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Submitted by GameBlinx 861d ago | opinion piece

Gaming will never go fully digital

Digital game purchasing has become increasingly popular very quickly. Some have even come to question how much longer companies will continue to produce physical copies of games. With Next-Gen approaching there are some key reasons why going fully digital will still be a problem. (Next-Gen, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

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staticdash22  +   861d ago
dasbeer88  +   861d ago
In response to the title of this article: STEAM begs the differ.
DeadIIIRed  +   861d ago
The size of games are growing at a much faster rate than bandwidth here in the states. Downloading 50 gig games would put a lot of stress on the existing infrastructure if everyone needed to do it.
SpitFireAce85  +   861d ago
Well they need to sell games at a discount
if they want me to go digital $10-15 cheaper.
And I'am in otherwise no way will i pay
the same price as retail.
MicDude  +   861d ago

The same argument can be made that download speeds are getting faster and the price of storage is getting cheaper. I think we are looking at an all digital future, but it's still 5-10 years away.
PickAShoe  +   861d ago
Try Onlive, the quality is not good. Digital only works for music and movies. I prefer renting movies on disc anyway for better picture quality and sound.
DeadIIIRed  +   861d ago

Download speeds are getting faster, but imagine a next gen game as popular as GTA V and suddenly you have over 5 million people attempting to download 50 GB at once. At that point service speed doesn't matter if the current infrastructure can't support it.

Improvements are being made, but what we is more of a complete overhaul.
ChickeyCantor  +   861d ago
"The size of games are growing at a much faster rate than bandwidth here in the states. "

Not if Google can help it. The bandwidth you guys get ( not to forget the freaking data cap ) for that high price is a crime. I really hope Google shakes up the north american internet provider business.
No_Pantaloons  +   861d ago
DeadIIIRed hit the nail on the head. People are already talking 4k this and that, but very few are talking about how a 4k movie is over 100GB.

Thing's like google fiber are amazing, but they've only gotten to like 3 cities in 2 1/2 years, even with huge acceleration it will be a long time before something similar is available country wide. Comcast and the others have no interests in upgrading while they can still milk the current market.
Aceman18  +   861d ago
i personally will never go full digital. physical media will also be in my collection. i'll buy a digital game here and there.
SilentNegotiator  +   861d ago
"The same argument can be made that download speeds are getting faster and the price of storage is getting cheaper"

Counter arguing with that is like arguing that accelerating your car against an identical car that you're racing will guaranteed get you ahead of the other car.

Unless you deny that game sizes are quickly getting bigger, there's no argument that we're getting closer to an all-digital future.
#1.1.9 (Edited 861d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
P0werVR  +   861d ago
Digital none the less. Besides, not everyone are game collectors.

So your average joe will more likely buy it only $60 for it.


Yes sir!
#1.2 (Edited 861d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(9) | Report | Reply
denawayne  +   861d ago
I think it'll come down to some of the game being downloaded to the local HD while the rest will be accessed on the fly. MS's cloud anybody?
pyramidshead  +   861d ago
Pretty much. As long as there are people will awful internet connections around, retail will be around for a long time.
ZBlacktt  +   861d ago
Nope, collectors edition are not going away!
admiralvic  +   861d ago
Go away? Most likely never.
Stay physical? Terraria collectors edition ( ) begs to differ.

Terraria: Collector's Edition

More details
Terraria 2GB Pick-axe USB stick
Exclusive New Items Crafting Poster
3X Velum Character Stickers
Digital Game Download Card

It's entirely possible that we will just see "special" editions that exist physically (that, ducktales, MvC 2, a couple of PSP games like Patapon 2), but are nothing more than X with a voucher code.
kjones0587  +   861d ago
It's like saying, "music will never go fully digital." Cd's haven't disappeared, but once the capacity is there, the majority of people will prefer the pros of having digital copies versus physical discs.
#3 (Edited 861d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(11) | Report | Reply
VitaOwner  +   861d ago
I think there will always be a use for physical copies if for nothing else but for Backup purposes. No matter how great your digital system is, There is the potential for Data loss.
keabrown79  +   861d ago
Music cd's are not 50 GB+ With internet caps you are lucky to download "A" game per-month
Jovanian  +   861d ago
Lol you serious bro? I've downloaded several games ranging from at least 10-20GB in size within the span of a month. And the only games that are 50GB are from idiots who don't know how to port, that is a gross misuse of hard drive space
keabrown79  +   859d ago
@Swadian_Grognard many current gen PS3 games, examples being GTA 5 at 18GB, MGS 4 is about 32GB compressed. Those are quite bit for current gen and with next gen assets being a higher resolution you can expect quite a bit of an increase in file size to a low 20gb and then up from there. So potentially if you have an internet cap of 50 gb you could only download 2 games in a month.
Hufandpuf  +   861d ago
With services such as Spotify, google music, Hulu, red box, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if physical music and movies disappear just because of convenience. Physical copies may continue to go down in price until they eventually don't make a profit anymore.

