Andy had given Kelly a rough idea of how we were getting so much detail through the system: spooling. Kelly asked Andy if he understood correctly that any move forward or backward in a level entailed loading in new data, a CD “hit.” Andy proudly stated that indeed it did. Kelly asked how many of these CD hits Andy thought a gamer that finished Crash would have. Andy did some thinking and off the top of his head said “Roughly 120,000.” Kelly became very silent for a moment and then quietly mumbled “the PlayStation CD drive is ‘rated’ for 70,000.”
Kelly thought some more and said “let’s not mention that to anyone” and went back to get Sony on board with Crash.
So what happened? This seems like much too big a deal to not follow up! Given that Crash and its sequels sold millions of copies, even if the rating was to 5% failure probability instead of 50%, it seems hard to imagine hundreds of thousands of broken CD drives being just forgotten.
Was the rating pessimistic by a particularly large margin? Did Sony switch to a more durable model of drive? Did they in fact eat the cost of replacing a bunch of drives without connecting it to Crash Bandicoot?
Did Crash get away with it because no one else thought of constantly reading the drive that way? Or is it the case that other developers tried, and Sony smacked them down? Did all the Crash sequels do the same thing, or did they figure out a less drastic solution for Crash 2?