Fanboys are funny...


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Why the NextBox (Xbox 720) will have an optical drive.

So lately there have been a lot of rumors and what not saying that the NextBox will not feature a Disc Drive, but may have some type of "proprietary" media. While this seems like the way our current generation is headed ,it simply won't be the solution for the next generation of consoles. Read past the break to find out why I think that the rumors are false. This is strictly an opinion piece so don't take anything too personal.

Backwards Compatibility

If you are a hardcore gamer, or a gamer in general then you know the value of collect games, the feeling of having your shelves full of your collection. It's a damn bragging right, especially with the cost of video games; in my case I have well over 120 Xbox 360 games. I was a huge supporter of Microsoft's system through the RRoD and all, I myself went through 4 Xbox 360's before the Slims were released which seemed to eliminate the problem. Sadly for me however Microsoft kind of fell off the wagon with exclusives, started making more Kinect games and only offering us hardcore gamers a good game every couple of years. So what would happen if all those games that you own did not work on Microsoft's NextBox? Honestly, In their eyes they wouldn't care. Microsoft is always about innovating and moving forward, out with the old in with the new. They continuously push iterations of a product, upgrade it, downgrade it, cheapen it, whatever it takes to sell their product. Microsoft will see the 360 as old tech and want to shift focus to the NextBox however with such a strong community of gamers, just skipping past the 360 won't be feasible and they will lose a gigantic chunk of their fan base.
The people over at Microsoft's R&D aren't that stupid. To remove the optical drive means the only games capable of working on their NextBox will be downloadable only content. Hardcore gamers are hardcore for many reasons, they love videogames, they love competitive playing, they are a supporter of their favorite console, and most of all they love collecting games. I don't know anyone who considers themselves a hardcore gamer without a decently sized library of games. If we have nothing to show for what we own, than how can we brag about what we own? Backwards compatibility shouldn't be ruled out because of the success of the 360, Microsoft would be foolish to think we would give up our amazing collection.


Okay so you know that 250gb HDD you have or even 320gb HDD you have? Well imagine when games get more advanced, textures get bigger, files have to be larger, imagine when that 250GB HDD only holds about 10-12 video games in total. That's what you are faced with next generation, games will be huge in comparison to the standard dual-layer DVD size. I mean look at Playstation 3 exclusives, coming in at over 20gb sometimes. If Microsoft thinks that they can try and convince people to selectively download games to their console and/or get a huge hard drive to store all their data, customers will be turned away. Xbox 360 HDD's are already completely ridiculous in price, Microsoft has no shame in jacking up the price for their proprietary equipment that supports their product. Gamers won't take that lightly and they won't want to download gigantic sized video games and switch whenever they want to play a different one. I have a lot of videogames as do a lot of gamers I know. If I calculated how many Gigabytes of space they totaled up to be, we'd be going into Terabytes and that is a lot of data. Microsoft wouldn't risk that type of embarrassment unless they completely relied on small sized games to drive their NextBox, making it even more unlikely that it'll happen.

Internet Connection

Messing with the idea of download only gaming would be a disaster right now. Maybe 10 years from now, but now is far too soon. A lot of people don't have the availability of true "High-Speed" internet and some have to pay for bandwidth like a data plan. So what would Microsoft do for these people? I doubt they'd want to take up most of their allotted bandwidth to download the game they actually have to pay for, that's ridiculous. The people who only have slow download speeds would also suffer as well. Remember going to midnight launches to get a game you can't wait to play? Imagine having to download the game and wait a few days just to play it. That is what we are looking at for a majority of the world if Microsoft decides to go without some type of physical media.
There is also the theory of cloud gaming, as it stands this is also restricted due to bandwidth issues across the world. I remember signing up for the On Live beta, and at the time my bandwidth was only "OK" to play games. I have Verizon Fios 25 down and 25 up. So I couldn't imagine the problems others would have if this became a way to play NextBox games. Imagine trying to play a game that requires heavy online play through a server with latency issues as it is. That would make it the most miserable experience ever.

