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XBLA can't handle games over 2GB

Microsoft clarifies as rulebook retires.

Microsoft may overlook the size of most Xbox Live Arcade games today, but the company says there is a 2GB limit the system inherently cannot break.

Scott Austin, director of digital games at MS, told IGN as much at the Tokyo Game Show this week.

His comments come after titles like Shadow Complex (1GB), Watchmen: The End is Nigh (1.2GB) and Red Alert 3 add-on Commander's Challenge (2GB) bent the rules to breaking point.

Those rules once restricted XBLA games to 50MB of space, but when Microsoft made exceptions to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Bionic Commando Rearmed and Super Street Fighter II, others sensibly followed.

Xbox Live Arcade has gained serious momentum thanks to its recent Summer of Arcade promotions, which have delivered titles like Braid, Castle Crashers and Trials HD. The result has been support from big-name studios, chiefly Epic, which released the brilliant Shadow Complex this summer.

And even with a hard cap of 2GB, Xbox Live Marketplace now has a Games on Demand area that can cope with full-scale Xbox 360 digital distribution. Microsoft has been quick to future-proof its golden goose.