Jaffe: Installs, updates "annoy" gamers

Calls for internet game update limit.

Twisted Metal maker David Jaffe has hit out at current home console design, saying it takes too long to get to the fun.

Having to check for new downloadable content, software updates and cutscenes annoys gamers, Jaffe said during a Game Developers Conference panel yesterday reported by Eurogamer sister site GamesIndustry.biz.

"Portable game time is going way up, but why? Those of us in the console space are actually making choices that push our customers away. The time it takes to power on your console and be in the game playing takes too damn long.

"The gap of time from pressing on to actually beginning to play is getting longer and it's annoying customers."

The emergence of broadband has enabled console manufacturers to evolve their products this generation through firmware updates.

Publishers, too, are able to improve games with software updates, and expand experiences with downloadable content.

For the outspoken Eat Sleep Play founder, however, it's all become too much.

"Cut scenes, installs, updates, load times, system boot up times - a lot of the stuff can be designed around," he said.

"For me there are times I've wanted to play a new console game but I just don't because I don't want to deal with all the ramp up time. Maybe that makes me lazy but look at all the other stuff that's competing right now for my leisure time.

So, what's to be done?

"What about if you have a disc in the system and there's a save file on the hard-drive for that disc, the instant I power up it shows me a prompt and says, 'Do I want to go to my latest save?' If I say 'yes' it bypasses everything - hardware logo, dashboard, XMB, game logos - all of it, and I'm in the game much faster.

"Another thing is why can't, if it's technically possible, I have a sleep mode on my consoles like I do on my Mac and I do on my game devices? All I have to do is hit a switch and within seconds I'm back in the game."

Jaffe called for a limit to the number of updates a game should have over the internet, which would, theoretically, force better design and completion of a game before launch.

"Hardware manufacturers, I feel, should only allow one to four updates to the software per game every year. And none of them should come in the first one or two months of the game shipping. When I first started in the business the games we shipped was our last chance off the bat.

"If game developers could make it work then, we can at least make sure games don't have to be updated the same f**king week they hit shelves, thus causing more wait times for the consumer."

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