Titanfall To Take Up Titanic Amounts Of Hard Drive Space

By Nathan Grayson on February 26th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Whoever wins, your hard drive loses

Man, giant robots are such a hassle. They break everything, have no regard for my pristine white polar bear rug, and – oh yeah – they’re really goddamn big. Too big to fit in closets, on airplanes, or, apparently, on hard drives. That’s the only explanation I can muster for Titanfall‘s whopping 48 gigabyte hard drive requirement, given that it’s multiplayer-only, not exactly the nexest of “next-gen” games from a graphical standpoint, and isn’t utterly ridden with cut-scenes like, say, Max Payne 3. But then, maybe I’m jumping the sedan-sized gun on this one. After all, the exact nuts and bolts of Titanfall’s multiplayer story are still shrouded in mystery. Which is to say, a giant robot is standing in front of them, and it won’t get out of the way.

Respawn head honcho Vince Zampella revealed Titanfall’s scale-tipping size on Twitter, but he did offer one additional detail to lighten the load: the download will only be 21 GB. Now, using “only” in this case might seem a little absurd, but that’s where we’re at with major triple-A releases these days. At least we’re not pulling down all 48 GB unfiltered.

48 GB is pretty sizable chunk of data to have sitting in storage, though. Admittedly, we live in an age where it’s not particularly expensive to obtain 1000 GB of space, so it’s hardly the end of the world. More than anything, it’s just inconvenient, especially when we start factoring in things like solid state drives. Perhaps Respawn has a perfectly valid reason for Titanfall’s heavyweight elbow drop onto our machines, but if this is just a case of poor data compression, well, color me peeved.

If you’re curious, here are the rest of Titanfall’s minimum system requirements:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7, 8, 8.1
  • CPU: AMD Athlon X2 2.8GHz or Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • GPU: 512MB VRAM, Radeon HD 4770 or GeForce 8800GT

Titanfall will be out next month. Graham and I both played the beta pretty extensively, and I recorded a bunch of my time with it. Graham’s piece sums up the RPS mothership hivemind mothermind hiveship’s collective concerns best, though, so definitely give that a read.

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118 Comments »

  1. Syra says:

    Just lazy texture compression I guess, knowing they can get away with it on PC.

    • Hideous says:

      I think it’s more likely to be the “insane” texture option, which requires 3 god damn gigabytes of video memory. You can probably imagine those textures are quite high res.

      • DarkLiberator says:

        Which is strange because the game didn’t really look all that high res to be honest. I will say they did a splendid job with the map backgrounds and what’s going on outside the maps.

        • Hideous says:

          If you mean in the beta, that’s because they didn’t ship the beta with the highest resolution textures, to keep the size down.

        • Moraven says:

          Yah beta was like 11GB installed. So unless the 10-12 more maps, and other weapons took up that much more HDD space…

          • welverin says:

            You’re right about the number of maps, as I recall there are supposed to be fifteen in the game.

      • TheMightyEthan says:

        If this is the case I wish more devs would do like Skyrim and have the Ultra Ridiculous texture resolutions be an optional additional download, rather than included in the base game.

        • Spakkenkhrist says:

          But unlike Skyrim have them available at launch.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Remember when games installed from CDs, and you could pick to only install the art asset detail level you wanted to save space, for several of them?

          In this modern download-y world, I’m sure that would be possible, but with the added slickness of not forcing you to reinstall if you want to change your settings (for example, because you just installed it and don’t yet know which settings your machine will handle). It might even assume a sensible default!

          • The Random One says:

            Ha! I remember having a choice between floppy and CD, with the CD version having the benefits of higher res textures, soundtrack, and, as Rise of the Triad’s shareware episode suggested, “us[ing] the shiny surface to blind fools”.