Gamers Unite

For the first time in a long time this could mean fanboys from all sides could actually taking a stand at a company instead of supporting them even when they know in their heart that they are being screwed over. It's things like this that make me feel like this is the last generation of good gaming in general. Sure, we'll see some good games next gen, but we won't see them as frequent as we have this past generation. If that means preserving this generation another couple years let's do it. Let's all take a stand against this nonsense, let's not feed into the ridiculousness of physical media being obsolete. The PSPgo wasn't able to do it and a console sure as hell wouldn't be able to. Microsoft won't risk its reputation to try and release a NextBox incapable of playing disc, and what about people who want to trade games with friends, rent games from Gamefly, or similar stores. The world is a happier place with physical media. While doing this with music gave us the benefit of carrying our entire library with us wherever we go. It simply won't work at all with gaming, gamers and hardcore gamers alike.

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Captain Tuttle2261d ago (Edited 2261d ago )

The way that I read the rumor was that MS was thinking of using carts, some type of proprietary flash drive. Maybe have kiosks all over similar to Red Box? Bring your cart, pop it into the kiosk, slide your credit card and download the game in seconds.

The rumor did make me worry about backwards compatibility though. That's a fairly big issue for me, not a deal breaker but still pretty big.

Good blog

xer02260d ago (Edited 2260d ago )

Good article.

As someone who lives in London with 100MB download speed... I agree. It is too soon for a download only console.

I guess we'll find out more about the new Xbox, around E3???
If Microsoft does ditch the optical drive, I can only guess that they'll implement some type of memory cartridge distribution. But at what cost?

@Captain Tuttle

The kiosk idea, seems plausible BUT can you imagine how much it'll cost to setup that type of distribution? Also, would it be hack proof?

I'm not knocking your idea but their is an eco-system in place, that won't fall apart to make way for digital distribution just yet. How does Microsoft tackle that?

Personally - I like ordering my games, straight off Amazon.

Also, their is the question of Ultra HDTV(4k/8k) + 3D for movie playback... will the new consoles support that?

If so, what would be the main distribution method?
And will all the new movie studios agree to this new (kiosk) distribution model?
Perhaps 4K resolution would be too much to expect for

s45gr322261d ago

okay I really hope you were sarcastic. For the reality of the entertainment industry is different from your opinion.

Backwards compability:

Very few gamers gave a rats ass about playing PS2 games on their PS3. When myself and other gamers were complaining for Sony removing bc nobody cared and we were told by fellow gamers to buy a PS2 or turn on our PS2. So bc not coming to next box is not a big deal. Besides the 360 has a very very limited xbox game support. With USB 3.0 and flash drives becoming the norm. It will be possible for Microsoft to re-sell 360 games as a HD remastered edition like the bioshock collection with kinect 2.0, 3D, native HD support. That is the new replacement of bc.

Games getting bigger

That is absolutely false. The better the visual fidelity i.e. textures, animation, physics, etc. The smaller the game gets. This gen alone 95% of games can be completed between 8 hours or less. Valve has decided not to make single player games. With online gaming on the rise and publishers/game developers opting to sell their games in portions also known as DLC. This way they can get more money from us gamers. Like street fighter vs tekken 12 characters are on sale as DLC content. Next gen we gamers we will see more DLC content than ever before.

Internet connection:

Not everybody has it umm were are the retail pc parts, books, video, music stores. They are closed or on the way out. Replace d by gamefly (pc game digital versions can be rented, so its possible to rent digital copies of games. If a few of people has fast internet or even an internet connection then netflix,steam, onlive, etc. should have failed.

Wake up the physical media is over

plmkoh2261d ago

"That is absolutely false. The better the visual fidelity i.e. textures, animation, physics, etc. The smaller the game gets. This gen alone 95% of games can be completed between 8 hours or less."

Err what? Games will get bigger because of visual fidelity, the higher the resolution of textures etc the larger the data set needed on the disc, why do you think after market high res texture mods ie Crysis 2 exist.

The "8 hours" of gameplay being a piece of evidence that games are getting shorter is quite ignorant, within that 8hrs we have much more scripting, sound effects and models being used, compared with 8hrs of repeated corridor gameplay we had decades ago like in Doom.

Not to mention that audio and pre-rendered cut-scenes are getting resolution boosts from 7.1 lossless audio to 1080/24p videos. Which alone could take up 25% of a 50gb blu-ray disc.

svoulis2261d ago (Edited 2261d ago )

I do not agree with any of what you said.

