Skyrim Fits On One Disc!

Skyrim Fits On One Disc!

Post Dead Space 2 and L.A. Noire, which featured two and three DVDs respectively, I had started to wonder if we’d finally hit that phase of the 360s lifespan that I always assumed we’d hit — the disc swapping era. With that in mind, I’d sort of just expected that Skyrim, which looks set to feature a huge amount of content, would be a multi-disc game — but it isn’t!

If anything it probably shows just how ignorant I am about precisely what takes up lots of storage space and what doesn’t. I would never have expected Dead Space 2 to require two discs, for example, but it totally does.

That being said – what are your thoughts on disc swapping? I remember when I was a kid, Monkey Island 2 had 11 discs. Does anyone remember the part where Largo LeGrande spat onto the wall, and you literally had to swap discs as the saliva was flying through the air? Kids these days! They don’t know how good they’ve got it!

In a strange way I found swapping discs in L.A. Noire a bit rewarding, almost as though I’d just finished a chapter in a book. There was that warm, fuzzy feeling of progression as I peeled my buttcheeks off my sofa and walked towards the 360. Man, I get nostalgic about the most stupid things.

Does disc swapping bother you folks?


  • The only game i remeber having to do a lot of disk swaping with was Riven on the PC.
    I think it had around 7 separate cds.
    I usualy avoid it like the plague.

    • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on the Amiga. 11 (count em) 3.5″ floppy discs.

      I don’t think there was a single scene in that game that wasn’t spread across at least 2 discs which means every time you went through a door you usually had to do at least 2 disc swaps.

  • Nope. As long as the case doesnt come in something as big as Lost Odyssey’s. I only have so much space on my shelf.

  • I don’t mind disc swapping in general, especially if it’s tactfully arranged to occur at breaks in the story, like, as you said, chapters in a book.

    I do mind poorly planned disc swapping that occurs constantly during forced backtracking.

    In terms of space on the disc, if I understand things correctly, dialogue isn’t especially a space hog, especially if compressed properly, and neither are tiled texture files (which I assume will be in Skyrim in spades, especially on large outdoor areas).

    Cutscenes, I believe, are the biggest hog of resources. Hence why FFXIII needed 3 discs, and why Metal Gear Solid games have always pushed disc capacity limits to their limits.

    • Cuscenes are generally only a huge hog of space if they are HD videos. If they are done with the in-game engine, it uses significantly less space.

  • Baldur’s Gate had 5 discs or something. FFVII had 3 discs but there was no swapping. They very much were split up like chapters with each ending with a significant event.

    • Yeah thats the one I remember, it was a pain in the ass. 5 CDs was FREAKING HUGE at the time.

      I bought the re-release on DVD a few years back (in the pack with BG2 and the expansions). Much more convenient!

      • I really do appreciate the DVD re-release.

        Back in the day I tried to make use of a No CD crack with BG2. Basically, during installation you just inserted each disc as it called for it. Something went wrong so after disc 5 it asked for disc 6.

        Out of boredom and curiousity, I faked disc 6 (copied the file it was searching for and renamed appropriately). It then asked for disc 7. After about disc 15 I figured that this road was going nowhere and got another crack.

    • The easy way around the Baldur’s Gate CD swapping was to copy and past the maps onto your hard drive (if you had the space), it checked there before going to the CD. No swapping woo~

  • I remember swapping discs in Final Fantasy VII, among others. I don’t mind at all. I agree with Mark about it being like finishing a chapter.

    The “user reviews” of the extended Blu-Ray edition of the Lord of the Rings on Amazon is ridiculous. So many negative reviews because each movie is on two discs!

    • I gotta say, if I had to pause a movie halfway through and swap disks I would be pretty annoyed too.

      Games, not so big a deal as long as the game is linear. Going from disk 1 to 2 once? Fine.
      Constantly swapping between the two as you go back and forth between zones or something? Not so great.

    • To be fair, it was a lazy transfer through and through. There was no reason for it to be on 2-discs, except the producers wanted to put absolutely no effort into the Blu-ray re-release.

