Aaron Greenberg, Xbox’s director of product management, has explained the reasoning for increasing the XBLA file limit from 150Mb to 350Mb, saying that the rise was necessary to provide “better games” for the service and also to accommodate original content from the service’s newly-announced first-party development studio.
“We went to 150Mb, and now we’re at 350Mb,” said Greenberg, speaking in the latest Major Nelson podcast. “The idea originally was that we wanted you to be able to even download an Arcade game on a memory unit, so that even that largest Arcade game would fit on a memory unit. We quickly realised that, by and large, everyone was either buying a console with a hard drive or was buying a hard drive after they bought their console, of the people that were connected to Live and using Marketplace. So I think that as we’ve expanded and grown, and the interest in making bigger and more immersive games [has grown]… I think a great example is what the Penny Arcade Adventures game did… That is a very large size, high def, originally developed game. I think that opening up the door to have larger, more immersive type experiences, and allowing developers who were working within some set guidelines to expand that, will bring better games. That’s what we want, right? I think that’s what people will find.”
Greenberg continued saying the new first-party studio, coupled with the size limit increase, will transform the service.
“One of the big things they’re doing is making a big money and resource investment in Xbox Live Arcade,” he said. “They’ve announced the formation of a first-party studio. There’ll be more details on that to come, but I can tell you that there’s a bit interest in developing original content, securing exclusives, working with top developers and creators out there to being stuff to Xbox Live Arcade that is unique and original and the kind of things that people will want to play. There are some very big announcements around that, coming soon. And I think the fact of that being timed with the increase in the size of Xbox Live Arcade games, should give people a bit of a hint that what you thought of as Xbox Live Arcade in the past is going to get that much better.”
Listen to the full thing through the link. Aaron’s on at about 53.30.