Note to Xbox 360 Gamers: Don’t Install GTA 5 “Play” Disc

Glowing reviews are now live across the interwebs (Game Front’s own coming soon), adding even more anticipation to tomorrow’s Grand Theft Auto 5 launch. We’re excited, you’re excited, just don’t go flying off the handle and install the GTA 5 “play” disc on your Xbox 360 like you’re hopped up on crazy pills. Deep breaths, people.

Wait a second. Why can’t you install the second of GTA 5′s two discs on your Xbox 360 hard drive? We know there is an actual 8GB “install” disc that must be uploaded to your 360 HDD. The natural next step would be to install the “play” disc, but Rockstar is now telling gamers that’s a bad idea.

The question of whether or not to install (as pointed out by Gameranx) popped up on the official Rockstar Support Twitter feed last night, and the first reply was a quizzical “We do not recommend that.” Repeated follow-up questions seeking a more detailed explanation led Rockstar to state, “For optimal performance, we recommend not installing that disc. We will have more info on our Support Site at launch.”

With a review copy in hand, the folks at Digital Foundry set out to answer the question for themselves. They discovered that Rockstar’s advice should be heeded if you want to avoid some serious frame rate and pop-in issues. Here’s the video they put together to illustrate their findings:

Bottom line: if you don’t want GTA 5 poppin’ and lockin’ on you tomorrow, than don’t install the “play” disc on your 360.

And don’t forget to check back in with Game Front for our Grand Theft Auto 5 Walkthrough. It’s filled with tips and tricks and will have you running Los Santos in no time.

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