Rockstar Warns Xbox 360 Owners Not to Install Grand Theft Auto V ‘Play’ Disc

Sounds like a data-juggling issue.

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This Grand Theft Auto V performance tip for Xbox 360 owners may not make sense up front. It didn’t make sense to me until Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter weighed in with a plausible, studied explanation.

Here’s the tweet heard round…well, the freaked-out-about-which-version-to-get-o-sphere:

Okay, everyone settle down, it’s not what you think, i.e. some fundamental deficiency about the Xbox 360 version. When Bethesda rolled out Skyrim and somehow loused up the Xbox 360 version, it warned against installing the disc to the hard drive, because that loused up the way the game juggled high-res texture art (something it later fixed). This isn’t that.

(MORE: Grand Theft Auto V Review: Everything Rockstar’s Learned About Open-World Design, Refined)

This seems to be about how the Xbox 360 juggles data off the disc and hard drive simultaneously. Unlike the PS3 version, which ships on a single Blu-ray disc, the Xbox 360 version ships on two DVDs, one the “install” and the other the “play” disc, each roughly 8GB in size. You can copy the “install” disc to the hard drive, but Rockstar is advising that you simply play off the “play” disc.

That’s “sound advice,” says DF’s Leadbetter, noting that if you install both discs to the hard drive, you “impact the game’s ability to stream texture data, resulting in regular pop-in of in-game objects and textures.”

Leadbetter explains:

So what’s the story here? Well, optimal streaming is achieved by making us of all the available bandwidth in the system. Why stream just from the hard drive when you can run in data simultaneously from both the disc and the HDD? Based on what we’re seeing on the Xbox 360 version, perhaps running both DVD and HDD assets from just the one source slows down access times, impacting streaming performance. It’s not game-breaking stuff, but it does take you out of the moment when it does manifest and for that reason we can’t recommend installing the play disc.

And he’s made a helpful video illustrating what this looks like in-game.

No big deal, then: Just leave the “play” disc in the drive and have at it.

18 comments
MuricanBob
MuricanBob

What if your old uncle Bob already installed the play disc? Can I delete or uninstall it?

dusting19
dusting19

And when I insert the play disk it say to intert the install disk.

dusting19
dusting19

So I just deleted my COD maps for nothing, great......

SimonVilleneuve
SimonVilleneuve

So how you play only with the '' install disc '' ?!?!

SimonVilleneuve
SimonVilleneuve

ok but when I installed the ''install disc '' they ask me to insert play disc...

twobitcoder
twobitcoder

I saw a couple of minor glitches. This is an attention story to generate sales.

SpencerRedhead
SpencerRedhead

xbox why do u have to be such a prick....cant play gta5 cuz it has 8 GB of content and now i have to go by a hard drive to play....im pissed off was looking forward to play this game since i pre ordered it over a month ago....

ps3 1

xbox 0

FML

WrendallElliott
WrendallElliott

i simply installed the "install" disk, and put in the "play disk and then the game is messing up; its restarting itself like every 10 minutes. what is the problem here?

donldmn
donldmn

What if you install the 'play' disc and the 'install' disk to two separate hard drives? Then you would not have any bandwidth issues.

St3phrocks
St3phrocks

so install the install cd and only play the play cd? or forget the install disc altogether and only play the play cd?

kretennn
kretennn

 @SimonVilleneuve ok how difficult is it to understand "INSTALL INSTALL DISC AND DON'T INSTALL PLAY DISC" you still need to play from play disc duhhhh

kretennn
kretennn

@SpencerRedhead  you need hard drive to play on ps3 also.


Why not go and buy inexpensive usb stick? 32GB about $10-$15

gavinjcurtis
gavinjcurtis

@MichaelKozubskiLucky you.  I couldn't even get my GTA5 to even attempt to run on my PS3.  I got a black screen.  Tried all the fixes to no availe.  I returned the game and got my money back.  There is evidence the game is incompatible with certain hardware versions of both platforms.

kretennn
kretennn

@MichaelKozubski  FAIL BAD FPS ON PS3 and you still need install and by installing 8gb with hdd bandwidth of 50MB/s + 6MB/s bluray vs 50MB/s + 16MB/s dvd dl whic one is fail? Don't post stupid comments

nappamuna
nappamuna

 @MichaelKozubski the game runs on PS3 like it runs on 360 WITH the game disc installed. So if anything the PS3 release is a fail. And unlike the 360 you can't do anything to make it run better.

BrianA.Taylor
BrianA.Taylor

@nappamuna @MichaelKozubski As an owner of both, no it doesn't.  The PS3 version plays like the 360 version if you only install the install disc and play off the play disc.  Why make things up?