But sometimes, these updates get so numerous and so substantial that they need to be scheduled over the course of several days. This morning, I got up and set about a normal workday when I discovered that websites were opening sluggishly. I turned on my Xbox One and sure enough, it's 86 percent of the way through a download update for Ark: Survival Evolved. I almost choked on my Pop Tart; this was perhaps the third such update in the last two weeks. Worse was when I saw the size of the update, a whopping 8.43 gigabytes. It only got worse; Fallout: Nuka World demanded a two gigabyte update, roughly, while Everspace--a game only recently released--demanded almost four and a half gigs. Even tonight, just before I published this, no fewer than seven games--from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to Recore to, once again, Fallout 4 and Ark: Survival Evolved--demanded updates. Some in the multi-gig range.

These updates are getting preposterous. When I'm downloading the equivalent of a new game just to update the game in question, these downloads need to be brought to heel. No one liked the day one patch concept, but to come out with a series of only slightly smaller patches almost immediately after release is just beyond the pale. I'm getting tired of downloading patches that are larger than the original game itself was, and I'm on a good DSL line that's not particularly fast but offers unlimited bandwidth. I can't imagine what it'd be like to be on a connection with a cap.

I understand that sometimes there's a need to update systems, and sometimes, patches can be a big help. But really, can we not focus more on getting a game out the door, ready to go, on day one? The sheer abundance of patches and updates is starting to get ridiculous now, and it's beginning to get in the way of a worthwhile experience. I'd sooner we get back to the old days, when a game was done at its release. Sure, some fixes might help, and it's nice to be able to schedule these downloads better, but still; it's beginning to grate.

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