The Price of Progress, in Gigabytes


While I work up my next Price of Progress piece on the cost of gaming going forward, I thought I’d throw out some numbers on the data side of things. These aren’t the most accurate figures, I’ve estimated a bit because it’d take me ages to calculate it all, but even slightly flawed it’s easy to see how quickly our games are growing in size.

  • Rock Band 2 currently has 429 songs available to download with each track roughly averaging 25 megs. That’s over 10 gigabytes of data if you simply have to have the complete Rock Band experience.
  • If you’re a fan of music games in general and you also own Guitar Hero World Tour, you’re looking at another 134 songs of an average 30 megs each, or another 4 gigs of data.
  • Music games are understandable and I’ve talked a lot about Burnout Paradise but one surprisingly “heavy” game is Ace Combat 6. Between new missions and an airfield full of downloadable planes you’re looking at an extra 700 megs. The cost for the content is even more staggering but I’ll get into that in the next full post.
  • The seemingly simple game of Pain on PlayStation 3 has grown significantly over the years with just the game and its new stages weighing in at over 700 megs. That’s not including the game’s 12 downloadable characters and the weekly Pain Labs content.
  • Sony’s experiment with releasing the latest Siren game in downloadable chapters will set you back 9.8 gigs for the entire Shibito-hunting experience.
  • Back on Xbox, Japan’s idol-touching phenomenon The Idolmaster features 135 pieces of downloadable content that add new stages, dances, vocals, and visuals each. The storage cost for the entire package is an astounding 51.7 gigabytes. The monetary cost is even more jaw-dropping, but that’s for a later post.

It’s unlikely that any one person would buy all of this stuff but it’s not hard to picture a future where numerous publishers put out weekly add-ons or monthly content to try and keep their $60 discs in your console. Moving on, it’s time to go back to the Marketplaces and start putting dollar values on these gigabytes of data for my next piece.

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