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View Full Version : Next Box may opt out of optical drive


Samsdad
09-03-12, 15:14
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/03/09/rumor-next-xbox-won-39-t-have-an-optical-drive.aspx

One rumor had the next generation of xbox using a blu-ray but this indicates that MS may go solid state.

Sir Croft
09-03-12, 15:17
Seems to be the "future", the Vita is already doing that, but won't that raise the production cost and, therefore, make games more expensive?

AmericanAssassin
09-03-12, 16:20
I think it's a good idea. Discs are too easy to scratch. Also, I'm sure they could make an optional blu-ray drive to hook up if they wanted.

Trigger_happy
09-03-12, 16:22
I think its a terrible idea. It totally shuts down any backwards compatibility, as well as preventing you playing dvds.

Zelda master
09-03-12, 16:29
I doubt they will, but honestly I'd love to see cartridges make a return to the console's. The loadtimes are great, no annoying lasers being as load as they can be and best of all discs damage way easier then carts. But honestly will this happen, I doubt it, the industry didn't make the change to disc ten years ago for a reason.

Cochrane
09-03-12, 16:42
An interesting idea. Load times of optical drives are just too slow for many uses, so this could provide some clear advantages. And because the physical parts are in the card, not the drive, there is no real limit to the sizes of future games.

The main problem I see is that flash drives are significantly more expensive than CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays, and mass production of them (with pre-loaded data) is not quite as easy. So this could increase game prices.

Spong
09-03-12, 17:39
I don't buy it, it's a terrible idea. Keep games on physical media that I can own for as long as it stays in working condition (or until I die). As much as discs can get scratched, hard drives can run out of space. And what happens then? Are people supposed to keep buying storage, or should they delete stuff and then run the risk of not being able to retrieve what they've deleted x years down the line?

With that in mind, the whole success of digital media (in my eyes) depends on making it future proof. If everything is going digital, then the providers have to be able to provide in perpetuity, there's no two ways about it. If I buy a game, it's mine for good, for me to be able to play in thirty years time if I see fit. I've already had problems retrieving discontinued digital content with the current-gen. What you're parting with money for has shifted with digital games. You're not buying a product any more, you're just paying for the right to retrieve it while it's supported. Because once it's gone you're pretty much screwed, regardless of the fact you paid for it.

Entirely digital games and the eradication of physical media? No thanks.

Samsdad
09-03-12, 18:05
It is not an elimination of a physical media. They are just using solid state in place of an optical drive. On my lap top at work I have replaced the disc drive with a solid state drive. The functionality has remained the same.

The issues as I see them are (and has already been mentioned by others)

1. Cost - will the cost of solid state drives be low enough to not significantly affect the cost of games. Right now the cost of the cards used by the Vita has been a major source of complaint.

2. Backwards compatibility - Will there be any means to transfer older games to the newer media.

Sir Croft
09-03-12, 18:08
@Spong: Digital media isn't the only alternative, as has been discussed above, SD cards could be their new method. It would be great, performance-wise, but it costs much more too.

Carbonek_0051
09-03-12, 18:11
I think its a terrible idea. It totally shuts down any backwards compatibility, as well as preventing you playing dvds.

It does? Wouldn't it work like a blu-ray player? Mine plays DVD's.

Sir Croft
09-03-12, 18:13
It does? Wouldn't it work like a blu-ray player? Mine plays DVD's.
Not if the next Xbox has no optical drives as the article says. It simply can't read discs.

Spong
09-03-12, 18:14
I'd be fine with any physical product, even SD cards, but as the article in the OP states (as did the EG article I read on this) it all seems to point towards a desire to go 100% digital for distribution. That's the part I disagree with. I want a game to remain a physical product that I purchase when I cough up the cash, I don't want its digital equivalent because it isn't future proof in the way physical products are.

Carbonek_0051
09-03-12, 18:15
Not if the next Xbox has no optical drives as the article says. It simply can't read discs.

Ah okay. That would be ghey.

Sir Croft
09-03-12, 18:17
Going digital-only can bring benefits too. The only reason publishers still charge $59 for a digital game is because they charge that for their retail copies, so "it's ok". Now, if digital distribution became a standard, people would quickly start to question why they'd charge $59 if there is no production cost.

