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Xbox 360: Play Games From Hard Drive

July 14th, 2008 by Derrick Schommer · 39 Comments

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Major Nelson outlined some of the new features coming to Dashboard and the Xbox 360. Besides the avatar feature, which is cute, we’re going to have the ability to install games directly to the hard drive and play them.

This feature explains the recent press release about the 60GB Xbox 360 and the price drop on the old 20GB box. Once we can install on our hard disk we’re going to be able to watch our disk space fade away just like we can do, today, on our PC.

You’re going to need to keep the disk in the drive, however, to play the Xbox 360 games you’ve purchased. This will continue to be Microsoft’s solution to Digital Rights Management (DRM) with their console. The end goal, however, is a faster load and a much quieter gaming experience as the 360 DVD player is tremendously loud.

Pretty soon this system is going to be no better than a PC if it keeps getting features like this!

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Tags: E3 · Microsoft · Xbox 360

39 responses so far ↓

  • 1 quyenNo Gravatar // Sep 12, 2008 at 6:31 am

    how do u copy games on to the hard drive

  • 2 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Sep 12, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Wait for the fall update, then you’ll have the ability to.

  • 3 quyenNo Gravatar // Sep 12, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    lol when that in Australia?

  • 4 Jonah FalconNo Gravatar // Sep 14, 2008 at 9:33 am

    USA is Sept. 26. Not sure about Australia, since Fall there is… Spring here. :p

  • 5 quyenNo Gravatar // Sep 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    is there other way to play the games from the hard drive without the updates; that is legal

  • 6 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Sep 14, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    No, not really, not officially and not that I know of.

  • 7 Jonah FalconNo Gravatar // Sep 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    And by the way, Quyen, you can’t run the game without the disc. Installing the game just allows faster load times.

  • 8 quyenNo Gravatar // Sep 15, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    i know that, i will still have the disc in the drive, i just want to load from the HHD so it doesn’t make that loud load sound.

  • 9 FizzNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I’d love the ability to play straight from the HDD because my kids are young and keep ruining disks by scratching them as they never put them back in the box. It costs a fortune! It’s a pity game images can’t somehow be coded to each xbox to stop pirate copies going about, but I guess this will never happen. DVDs are a useless format, they’re just not robust enough.
    It’s pretty annoying. If I pay £40 for a game £39 is for the licence, the other £1 is for the disk. Yet if the disk gets damaged I have to pay for the licence again .. that’s not right!

  • 10 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2008 at 10:12 am

    That thought hasn’t even crossed my mind, but so true. Sometimes I open the Xbox 360 and there are TWO disks inside… my son likes to hit eject and stuff things into it.

    The 360 is a bit too low, he can reach it. Playing off the hard disk would solve some of that for me.

  • 11 Jonah FalconNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2008 at 10:20 am

    I’m just happy it’ll eliminate “dirty disc” problems.

  • 12 quyenNo Gravatar // Sep 22, 2008 at 2:03 am

    is the new update out yet over there?

  • 13 meNo Gravatar // Nov 19, 2008 at 10:46 am

    the update is out today the 19th of november not 26th of september

  • 14 PaulNo Gravatar // Nov 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    We got the update in the UK the other day, works a treat.

    Much better loading from the Hard Drive, soo smooth and much faster.

    Wouldn’t it be possible to just copy a DVD with the ISO file of the game and leave that in the drive whilst loading it from the HD? Obviously I’m not intending this, just curious 🙂

  • 15 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Nov 21, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I think Microsoft would frown at pushing ISO’s to the hard disk. I’m sure they’re not making a direct ISO image (mainly for security reasons).

    It’s probably a more proprietary image copy.

  • 16 JoeameNo Gravatar // Nov 22, 2008 at 11:17 am

    It their anyway to play the games without the disk being in the HD, because the game is downloading onto the HD, so i would think there is a way to play it without the disk ? any answers to my theory ?

  • 17 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Nov 22, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    This disk must be present in the drive for security reasons. This avoids people getting “copies” on their hard disk without purchasing the game. The standard 360 security testing is done somewhere on the CD to validate it’s a real non-pirated copy of the game.

    The point of download-to-disk is to avoid slow loads and the loud whine of the CD player (which is way too loud in my opinion) – not to remove the annoyance of needing the disk.

  • 18 Jonah FalconNo Gravatar // Nov 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    In addition, there’s almost no chance of a “dirty disc” error since the system only needs to do a DRM check, and no other disc access.

  • 19 JGNo Gravatar // Nov 23, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    So their won’t be any updates on copying disks to the hardrive and playing it without the game?

  • 20 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Nov 24, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I highly doubt you’ll see any such updates, no. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. This is Microsoft’s promise to the developer that their software is safe(r) from piracy.

