Is It Weird That I Miss Changing Discs in Games? (2023)

As a kid who grew up in the ’90s devouring games on SNES cartridges like Chrono Trigger, EarthBound, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, there was something new and exciting about moving into the PlayStation era and seeing games that were so expansive that their stories couldn’t be contained on a single piece of physical media, but instead had to be spread across several discs.

If you were about to play one of these games, chances are that meant you were in for an adventure that pushed the boundaries of FMVs, music, spoken dialogue, and more. It might seem gimmicky now, but at the time, there was a palpable excitement when I brought home a new game that housed several discs inside of its double-sized jewel case.

When I look back at some of my favorite games of this era, many of the key moments that remain wedged in my memory are from the instances where the adventure hit a point where the game itself told me that I had to physically get up off my seat, move to the console, and swap out discs in order to see what would happen next. When placed correctly, these moments acted as an intermission. A chance for you to catch your breath, reflect on the progress you’ve made so far, and prepare for the journey that lies ahead.

The first that comes to mind for me, and I imagine a lot of folks, is the transition to the second disc in Final Fantasy VII. After the shock of witnessing Sephiroth murder Aerith, Cloud watches the Flower Girl sink beneath the water and vows to his friends that they’ll avenge her death and retrieve the Black Materia. It’s here at this emotional crescendo that the screen fades to black, and we see the words “End of Part 1.”

Is It Weird That I Miss Changing Discs in Games? (1)

In Metal Gear Solid, this moment occurs about two-thirds of the way through the story, after your second encounter with Sniper Wolf. Having finally bested the expert marksman on the open snowfields, she delivers a classic Kojima soliloquy before dying, though at this early point in the franchise, having your adversary humanized in this way was still a novel concept.

Otacon does what he does best and cries over the loss of his one true love of the moment, and upon making your way out of this area, you’re hit with a title card that’s similar to what you see when you fail the mission and get game over. But instead, the game prompts you to insert disc two and continue on towards your battle with Vulcan Raven and the game’s finale. While this moment is great on its own, it becomes even better in the context of the series as a whole.

Flash forward a decade to 2008’s Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which uses an entire act to have you revisit the remains of Shadow Moses. When you get to this exact point, Otacon rings you up on your Codec, breaks the fourth wall, and tells you that it’s time to change the disc. Snake responds with a growl, to which Otacon says, “Oh, wait! We’re on PlayStation 3! It’s a Blu-Ray Disc. Dual-layered, too. No need to swap.” Snake tells him to get a grip, and Ocaton replies, lost in thought, “Yeah, what an age we live in, huh, Snake? Wonder what they’ll think of next.” This moment is equal parts absurd, stupid, charming, and genius, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Another disc swap moment that’s stuck with me came from Square’s iconic Xenogears, but it’s less because of a memorable story event and more because the intermission marks the point in development where the relatively young team realized that they were running out of time and resources to finish the game on schedule.

Is It Weird That I Miss Changing Discs in Games? (2)

Rather than abruptly end the adventure at a point where they thought the audience would be dissatisfied, they plowed through with the story by telling it through a series of monologues where main characters sat on a chair in a dark room and explained the events of the story to the audience. What would’ve been massive dungeons and exciting set pieces went by in a flash, and we only regained control of the action for a small percentage of the back half of the game. No discussion of Xenogears is complete without asking the other party, “So about disc two…”

While a lot of Square’s PS1 games unfolded across multiple discs, they all didn’t handle the transition as elegantly as Final Fantasy VII or as memorably as Xenogears. Take Parasite Eve, for example. The sci-fi horror story set in contemporary New York City remains a unique take on the JRPG genre, but its disc swap occurs almost arbitrarily and not until the start of the final act.

