Let me just put it out there, I'm a big fan of the 360 and not of the PS3. Now that we've gotten that out of the way I still like to discuss the pros and cons each system has with as little bias as possible. No matter which system you're rooting for, this is both good and bad news for PS3 fans. While I personally think it should be optional, they must have had their reasons. The Blu-ray drive reads slower than the Xbox 360's drive so perhaps the load times were so bad they felt it necessary to require it since all PS3's have a hard drive. I'd like to know if this is an option on the 360 and how the load times are, but I've yet to hear any confirmation on that. Let's take a look at why PS3 fans should be happy...and why they should be sad.
-No loading times.
-Only needs to be done once.
-Takes 25 minutes.
-Isn't avoiding installation at least part of the reason people buy console games?
-Takes up 5GB.
-If you uninstall it and feel like playing it again you have to reinstall it. The same applies to taking it to a friends house, you'll have to wait for that 25 minute install again.
Obviously there is no reason to go buy one system or the other over this detail. However, those who own a 360 AND a PS3 will have an interesting decision to make once we hear exactly how the Xbox 360 version function.