If that can happen to those markets, the same can happen to games. Just not anytime soon.
kirbyu  +   861d ago
deep_fried_bum_cake  +   861d ago
A future in which physical copies are still readily available is a future I will game in. Otherwise I just won't bother. I like the convenience of digital but I will never fully trust that I actually own games unless I have the physical copy.
sypher  +   861d ago
Exactly, i think the closure of Games For Windows Live (any content you owned on that simply disappears) show's the future of any DD service. Once they disappear so does all your stuff because well you never owned it in the first place...

I do believe a Netflix like service will eventually become the norm on the systems. There will be too much competition and choice that its the only logical choice for digital only content.
#5.1 (Edited 861d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
deafdani  +   861d ago
A Netflix like service? That is pretty much what OnLive is.

Now, that platform is a superb idea, but it's still a bit ahead of its time. There's still a lot of people that just don't have the required connection speeds to use OnLive effectively, and hell, there's even still a fair amount of people without internet!

However, that will obviously change over time. In the future, when everyone has a minimum of 100 MB internet speed or something like that, then yes, OnLive (and other services) will be as popular for games as Netflix is for movies now, if not more.
cell989  +   861d ago
Amen to that
GTgamer  +   861d ago
Don't have to tell me that.
sypher  +   861d ago
Music isn't full DD and neither are books.

As long as there is a market of consumers willing to purchase the physical product the manufacturers will continue to make them. Simply because if they don't the competition will fill that void losing them money.
kB0  +   861d ago
Doesn't bother me. I sold all my collectibles and prefer having all on my hdd now!
Relientk77  +   861d ago
Good, I prefer physical
#10 (Edited 861d ago ) | Agree(13) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Gamingcapacity  +   861d ago

Hahahaha... sorry :/
OrangePowerz  +   861d ago
At some point digital will be the only option.
GameBlinx  +   861d ago
Why do you think that? I honestly am having a hard time believing that will ever be the case. I believe physical titles will always be available.
OrangePowerz  +   861d ago
Because it will be more cost effective. You won't need hard drives in your consoles and don't have to manufacture discs and you release the game within a week or two of finishing development.

Obviously first the internet speed needs to increase as games don't get smaller.
HurtfulTimez  +   861d ago

"you wont need hard drives" so what exactliy are you going to download the game to?

anyways the day gaming goes 100 percent digital is the day i stop being a gamer.
Gamingcapacity  +   861d ago
Even for sex!

Hahahahaha.... I have no life! :/
Chug  +   861d ago
I hate people that actually want digital to happen. Shame on you.
grassyknoll  +   861d ago
Never going to buy digital unless Steam sale or PlayStation Plus. I want to own my games unless it's incredibly cheap.
GameBlinx  +   861d ago
I agree. Unless the game is on sale for a great deal I prefer to own a physical copy of the game.
NatureOfLogic  +   861d ago
Digital content is moving too fast. We have the digital content ready to move forward but other standards are needed and those standards are so far off into the future.
Jovanian  +   861d ago
To the people who say they actually 'own' their games when they buy physically

You don't really seem to 'own' your console, seeing as how your console can be banned from you using it at any time. They give you the privilege of playing on it, not owning it
sypher  +   861d ago
Online is a service (it requires you to connect to a 3rd party in order to function). All 3rd party services will eventually cease but your consoles actual functionality wont. Playing games offline will always be there as long as the console is functional. That is the ownership.