Sometimes the existence of multiple discs made perfect sense, like how Resident Evil 2 on PS1 housed Leon’s campaign on one disc and Claire’s on another. Other times they were frustrating, like how Legend of Dragoon made you jump back and forth between discs if you wanted to backtrack to earlier areas of the game. And then there were the beefy boys like the Myst sequel Riven and Tokimeki Memorial 2, both of which came on a whopping five PS1 CDs.

There are also some transitions that have almost been lost to time, like that of the original Resident Evil 4. In the GameCube version, you’d hop over to the second disc near the laboratories on the island, which are about three-quarters of the way through the adventure. However, in pretty much every subsequent port, remaster, and remake of the game – and there have been a lot of those – there was no need for the story to be broken up like that, meaning that the adventure is seamless most places folks played it.

Is It Weird That I Miss Changing Discs in Games? (3)

As the console generations moved on, the increase in storage capacities both internally and on the media themselves resulted in fewer and fewer multi-disc games. While there were some longer Xbox 360 games like Final Fantasy XIII and Lost Odyssey that were spread across several discs, we also started to see some games like Grand Theft Auto V on 360 use its second disc for a mandatory install, or Resident Evil 6 and its second disc containing other languages.

Over the past few generations, the mystique of the multi-disc game has worn off, and in the rare chances they still exist, it usually just means that you have a major install waiting in your future. That’s the case with recent PlayStation 4 games spread across two Blu-ray discs, like Final Fantasy VII Remake, The Last of Us Part II, God of War Ragnarok, and Horizon Forbidden West. There’s no fashion to the separation anymore, only function.

In the age of digital and streaming media, it’s funny to look back nostalgically at a time when things were more complicated for the user. But there’s something about the tangibility of multi-disc games that helped strengthen the sensation of scope, and it was a feeling that was shared across mediums as well – I have fond memories of watching the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD and having to swap discs halfway through because of the sheer length of the adventure.

I may very well be alone in missing an experience so big that it needed a built-in intermission. And who knows, maybe there’s something we take for granted in modern games that we’ll be looking back on decades from now with rose-tinted nostalgia goggles? My money’s on hidden loading screens where you have to squeeze through a narrow gap. Someday, we’re going to miss shimmying through those crevices.


Why don't games run off discs anymore? ›

Optical disc drives can't read data quickly enough to keep up with modern games, so you get the best gaming experience when you install the game from a disc on your Xbox console.

Are game discs obsolete? ›

No. Just because a type of game attracts more companies into investing into that sort of system, doesn't make other game types “obsolete”.

Is it bad to leave a disc in PS4? ›

No. There is no possible damage that can occur to your disc or your PS4 from leaving the disc inside. It won't harm the console to remove the disc, either, but there's no point.

Why do some games need 2 discs? ›

Why do some video games come on multiple discs? There is a physical limit to the amount of data that can be contained on a single disc. If the game files collectively are above this limit, then the developers/publishers will have to release the game on multiple discs.

Do disc games run worse? ›

Loading times may differ, depending upon your console, but unless the game is being played interactively online and the player's internet is slow, the actual gaming experience should be identical regardless of whether the data originated in a server or on a physical disc.

What is the lifespan of a game disc? ›

With proper cleaning, storage, and handling of your game disc they should last about 25+ years for the disc to naturally rot.

What will gaming be like in 2030? ›

In the year 2030, virtual reality and augmented reality will dominate the gaming industry. In addition to this, numerous gamers will significantly use this technology to introduce new genres to the audience.

Are video games on the decline? ›

The Games Market Will Decline -4.3% to $184.4 Billion in 2022; Long-Term Outlook Remains Positive | Newzoo. Game Performance MonitorUnlock title-level engagement and revenue data for thousands of PC and console games.

Can a game disc rot? ›

Disc rot occurs when the lacquer layer starts to break down. When the protective layer fails, the aluminum layer is exposed to air and oxidizes to cause holes or other problems to occur. When this happens, that part of the disc becomes unreadable.