      • Jazzyboy says:

        Unless they’re really stupidly high res, there’s still no good reason for them to be so big. Even 8k textures can be reduced to reasonable sizes with good compression, with pretty much no quality loss.(or at least minimum)

        Uncompressed textures means no quality loss at all in theory, sure, but really, good compression can keep loss to such a minimum that you’d never notice anyway, even if you stared at a wall for half a day.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Not so fast. Things are never quite as simple as they seem.

          See, compressed textures like, say, PNG, can be lossless, but reading those textures, especially lots of them and large ones at that, takes a fair amount of CPU. This directly impacts loading times, as the game has to read them, transfer them into uncompressed data, and then ship that to the GPU. By keeping the textures uncompressed, you skip the unpacking step and can directly put the textures in GPU memory, especially if you’re using a format like DDS which already stores the data in a GPU-friendly manner.

          Unfortunately, the only compressed formats which are natively supported by GPUs are DXT (now known as BC, for block compression), which are quite lossy formats. You can either have fully uncompressed textures or heavily compressed ones, with nothing in-between.

          Considering the memory requirements, I’ll wager Respawn went for uncompressed textures, which means top-notch quality and no compression artifacts, but a much larger file size.

          • DrollRemark says:

            Ahhhh, I remember manually uncompressing the Doom 3 textures in order to decrease those godawful loading times. Memories.

          • LionsPhil says:

            This seems dubious, given the gulf in speed differences between “read from disk (even SSD)” and “decompress”. If loading is an IO-bound operation, loading compressed files can be faster. Is loading a game level really CPU-bound instead?

          • SuicideKing says:

            Depends on the game. A part of the “loading” time is usually reading compressed textures, while the rest is CPU work.

            I’d assume that, with current processors, decompressing wouldn’t really take that long. May take a lot of RAM though (partly to hold the compressed file, and partly to hold the decompressed bits).

          • Don Reba says:

            PNG is a particularly easy to decompress format, actually. Roughly speaking, it’s just a gzipped bitmap.

    • haowan says:

      Ah, the “lazy developers”. Congrats on setting the “time to the L-word” on this article to a mere 9 minutes, and in the first comment too.

  2. Optimaximal says:

    Haven’t Respawn now ‘clarified’ this saying it can take ‘up to 48GB’, which presumably means the download/unpacking/install process and it’s need for a cache.

    • DThor says:

      This. It sort of goes without saying that with a compressed download you’ll require 3+ times the download size at some point in order to extract and install(the download, the extracted installer and the installed game moments before the installer is deleted), and yet for some reason devs don’t clarify that when dropping the size requirements since gamers just want to squee and not think about logic.

      • darkChozo says:

        I’d imagine you’d only need 2x the size + change at most? There’d be no reason to keep the compressed installer around if you already have the decompressed version, unless you were doing some sort of crazy streaming install thing.

        • Optimaximal says:

          It probably *is* the case, because Origin just downloads whopping great MSI files and stores them in its ‘download cache’ by default.

  3. Ansob says:

    Bluh. I might have to get a bigger SSD, or at least uninstall all the other games I have on it right now.

  4. Bull0 says:

    Not really anything to be concerned about for PC gamers but console gamers are in trouble – the “new standard” in HDD space for them is 500GB. That’s not going to last terribly long.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Except for the Wii U which has about 25GB available to the user. Yes, that thing uses BluRay too, a game like Warriors Orochi is 23GB on there. Fortunately it supports external USB drives.

      • Bull0 says:

        Apparently the Xbox One does too, which is good, because they’re going to need it – only 362GB of the HDD is made available to the user. Which is 7.5 Titanfalls.

      • Moraven says:

        Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze is a 11.2GB download. In my data management it says 10GB. Yah there went all that space. And the Load times seem slow. Not sure if the Disc is the same or worse. Hard to pass up on a 20% off eShop card and then getting $5 back in eShop credit, making the game only cost $35 at release.

        The Digital Deluxe promotion is nice (10% back in digital credit on all Wii U digital purchases), but as DK shows, newer games take up a lot of space and then you are required to pay money for more space and the savings is not there anymore.

