Next-gen consoles will "probably not" have physical media says ex-Microsoft exec

Before the current generation of consoles began there were question marks about whether or not physical media would remain as part of the industry. Microsoft had originally planned to ditch the discs and opt for a digital-only approach but had to retract that vision, among others, in order to satisfy demand from gamers who weren't ready to do away with their discs just yet.

Well it looks like gamers have to enjoy their discs while they last because they're likely to be banished for good in the next generation of consoles, if an ex-Microsoft employee is to be believed.

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sammarshall1021170d ago (Edited 1170d ago )

They better or they'll be dead in the water when it comes to keeping the industry healthy financially

Yes I have good Internet and play online but what about the billions that don't

Offline play option and online multiplayer for the win

Abash1170d ago

I don't see PlayStation ever doing this, they make too much money from smaller countries and I doubt they would kill the business from them by making a console that required a fast internet because you could only play games by downloading them

ScorpiusX1170d ago

That plus they lose that cut they get from the BDA.

triple_c1170d ago


I don't think Sony will do it either. People seem to forget that Sony is actually working on a new optical disc format so I think Sony wants to stay involved with physical media. The PlayStation 5 will most likely have physical media.

Pogmathoin1170d ago

Infrastructure is improving all the time, to be good enough for digital only future in about 5 years, who knows. Discs are a dying breed, there will be improvements in storage, and maybe that storage, like the new micro SD cards with huge capacities will be used, where you could download a game at a kiosk, activate it at home....

_-EDMIX-_1170d ago

@Pog- "Infrastructure is improving all the time, to be good enough for digital only future in about 5 years, who knows"

Nope. Its improving are game sizes, what happens next gen when we have 300GB games?

That is very much feasible too.

You have to consider that gaming is moving faster then those connection speeds are. Getting 50gbs to download faster later on, doesn't do jack for 300GB games bud lol

Pogmathoin1170d ago

Ed, they way they deliver games may also change..... I can imagine you would be downloading the code you need at the time you need it. I am not sure too that game sizes will have that substantial jump in size too. I am not a fan of digital either, I like my collections, collectors editions and so on..... They would die overnight. Gaming is essentially the last media to make that digital only jump... I am sure it is seriously being looked at, as Sony, MS and Nintendo would have much better control over it, increasing revenue.....

Highlife1170d ago

Why not have options. 50 bucks cheaper without drive.

DevilOgreFish1170d ago (Edited 1170d ago )

They can keep physical media going, but the lovable long loading times will keep getting worse as more games will need gbs of data to be loaded. Call of duty advance warfare is already long as hell, they put cinemas for you to watch in the meantime.

LexHazard791170d ago

Yeah Sony will use PS5 to introduce new disc so no worries.

BattleAxe1170d ago

If 4k is the standard for next generation, then they will have to have Bluray disc as part of the design for next gen hardware. The file sizes will be too big to make downloading mandatory. Samsung just announced their new 4K Bluray disc player. This is going to be the 'hi-def' craze of 2006 all over again.

RiPPn1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

Sony said this exact thing, that they are a worldwide brand and internet infrastructure isn't where it needs to be in many countries they sell their product in.

No way they ditch physical media especially if they go 100% backward compatibility which I'm certain they will due to the PC like hardware in the PS4, can see them just beefing up the cpu, gpu and memory and slapping a PS5 logo on the box.

Segata1169d ago

PSN is down so much it would not work for Sony anyway.

_-EDMIX-_1169d ago

@Pog- " I am not sure too that game sizes will have that substantial jump in size"

You sure? Gaming history tells you a lot of things.

Jump from PS1 to PS2 was 700mb to 5.5gb, later during PS2's gen we got 8.5GB games.

PS2 to PS3 we went from 5.5GB from start, to ending PS3's gen with 50GB games.... ie MGS4, Uncharted series, Killzone, GT5 and 6 and many other games used massive space.