It's like saying well you own you car but you aren't able to drive your car to Europe. Well that ability relies on other peoples services (maintenance, ferry's etc) it has nothing to do with the actual functionality of your product (that case being a car).
Jovanian  +   861d ago
what if you own a game like GTA 5 and your console gets banned? and your version constantly crashes at a certain point. You can't get updates anymore, which means the console ban has crippled your ability to play online and offline
Chug  +   861d ago
It seems he was trying to say actual consoles can be banned permanently for piracy, lewd online behavior, etc, but somehow lumped that activity to anyone who owns a console whether they play by the rules or not. Some pretty ambitious spinning if you ask me.
Jovanian  +   861d ago
@chug it doesn't matter who it happens to, what matters is that it can happen, that they have the power to do that
Chug  +   861d ago
Not sure what planet you're from. But guess what? The bank can take my house at any time. I can go to prison for many different reasons. I can be exhausted from many privileges. It all happens to people. But I can prevent every one of them from happening so long as I stay in bounds.

In other words, your argument doesn't make any sense.
GameBlinx  +   861d ago
Well last I checked they don't go around banning random consoles. If you are performing illegal activities on the console then you had it coming anyways.
sypher  +   861d ago

Never been banned or know anyone who has their console bricked offline by the actual manufacturer (minus patches causing it).

But wouldn't wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the OS (keeping the console offline of course) fix the problem?

The only way I could fathom them being able to tell which console should be banned is by that system pinging the server and then the server sending data to the console.

If your console isn't online with no way to communicate with the master server I'm not sure how they would limit your offline functionality.

If I'm wrong please elaborate.
FunAndGun  +   861d ago
If you can sell it, you own it.
Kyur4ThePain  +   861d ago
Haha. Of course it will. Christ, I can't remember the last time I bought a physical CD / DVD. Gaming will go the same way eventually.
GameBlinx  +   861d ago
DVD's are still available though aren't they? The point behind it is that retail options will always be available.
Kyur4ThePain  +   861d ago
They won't.
Tctczach  +   861d ago
I think your right. Look at stream and mobile gaming. I know mobile really isn't saying Alot but how many mobile games have physical copies. It's fading, not fast but it will eventually be gone.
#16.2 (Edited 861d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(6) | Report | Reply
FunAndGun  +   861d ago
YOU =/= the world
tetsuhana  +   861d ago
Do you know how many cd were sold in 2012? 193 MILLION in the US alone. That's with high bitrate mp3 albums at only a couple hundred mb. Physical media, especially for games is going nowhere for a long time.
Kyur4ThePain  +   861d ago
"For a long time" <> "Never". Thanks for seeing my point.
HurtfulTimez  +   861d ago
so what would you do i your hdd failed or got corrupted?
not being an ass just wondered what you would do say you had 50+ fully downloaded games and your hdd failed? spend hours redownloading them all?

whereas with a disc u just pop it in and your away playing a game even if my hdd failed i could easily take my game to a friend or borrow a console. digital just complicates things when things go wrong in my opinion
GameBlinx  +   861d ago
Very good point here.

Even if something were to happen with your system, you could still use/sell your physical copy. Digital copies just don't provide that same security.
Kyur4ThePain  +   860d ago
When technology advances to the point where digital is a completely viable option, you won't be downloading anything to your console any longer.
ColinZeal  +   861d ago
"Gaming will never go fully digital" - Yup! Future will never happen!

thehobbyist  +   861d ago
When Itunes first came out they thought CD's would disappear. Oops. CD's still selling well.
ColinZeal  +   860d ago
Please define "selling well" - http://news.jazzjournalists...
seantiticombs  +   861d ago
physical copies are the best!
#18 (Edited 861d ago ) | Agree(10) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
AceBlazer13  +   861d ago
only reason im going digital next gen is to cut out the middleman .customs r a bitch, now if only these companies started providing their services to my region.
mochachino  +   861d ago
I'd bet any amount of money that gaming will one day be entirely digital, well, new games at least.

Won't happen any time soon though.
Gamer666  +   861d ago
Yep, and before the PS2, consoles never had Ethernet connections, and before Xbox consoles never had HDDs...

While I appreciate everyone's beliefs... Technology will prove you wrong over and over again...

At some point in the future, broadband, next to zero latency will exist and be available to everyone, everywhere. Digital is already real for music, movies, and on Steam...

Console fanboys are just in total denial here.
HurtfulTimez  +   861d ago
hmmm the same was said about the controller/joysticks 20years ago... VR will be the new input etc etc what do we still mostly use when playing on consoles today? oh yea controllers.

so technology proved YOU wrong.
Gamer666  +   861d ago
That is not true. To begin with there hasn't been enough sales of VR devices in the past to justify continued research and innovation in the space. It is just not something that enough consumers are truly interested in.