        They do support USB HDD as said, but who really wants that to sit tethered next to their console.

        • KDR_11k says:

          It’s not as bad as the Vita though, I bought a 1.5 TB drive for my Wii U for less than I paid for a 64GB Vita memory card. The Vita’s slightly cheaper digital games don’t look like such a good deal then.

          • Moraven says:

            True. I just hate the idea of a tethered HDD sitting on the TV stand.

            Does yours get by on USB power or do you need one with a power adapter?

            Actually I thought about using some old SATA drives to use with the Wii U, since I have an external drive bay.

    • jellydonut says:

      But we’re all using SSDs and personally mine is only 125G so there’s that.

      • Bull0 says:

        You’re just using one tiny SSD in your main gaming rig? And that’s the norm now, is it? Fat hybrid drive, here. 1TB with a 20GB SSD. Works beautifully.

        • SomeDuder says:

          Excuse me, but no. Anyone not using a SSD as an OS/application drive is just doing it wrong.

          • Lev Astov says:

            Correct, and I’d like to personally endorse two SATA III SSDs in RAID 0. My read/write speeds are about 1GB/s.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            Bull0 means that the “normal” way to do it is to have an SSD for the OS and a few applications, then a HDD or two for data and the rest of the applications. Anything that’s not too sensitive to HDD speeds gets tossed in the HDD.

          • Bull0 says:

            Yeah, kind of. Certainly that’s what I think most people are doing – they have one moderately sized SSD which houses their OS and a few games that they rotate between that and the main much larger HDD they also have. I find the idea of just having one quite small SSD in your gaming PC with no big drive totally crazy!

            Incidentally when I talked about an hybrid SSD, I meant this, which is what I’ve got. No standalone separately accessible SSD, it’s in there but it’s all part of the one drive map with the HDD. It works very well, I don’t really have observable load times in games, and I don’t have to worry about moving stuff back and forth from my SSD. I’m no expert, there’s probably good technical reasons why this isn’t as good as it seems to me as a user.

            http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/smart-response-technology.html

    • malkav11 says:

      The console market has never had adequately sized drives. You could potentially install a large laptop drive in the PS3 at the expense of losing any existing HD content (including saves) but it never came with much of a much and the Xbox had to cater to a config that had none at all.

    • Moraven says:

      I think Titanfall is only ~21 GB install on Xbox One.

      • Bull0 says:

        It is if you buy it on a disc, but the digital download is 40GB, apparently.

        • Moraven says:

          Test of MS Azure servers on launch day. They also do the matchmaking for all 3 platforms along with holding Live! content to download to the One.

  5. Malcolm says:

    I would have thought the expectation for most “Next gen” games would be about the size of a Blu-ray disk, ie 50GB as that is the size optimization target for the consoles.

  6. Arithon says:

    Whatever the 48GB is, it isn’t any textures larger than about 4K!

  7. Taidan says:

    Your SSDs will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

    • Moraven says:

      And am glad I got a 456GB SSD over the holidays when they were cheap. 128GB does not get me past 3-5 games installed.

  8. Pop says:

    Didn’t the last Call of Duty take up huge amounts of space? In which case is it just the developers from that particular stable? Did Activision just pander them too much? Amidst their opulent development rituals have they lost touch with the common man?

    Sounds like a case for some investigative journalism! Who knows what horrors lurk behind these dark requirements.

    • Bull0 says:

      Amidst their opulent development rituals have they lost touch with the common man?
      Loved that line.

      • Pop says:

        Thank you; very kind to comment. Opulent is a too seldom heard word in this era of austerity cuts. Bring it back I say! If we can’t live opulently can we really live at all?

        My concern with Respawn is that they’re essentially a rockstar outfit. It’s all hookers, cocaine and terabyte SSDs up there. And that’s where it all goes wrong. Who of us can afford but two of the three of those vices? They’ve lost touch!

