Website Ve3tro.com has reported the NXE hard disk install sizes for each of the three game discs that make up the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII.
According to the site - which has posted screenshots as proof - disc one weighs in at 5.9GB, while the second and third discs install at 5.8GB and 6.6GB respectively. This combined 18.3GB compares with a total of 39.4GB for the Japanese PS3 version, making the 360 game less than half the size of the PlayStation 3 release.
There are a few interesting facts to derive from this news. Owing to copy protection measures, the maximum potential size of an Xbox 360 game is 6.8GB, meaning that across the whole three discs Square-Enix actually had 2.1GB of potential space that remains unused, so we would hope that any omissions from the Xbox 360 version of the game would be minimal, if not non-existent.
The reduced size of FFXIII can easily be explained by more aggressive compression in the game's large array of CGI cut-scenes. Of the total 39.4GB that makes up the Japanese FFXIII on PS3, a quick look at the file structure on the Blu-ray disc suggests that a whopping 32.6GB of it is dedicated entirely to the video sequences, leaving just 6.8GB for the actual gameplay.
While the convenience of having the game on a single disc is obviously beneficial, disc-swapping in the Xbox 360 version is kept to a minimum owing to the linear nature of FFXIII itself. Very few locations can be revisited, so there is little actual need to have all three discs installed to the hard drive in the first place, over and above the obvious noise issues related to the Xbox 360 DVD drive.
In terms of other elements of comparison, the western versions of the game remain under embargo. The definitive Digital Foundry Face-Off will be published when this lifts next week.