The reason no one gave a "rats ass" about Xbox games or PS2 games was because they were making HD remakes of said game, or they were backwards compatible with the 360. I am speaking on behalf of GAMERS not people who are willing to sell 30 games to Gamestop to get the newest game, because their parents won't buy it for them. I own and can show prove of a collection over 300 PS3 and 360 games in total. I would like to know that the company I buy those games from will have some type of support or at least support the previous system when the new one comes out (Example: Sony STILL supports the PS2).

Games getting bigger...This is a joke you've got to be kidding me right? It has nothing to do with the length of the game. It has to do with the resolution of textures, the code put into the game and the objects/character models/models etc. Look up the size of exclusive PS3 games to get the idea of what i was talking about.

Internet connection.

once again, you aren't serious are you? downloading music,books and streaming movies require very little bandwidth in comparison to trying to download a 9GB game file in a reasonable amount of time. This is fact and you made yourself look pretty dumb by saying most of these replies. A lot of people either have mediocre internet, or have to pay per gigabyte. So in fact Sir, I say I really hope YOU'RE being sarcastic.

MrBeatdown2261d ago (Edited 2261d ago )

"Not everybody has it umm were are the retail pc parts, books, video, music stores. They are closed or on the way out. Replace d by gamefly (pc game digital versions can be rented, so its possible to rent digital copies of games. If a few of people has fast internet or even an internet connection then netflix,steam, onlive, etc. should have failed."

You should go into a Walmart, Target, or Best Buy some time. Or check out any of their online stores. Or Amazon. You might be surprised to know they have entire departments dedicated to books, movies, music, and games. Or check out those DVD kiosks outside every other supermarket that have popped up in the past few years.

You're treating the fact that things like Steam, Online, and Netflix streaming are successful as proof that everyone can and will accept digital distribution which is completely ridiculous.

What you're saying is about as logical as saying everyone can afford a Porsche because the Porsche company is successful.

MGaceman2261d ago

This is just a collection of the handful of posts submitted to N4G, shaken up and spurted out. Only not presented as eloquently.

giovonni2261d ago (Edited 2261d ago )

It's sad when we are in the information and digital age where we can't see an obvious change in the way we do things. We will deny deny deny, make an excuse, or continue to be blind to the fact that the change hasn't happened already.

Lets look at the digital Download market first, it tore the music, movie, and rental business upside down. Anyone want to buy a Tower Records, Samgoodie, or Blockbuster? Within two years alone we have seen closings of Circuit City, Blockbuster, F.Y.E. In the last five years we have seen closings with Tower Records, Samgoodie, Stand alone Sears, and the list will mount.

With that said, Digital download is now, not the future. The Future is more hardware touch data machines that integrate your house with your tablet, car, closet, mirror, fridge. see link here ( also part two

the excuse of not having a true internet connection is also false. There are several companies that offer high speed affordable internet, with companies like Clear, at&t, comcast, verizon, entire cities have been reworked to support faster wifithat support huge data downloads. I got a wifi connection in Mc Donald's and watched a Blu ray movie on the go for free! matter of fact 8 out of 10 of us pay a monthly service to have internet ran in our house plus our smartphones. The Digital download business grossed 5.9 billion dollars in the US in 2010 (I'm giving US #'s because that's where I live) that made up 37% of the gaming business alone.

This doesn't mean Hard copies will be vastly eliminated, just improved to support the sign of the times. Think about it, when was the last time you used a cassette tape, how about a walkman, wait... want to buy my C.D player with anti skip from me, how about a DVD player?

My point is Companies measure the industry just like this, and by 2015 when the new systems come out I don't expect to see any drives of any sort, from Sony, or MS. Nintendo is a different story because I believe their system is coming sooner.