  9. Maxheadroom says:

    I was working in a computer shop in the 90s when a game called Nocturn came out (sort of a precursor to resident evil) and seeing the 1GB hard disc space requirement and thinking it was a typo.

    Most games at that point only needed around 20mb and the average hard drive was only around 1gb in total.

    • Gallimaufry says:

      Resident Evil is a few years older than Nocturne, actually.

  10. killmachine says:

    keep calm. 48GB include all 4 DLC’s. hurr hurr. it’s less without it.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      You get all the DLC at release, already embedded in the game. That way when you buy them you don’t have to wait to play. How considerate!

  11. Solidstate89 says:

    And people called me insane when I created a RAID 0 array of two 2TB WD BLACK drives. Who’s laughing now, random internet commenter!?

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      Drat! Foiled again!

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      No, I called you insane when you stapled a chicken into your RAID setup. But seeing your performance increase, I’m willing to give it a try myself now.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      No, your insane for using raid 0. With raid 0 you have striping (each disk is used for each file etc), but zero redundancy. You get little to no benefit in speed, as your not mirroring, and get zero security that other raid options can offer with parity.

      Setting up 2 disks with 2 drive letters is probably safer, with OS install on one and games on the other, or some other option. As currently, 1 disk failure and you need to rebuild/install everything. With a 50/50 split, you at least only need an OS instal or a game instal if 1 drive fails (assuming Steam/game can pass existing files easily).

      If you have the 2 disks backedup anyhow, it’s less of a worry. But then again, I’d wonder why you did not go for mirrored or some other raid option (like 3 disks :P) to gain a speed boost or redundancy anyway.

      • Volcanu says:

        They dont call him “Technical Ben” for nothing guys…

        • TechnicalBen says:

          It comes from me just reading out the manuals. :P
          I’m, “technically”, wrong in that post I think, as I may have got the benefits for each type of raid slightly off. But in general, I’d still like to know how risky raid 0 is, as I never hear anyone actually promoting it’s use for anything you’d want to avoid loosing.

      • Moraven says:

        And if you bought the same 2 same model HDD from at the same time/same order….

      • Optimaximal says:

        You get little to no benefit in speed, as your not mirroring, and get zero security that other raid options can offer with parity.

        *BZZT*

        Striping gives a huge boost in IO speed because the IO queue is halved because the data can be access from two locations. Mirroring is where the data is cloned, which is an expensive operation *unless* you’re running RAID 10 (or 1+0, whatever you want to call it), where the striping speed is four-fold and the mirroring is passive.

        Don’t even start talking about Parity RAID anymore, especially with HDD sizes north of a TB. You’re asking for a painful restore period that will likely fall over and dreadful performance to boot!

        • FriendlyFire says:

          This man actually knows what he’s talking about. Well said.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Sorry I made a mistake there, your right. I will admit here I am a real novice, completely green to this. But the following is from what I’ve read up. Feel free to correct me though, I usually miss something. :)

          I had a bit of a lapse in the specific benefits of each raid. Raid 0 gives a speed boost in both write and read requests. I’d still not like the added risk of failure of 1 drive meaning all data is lost. At 2 TB, I’d rather not put all my eggs in 1 doubly risk prone basket (though it’s still at the couple of percent mark for disk failures).

          If I’ve managed to recover my thoughts well enough, mirroring should give you the same performance boost on reads, while no gains on writes. So you get the performance boost where it matters (game loading) and your data is still there if something goes wrong.

          I’d find it hard to justify raid 0 and not just managing the game install to <1tb with raid 1 instead of <2tb with raid 0.

          I have no experience with reliability of raids though. So no idea if a (striped) rebuild is better/worse/easier/less storage hungry than a daily backup…

      • Solidstate89 says:

        I’m afraid you’ve confused mirroring and striping. I get a huge performance benefit from RAID 0.

        Also, the sole entirety of what is on my RAID 0 array is Steam Games and Cloud data that is already backed up and synced with my NAS (that is running using a proper RAID-6 array).

