Halo 2 For Vista: Tray & Play

For the last year I’ve watched – and worked with – Hired Gun as they’ve worked on Halo 2 for Vista. As part of the work that I’ve helped with in months past – and as an active beta tester – is something called Tray & Play. Jo talks about it at IGN – it was also called out as a feature in other preview news during GDC this year.

How cool is this type of technology for PC gamers? Let me give you an example: the first time you play Halo 2 for Vista it takes less time to get into the game on my notebook than it took to get into Resistance – Fall of Man on a PS3.

Yes, the initial PC install process beat the most recent gaming console’s setup.

I’ll wait until you get your jaw off the floor and for you to stop shaking your head in disbelief.

As I don’t have the RTM bits to run a test – yet – I’ll tell you my experience from the last beta I was a part of, which was right around the same time I got my hands on a PS3.

For my notebook – my work notebook, mind – it’s a Dell Latitude D810. That means a Pentium M running at 2.13GHz. Not a Core Duo or Core 2 Duo – a regular Pentium M. There’s 2GB of RAM, true, and the video card is an ATI Mobility Radeon X600 w/ 128MB.

    Windows Vista rating:

  • Processor: 3.0
  • RAM: 4.4
  • Graphics: 4.1
  • Gaming Grfx: 3.6
  • HDD Speed: 4.9

In other words, an average notebook. At least to me, even with 2GB RAM. My own personal notebook that I bought last June is “pretty good” to me: 2.16GHz Core Duo, 2GB RAM, ATI FireGL V5200 w/ 256MB. At least a class above the Dell and currently waiting for RTM bits.

Anyway, when I dropped in Resistance into the PS3 for the first time, it spun up fine. Gave me a “Please wait 45-55 seconds while we” do something to your hard drive. After that they started up a cut scene that lasted several minutes – if I had to guess, I’d say the whole process was up to five minutes before I landed in a part of the game that I could control. At least five minutes maybe have been seven.

How long does that feel like? Well, here’s a test. Put someone in front of a computer screen and turn off the LCD – then time how long it takes them before they twitch or try to do something with the PC. Then ask them how long they thought the gap was… they’ll tell you 2-4 minutes – it will probably be between 30 and 40 seconds. The only reason why I’m pretty sure the PS3 took longer than five minutes to spin up and start is because I left the room, went down the hall, took a biological break, came back, and the cut scene was still going.

Halo 2 for Vista on the other hand… under two minutes.

Don’t believe me? Go get it next month and give it a look…

Just be sure to come back so I can say “I Told You So”!

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