The new format of the Xbox 360 disc is providing 1GB of storage back and is making it free for games, says a development source. Current games on the Xbox 360 have to reserve a DVD video partition for measures to avoid piracy. The usable space is therefore limited to 6.8GB. Microsoft is testing the spring update that would not require that partition. The 7.95GB of a dual-layer DVD would be this way made free for games.
A free copy of Halo: Reach is being given out in order to preview program members and is similar to testing the same format and see how it functions. Like many PC builders and console makers, Microsoft too has used different optical drives. It may be enthusiastic to see games loading much slower on older drives. As the partition is situated on the inside of the hard disc, it would make some drives to slow down.
Microsoft certainly does not reject anti-piracy measures, but it might have a system which is not so much dependent on the disc.
The company has not made any comment yet, but the new method is expected to lead to games that require fewer discs or are able to improve the quality of elements like textures, video or other content on existing game DVDs.