Microsoft Confirms Downloaded Halo 3 May Load More Slowly, Won't Hurt GameplayS

A day after making Halo 3 available to Xbox 360 owners as a downloadable game, Microsoft let Kotaku know that while loading times may be impacted in this version, gameplay should run as well as it always did.

Recall that Halo 3 creators Bungie Studios had advised gamers to play Halo 3 from a game disc, though they backed off that caution yesterday in response to inquiry from Kotaku about playing the now-downloadable game from a harddrive.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Kotaku today that a downloaded Halo 3 game may load more slowly but downplayed any impact on the game's enjoyability: "Halo 3" has undergone extensive testing to ensure that players will have a positive experience, whether the game is played from a DVD, hard disk drive or USB drive. When installed to the Xbox 360 hard disk drive, players may experience longer than average mission and map load times, but regardless of where the game is installed, gameplay performance is not affected. Games on Demand delivers convenient, 24x7 access to a wide variety of featured Xbox 360 titles, letting people download games right from the comfort of their living room. Our goal is to ensure that Xbox Live community has access to the best selection of games, and the freedom to choose how and when to access them."

It sounds like the difference in experience will be minor. Halo 3 downloaders, let us know.