  • Back in the PS1 era I somehow managed to avoid all multi-disc games. It was only until I played Metal Gear Solid for the first time a few years ago that I found out this even happened on consoles. Always thought it was more of a PC thing. xD /shelteredlife

  • final fantasy 13 and la noire both had 3 discs. la noire it was only really annoying if you were going for 100% and had to keep swapping between the cases.

    ff13 on the other hand only required so many discs because 75% of the game is spent watching prerendered cutscenes.

    if skyrim is able to fit on one disc, then i guess we are to assume either parts of it have been removed/compressed/simplified in order to fit, OR that other games such as FF13 et al pad their games with stuffing that isnt really important in order to justify a spill over onto a second disc.

    given bethesdas conviction on skyrim, id say that they cut out as much fat as possible and left only a juicy meaty game for us to play

  • Doesn’t worry me at all for this generation, it’s expected. I come from the day of tapes and floppy diskettes. I remember waiting 15 minutes for games to load on the old Commodore Vic 20 computer tapedeck 🙂

    Then they’d screw up and you’d start allllll over again lol.

    • Only 15 minutes?

      I remember waiting 60 minutes for America’s Cup (you know.. the boat race). And then realising 2 minutes into the game that I had NFI what was going on and it was a crap game! haha

  • I’m an extremely lazy person and even I’ve never minded swapping discs. the one time it sucked was swapping to the last disc of FFVII, doing the boss battle, seeing the credits roll and getting a sick feeling in my stomach because I wasn’t ready for the end. I’d only just put the last disc in!

  • The main one I remember for disc swapping was the Pandora Directive, six CDs because it had full motion video and 3D environments. Also had six different endings and non-specific speech options so you could unintentionally piss people off.
    The benefit of that one was it had the faces of the people you interviewed on the front of the discs so you could deal with one disc before moving onto another.
    Such a great game, even if it did rely on FMV heavily it tried some interesting stuff for the time.

  • The main reason for Consols having ony one disc is the following:

    1. Textures. Consoles only need 1 set. On the PC, there are about ten.

    2. Sound. I am assuming they are compressing the sound a bit, but with the way Oblivion did it, I am thinking they’re doing the same thing. That is, have 10 or so voice actors do lines, and the have certain NPC’s use certain lines. Tho, I think Skyrim has more voice actors… hopefully…

    3. It’s a new engine. They might have found a way of doing things a lot easier.

    • We all know that Skyrim will only have two voice actors, dudes and chicks.


      • That is completely WRONG! Bethesda has confirmed 70 voice actors in Skyrim, compared to about 15 (I think) in Oblivion.

  • After getting a 2TB harddrive why would I worry about disc changing – oh that and not being lame enough to think owning a console makes you a gamer.

      • It’s ok one day you can have a bigboy system like a PC for games – and then you can realise what a drain on innovation Console’s are on this industry.

          • You’re actually missing out on a whole lot of innovation just by having this attitude. I feel sorry for you having to miss out on masterpieces like Flower and Demon’s Souls. That’s why I have all the consoles/ handhelds/etc. I don’t like having to miss out on anything.

          • Hear hear! I am a gamer and I make the effort to have as many platforms as possible.

            Purely because I do not want to be left out of anything.

            I have said this before and I will say it again:

            1. The limiting factor is the developer, not the hardware/platform – thus consoles are not holding back the industry. In fact, correct me if I am wrong, but was it not the NES (a console) that saved the US video game market after antics at the Atari corporation drove it into the ground.

            2. There is no one platform to beat all others – PC included. All have their weaknesses and strengths thus it is crazy to think that all you need is the one.

          • I would argue that consoles are only holding back the industry by leaving us at a stagnant level of technology.

            Limitations like a 8.7Gb DVD-9 Disc. Or limitation’s like not allowing the game’s to exist with a HDD in place so you can sell the cheapo version.

            10 years is too long to be stagnant at one Hardware level.

            It’s easy to say nothing is being held back when no-one is using the tech that is available to any degree because the money is in consoles and not PC.

            But you only have to look at things like deus Ex. Where due to space considerations. All the pre-rendered cutscenes are at 720P or worse And when upscaled to a 1080P screen look like complete arse compared to the game. And for the most part don’t actually achieve anything the engine couldn’t have handled

            Too say we aren’t being limited is naive. And to take the onus off of sony and MS moreso.

            A Developer can make a great game without it looking like a drop dead stunner.

            Or a Developer can release the same game on the same engine for 4 years in a row because people will buy it, and there’s no point improving it if all your going to do is hit a tech limit in the consoles and have your next games have to sit like that for 3 more years until a new console finally comes out.

            only to have to upgrade the engine again because you’ve just jumped a decades worth of tech that your last improvements are worthless

          • Mate, seriously, hardware is not the issue. It has how developers make use of it.