Does PS4 overheat? ›

Your PS4 may overheat if the vents are blocked, or if there isn't enough clearance between the vents and other objects. The PS4 will also tend to overheat if there's a lot of dust inside. The temperature in your room can also have an effect, as can faulty hardware or firmware.

Why my PS4 is so loud? ›

If your PS4 is too hot, the fan spins and very likely gets much louder than normal. If there're something on or around your PS4 console, move them away. Then wait for a while to see if your console cools down and gets quiet. Just leave enough space around the back and sides of your PS4 for airflow.

How long can a PS4 stay on without overheating? ›

At first, please do not play your PS4 longer than 4 hours continuously. There are various factors that could lead to PS4 overheating. The long-time running is one of them. To prevent overheating, it is better to play your PS4 for less than 4 hours every time.

What Playstation game had the most discs? ›

1 Answer
  • Phantasmagoria has 8 CDs.
  • Black Dahlia has 8 CDs.
  • Everquest II has 9 CDs + 1 bonus disc.
Jan 23, 2022

Do you need 2 discs for GTA 5? ›

A: Yes you do need to install both to play the game. Also because the game is so large it requires two did to hold all of the content.

Why is PS5 disc better? ›

The advantage of the disc-equipped PS5 is that you're not stuck with one way of downloading your games — you can choose between snagging a physical copy or downloading it digitally.

Is 100% disk usage normal while gaming? ›

Yes, it is normal for the hard disk usage to reach 100% while playing games, especially for games that have large amounts of data to load and process such as open-world games.

Is it better to buy physical games or digital? ›

Much of it comes down to personal preference. If you like having shelves lined with your games that you can browse and reminisce, you'll want to go for physical. If you prefer the convenience and speed offered through digital purchases, and don't want game boxes lying around, then you'll want to go digital.

Which is faster disc or digital? ›

Disc is faster. Disconnect from the internet, install the disc, then connect and start it. You'll be prompted to download any patches. Digital requires you to download the entire game before you install patches so it takes longer.

What is the longest lasting disc? ›

Overview. M-DISC's design is intended to provide archival media longevity. M-Disc claims that properly stored M-DISC DVD recordings will last up to 1000 years.

Can game discs get hot? ›

The discs should warm up a bit during normal operation, but if they're getting so hot that they're getting damaged then there's definately something wrong.

How old does a disc rot? ›

Among the manufacturers that have done testing, there is consensus that, under recommended storage conditions, CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD+R discs should have a life expectancy of 100 to 200 years or more; CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM discs should have a life expectancy of 25 years or more.

Do gamers have a future? ›

Gaming is now a bigger industry than movies and sports combined. Revenue for gaming reached $184 billion in 2022, and the number of gamers is expected to grow to 3.6 billion by 2025. It's not just kids either: 38 percent of gamers are between the ages of 18 and 34 years, and 16 percent are older than 55.

Is gaming becoming a career? ›

If you love to play games and think you're fairly good at them, you may be interested in becoming a professional gamer. Although this career path is possible, it also requires a lot of skill and hard work to succeed at starting a gaming career.

Is gaming recession proof? ›

Gamers are certainly more down to spend their money on virtual items these days than they were back then. But the operative word is “uncertainty”, and it's far from a sure thing that the gaming industry will be as recession-proof this time around as it was in 2008.

Do people outgrow video games? ›

It probably depends. Some people grow out of them because they never had a real attachment to them. Games were just a toy, and their childhood and teenage years were more dominated by social relationships, TV shows, music, clothing or other things.

How many people don't play videogames? ›

According to a survey conducted in October 2022, 70 percent of adults in the United States played video games on at least one platform. In comparison, 30 percent of U.S. adults did not play video games at all.

Does water hurt game discs? ›

If the disc has experienced no permanent damage from absorption of the liquid, it should play normally. In NIST tests, a CD totally submerged in clean water for 24 hours was found to be unreadable initially after removal and surface drying.