Finally, I'm excited to see what the next storage media is going to be wither all digital download S.D card slot only readers, both, or entirely new ideas as long as it continues to push the video game envelope I'm with it. We can come up with all the excuses we want, but are supporting an all download world with out even thinking, and being forced to support it and think we have a choice by jumping to the next company that doesn't appear to be supporting it

arnyftw2261d ago (Edited 2261d ago )

Not everybody with a console has it connected to the internet, they just play everything offline and they dont have multiplayer games. This is because their Xboxes and Ps3's cannot connect to their routers, either because they're too far away or because their routers are not compatible. Another thing is not everybody has a high speed connection, in my case this is not because it is too expensive. It is because I have a maxed out connection in our area, this is the fastest connection you can get (3mbps) and their is no better connection.
It is somewhat frustrating that I have such a slow connection and my friends who like like 18k away have like 32mbps+. Also game sizes will always increase, I get frustrated with steam because games take too long to download, even thought this is easier through consoles because of background downloads it would still take too long.
The only time when we can switch to download only is when everybody has 50mbps+ connections, no bandwidth caps, and when everybody in the world has a internet connection.
Companies like ms wont just lose sales by cutting out the parts of the world that either dont have good internet or dont have it at all, yes this probably wont be a major gaming market but they would probably still lose sales. In order to maximize sales they have to make sure games can be bought and played offline. Maybe they will improve xbl, but I doubt that they will remove the disc drive.

svoulis2261d ago (Edited 2261d ago )

You are just as ignorantly blinded by "The Digital Age" as s45gr32, What part aren't you getting. That link you posted far from proves your theory. THAT LINK INCLUDES ALL DLC AND THE LIKES, not just games and the games include are the arcade games small in size, as well as any other type of game media. Trust me, when you have to sit there and download a 15GB game, you'll realize what I mean. The article says it for me actually.

"Purchases of digital content accounted for 24 percent of game sales in 2010, generating $5.9 billion in revenue."

Do you know how small of a percent that is, even considering this also includes DLC and stuff like that? Once again, NOT FULL RETAIL GAMES.

I know PLENTLY of people in the US alone (also where I am from) who do not have anything past a 5mbps Connection. Yes that is slow as hell compared to the likes of 25mbps etc.

You sir need to get your facts right because just like s45gr32, your point is completely moot.

As I stated at the end of my blog. AS OF NOW WE AREN'T READY for digital media. Because we aren't you want facts look it up. It is that simple. There is not enough High Speed internet around the world. So yes eventually we will live in a digital age, but as of now it is far too soon. At least 5-10 years too soon.

Don't post garbage facts about DLC and stuff especially with such a low number as "37%" of the market. That is less than half, why would Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo only cater to less than HALF the US alone.

You sir made a complete fool of yourself. Congratulations

giovonni2260d ago

Nope didn't make a complete fool of myself their sir, only a fool would ignore 5.9 billion dollars. What business would ignore 5.9 billion? and who cares if it is dlc it proves that people will bite and support it. My point was the number is only going to grow when the next consoles come out If you think 5.9 billion dollars is garbage facts then you sir are the fool.

since the idea of download content on a console is relatively young 5.9 billion from a business stand point or the "low" 37% garbage fact that you claim isn't enough to turn business heads, Why?, because there isn't enough high speed internet connections around the world, but in the u.s alone it's a 5.9 billion dollar investment and that was last year, so how would it look in 2015(mind you, I only looked up the U.S?)

It's funny you say I am ignorantly blinded by the digital age because my eyes are wide open.. Tell me this, what do these businesses have in common, Samgoodie, Blockbuster, Blackberry, The post office, and Major book stores.... They all ignored part of that 5.9 billion dollar investment and now either gone or will be in the next few years.

Lastly, why would they cater to a market that's less than half, because they know by 2015 that number will have sky rocket, and besides people spent almost a grand for a ps3 when it first came out with little to no blu ray support and we all needed HD Tv's to take advantage. At the time the majority of people didn't even have H.D TV's, but two years later everyone and their grand mother had one.

kaozgamer2260d ago

australia says hi. you do know that there are some countries around the world that still don't have a decent connection speed to be able to download big files quickly. australia just started to the old cables with fibre optic and it will be at least another 2-3 years until we can use then.

svoulis2260d ago (Edited 2260d ago )

Oh don't you worry, apparently according to giovonni, the only people to take into account is 37% of the U.S who love DLC, small games, ebooks, mp3's and digital copies of movies.

So yeah apparently once again, in his eyes (since he's in that 37% bracket) the digital age will take over in 3 years. Which is still pointless as Microsoft will release their console way before 2015. So Giovonni, until 2015 what will they do? Just not sell consoles?

2260d ago
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