        I’m not scared if the RAID fails as I don’t lose anything I can’t just redownload and/or don’t already have backed up.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          That’s fair enough then. :)
          I’ll be experimenting with raid shortly… also with stuff that can be replaced easily.

  12. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    All those gigabytes must mean it is a good game. That just stands to reason. I can’t wait for the first terabyte game, because that will be roughly 1,000 times better than a measly gigabyte game.

    • Fenix says:

      Christ, is Gigabyte making friggin’ games now?! It was embarrassing enough when they started ‘branching’ into peripherals, laptops and tablets… why wouldn’t they just stick to making what they make best (motherboards)?

    • Gap Gen says:

      It’s a text adventure seventeen thousand times longer than War and Peace.

  13. Maxheadroom says:

    I really enjoyed the beta for this a lot more than I expected it.

    But do I buy it, or wait for Titanfall 2 next year?
    Or Titanfall 3 the year after that?
    Or Titanfall 4 the year after that?

    Decisions decisions

  14. Radiant says:

    How to master the PC master race.
    Step one put us in a spec paradox.
    Step two work our ability to find a conspiracy in anything
    Step three yellow king

  15. Trespasser in the Stereo Field says:

    I had forgotten about Max Payne 3. Thanks for reminding me about that cut-scene filled steaming garbage pile of a “game.” I think I uninstalled after 30 minutes, 28 of which I sat with my elbow on the desk, chin in hand, waiting for my chance to actually do something.

  16. rebb says:

    There are more and more games these days where i find myself not buying them mainly due to the fact that they take up ginormous amounts of HD space without much actual “value per gigabyte” gained.

    And i keep wishing for something like a “Low Definition” Download Option for these things, which only include Textures up to a certain resolution, sounds only up to a certain definition and whichever else assets are the main culprits for blowing up the size of AAA games these days.

    Come on, make it so.

  17. ffordesoon says:

    I’m usually more articulate than this, but this is so rigoddamncockulous that my only reaction is the standard internet gamer one. To wit:

    lol wtf

  18. Caiman says:

    It’s not the HD space that concerns me, it’s the size of the download; that’s nearly 50% of the my monthly download limit right there. Yes, we have crappy internet service here, but it ain’t gonna change anytime soon. I might have to actually, gasp, go into one of those bizarre “shoppes” I think they’re called and buy an actual box with a DVD in it. Although actually that doesn’t work either, because my DVD drive died a few months ago and I never bothered to replace it because I never use it. Oh well, it’s just CoD with mechs isn’t it? Perhaps I can live without it.

    • Shooop says:

      Sadly it is.

      The mechs aren’t nearly as much of a game-changer than they should have been.

      • MrUnimport says:

        Titanfall isn’t about mechs and it isn’t about infantry, it’s about the intersection between tiny, plucky human and gigantic, powerful robot. That’s what I think it does well.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      I hate it when you get a disk version, wait for it to install, and then find out there is a huge day one patch that’s GB’s in size waiting for you.

    • derbefrier says:

      Its more like CoD with mechs, big maps, parkour, rodeos, bots, and no single player. Its really only like cod on the most basic level. That being its a modern online fps with a perk and unlock system. Plays nothing like CoD at all though. Saying it plays just like cod is like saying half life plays just like doom with scripted senquences. Similar enough in some areas but does a good job creating its own identity. Some people never liked the arena style shooters so. They will just brush it off as a CoD clone while circle jerking around what ever style of fps they prefer. Opinions and fanboys and all that stuff.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        I’ve seen tons of beta reviews from players who likened Titanfall precisely to “CoD with mechs”, and plenty of them were unimpressed with the parkour, the bots, and the rest of the “revolutionary” mechanics everyone else has been jizzing in their pants over. When you take those features out of the game, what exactly are you left with?

        Opinions and fanboys indeed.