            Seriously, look at the Uncharted series. Hardware is the same – but the game keeps besting itself each time.

            Heck, even the NES gave Sega a run for its money and they were using better hardware.

          • I’m not getting into which is better. Because that is stupid. As a gamer. I play games. Not platforms.

            But Cymelion’s admittedly stupid argument falls to PIECES once you’ve played something like Shadow of the Colossus.

            I’m so glad that’s coming out soon in HD. If moronic loyalty to hardware has caused you to miss out on this game. Then YOU are not a gamer. It should be played by everyone. Even if played and hated.

            Not to mention Flower, Demon Souls, The Uncharted Series, Etc. etc.

            Plus, you reckon Bethesda could justify spending the god-knows-how-much on this game if they couldn’t guarantee a certain return on their investment by releasing the game on multiple platforms?

            Stupid people is stupid…

          • Hardware is a concern – Consoles when brand new have to be offered at prices that are making them lose money on each unit for a box that come the end of the year is underpowered by a PC you could buy/build for the same price.

            And yes of course there are going to be nice games on a console eventually but most of it is just marketed trash that does nothing to improve gamers as a whole.

            And sorry I can’t feed into this argument much – I am at work and barely able to type at the moment, but if we stacked up the pros and cons of console and pc nowerdays – the PC would be in the lead no matter how pretty the occasional game is on consoles.

            Besides only the PC truely assists Indie developers – which has been shown I believe.

          • “Besides only the PC truely assists Indie developers – which has been shown I believe.”

            I think those who have released games on the iPhone, those who have released games on the XBox Live Arcade Market Place, etc would like to have a word with you.

            Also, if one did stack up the pros and cons, they would cancel each other out – there is no one platform better than the other.

            Finally, you can find trashy games no matter what platform you use, including PC.

            You are really not helping you own claim Cymelion.

          • Awwwwww, why wont you reply to my friend request. Come on, pleeeeeeease!!!!
            You have so such awesome things to say that, so productive to the nature of this article. Im like, soooo gonna be like you when i grow up.
            Here, judge me on my impression of you, ready?
            “love me love me love me love me, awwwww pleeeeeease!!!”
            hows that?
            be my friend?

          • “You are really not helping you own claim Cymelion.”

            Since when is an opinion anything more then that?

            Consoles are the bane of the industry – but my opinion of them wont make them go away.

            Skyrim will be ruined on the console making most who purchase it wish they had bought it on pc – wont stop it being released on there.

            Hopefully with the way steam works and more intergration of PC’s being able to hook up with TV’s consoles will be a product of their own demise and we can look on them as no more novel then the Nintendo Game&Watch devices.

          • Simple thing is I spent £300 on my playstation 5 years ago and I can still play all the games that come out on it. But for my PC I would need to spend £200 a year just to keep up with the newest releases, my PC is better than that of any of my mates and doesn’t reach the minimum requirements for skyrim.

          • I’ll be getting the 360 version of Skyrim simply because I know it will only cost me price of the game, I’ll put it the console and it’ll play as it’s meant to be played… and I’ll enjoy the experience without having to worry about resolutions, texture quality, crashes etc etc.. remember fun? what games are meant to be..

            I gave up PC gaming long ago, not all of us can throw $$ at regular system upgrades just to keep up with the latest requirements. Am I not a true gamer because of this?

          • and yet it’s the sale of those games on Consoles that allows developers to pour AAA resources into those projects – if they relied on PC sales alone to fund their budgets the games industry would be stuffed.

        • Who cares what people game on, pull the bloody stick out of your A$%#.

          It’s stuff like this that makes me and every other PC gamer who isn’t an elitist A-Hat look like the very same racist 7 year olds that scream down mic’s on consoles

        • As an owner of a gaming PC and a 360 and PS3 (and previously a Wii) I can safely say you should pull your head out of your ass.

          Gaming is gaming, it doesn’t matter what system you do it on. Not everyone can afford expensive PC’s, console gaming opens up games to more people to enjoy. It’s not the fault of the console that games now are poorly optimised on PC, it’s the fault of the lazy devs/publishers who demand that the game be focused on console. There are still a heap of game devs who do make quality games for the PC.