Nausinous
09-03-12, 18:24
Please be true, I hope for a discless world, less valuable resources being burnt up.

Carbonek_0051
09-03-12, 18:26
Please be true, I hope for a discless world, less valuable resources being burnt up.

IT'S BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT THE INNOCENT WILL BURN AND THE WORLD WILL END! lolnotreally But I still want discs, I hate not having physical copies.

AmericanAssassin
09-03-12, 18:27
I'd prefer the games on SD-like cards, tbh. 100% digital would be ****.

interstellardave
09-03-12, 18:27
Going digital-only can bring benefits too. The only reason publishers still charge $59 for a digital game is because they charge that for their retail copies, so "it's ok". Now, if digital distribution became a standard, people would quickly start to question why they'd charge $59 if there is no production cost.

They should charge less now. If I save them money by choosing digital rather than disc then they should pass some of those savings on to me. Besides, it would encourage more people to buy digital.

I do agree with Spong, though, "owning" a digital download right now feels more like a rental... even if it's a pretty long-term rental. Right now I can play games that are 10 years old and older because I have the physical game and a system that will play it. If I bought a digital game now I have no confidence that I could re-download it 10 years from now if I had to, or that future machines would accomodate the playing of that game.

Megalith
09-03-12, 18:28
Going digital-only can bring benefits too. The only reason publishers still charge $59 for a digital game is because they charge that for their retail copies, so "it's ok". Now, if digital distribution became a standard, people would quickly start to question why they'd charge $59 if there is no production cost.

Even if the industry standard became digital only publishers would still charge 40 to download a game from their online stores.Most games in PSN that also have physical versions are much more expensive to download them than to buy new from places like amazon.

The true reason behind this decision is to hit the second hand market.No game sharing between friends either.

Jami393
09-03-12, 18:28
What is a solid state card?

Nausinous
09-03-12, 18:29
IT'S BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT THE INNOCENT WILL BURN AND THE WORLD WILL END! lolnotreally But I still want discs, I hate not having physical copies.

Yeah well I love not having physical copies, there's only so much oil on this planet and I don't need it wasting it on meaningless commodities when it could be used making medical equipment.

Carbonek_0051
09-03-12, 18:30
Yeah well I love not having physical copies, there's only so much oil on this planet and I don't need it wasting it on meaningless commodities when it could be used making medical equipment.

Hippie. lol

voltz
09-03-12, 18:32
Let's see what a digital medium can bring....

Set prices never drop
Time frame availability for when they take a title off the market (licensing will remove it upon expiring)
Possibly lose your purchase should your system break down
Aimed at killing the used market

If you support this, maybe you should go get your head checked. (I'm looking at you, Nausinous!)

Nausinous
09-03-12, 18:35
Hippie. lol

I know you're being funny but how is being concerned for future generations and the resources we're leaving them being a 'hippie'? We have only one planet and if we just burn up all our oil, ores and minerals then what are we going to do when it runs out? It'll be like Easter Island all over again, chopping down all the trees and then not having anything to build a boat with.

Let's see what a digital medium can bring....

Set prices never drop
Time frame availability for when they take a title off the market (licensing will remove it upon expiring)
Possibly lose your purchase should your system break down
Aimed at killing the used market

If you support this, maybe you should go get your head checked. (I'm looking at you, Nausinous!)

Not sure I care, as I download most of my games for full retail price and keep them on a seperate HDD.

Spong
09-03-12, 18:35
What is a solid state card?

They're little memory cards, people use them in digital cameras and other such tech. The PSVita uses them for its games.

http://i.imgur.com/vncv2.jpg

Carbonek_0051
09-03-12, 18:35
I know you're being funny but how is being concerned for future generations and the resources we're leaving them being a 'hippie'? We have only planet and if we just burn up all our oil, ores and minerals then what are we going to do when it runs out? It'll be like Easter Island all over again, chopping down all the trees and then not having anything to build a boat with.

Someone is taking me seriously, that's a big no-no. :p

Jami393
09-03-12, 18:41
They're little memory cards, people use them in digital cameras and other such tech. The PSVita uses them for its games.

http://i.imgur.com/vncv2.jpg

So this is what Microsoft are thinking about doing with the next Xbox. To be honest I thought for a second they where going to give up on physical copies of games. Also I didn't know that was what the Vita uses for it's games.