  • 21 tomyhakNo Gravatar // Nov 27, 2008 at 9:07 am

    thats ridiculous cos you would save loads of money just renting the games and coping them to your hard drive, with out putting the disc , but i have been able to cracked it i can play without disc , ha .

  • 22 Jonah FalconNo Gravatar // Nov 29, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Try it – see what Microsoft does to modded 360’s.

  • 23 djtdonNo Gravatar // Nov 30, 2008 at 10:27 am

    tomyhak, how??

    My freind said his xbox doesn’t need the discs :\ but mine does..?

  • 24 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Nov 30, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Yes, you can save loads of money by renting and stealing games, unfortunately it’s not really the way a non-hacked system is supposed to play.

    There are ways to steal anything; Microsoft is not attempting to build a device that people can freely steal which is why you need to have a legal disc in the drive of a non-hacked console in order for it to function correctly.

  • 25 djtdonNo Gravatar // Nov 30, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I know I know, but I don’t care I want to play without the disc 🙁

    There must be a way?

  • 26 peterNo Gravatar // Dec 1, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    the disk is only needed to boot the system, are we going to get a way to not have to boot with the disk…must be some patch like there is on a pc

  • 27 carlNo Gravatar // Dec 1, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    i dont understand the need for a 60gb hard drive, so i can stick photo’s and music on it?? why do i want 2 do that? my PC and ipod do that, why do i want another copy on my xbox.

    if MS came up with a secure method of storing your games onto the hdd without the disk (eg a one time use validation code which came with the game , similar to a phone top-up voucher) then it would be worth it

  • 28 MUGZNo Gravatar // Dec 6, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Booting from the hd is 100x better. I had to replace my laser in my xbox several times in the past several years and it’s a pain. Booting from the hd is much easier on the laser and hopefully I’ll never need to replace my laser again 😛

  • 29 Jonah FalconNo Gravatar // Dec 8, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I install my “heavy duty use” games to the HD. I’ve installed Rock Band 2 and College Hoops 2K8 for that very purpose.

  • 30 Michael.nNo Gravatar // Dec 12, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Look if you want a cheap way of getting games onto your hard disk then do this…………………………………………………………………….

    ……….. KEEP DREAMING!

  • 31 Rahsheed WallaceNo Gravatar // Dec 31, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    listen. the idea of installing the games on the hard drive would have been superb if you didnt need the disk to play them. I am well aware of the situation and i know this idea would decrease profits from games. Soooooo. . . if this is true then who cares if the game is “quieter”?! This feature is just a waste of time and money. Thanks alot microsoft.

    P.S. The update keeps making me lag like a jalepeno on a stick.

  • 32 jonahfalconNo Gravatar // Dec 31, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    How about the fact you don’t have to worry about “dirty disc” errors? Oh, and Wallace spells his name “Rasheed”.

  • 33 WTFNo Gravatar // Jan 2, 2009 at 8:55 am

    How many gigs does the average game come to when playing from the hard drive? Just trying to figure out how many games would fit onto the 20gig drive.

  • 34 jonahfalconNo Gravatar // Jan 2, 2009 at 11:05 am

    7-9 gigs. You’d better upgrade to 60GB or 120GB.

  • 35 Derrick SchommerNo Gravatar // Jan 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

    There are many sizing guides out there to utilize for game sizes, for instance: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=13591900#post13591900

    I’ve got a 20GB, I could put a game on the disk since I’ve got about 9GB free. If it’s a game I’m going to play a LOT.

  • 36 audiopimpNo Gravatar // Jan 3, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    when i try to play my saved ganes to the hard drive i cant play them without the dsic…WTF!

  • 37 JaviNo Gravatar // Feb 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    When I finished downloading cod4 i put play disc and it said you need disk in order to play it????? help me out bro

  • 38 peterpanNo Gravatar // Sep 15, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    hi all i think there will be a kind of boot up disc out there soon i say this eg: my forza disc has a scuff on it so i used a mates put it on the hd and im able to boot it up with the naff scuffed disc i have. i maybe wrong i dont no but if there is sutch a disc can someone please let me know cheers ps i dont fancy getting banned ether so if it isnt poss let me no on that to thanks pps the email to the link i made up i will look back for the replys thanks

  • 39 HiteshNo Gravatar // May 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Hi guys i read all your posts and i believe to the fact that the xbox can run a game without a disc. There are two things that prove it:
    1)After you download a game using your microsoft points,the game runs directly from the HDD!!
    2)I have seen many videos in which the games after being installed on the HDD run properly but unfortunately you need the disc to boot the game!! But after the game has been boted, the disc automatically stops within the disc tray that means the game is running on the data inside the HDD.
    Well i have recently got an xbox so can please help me out! I wana play games directly from the HDD without using the disc!! So is that posibile? If yes then please tell me the way?

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