          I quite enjoy playing games on all 3 systems, mostly the exclusives on the console as some of them are quite enjoyable (Uncharted for example).

      • Actually Trolling is different – Trolling is when I don’t actually care – check my responses past and present.

        I don’t like consoles and I truely believe them to be useless and a stain on this industry. Just because you don’t like my opinion doesn’t make it trolling.

        • You are right, Cymelion. Trolling is different. The idea of trolling is to simply spark a reaction from other Internet users.

          However, you are a borderline case as trolling is often by making claims that have little to no factual basis.

          While you are entitled to your own opinion, the fact remains is your claims are baseless – consoles are not the limitor of gaming and PCs are not the be all and end all.

          At the end of the day, it is up to the developers and if they choose to cut corners to get a product out that is their decision. No amount of scap-goating is going to change that fact.

          Finally, and this stems from your original claim, if one choses to play games on a console then he/she is entitled to be called a gamer. A gamer is person who enjoys good quality games.

          How the person plays games is irrelivant and console games have just as much right to good quality games as PC gamers. To say console gamers are lame is not only arrogant about outright offensive as being lame is a nasty condition.

          • So basically what Cynical Cymelion is saying is: Consoles, devices designed PURELY for GAMING purposes, are holding back the ENTIRE GAMING INDUSTRY.
            Now, to me, that seems like a weak claim. I know that some PC’s are supercharged and would absolutely crush the capabilities of consoles. On the other hand, games like Skyrim show just how much the developers can improve a game USING THE SAME HARDWARE! The PS3 was released at a very similar time to Oblivion, and look at the enormous leap from that to Skyrim!

          • So basically what Cynical Cymelion is saying is: Consoles, devices designed PURELY for GAMING purposes, are holding back the ENTIRE GAMING INDUSTRY.
            Now, to me, that seems like a weak claim. I know that some PC’s are supercharged and would absolutely crush the capabilities of consoles. On the other hand, games like Skyrim show just how much the developers can improve a game USING THE SAME HARDWARE! The PS3 was released at a very similar time to Oblivion, and look at the enormous leap from that to Skyrim!

  • All i know is i wanted to punch someone playing through Deus Ex:HR.

    Why so many crappy pre rendered cut scenes. Especially because most of the time they weren’t used for anything that probably couldn’t have been done by the engine.

    And god the resolution was painful. My phone takes better footage than that

  • Wow, you are all lazy bastards.

    I would gladly take a larger, longer and more fulfilling game than some crappy mainstream garbage that is regurgitated every year.

    My optimism for Skyrim has just been shifted to cautious anticipation.

  • Multiple disks aren’t an issue, but if they’re cut scenes are like the ones I remember from oblivion, then it’s a few lines of code, not large amounts of images(which is basically all a pre-rendered cut-scene is).

    I’d rather have multiple install disks, all said though.

  • The worst was Mass effect 2. The disc swap came at a logical break in the story, which would be fine if that’s all the game contained. Occasionally if you went to do an anomaly mission or side quest that you’d skipped you’d have to switch disks again. Then you’d come back for another session later, forget which disk you were up to, suffer the lengthy loading, only to be told to insert ‘disk 1’ again. Grr.

    • Maybe it’s because I was doing everything, but I never had to swap discs for a mission like that. I just assumed that all the generic missions were stored on both discs to prevent it…

      • I’ve just swapped over to the second disc on this game (my first 2 disc game since the original Metal Gear Solid!) and I figured different parts of the galaxy are on each of the discs. (I’m probably wrong)

  • Nothing against xbox but! When your forced to swap disc’s in the middle of a game, that says something. It’s 2011 not 1999 -_- ……… BLU -Ray ONE DISC PLEASE!

  • Disc swapping is annoying. With LA Noire, they should have given you the option to install all three discs to HD and then just run the game from disc 1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Skyrim comes on 1 disc and then asks for a mandatory 3GB download to run the game 🙂

    • That would certainly be a welcome feature for all multidisc games.

      (removing the disc swapping, not the 3gb download)

  • Wing Commander 4 had 6 CDs from memory. WC3 had about 4 I think.

    Obviously due to the FMVs in the game and the game was linear so there wasn’t any disc swapping back and forth. Once you went to the next disc, that was it.

    Was very much like chapters again like other games of that era.