Will hand sanitizer damage a game disc? ›

General rule is, if it's safe for your eyeglasses, it's perfectly safe for a disc. You can clean them with eyeglass cleaner, water, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, even liquid dish soap, but *make sure you clean them with a liquid*. You can even rinse them under the tap if you must.

Can alcohol clean game discs? ›

When you acquire a used disc, use rubbing alcohol and lint-free cloth to clean both sides. Clean the label side however you want, but you should always try to clean the "data" side by wiping from the middle hole to the outer edge, all the way around (this also goes for music CDs).

Can a ps4 get wet? ›

Water or any liquid (except distilled water) and electronics and electricity are not a good mix. The impurities in the liquid causes corrosion and provides circuit paths for the electricity which were not in the console's operating design and could damage the components.

Will the cold hurt a ps4? ›

You see, if any console or devise has been in a damp aired room, or had had water molecules exposed to it; then it's put in a suddenly cooler fridge, condensation is bound to happen. Your ps4 will most likely break.

What's the longest a PS4 can be on? ›

At first, please do not play your PS4 longer than 4 hours continuously. There are various factors that could lead to PS4 overheating. The long-time running is one of them. To prevent overheating, it is better to play your PS4 for less than 4 hours every time.

Will Sony stop making PS4 games? ›

Sony refuses to "forget millions of active players" on the PlayStation 4 and has vouched for the future of the console, with potential new games in the works already.

How long will PS4 last after PS5? ›

Support for the PS4 is still going in 2023. Sony has yet to put all its eggs in the PS5 basket and fully commit to supporting the next-gen system.

What is the most popular PlayStation ever? ›

PlayStation 2 – 159 million*

*PlayStation 2 remains the best-selling video game console of all time. Sony's beloved system tops Nintendo DS by roughly 5 million units sold, while handily outselling every other console in existence.

What is the highest PS game? ›

Best-selling PlayStation games in the United States in 2022, by dollar sales
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) (Activision Blizzard)1
God of War: Ragnarök (Sony)2
Elden Ring (Bandai Namco Entertainment)3
Madden NFL 23 (Electronic Arts)4
6 more rows
Apr 3, 2023

What is the largest PlayStation game? ›

23 Biggest PS4 Games By File Size, Ranked
  • 4 NBA 2k22, ~ 100 GB.
  • 5 GT Sport, ~ 100 GB. ...
  • 6 The Elder Scrolls Online, ~ 85-120 GB. ...
  • 7 Red Dead Redemption 2, ~ 105 GB. ...
  • 8 Call Of Duty: Black Ops III, ~ 80-100 GB. ...
  • 9 Final Fantasy XV, ~ 100 GB. ...
  • 10 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, ~ 85 GB. ...
  • 11 Horizon Forbidden West, ~ 80-90 GB. ...
Dec 29, 2022

Why is rdr2 on 2 discs? ›

That the game comes on two discs is very much a good thing, as Red Dead Redemption 2 weighs in at around 100GB. Without two discs it wouldn't be playable without a significant download. When it comes to disc installation, on PS4 Red Dead Redemption 2 requires 99GB of space.

Can I play rdr2 with disc 2? ›

Insert Disc 1 first and allow installation to proceed. When prompted, remove Disc 1 and insert Disc 2. The installation will complete automatically using Disc 2. On completion, remove Disc 2 and re-insert Disc 1 to launch and play Red Dead Redemption 2.

Will I lose everything if I buy a new GTA 5 disc? ›

Nope. The progress you've made is associated with your GamerTag and Social Club account.

Can I put PS3 disc in PS5? ›

No, using a PS3 game disk will not work on the PS5. Do I need a PS Plus Premium membership? Yes, you will need this subscription tier to play PS3 games on your PS5. You will be able to stream the game via your console online, though you will not be able to download the game directly.

