Report: Microsoft Working on New Disc Format

Microsoft is working on a new disc format that it hopes will allow them to release bigger games. Current Xbox 360 discs are 7.95GB, of which 6.8GB is useable. This "new" disc format is the same one the company is using now except that it will – in theory – be able to use that additional 1GB of space, which is – in its current form – a locked-off partition. The 1GB was apparently allotted for DVD-video and ant-piracy measures.

The news about this new format was uncovered by Xbox 360 scene hacker commodore4ever, who recently tweeted about it: "MS will introduce xgd3 – this will add more ap checks, cvi (content integrity) checks, increase the disc size and adds a new layer for protection issues – all in the 20500 sdk! bring it on".

Microsoft is reportedly beta testing the new format using new disc-based copies of Halo: Reach. If the format has no trouble working on Xbox 360’s, a dashboard update will be issued to enable it on a worldwide basis.

When I first heard about this story I was hoping that Microsoft had finally given in and would announce support for the Blu-ray format. No dice on that front.

Source: Pocket Lint

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Those pesky ant pirates, bringing terror to innocent greenfly 😉


    Seriously though, it’s interesting, but it does promote the question of who thought holding back a gig in memory was a good idea in the first place? There’s been loads of games released for the X360 that could have benefitted from more resources etc.

  2. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    And I’m not sure I want it to either since at times my net does go out and far as I heard the ISP I’m with uis trying to slap on a download cap.

  3. 0
    greevar says:

    What are talking about? Things don’t happen just because there is a better way, it isn’t happening because the console makers don’t support it. They intentionally tie their games to physical storage (which back in the day it was the best distribution system), because it added a layer of control for the industry. It’s not happening, because the hardware makers don’t want it to.


  4. 0
    greevar says:

    Physical discs are not the best way, they are just the way that provides console makers and their developer harem to have more control over content. Control aside, that doesn’t mean they can’t do that for those that have the bandwidth. They just choose not to because they want complete control over the data stored on those shiny plastic discs. DRM is completely ineffective without control over the hardware that runs it like the consoles do. The Xbox 360 and PS3 (also the Wii, but there is already an emulator for it) consoles are a hardware-based DRM system that requires anyone who wishes to defeat the DRM to write custom software and have access to the codes that authorize the hardware on the respective consoles’ network. Similar to what failoverflow did.

    Digital distribution would weaken that position of control. If anyone can just download the games and plug the storage device into the console, then there’s no stopping them from playing those games aside from a mandatory online authorization check to permit your device and account to play that game.


  5. 0
    greevar says:

    They are wasting their time altogether trying to expand the capacity of the discs when digital distribution and a hard drive is all you really need to get bigger games on your console. The only real reason they use these discs for their games is to tie every copy down to a single physical unit. If they abandoned the discs and used the internet, along with larger storage devices for games, then the size of a game would be irrellevant. How big a game could be would be limited only by the bandwidth and customers’ available disc space.

    They only need to let people attach or install larger drives to their consoles. Then the developers are only limited by how much space their prospective customers are willing to invest in storing the game. If you further extend this system by giving the customer the ability to download the game multiple times, they don’t have to store games they are currently playing regularly.


  6. 0
    Jussi Virtanen says:

    You may be right about that, but taking in account that Microsoft has been defiant on Blu-ray in recent history and if they keep being defiant, next Xbox might use digital download only for consumers to buy any new game.


    Why cant’ the United Nations have an international law that protects artists works from censorship and banning? Cause world is still filled with chickens.

    – Jussi "ZangRap" Virtanen

  7. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    Do the people going on about how MS should "just go with blu ray" not understand the article or something?  This is about a slight modification to the proprietary file structure of the DVDs the 360 uses, using less space for security data and more for game data.  They are still DVDs, and 360s will be able to be patched to support them with just an online update.  Switching to blu ray would require entirely new hardware, not just a software update.  MS isn’t going to fracture the 360 base by introducing an entirely new and incompatible disc format mid-generation.  If and when they do go blu ray, it will be in a new console.

  8. 0
    Grif says:

    Not to mention that Microsoft would have to modify the Xbox 360 to be able to display TRUE 1080p, which amazingly few people know that it cannot, it only displays an upscaled version of 720. It also explains why a lot of multiplatform games look better on the Xbox 360, because since it’s easier to program for it, they just make it for the 360 and port to the PS3.

    On the other hand, if you take Final Fantasy XIII, which was developed for the PS3 and ported to the Xbox 360, you’ll see that the PS3 version looks tons better than the Xbox version.

    *Statistics assume system is using 1080p-capable TV equipped with HDMI.

    "Power means nothing without honor and pride." My video game review site.

  9. 0
    Monte says:

     At this point i don’t think it would be a good idea for MS to embrace Blue-ray, unless they wanted to include an add-on just for movies… i mean it would probably be pretty troublesome to have both blue ray and regular DVD’s for games since you have to deal with those consumers that never got the blue ray and those that did… Its something they should embrace with their next gen console though

    Though then again it could work out from a marketing standpoint… namely having the blue ray version include additional content to encourage players to not get the add on, but fork over another $5. Kind of what is done with movies. 

  10. 0
    Thomas P. says:

    I wouldn’t doubt that the next Microsoft console will have some sort of support for a high-density format.  Microsoft will probably use a proprietary format of their own before using Bluray, however.

  11. 0
    Jussi Virtanen says:

    They’re still going to have to accept the Blu-ray one day if this new disc format will not be successful.


    Why cant’ the United Nations have an international law that protects artists works from censorship and banning? Cause world is still filled with chickens.

    – Jussi "ZangRap" Virtanen

  12. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Unless that second disk only contains 1 Gig of information, not likely. The new format, from what is reported elsewhere, onlytrims the amount of security data, currently at around 2 gigs, by half. Thius providing more storage space per disk.

    Games that currently come on more than one disk will most likely not see a reduction in the number.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

Leave a Reply