  • Ah, Monkey Island 2 and it’s 11 disks…. as I recall, Beneath a Steel Sky was even more hardcore with it’s 15 disks on Amiga!!! Wasn’t an issue then, and isn’t now, so long as the game is good then that’s all that matters. 🙂

  • Why can’t they have multo discs but have the option to install the other discs then run it off the one disc?

    Why hasn’t this idea taken off?!?!

  • Only on my laptop and thats because of how my laptop is positioned in relation to my mouse pad which stops it opening, oh and me headset cord gets in the way as well. (only minor things)

    • This.

      Brings back memories of the old days swapping floppy disks, though! Games coming on like a dozen floppies and having to change constantly during the install.

  • I don’t mind multi disc games as long as they’re intelligently set up, Mass Effect 2 disc 2 could be installed to the xbox hard drive and never needed to be in thereafter, thats the sensible way to do it. Thanks to the disc size its not an issue on the PS3 (at least with any game I own) and PCs have been doing the full install method for decades.

    I was one of the early gen gamers so I’ve certainly had my share of excessive disc swapping (I seem to recall that the Amiga version of Beneath A Steel Sky had FIFTEEN discs not including the one you saved on) and tape multi-loads. I’m more than a little happy that those things are pretty much dead & buried

  • Textures, audio and video take up a lot of disc space.
    Skyrim, although its a massive game, is all geometry and repeated textures. Im not surprised its all on one disc.
    Geometry takes next to no disc space. Then the developers would make a few different textures for the trees, rocks, etc and repeat them thousands of times to fill the scenery.

  • Meh, it’s just kinda annoying and kinda ridiculous at this point. It’s not the end of the world by any stretch though.

  • No way I love disc swapping! Like in the old Final Fantasy games you’d get a mad feeling of progress and it was really rewarding to change discs. It makes buying the game better as well, makes it seem like your getting more for your money.

    Does this mean that they compromised the game thought o fit it on one disc?

  • Article about how Skyrim fits on one disk, without any sort of proof, turns out to be an article about disk swapping.

    Stupid article. If you want to talk about disk swapping, rename the title of the post.

  • Disc swapping?

    Sorry I’m not aware of what this is, I own a PS3 😉

    Nah but in all seriousness I recall having to switch discs on a Playstation 1 game but I can’t remember what one :/

    • I can think of at least 5 ‘multi-disc PSX games you should have played if you owned a PSX’ off the top of my head…

      So if there was only one instance of swapping that you vaguely remember then I submit that you, sir, have a lot of catching up to do 😉

  • Of course their not “cutting” anything in half, what are you all on about?! Since when do we rate the quality of a game by how much space it takes up or how many discs it has, jesus christ, I think the software engineers know what their doing and also Bethesdas games have always had the largest play areas this side of Rockstars, what are you all on about…

    • I think he means that if the game were to span more than one disk, part of the world would be on each disk. Since you can travel at will, the disk swapping would be more than annoying. It could not be at a “cut” point in the story like say, Mass Effect 2.

  • Grow up. Just play games on PC. Install once. No more discs. Or just get it on Steam. Solves all issues.

    It’s so sad that consoles have 2 resort to disc swapping. Luckily I play games on my PC and PS3 while my 360 is for kinect so it never happens to me. Suck on it 360 elitests. PC ftw.

  • Doom came out on 7 3.5″ floppies (of course it then installed on your HDD, hoping you had room).

    My wife still digs Phantasmagoria out every now and then – 7 CDs. And the other big game that was driven by video – Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within – was also 7 CDs. Then there’s Blade Runner. Wing Commander 3. And so on. All of these would fit easily in a neglected corner of today’s average hard drive.

    But back to consoles: these come with hard drives now – aren’t they heading towards the point of no more disc swapping?

  • Xbox xbox xbox. That’s all I fucking hear and see when it comes To this game. Gets DLC first, optimized for one disc, they show demo using it. Since when did it’s main Platform become xbox?

  • i hate constant disc swapping (like monkey island 1+2 on amiga like the article mentions), and baldur’s gate 1 used to make me switch the discs like a madman! but i also feel a bit of satisfaction in changing discs if its a proper progress, not disc 1, disc 2, disc 1, disc 3 disc 1 etc..

  • At first I was like “LA Noire? Dead Space 2? … I’m pretty sure they were all on single discs…”

    Then I realized I play mostly ps3 versions of games… 😛 Well, you learn something new every day, I suppose.

    Dead Space 2 being multi-disc is pretty surprising though

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