Sir Croft
09-03-12, 18:46
They should charge less now. If I save them money by choosing digital rather than disc then they should pass some of those savings on to me. Besides, it would encourage more people to buy digital.

I do agree with Spong, though, "owning" a digital download right now feels more like a rental... even if it's a pretty long-term rental. Right now I can play games that are 10 years old and older because I have the physical game and a system that will play it. If I bought a digital game now I have no confidence that I could re-download it 10 years from now if I had to, or that future machines would accomodate the playing of that game.
Oh, I certainly agree they should already charge less.
As for the longevity of the games, it does seem like a troublesome issue now, but digital distribution services still have a lot of space for improvement. If cases of games disappearing or becoming unavailable start to show up, it won't be long before people stop buying digital games. The service would have to improve to survive.

Even if the industry standard became digital only publishers would still charge 40 to download a game from their online stores.Most games in PSN that also have physical versions are much more expensive to download them than to buy new from places like amazon.

The true reason behind this decision is to hit the second hand market.No game sharing between friends either.
That is the case now that retail copies are seen as easier to get and more reliable, so not enough people notice that digital games are being unfairly priced. This would change quickly once digital distribution becomes the only available way, people would pay attention and complain.

Megalith
09-03-12, 18:56
That is the case now that retail copies are seen as easier to get and more reliable, so not enough people notice that digital games are being unfairly priced. This would change quickly once digital distribution becomes the only available way, people would pay attention and complain.

As much as people would complain,if the hardware publishers had the monopoly of distribution then they wouldn't really care.Especially for games that were exclusive to their systems.
You would be forced to pay 50 for Uncharted 4 or Halo 5 or the new Zelda no matter how many years passed from their releases.

voltz
09-03-12, 19:00
Oh, I certainly agree they should already charge less.
As for the longevity of the games, it does seem like a troublesome issue now, but digital distribution services still have a lot of space for improvement. If cases of games disappearing or becoming unavailable start to show up, it won't be long before people stop buying digital games. The service would have to improve to survive.

I've lost Outrun Online, TMNT, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (the good version) to BS like this. I think it's more based on what has to change in copyright law or what's signed on contracts because it seems all these downloads are based on the time they're allowed to be available as opposed to a long-term profit plan to support their availability. M$ is a real blowhard for limiting release, but you can also throw in major groups like EA who specifically trounce on this in order to "shove" their consumer base into buying the next product they have in line.

Not sure I care, as I download most of my games for full retail price and keep them on a seperate HDD.

http://www.winningprogressive.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/mister-money-bags.jpg

interstellardave
09-03-12, 19:10
I've lost Outrun Online, TMNT, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (the good version) to BS like this. I think it's more based on what has to change in copyright law or what's signed on contracts because it seems all these downloads are based on the time they're allowed to be available as opposed to a long-term profit plan to support their availability. M$ is a real blowhard for limiting release, but you can also throw in major groups like EA who specifically trounce on this in order to "shove" their consumer base into buying the next product they have in line.

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb219/CajoleJuice/166j6ft.gif

Ward Dragon
09-03-12, 19:19
They should charge less now. If I save them money by choosing digital rather than disc then they should pass some of those savings on to me. Besides, it would encourage more people to buy digital.

I agree, and I usually wait for Steam sales before I buy a game digitally. At release the games are the same price as retail, but if I'm patient and wait a month or two I can usually get the game for a decent discount (and if I wait a bit longer than that, I can get it for 50-75% off). Steam sales are the future :p

I do agree with Spong, though, "owning" a digital download right now feels more like a rental... even if it's a pretty long-term rental. Right now I can play games that are 10 years old and older because I have the physical game and a system that will play it. If I bought a digital game now I have no confidence that I could re-download it 10 years from now if I had to, or that future machines would accomodate the playing of that game.

I also agree with this point. Steam has promised that if they ever go out of business they'll patch everything first so that it doesn't require Steam to run (although presumably I'd have to download everything like mad before their servers shut down XD). And Good Old Games has completely DRM-free games so once I download the installers I can burn them to disc and have a permanent copy.

