See What A Difference A Day-One Patch Makes

See What A Difference A Day One Patch Makes

Hint: In spooky-scary Shinji Mikami survival-horror The Evil Within, it's a pretty big one. If your internet connection is non-existent/unreliable, this is probably not the best news.

The Evil Within's particular brand of survival-horror has been known to cause a bit of a mess, but not like this. Eurogamer took a PlayStation 4 retail copy of the game for a test drive and opted not to patch it from version 1.0 to version 1.01. The gulf between those negligibly different numbers? Pretty big in places. Have a look:

Or, in short:

"Version 1.0 actually runs 30 to 40 per cent slower than the same game running with the day one patch. Scenes that manage to deliver an even 30fps in version 1.01 lurch along at an awful 20fps instead. Dips and stutters in the current version drop all the way down into the teens."

"It gets worse. The original release doesn't even operate at native resolution. We pegged version 1.01 at 1920x768, delivering 1:1 pixel mapping by displaying at 1080p with large black bars framing the action. Version 1.0? It runs at 1600x900, anamorphically squished into a 1920x768 window."

There are also weird pauses in gameplay and frequent framerate drops to top it all off. Apparently at certain points it's very hard to do basic things like aim smoothly.

The issue here is that players get a game with some pretty serious performance issues if they don't go through with the patching process. Granted, we live in the year 2014, so a lot of people staple a few new gigabytes to their game and get on with their lives, but not everybody has reliable Internet access all the time.

Even beyond that, it's kinda wild to me that a high-profile game could end up on shelves in such a poor state. That idea just feels... off to me, especially given that one day the servers that deliver these patch downloads could be taken offline. Then what? I'm not sure if it's something we should be OK with.

Has anyone else tried playing The Evil Within this way? Or any other game where the day-one update isn't mandatory? Do you think people should expect higher standards from games off the shelf, free of updates?


Comments

    Ps4 runs a game less than 1080p nobody cares

    Xbox one runs a game at 900p and everybody starts losing their minds

    fck ps4

      You almost had a good point until that last line.

        Nah he ignored the bizarre aspect ratio so it is not the best example for his first line either. Though, who cares when some idiot writes "fck ps4" as you rightfully made a point of dude.

      PS4 launches a game in 1080p then patches it down to 900p because frame rate variations. No one cares.

      Xbox one launches a game in 900p to begin with everyone loses their minds.

      No one runs less than the other people loose their minds. Both run same but one toned down to match the other people loose their minds.
      Both low to begin with then people less crazy but ALSO the viewing area is less, so that 900p is not the same as if it was 1080p at 16:9 as the display area is less of ones 1080p screen due to black bars so it is not as low res as it may sound.

    Back in the day of cartridge-based consoles, you *couldn't* patch your games at all (unless it was a PC game), so you needed to make sure you got it right the first time.

    I dunno...maybe it's inevitable that patches are needed given how complex games are these days, but it does feel like some developers use the day 1 patch as a bit of a crutch and an excuse for them to release the game in a less than ideal state, knowing that they'll be able to fix it with a day 1 patch.

    It actually takes up to a month before the game hits the shelves after the final gold master version has been sent to the publisher, and this time is often used to create these day 1 patches. They could delay the game by a month to fix this stuff of course, but that would mean it is released later. Best to submit it early and fix the issues while you are waiting for the certification from the console makers, the discs and packaging to be printed, shipped out to stores, etc.

      This is the fear... I don't mind though as long as they keep working on improving the game. I hate when they give you half a game then charge you more for the other half. OR, what they like to call DLC

      I agree with you, BUT:
      Games were a lot simpler back then too.

      I meant cartridge games.

      Last edited 22/10/14 5:16 pm

        I'd argue the opposite. For a long time now games have been getting streamlined. While games like Dayz revel in complexity, gone are the days it seems of big market releases of games like Falcon, or maze like shooters like quake 1 and 2 in favour of more linear, controller friendly stuff.

          But quake isn't cartridge :D
          I meant cartridge based games, my bad.

          Last edited 22/10/14 5:17 pm

            lol yeah console games have definitely advanced.

            Oh and QUAKE 64 and QUAKE 2 64 beg to differ with you lol.

            Last edited 22/10/14 5:19 pm

              Really?
              I remember Doom64. But quake... How did i not know this?
              Mind blown.

              Last edited 22/10/14 5:36 pm

      dude did you even play in the cartridge days.... 8/10 games where bugged pieces of shit. Hell AVGN (angry video game nerd) made a living off making video's about those bugged games.

    It is not something to be okay with. I remember the olden days were games were released an no patches were required to enjoy the games, that was just two generations ago. Sure, if you're going digital anyway this might be no biggie for you but for those who buy physical copies, what's the point then?

      I think white pointer hit it on the head perfectly; even compared to ten years ago games have increased exponetially in complexity under the hood, the gaming hardware scene has become a mess and post sale support is becoming the norm. I think when you have a QA team of 50 ( being generous) you have only a small chance to find what millions might.

        With the videogames industry it seems things are going backwards, it seems as technology advances strides in game development still won't permit game developers to release less buggy games in a smaller amount of time. Which is really sad.

        I don't know about the gaming hardware scene becoming a mess, I'm not a game developer but from what I've read the PS4 and Xbox One are supposedly easier to develop for now that they are using the x86 architecture which is the same as PC which would make a simpleton like me assume that this means that all the versions would at least have a semblance of uniformity now that the developers will be familiar with all the platforms innards. They knowingly released an unoptimized game in the wild, day 1 patch means they are racing to fix it even though they already released something half-baked.