        • xao says:

          Yes, shockingly the folks who treated Titanfall like Call of Duty came away unimpressed…

          Look, Titanfall isn’t Call of Duty, doesn’t play like Call of Duty, and if you treat it like Call of Duty, you’ve done it wrong.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Look, I’m sure many players went into the game with a biased mind, and they left with that mind unchanged. That doesn’t mean every single person complaining that Titanfall is nothing but a CoD clone with a few added elements felt the exact same way going into it. Some are simply convinced that Titanfall adds nothing relevant to the MPFPS genre.

            Like derbefrier put it: “Opinions and fanboys and all that stuff”.

          • derbefrier says:

            “Adds nothing relevent”

            I would dissagree there. This is a chance for the fast paced quake and unreal style games to make a comeback as titanfall while obviosly influenced by cod plays out more like those old arena shooters than a typical cod match. This basically the entire reason I love it so much I think. The freedom of movement and vertacality it offers has been something missing from these shooter ever since Cod took over the genre. People saying it has nothing in common with cod are just as foolish as those that say its a cod clone with mechs. There’s a lot more too it than that. Explaining it away as cod with mechs is just lazy and innaccurate.

          • xao says:

            One sign of a weak argument is the ability to replace crucial nouns and have it make just as much sense as the original. To wit:

            Look, I’m sure many players went into the game with a biased mind, and they left with that mind unchanged. That doesn’t mean every single person complaining that Counterstrike is nothing but a Doom clone with a few added elements felt the exact same way going into it. Some are simply convinced that Counterstrike adds nothing relevant to the MPFPS genre.

            In this particular case, the problem is that personal conviction has little to do with reality. People are routinely convinced of inaccurate things. I do find it interesting that many of the people who dismiss Titanfall as a CoD-clone are the folks that don’t actually play CoD, and frequently haven’t even played Titanfall’s beta.

            The list of substantive differences between Titanfall and CoD is long and well-rehashed in other threads. At this point if you don’t like Titanfall, you’re welcome to your opinion. Claiming it’s a CoD-clone is just a lazy argument.

      • The Random One says:

        That’s a great back of the box quote.

        “CoD with (…) rodeos” – derbefrier

    • Jinoru says:

      It felt more like Quake with mechs and iron sights. The only CoD thing it has going was the leveling and equipment systems.

  19. Shooop says:

    Did we learn nothing from the Rage debacle?

  20. derbefrier says:

    Lol pc gamers, complain when textures look like shit then complain about files sizes because the devs didn’t want the textures too look like shit. Damned if you do damned if you don’t.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      It’s because PC’s are not all the same spec like a games console. Appease one end of the spectrum, and you piss off those at the other end I guess.

    • fish99 says:

      Titanfall looks worse than several games I can think of (BF3, BF4, Crysis 1-3) that have smaller install sizes, and manage to include single player campaigns.

  21. Monkeh says:

    48GB is pretty ludicrous.. hell, it’ll be the biggest game I’ve ever downloaded. :P

  22. Triprunner says:

    lazy coding, i mean, for the updated Source engine this is a bit of an overkill

  23. DetCord says:

    Typical CoD/ex-CoD devs. They’ve never bothered to compress or optimize anything before, so why would they start now.

    • xao says:

      Really? Never? Not a single time in the history of ten(?) games was something optimized or compressed?

      That’s a remarkable achievement!

  24. The Random One says:

    That’s large, but not untitanable.

  25. wwoup92 says:

    This mom is blessed; I just want to add her story. She has been unemployed for months but now receiving money in her spare time on laptop. She basically makes $6000-$8000 a month online here http://7.ly/egQy

  26. P.Funk says:

    Funny thing, when I was in the SWTOR beta the game was only 20 or 25 gigs, but with all that dialogue….

  27. Gvaz says:

    I very much doubt those minimum requirements. Good thing it’s a game I’m never playing haha

  28. GT3000 says:

    The 50GB is composed of 35GB for 10 different languages for audio.