PS4's...we are staring the gen at 50GB, some games are even MORE then 50GB right now.

Sooooo to say we will start next gen at 300GB is actually tame.

Consider the jump from PS3 to PS4 in which I'm saying 300GB is smaller then the jump from PS2 to PS3.

Mind you...PS4 is using the same format, its only extra space to 3rd party developers and MS, Sony's teams have used this amount of space freely last gen, they might go higher and I don't see games just being smaller this whole gen.

Games generally get larger, not smaller.

GTAV needed an install on 360, MS opened up the DVD cap from 7.5GB to 8.5GB etc.

Is MGSV not on last gen? Yet look at its MASSIVE size, it needed an install on 360, imagine what that series would require at FULL CURRENT GEN?

Consider it could run 1080p 60fps on current gen, meaning its not even that demanding on the hardware, what happens when its fully current gen only?

You haven't even seen slightly what that game is capable of 100% current gen.

I figure GTAVI will be at least 2 to 3x the size in space as GTAV was. Not sure you get how much space games take up. We are just talking about this gen too lol

XBLSkull1169d ago

Time for the digital age, get with the program people, it's the way I've gone for the last few years and it is glorious.

Dee_911169d ago

Unless high speed unlimited data becomes a global norm, I don't see this happening.

XanderZane1169d ago

Well, Microsoft would be smart to not announce their next game console first this time around. The best thing for them to do is be the last company to announce everything next gen. Companies will save a bundle of money if their games are 100% digital. That's why they are in a rush to do this. I like having a disc. Not paying $60 for a digital game.

FarEastOrient1169d ago

Comcast and their 300GB datacap and other ISP should make Microsoft think otherwise. Customers will not pay an extra $10 or more to the ISP just to download games beyond their data allowance.

muzikjunkie801169d ago


im on unlimited broadband i can download, stream and browse every month for a set price and dont have to worry about going over the limit... people need to realize that technology moves forward and discs will one day be old tech just like vhs, cds, dvds, minidisc, dat and records were phased out for netflix, spotify etc. most of my games are digital on xbox one and ps4 for 2 reasons, i dont have to swap discs everytime i want to play something else and i can get games there and then from ps store and xbox store and sometimes for a discounted price of cd keys etc, also take into account pc gamers have been going discless since steam became the primary platform on pc.

BeefCurtains1169d ago

One thing for sure, if sony is keeping physical media, Microsoft will have to follow. MS can't afford another console war whooping from sony, they can't be back tracking so hard next gen.

indyman77771169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

WARNING extreme sarcasm proceed with caution:

How will Microsoft be able to keep us from lending our games no more than 10 times?.....(whisper DRM...oh)

How will Microsoft be able to stop people from selling or trading in their used games?

How will Microsoft kill the mom and pop stores?

How will Microsoft be able NUKE the used games industry?

But how else is Microsoft going to be able to Micromanage us? (whisper, whisper SOME with DRM....OH)

How else will Microsoft keep prices fixed?

How else will Microsoft be able to force us from xbox two, to xbox three in an instant by turning off the servers to xbox two?

How will Microsoft create a new hard drive upgrade market/requirement by making game downloads so big we have to download even larger downloads that stay on the disk?

How will Microsoft take away ALL your ownership rights!

How will Microsoft make it impossible to take a game back because it is just not working/freezing? And everyone knows it?

Oh I have a legit one, how will Microsoft be able to finally stop people from breaking street dates!

How will Micorsoft make no need for retail stores, no best buy, Walmart, game-stop, or even steam-powered.

Don't you people see this is good for you?

extermin8or1169d ago

@triplec Sony actually have a new optical disc format-archival disc.

Dee_911169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

Who is your ISP and what is your monthly bill. I don't care about why you like disc-less, you haven't explained how discless is more viable, and "teh future" is not a valid reason.. unless of course you have a magic 8 ball telling you these things..