But in general I don't really trust digital distribution platforms and I'm very hesitant before buying something somewhere that I'm not familiar with. I might eventually buy some digital items on Amazon (I have a Kindle so I'm going to buy e-books sooner or later) and I think Amazon is probably trustworthy as well. But still, I definitely don't feel comfortable knowing that I'm reliant upon a company staying in business in order to access everything I've bought.

Even if the industry standard became digital only publishers would still charge 40€ to download a game from their online stores.Most games in PSN that also have physical versions are much more expensive to download them than to buy new from places like amazon.

If Microsoft, Sony and possibly even Nintendo jump on this bandwagon, gain a monopoly over distributing games on their platforms, and charge ridiculously high prices for it then I predict a lot of gamers will be pressured into trying out PC games instead.

Even if a PC might be a bit more expensive hardware-wise depending on how it's made, the game prices are so cheap that it would surely make up for it and end up saving money overall. If the console companies want to keep all of their customers then they can't abuse their power to charge extortionate prices. But if they forget that their console is a voluntary thing and customers can go elsewhere, then I do think they will drive people away and force people to realize that PC gaming is cheaper overall.

The true reason behind this decision is to hit the second hand market.No game sharing between friends either.

Absolutely. I think they would have done that in this console generation if internet connections were more reliable overall. It's definitely coming sooner or later. I'm sure that even if they start off using SD cards with the next generation of consoles, as soon as they think they can get away with it they will start to have digital-exclusive games (and not just arcade titles).

I've lost Outrun Online, TMNT, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (the good version) to BS like this. I think it's more based on what has to change in copyright law or what's signed on contracts because it seems all these downloads are based on the time they're allowed to be available as opposed to a long-term profit plan to support their availability. M$ is a real blowhard for limiting release, but you can also throw in major groups like EA who specifically trounce on this in order to "shove" their consumer base into buying the next product they have in line.

I definitely think the copyright laws should be rewritten. It should be perfectly legal to burn yourself a copy of digital media that you bought online, regardless of whether it's protected or not. But given how much money the media companies donate to Congress, I'm worried that if the laws do get rewritten they will be even more restrictive of consumer rights.

Sir Croft
09-03-12, 19:21
As much as people would complain,if the hardware publishers had the monopoly of distribution then they wouldn't really care.Especially for games that were exclusive to their systems.
You would be forced to pay 50 for Uncharted 4 or Halo 5 or the new Zelda no matter how many years passed from their releases.
I don't think that would happen. Games get a lot cheaper on Steam as they get older, and many times every year they have insane sales where some games can be bought with up to 75% of discount. Steam is the benchmark any other digital distribution service should be trying to achieve.

I've lost Outrun Online, TMNT, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (the good version) to BS like this. I think it's more based on what has to change in copyright law or what's signed on contracts because it seems all these downloads are based on the time they're allowed to be available as opposed to a long-term profit plan to support their availability. M$ is a real blowhard for limiting release, but you can also throw in major groups like EA who specifically trounce on this in order to "shove" their consumer base into buying the next product they have in line.
Fair enough, as I said, digital distribution still has much room for improvement. If it becomes an industry standard, then it would need to be reviewed. Making older games unavailable can actually be bad for business.

Phlip
09-03-12, 19:26
I'll be really unhappy if Sony do this. I need backwards compatibility!

Tony9595
09-03-12, 19:32
So what? I've never seen a box with an optical drive anyway...



:p




Though I don't think I'd buy it I think this isn't quite a good idea. Digital only would be horrible for gamers without a fast Internet connection and I like having a physical copy of my games. If they decide to go the PS Vita way I wouldn't mind, actually that sounds really cool! :D

Ward Dragon
09-03-12, 19:32
I don't think that would happen. Games get a lot cheaper on Steam as they get older, and many times every year they have insane sales where some games can be bought with up to 75% of discount. Steam is the benchmark any other digital distribution service should be trying to achieve.

Absolutely, but Steam is a relatively open platform. I think Valve will put nearly anything on Steam as long as it's compatible and fits their requirements for a game to be on Steam. Also Valve is totally fine with lowering prices and having sales at the publisher's request, and they've done a lot of research to figure out the best times and discounts for sales to dramatically increase revenue.