How many games can PS5 hold? ›

Many of the best PS5 games require between 40-60 GB of storage. Even if you mix in some PS4 games and smaller indies, you can realistically store 10-15 games on the drive at a time.

Is PS5 no disc worth it? ›

Despite the increase, our price comparison between the two PS5 consoles remains the same. At first, the PS5 Digital Edition wins when you only consider that this PlayStation 5 console is cheaper upfront. The PS5 Digital price is $399 / £359 compared to the standard PS5 Disc at $499 / £449.

Will Nintendo ever use discs again? ›

Nintendo's next gaming system will not use optical discs. Instead, the company is opting to fully embrace the technology it has used on its handhelds since the Nintendo DS.

Why do CD players stop reading discs? ›

Most of the times, dust or finger marks on the lens causes CD players not reading discs properly or playing it at all. The second thing to check up is the CD tray compartment, especially if your CD Player is old.

Why do modern consoles still use discs? ›

What's it actually installing? Because you still need the disc to play. These days, it's installing the entire game to the Hard Disk. Requiring the game disc to play is -- for the most part -- for copyright protection.

Why do you have to install disc games now? ›

Why do I have to install a game if I have the disc? Optical disc drives can't read data quickly enough to keep up with modern games, so you get the best gaming experience when you install the game from a disc on your Xbox console.

Why did Nintendo lose rare? ›

Nintendo let go of Rare because it didn't see very much value in the studio. Nintendo described the sale as a strategic redirection of its investments. Nintendo could have kept Rare, but the company wanted to move away from second-party developers.

Are game cartridges faster than discs? ›

And while there are multiple advantages to using discs, disc drives compromise the battery life of a portable because the device needs to devote power to spinning a motor. Cartridges also have the advantage of faster load times, which could also make them preferable to discs.

Is Nintendo getting rid of Mario? ›

Mario is done. We're done. Our journey together has come to an end. Your Eshop points will not be refunded.”

Why can't PS5 read CDs? ›

If your PS5 isn't reading discs, it could be that you've inserted them upside down. The upside of the disc—the side with the game's name—should always face the Power and Eject buttons.

Why CD players are making a comeback? ›

The theories behind the increase are many: some say it was driven by vinyl shortages, while others tout the format's premium sound quality. Another major factor is cost. At Discmakers a limited run of 100 CDs in full-color jackets can cost around $2 each. That same run of 100 vinyl records costs $20 – $25 each.

Why do old CD players skip? ›

Compact Discs. A "skip" or "jump" is when the laser of a Compact Disc player cannot read the faulty groove or block of data. Skips are usually caused by marks blocking the path of the beam to the disc, e.g. a finger mark, hair, dirt in general, or a scratch.

Are consoles going extinct? ›

They're not dead yet! Despite speculation that the future of gaming will be console-free, the big change isn't happening yet. Sure, streaming mobile platforms, PC gaming and virtual reality are more popular than ever, but the big console makers are still hard at work.

Why are PS5 consoles so rare? ›

The console was released in November 2020, but was very difficult to obtain for most of its lifespan. A semiconductor chip shortage limited Sony's production of new PS5 consoles. Other supply chain issues prompted by the global coronavirus pandemic didn't help.

Are consoles built to last? ›

Game consoles are usually built to last for around 5 years. While they may see incremental updates over that time period, PC components update at a much faster rate. Game consoles also don't start off life with the best possible hardware. They feature somewhat limited components designed to hit a specific price point.

Is it faster to download a game or buy the disc? ›

But disc drives do have other advantages: When you buy a disc, you can install the game much faster than if you were to download it, especially if you have a slow internet connection.

Is it okay to install games on hard drive? ›

HDDs and SSDs both work well for gaming. If the HDD has enough capacity to store your games (modern games range from 20GB up to 180GB for a single installation), and is fast enough to support the graphics, you shouldn't have troubles.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated: 06/11/2023

Views: 5814

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.