+ Show (19) more repliesLast reply 1169d ago
maybelovehate1170d ago

I wonder how much sales of games go to regions that do not have good online? Would it be enough to offset the costs of packaging, shipping, paying the middle man? I would imagine it is getting to the point where it just isn't worth the hassle from a money standpoint.

Although that does suck for the gamers stuck in that situation. But not as bad as having bad internet probably.

indyman77771169d ago

Don't forget when the current generation launched the digital copies cost the same or 10 more than the physical copies!

The companies have not passed on savings when they don't have us by the throat(now), I hope we are not gullible enough to think they will drop prices once we have no choice!

Okay that would be beyond gullible that would be supper stupid for us to think that.

mrdxpr21170d ago

I myself don't have internet as I can't afford the price in my area. So I play offline so physical media in my case is required.

cfc831170d ago

Don't they do package deals where you live tv/phone/broadband ?

FarEastOrient1169d ago

I'm in the same situation. Each year I spend time outside the United States due to work, going all digital will cost more than carrying a few disc.

chrisx1170d ago (Edited 1170d ago )

I'm not suprised that its an ex-microsoft dev that would say such talk,what's wrong with them there? Physical media will always have its place in console gaming for the foreseeable future.they tried some of this with x1 original plans,well we know the rest

Multiplatguy1170d ago

While I don't want physical games to go anywhere for the foreseeable future, I think it's worth pointing out that when Steam first launched, people hated it and said the exact same thing you did about physical media going nowhere.

Now people love it and I can't remember the last time I seen a PC game in physical form. Metal Gears disc comes with a steam installer.

Hopefully it's many generations away but it seems Microsoft is looking into making Xbox a service and Playstation have already made investments into streaming devices.

indyman77771169d ago

@multiplatguy, you have a point. But your comparing apples to oranges. Steam is not in control of the games like a console maker would be. So steam has NATURAL competition! Steam because of this natural competition had to drop prices. The console owner will have an monopoly and can set prices permantly like they want. Instead of just halo staying at the set prices EVERY GAME can be set at a price and can legally be even increase if the game turns out to be popular. Called minimum Manufacturer price. It is not legally considered price fixing. They is why UN65JS9000 is 3499.99 just like it was months ago when I bought it. (scam alert east coast tv look it up on avsforum). People will not be happy with every game costing 59.99 without a single drop in price.

Many people are forgetting that when the current gen launched especially in europe that the digital downloads in many cases cost MORE to area's where the was less stores! Because they could take advantage of people. Dont assume it will not happen once you have no CHOICE but to buy digital. There will be no competition! each console will be an monopoly!

_-EDMIX-_1170d ago

lol agreed. They legit should just stop trying to push it as its clear gamers don't want that junk.

Digital is an option, doesn't mean I want to go 100% digital.

madjedi1169d ago

I am almost entirely digital on pc it is extremely convenient, however it is not always practical for many other individuals.

So for consoles some form of physical media is needed if you want to reach a worldwide consumer base.

The largest pc game to my knowledge is 50 gigs with maybe another 10-15 gigs for the dlc.

Pc games already use really high resolution textures compared to the consoles, so where did 300 gigs come from.

I'll grsnt you 75-100 gigs by the end of the generation, but 300 gigs sounds like absolute nonsense.

I seriously doubt we will see another type of disc used for games after this gen, they will likely use something similar to vita game cartridges.

Mithan1170d ago

No they wont and online digital sales show this to be the fact.

nucky641170d ago

agreed. no physical disc and a I'm through with gaming.

Professor_K1170d ago (Edited 1170d ago )

SD cards>>>>BR disc

thats probably what they will be going for next gen

1170d ago Replies(1)
Haru1170d ago (Edited 1170d ago )

This is to be expected from a company like Microsoft, after all they're they one who wanted to force online only drm on us but thank god Sony was there to save the day if it wasn't for Sony I probably wouldn't even game anymore, I don't know about Microsoft's next console but I am sure PS5 will have some sort of psychial drive

blackblades1170d ago (Edited 1170d ago )

I like both, but yeah physical isn't going anywhere for while. Then again look at it now most people are actually going digital movies, games, music. My movies and and music are digital and my games are half digital. Ps4 they both takes up the same out of space, the physical ends copying itself to the system making it why even bother having physical. So it's a matter of time until it happen maybe not next gen but one day in the future.