          Consoles might be easier for developers to transition between, but then compare it to the different CPU and GPU architecture going around in gaming PC's and it becomes a very different ball game.

            If you put it that way then. Still, they knew that the PS4 version was unoptimized. Couldn't they compare it with the PC and the Xbox One version? I don't like huge patches because in some parts of the world greedy ISPs are moving towards putting data caps on their customers in an effort to stave off a non-existent problem. The problem exists if their problem is that they can't get enough money, but I digress.

            Since the world is relying more and more on the internet as time goes by, they want to find more ways to gain money off it and frankly data caps is probably the most despicable thing they could do. A lot of players won't be able to patch their games, and consequently not buy games that require patches that eclipse the size of the game in disc.

              I don't think its entirely acceptable, I just think it is going to become more and more common; in fact so much so that I believe at some point "early access" will be a title that is dropped in favour of titles being sold at cost with the excuse being that you are buying into a WIP game with a longer life.

                So in the future, if we have a hankering to play old games, buying a game physically won't mean we would automatically be able to play them?

                I can see the following scenarios happening:
                1. Game makers will release complete editions of the games
                2. In the even of that not happening, they will upload patches in their servers which I doubt will remain in perpetuity
                3. Games will live on through the goodwill of common folks who will upload the patches in their own servers or even compile everything needed to make a game work

                All of this coupled with the ongoing battle against the ISP companies greed and monopolization, it doesn't seem to be a bright future for gamers who want to save their games and play them when they're old. I don't want that future.

    So how big is the actual patch Mr Journalist?

    It’s kinda key component to your article about the patch being a pain in the ass.

    This is one of the reasons I've stayed clear of the new consoles. I don't have a decent plan and seeing Dead Rising 3's massive patch really put me off.
    At least it wasn't a day one patch.

      That's why I switched to iiNet for their unmetered XBL content. I kept getting capped during E3, or when a lot of demos released at once.

      You should see the huge spike from the day I bought my Xbox One (from downloading several months worth of free Games with Gold). :D

    download a 50gig game, and a 50 gig day one patch, is more then a lots of peoples monthly internet quota, multiply that by x games a month, and its pretty bleak.

    Cartridge based games where not without issues, I remember reading of certain glitches and problems back in the 16bit era, that I'm sure they wish could be patched out.

    The rise of the Internet and the concept of the patch changed gaming, now that all machines are expected to be connected to the internet the patch is expected to be a way of life. Games used to be made by a handful of people or sometimes just one guy. Now days teams are numbered in there hundreds. The more complexity and people you add the more that something can go wrong.

    Yes I think that it's terrible that companies care so little about us, they think they can rush an unfinished game into the stores and patch it on release. Shipping a game with frame rate issues is just absurd. What if I decided to review that version and complained about frame rate issues. Would the company then demand I patch and review the game again? Selling a shonky game and fixing it later is more important then selling a game that has been fixed.

    We all know the reason this is done, Game Development is expensive as hell, your paying a ton of people and you don't see a return on that investment until the game actually starts selling, and the people who don't care about games just the money they make want the profits to start rolling in ASAP. This is why their is so much pressure to preorder or miss out, because a group of rich guys don't care about our enjoyment as long we buy it and they make a return. I certainly don't think the programming team who will be judged on their work want to push an unfinished product out the door and have you hate it.

    Games Development isn't about the money, nobody becomes a Programmer to get rich, they do it for the love of games. The corrupting influence is the guys who pay them and want their money back before they even spend it.

      I remember having a copy of WWF No Mercy on the N64 back in the day. It had a glitch where sometimes the game would reset and delete all your saved files.
      It took them about 6 months of people whinging on their forums before the glitch was recognised, at which point customers were forced to snail mail their cartridges to THQ for a replacement which took well over a month!
      The new system isn’t perfect, but games are SO much more complex now than they used to be and honestly the ability to patch unforseen errors is a godsend.
      It does get abused (the Dead Rising example above is a great one), but it’s a good thing that games get patched. Look at EA Sports UFC now compared to launch, they’ve fixed up a LOT of the balancing issues and minor errors and the game is much better now- you can argue that it should have been perfect in the first place but if you take off the rose coloured glasses 15 years ago it would have just been sold as a flawed product and stayed that way.

    I honestly don't see the big deal with day one patches as long as they are reasonable ie not a 20 gb update i heard about recently (forgot the title).

    I mean whats the big deal? Is it that bad having to wait 10 minutes for a file to download so we can play the game as it was intended, we all know publishers push and push for deadlines so I am fine with a day one patch as long as it insures a good gaming experience.... releasing a broken game that cannot be fixed with a reasonable d1 patch is of course unacceptable.

    we demand better graphics, better stories, less reused assets, better voice acting all the bells and whistles... it costs millions of dollars and work hours to complete something that we all want for cheap as possible... studies show most pc gamers wait now for sales on steam... yet we all cry over a day one patch.

    Publishers and devs spend millions alone on marketing, pushing a deadline back is more then just, "do we want gamers to wait another month to play" it can bust banks, and blow out costs just like any other industry, but unlike other industries they don't have the luxury of being able to address issues with a manageable day one patch.

    Last edited 23/10/14 12:11 am

      I think it's the halo collection with a 20gb download. The big deal is that some people don't have good internet connections. Doesn't bother me too much but I have a cousin who lives with his parents on something like a 20gb download plan on slow ass speeds. That 10 minutes turns in to a couple of house and their usage for the month goes down the toilet.

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