As for controllers we are seeing a lot of innovation and change in this space. Touch screens and camera/mics (aka Kinect) are the most promising ones. 10 years ago touch screen games were almost non-existent but now because of the Apple touch devices touch games are a multi-billion dollar industry, and because of devices like Wii and Kinect there is a whole new genre of games based on motion like virtual sports, dancing, and fitness. Plus, because of the quality of the Kinect mic, they are able to do very good voice recognition which can help replace keyboards in some games.

On the networking side it is much different. Because it is an impediment to the digital model that consumers and commercial companies both want.

We have seen a lot of innovation in this space over the past decade. 10 years ago cellular based devices were measured in 10's of kilobits. Now they compete with WiFi network speeds in the 10's of megabit speeds.

Speaking of WiFi, that was almost non-existent 10 years ago and now it is almost everywhere. Also, many companies are trying to do massive networking projects to make high speed, no latency networks for worldwide coverage...

And finally, you are seeing the cost of networks plummet over the past decade. You get a lot more for $50 / month then you did 10 years ago. More speed, and more bandwidth.

Like I said, music and video has already starting getting digital sales domination... Steam has made most store PC game sales non-existent. It is only a matter of time before console gamers wakeup. Personally, I have stopped buying retail games. Because the digital versions come out at the same time or within a few weeks of retail release. This next generation, more people will go digital because the best games require online for all the features... Assassins Creed, Destiny, Titanfall, Forza 5, and Deadrising 3 are all focused and more feature rich online.
HurtfulTimez  +   861d ago
nice good reply i respect your opinion, but my point is 20 years ago when i was playing sonic and mario i used a controller, 20 years later with the release of the ps4 and xb-one... they still have controllers as there PRIMARY input device yes we have the eye toys the wii nunchucks and kinects but the controller is still the most preferred way to play thats why they are still being made and will be for a very long time.

yes we have mobile devices and touch but you try and play gta 3 on an iphone with touch controls.

gaming is different it has nothing to do with current/future and download speeds because unlike music and video that are universal platforms where i can buy a video or mp3 and play/listen to it on any device that supports mp3/mp4 such as phones laptops tablets pcs etc.

games however u can only have it on that one manufactured item thats where the problem lies, if there was a universal console that played all games from wii xbox to playstation games then digital only wouldnt be seen as that much of a problem
N8  +   861d ago
Sure hope not
Pandamobile  +   861d ago
I've been almost 100% digital since 2008. I think I've purchased 4, maybe 5 games at a store in the last 5 years.

It's not for everyone, but I definitely wouldn't complain about an all-digital future. Putting a disc in a tray just seems so... 2000's.
JackStraw  +   861d ago
never? lol.
Infamouskat  +   861d ago
Hopefully not, I like how easy it is just to sit back and download a game without even getting up, but the thing about digital is that 1. There is no used game system/borrowing games. 2. Downloading games takes allot of space on your console, and more space means more $$$ to pay. 3. This one may be more based on my opinion, but am I the only one that would rather have my games on my sitting on my shelf instead of a few icons? 4. No internet=no games.
#25 (Edited 861d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
quenomamen  +   861d ago
Yea, soon the Govment breaks the stranglehold that ISPs have on high speed internet and the prices fir it. Why is it other countries get faster for the same price or cheaper ? Till that happens downloading 50gig games will not becone the norm.
CEOSteveBallmer  +   861d ago
I like my "Collections" on the shelf where i can see and hold and cherish. thank you very much.
sigfredod  +   861d ago
well i'm old scholl actually i like the ownership fillig to have the physical game, so while there is still some of us the reatil versions will last
snarls200  +   860d ago
100 GB downloads would go over most Canadian limits after 2-3 items
Pandamobile  +   859d ago
Get TekSavvy if you can. $60 a month and I get 28/7 Mbps with 300 GB of (unenforced, so it's effectively unlimited) bandwidth.

Also, lol. 100 GB game downloads do not exist. If we see next-gen games taking up 100 GB of space, then devs need to be less wasteful. A next-gen game should not take up more than 40-50 GB max, unless it's got a few hours of HD cut-scenes (Killzone, Uncharted, et al.)
#29.1 (Edited 859d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
AWBrawler  +   860d ago
that will be throwing money away, because there will always be less fortunate familes that don't have internet, or families that live out in the country with poor or limited internet. those people buy a lot of games too, even if its just cabella games and shovelware, those people help keep our hobby alive.
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