3-4-51169d ago

* Whichever of the 3 ( Nintendo,Sony,Microsoft) releases physical copies of games has a huge advantage.

I think we will get some kind of cartridge reader options / attachments for the consoles.

Version with and version without, so some can choose to go all digital, and then everyone is happy.

* Phyiscal copies then become more valuable and retain their value a bit longer.

meganick1169d ago

Agreed. Physical media is what distinguishes console gaming from PC gaming. It's a MAJOR part of what makes a console a true console. I game strictly on consoles and would never buy a console with no physical media. I'm sure there are millions of other gamers who wouldn't either.

TAURUS-5551169d ago

hopefully sony knows more about the gamers than this MS clown...

1169d ago
_-EDMIX-_1169d ago

Many can go on about it all day, but the reality is, XONE's launch and the comments on this page show that gamers don't want digital only, they want both options like we have today.

So anyone's guess as to how this will turn out for MS, look at this page, count how many are against it. Times that by a whole lot and you get a bigger picture into what gaming wants and doesn't want.

Our methods are fine, our options are fine. I don't get why limiting an option would be a good thing for any consumer.

I can see it being a good thing for MS though...

Gamers will fight for their rights, we have a right to demand a physical option for a system or give it the boot.

See how quickly P.T got removed? See those Call Of Duty prices up on Steam?

Is that the future folks want for gaming? Publishers ok those Steam sales, some do, some don't. Consider when they no longer have boxed options or console versions to compete with....they will continue to not support those sales.


Launched on PS4 and XONE folks and they don't want to drop the price...

Yet you could buy the very same boxed version for $15...

Yet you could buy it used for $8

Know why? They are physical things, they can lower in value, digital...they can sit there and keep it what ever price they feel just.

Mind you...they are keeping it that price even with a physical version on PC, what happens when digital is the ONLY METHOD? If they won't do it with more options, what makes gamers think they will do it with less?

muzikjunkie801169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

there are options btw, you are not forced to pay the prices on steam, xbox or ps store. there are sites like cd keys etc that sell codes for games for really cheap depending on what game you are looking for... i bought ryse for xbox one and on the store they are still asking £45+ and i bought it online from one of those sites for £12.

shop around wisely and you wont have to pay over the odds for games.

UKmilitia1169d ago (Edited 1169d ago )

i can see it going back to flash,but not going full download.
if it does it will be a lost generation of gaming almost.

some providors have stupid limits of so many gigs a month.
Luckily in UK virgin media are pushing speeds because there soon to do a free speed boost.

50Mb to 100
100Mb to 152
152Mb to 200 or 300

yet from BT/sky in my area i can get 5Mb and thats up and down lol.
thank god i can get my virgin fibre

WowSoChill1169d ago

If we want the industry healthy, they cant be holding on to physical media for the next 2 decades, that is insane

look at phones, look at music, physical media is out

TheSaint1169d ago

Well as MS themselves said "buy a 360" lol.

ElVeneno1169d ago

Billions?!? What about the gallilions, no one ever thinks of them.

Inzo1169d ago

The sad thing is that companies like EA didnt learn their lesson with SimCity.

People tend to forget that the power is with the gamers, so this guy can say there wont be physical media all he wants and MS can push for it all they want, they will be sitting with the same problem they had with the Xbone. going completely digital is idiotic, at least for now. As for Sony, they wont get rid of the Bluray so easily.