On the other hand the console companies are much more restrictive with their digital distribution services. I actually don't know too much about Nintendo's, but from what I've heard about PSN and from what I've seen myself with Xbox Live, it's extremely rare for prices to be lowered for anything. There are occasional sales, but still very rare and nothing like the Steam sales.

The console companies seem much more controlling and reluctant to lower prices compared to Steam. That's why I think that if they don't change their policies, they'll force a lot of gamers to migrate to PC instead rather than having to pay such high prices for every single console game.

voltz
09-03-12, 19:34
Console markets are a monopoly, that's all that needs to be explained.

At least Nintendo has a more thoughtful process when it comes to selling classics at reasonable prices.

Sir Croft
09-03-12, 19:39
Absolutely, but Steam is a relatively open platform. I think Valve will put nearly anything on Steam as long as it's compatible and fits their requirements for a game to be on Steam. Also Valve is totally fine with lowering prices and having sales at the publisher's request, and they've done a lot of research to figure out the best times and discounts for sales to dramatically increase revenue.

On the other hand the console companies are much more restrictive with their digital distribution services. I actually don't know too much about Nintendo's, but from what I've heard about PSN and from what I've seen myself with Xbox Live, it's extremely rare for prices to be lowered for anything. There are occasional sales, but still very rare and nothing like the Steam sales.

The console companies seem much more controlling and reluctant to lower prices compared to Steam. That's why I think that if they don't change their policies, they'll force a lot of gamers to migrate to PC instead rather than having to pay such high prices for every single console game.
I agree, definitely!:tmb: If they go digital, they will have to start their service from scratch and shamelessly copy what other services are doing right, or else, as you said, people will be more tempted to move to PC gaming (Not complaining, though :whi:).

moodydog
09-03-12, 20:07
Hmm I like physical box art and collections. Its more of an antique. I don't mind digital distribution, but bearing in mind I don't want to have to wait 6 hours to download a game, only to cut half way through because of a technical fault.

Legend of Lara
09-03-12, 20:14
I don't download retail games. It just doesn't feel like I really own them, and as people have said before, it's not guaranteed that I'll be able to keep them forever.

The only exception is inFamous, but I got that for free. :pi:

Ward Dragon
09-03-12, 20:15
Hmm I like physical box art and collections. Its more of an antique. I don't mind digital distribution, but bearing in mind I don't want to have to wait 6 hours to download a game, only to cut half way through because of a technical fault.

A lot of digital distribution services have downloader programs that allow you to pause downloads and resume them later if they got interrupted. I'm sure the consoles would implement a similar system if it becomes commonplace to have large downloads.

Legend of Lara
09-03-12, 20:18
A lot of digital distribution services have downloader programs that allow you to pause downloads and resume them later if they got interrupted. I'm sure the consoles would implement a similar system if it becomes commonplace to have large downloads.

I ~think~ the PS3 already does this, but I'm not entirely sure.

Cochrane
09-03-12, 20:49
I'm standing against the trend here: I have full faith in digital downloads. Yes, there is an increased risk that I can't play the game ten years in the future, but considering how many games I've lost to scratched discs (I'm not as careful as I ought to be) or operating system updates, I think I can live with that. Yes, I can't resell the games later or buy used copies, but I've never done that anyway.

And finally, I'm not sure what advantage there is to a huge collection of physical boxes. My shelves are overflowing as it is, and I don't have a lot of games (most of it are books. E-Books FTW, but that's a different issue). Plus, it takes forever to find what I want at any given moment.

In short, digital downloads are more convenient for me. They have their risks, of course, but for the way I'm using them, digital downloads work.

Nausinous
09-03-12, 21:11
I'm standing against the trend here: I have full faith in digital downloads. Yes, there is an increased risk that I can't play the game ten years in the future, but considering how many games I've lost to scratched discs (I'm not as careful as I ought to be) or operating system updates, I think I can live with that. Yes, I can't resell the games later or buy used copies, but I've never done that anyway.

And finally, I'm not sure what advantage there is to a huge collection of physical boxes. My shelves are overflowing as it is, and I don't have a lot of games (most of it are books. E-Books FTW, but that's a different issue). Plus, it takes forever to find what I want at any given moment.

