How many millions of man-hours have we wasted in the last 20 years waiting for games to load?
It might not seem like loading time in a game is a big deal, but once that game is on a handheld with a limited battery, things are a bit different. If you’re playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on your system like so many other Switch owners, you’re probably seeing about 2.5 to 3 hours of battery life. If you’re having to boot up the game from scratch and then entering shrines, fast traveling, and otherwise bringing up loading screens, you could spend 15 or 20 minutes of your playtime loading.
Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry wanted to see how Zelda loaded off of different media to help ensure we get the most game time.
It’s a clear winner
After the testing, there’s not even a contest. The internal storage included with the Switch wins hands down. It’s not exactly a surprise, but it is kind of a problem. Of all the options for installing games, the internal storage is the most limited. You can run a game off of a game cart, off a microSD card, or off the internal storage. The game cart, the slowest of the three options, requires no installation to play, unlike games on the Switch’s more stationary competitors. External cards can be expanded up to 2TB. There aren’t even memory cards that big yet. MicroSD cards are widely available and usually relatively inexpensive, but they’re also slower than the internal memory.
The internal memory is a scant 32GB of space. When you compare that to the 500GB or 1TB in the Xbox and PlayStation consoles, it barely even registers. The operating system takes up about 6 or 7GB of space, leaving you with 25 to play around in. Zelda takes up another 13 of that. If you want to play two games at once, chances are you’ll only be able to keep one on the internal storage at a time at that rate, and hoarding games is certainly out of the option unless you want to install them to the memory card.
Teardowns of the system have shown that the internal storage isn’t hard-wired into the board, so it’s almost a certainty that Nintendo will release a version with a more substantial chip, but it’s anyone’s guess when that’ll happen and how much it will cost. Until then, some fiddling is going to be required to get the best performance out of the games we’re playing on the system.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
Break open a Loot Llama to find these gifts for Fortnite fans
Get your fortnite loving friends and family these awesome gifts. They will love you and emote for you. If you don't what that means, ask them and they'll show you.