Word on the street, from people beta-testing the new Xbox 360 dashboard update, is that it significantly reduces the size of hard-drive game installs. It doesn’t retroactively make them smaller, if you’ve already installed games to the HDD for faster load-times, but if you re-install them, the new dash apparently removes a lot of dummy data that is not needed.
Some games, like King of Fighters XII and Raiden Fighters Aces, went from a 3.4GB install to only 703MB and 484MB respectively. The update allows the system to be much more efficient in selecting what non-essential data to put on the hard-drive, and while that results in many games not taking up as much space, some games like Fable 2 are no smaller being installed post-update.
The new dashboard update – due soon out now – reportedly improves load-times of the NXE dashboard and a host of other bug fixes, but doesn’t include the Facebook and Twitter integration we’re all secretly hoping for. Even so, being able to save a few megabytes on game installs means you can install more games to the HDD, and that’s not a bad thing.