In short, digital downloads are more convenient for me. They have their risks, of course, but for the way I'm using them, digital downloads work.

:tmb:

Megalith
09-03-12, 21:15
I ~think~ the PS3 already does this, but I'm not entirely sure.

It does.

Ceamonks890
09-03-12, 21:49
I'm standing against digital downloads completely taking over the distribution of games, as I prefer physical media, mainly because if I want to buy a new game, I don't want to wait hours to download, when I can just go down to my local game store and buy a copy, install the required data and voila! I can play the game:D

That, plus I'll never lose the game once my PS3/computer dies, as I can reinstall it from the disk(if it's in good working condition) and not lose anything important:)

Legend of Lara
09-03-12, 21:57
Your PSN downloads are bound to your PSN account, so you can still get stuff from there, should your console die.

Of course, Sony added a bunch of crap restrictions on that last November. :/

Cochrane
09-03-12, 22:03
At least for me, going to the game store is no faster than downloading things directly. I blame my city's bus system.

Of course, it isn't the same for everyone, and internet speeds are just not fast enough everywhere to make all-digital a good idea for modern triple-A games.

Eddie Haskell
09-03-12, 22:14
I'm sure glad that I have not played many, many older PC games. I'll still have that to look forward to. If I had it my way, all games would need to be held by the consumer in some physical fashion. I really find all of this ethereal digital download stuff lacking in a few ways, the greatest of which is a feeling of ownership. I want something physical that I can load onto any machine that I please at any time. I do not want to have to ask permission before I do. I am not a cybercrook, and I don't like being treated as one. I have spent a lot of money on gaming and we honest gamers deserve better.

And I must say, that in my youth (the wonderful age of LP's) I loved perusing the record stores to see (and purchase) the wonderful albums and their fabulous cover art. And later when the CD era came to be, I really missed the monstrous LP's and their huge covers. It's just not the same to be sure to see the microscopic look of a cd, and of course now you don't even get that when you click and download.

I have all of my game cases displayed in my basement on many wall units, and some are prominently presented because they just look great. Most are the old school large size cases, and when they downsized them I was disappointed. But some of the newer smaller cases are ok as well.

If they go 100% digital I'll assess what I will do.

trlestew
09-03-12, 22:54
I'm just so paranoid about digital downloads. What if my account is hacked? Wrongly accused of disobeying the ToS and shut down? What if the company supplying the downloads cease to exist sometime down the road? What if I forget everything related to signing into my account?

Also, how can friends share the game?

I'm not against them, and they are very convenient, but I just don't put too much trust into them.

Legend of Lara
09-03-12, 23:05
I'm just so paranoid about digital downloads. What if my account is hacked? Wrongly accused of disobeying the ToS and shut down? What if the company supplying the downloads cease to exist sometime down the road? What if I forget everything related to signing into my account?

Also, how can friends share the game?

I'm not against them, and they are very convenient, but I just don't put too much trust into them.

I've never really thought of most of those. O_O

Also, friends can share by giving out their account details. Of course, you should only do that with ones you ~really~ trust. Ooooof course, Sony put a huge restriction on that last year by limiting an account to two active systems at a time.

Nausinous
11-03-12, 01:31
My statement about the digital age being awesome just bit me in the ass. I installed Windows 8 on my PC and tried accessing Steam but I'm experiencing difficulties so now I can't access my digital library. Go on, gloat, I know you want to.

Ward Dragon
11-03-12, 01:52
My statement about the digital age being awesome just bit me in the ass. I installed Windows 8 on my PC and tried accessing Steam but I'm experiencing difficulties so now I can't access my digital library. Go on, gloat, I know you want to.

Windows 8 is still in development, so it's kind of expected that there will be compatibility issues with software that has never been tested on it. I'm sure Valve will fix the issues once they get the opportunity to test Steam on it :)

Nausinous
11-03-12, 01:53
Windows 8 is still in development, so it's kind of expected that there will be compatibility issues with software that has never been tested on it. I'm sure Valve will fix the issues once they get the opportunity to test Steam on it :)

I sent their support team an email *fingers crossed*