+ Show (18) more repliesLast reply 1169d ago
masterfox1170d ago

it all depends of how much high-bandwidth Internet has been established around the world, right now people connected to the internet is not even 50 % around the globe, in that 50 % cut a huge chunk of it of people that have horrible internet connection I'm talking about 2 Mb connections and a bit more.

freshslicepizza1170d ago

that is not the way they see their market. their market consists of buying habits who are already showing they are connected online. so to simply say there is an untapped market they are forgetting for next gen is a myth, that market even today is already in ample supply. it's just that many prefer physical disk games, it's not that we can't access digital copies.

Bhuahahaha1170d ago (Edited 1170d ago )

not to mention next gen games will always be bigger than the previous one (we're seeing 30-50gb now imagine next gen most likely will hit 50-100) then we have the disk space on drive to think about also

_-EDMIX-_1170d ago

Funny thing, I don't even agree with that, I see use ending this gen at 100GBs if not more, I see us starting next gen at 300GB maybe more.

That isn't even a huge jump if you consider NES vs PS1 or PS1 vs PS2, or even PS2 vs PS3.

KurtRussell1170d ago

Fast enough. Click download, go to sleep, wake up, play.

Segata1169d ago

Mine is 7 while not 2 it's pretty pitiful but all I can afford

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1169d ago
Mikelarry1170d ago

So as long as

1) they offer something like the steam refund policy
2) digital games are cheaper
3) they provide more storage and the ability to increase said storage myself not proprietary crap
4) i am able to play the games i have purchased offline with no need to connect online to play them

After the above then i might consider digital only as my choice

Activemessiah1170d ago

Digital games will never be cheap for several reasons... primarily greed.

_-EDMIX-_1170d ago

@Irish- LOL! Yes and that is from the publisher right? Thats their site?

I do get if they go 100% digital they won't have those fancy CD codes for just that reason right bud?

mkis0071169d ago

As long as console makers need to sell consoles, retailers will always have the upper hand in software sale prices.

uth111170d ago

game sizes are growing faster than internet bandwidth sizes are. Downloading the larger games isn't practical for many, unless they wait hours or even days for it to finish.

maybelovehate1170d ago

It depends. Most of the games on all consoles are actually quite small, but that is because the majority of games are indie titles that do not have the money to make large games.

You do still have blockbuster games that could be as big as 60GB though. But if you know you are getting the game, they have pre-download options on consoles now so you can download the games multiple days ahead of launch to solve this issue.

But I do agree, size and bandwidth do make the consoles transition much trickier than Mobile. But it isn't a new issue, it is one Steam has been dealing with for quite some time already.

DrJones1169d ago

Wow. Look at all your disagrees.

Emme1169d ago

See, there are actually people with a life and jobs and family out there, who could in theory start the download in the morning, and when they get back home, the game is there ! Sounds crazy, right ?

MRMagoo1231169d ago

Or the same people pick up the game on the way home and put it into the console and play it right away.

uth111169d ago

or then the people who are at home when I'm at work are mad because the internet is too slow to use because the console is spending all day downloading a game

Emme1167d ago

Or maybe those people who realise that the retail game needs mandatory install and day one patch.

maybelovehate1170d ago (Edited 1170d ago )

I have been digital only for quite a long time now. If you are lazy it is the only way to go haha. But in seriousness, my understanding is that digital sales are surpassing physical by a large margin this generation so it seems this decision is being made by the gamers.

@Volkama: maybe where both are available, but even that trend is changing pretty quickly, as the numbers from GTAV are showing in the latest quarters. The majority of the library for PS4 and X1 is digital only already. And DLC is pretty much exclusively digital only.

Another big reason Digital Sales are dominating is that the exclusive deals for being a subscriber are aimed at digital buyers.

Volkama1170d ago

Physical still outsells digital by a large margin where both are available.

It's only PC gaming and digital only platforms (like phones) where digital dominates.

WellyUK1170d ago

That's only because the Digital versions on consoles are insanely over priced. If they were the same or lower then Digital would take over.