Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

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VideoGameCritic
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 11th, 2015, 5:46 pm

As most of you know I'm a big fan of physical media.  I like to own my movies, music, and games without having Internet strings attached.  I don't particularly trust my ISP (Comcast) and I don't want them standing between me and my property.

Lately I've been kind of frustrated with Blu Rays.  The "main menu" button has been rendered useless by discs that prevent you from skipping the intro advisories, comments, previews, etc.  You can fast forward through most of that but you shouldn't have to.  It's not the disc player preventing me from using these basic functions - it's the disc itself.  

Apparently the Blu Ray manufacturers can set flags like "don't let them skip this" and the player is just doing as its told.  It's an awful design, but I guess we have the film industry to blame.  I wish there would be more of an outcry, but who do you complain to?

I was watching Alien on Blu Ray the other night, and couldn't figure out how to view the special features.  It was really confusing and frustrating.  I came to find out the disc only lets you "bookmark" stuff to watch later on discs 5 and 6.  I don't have the box set so I'm SOL.

The quality of the packaging have gotten horrendous.  DVDs used to have sturdy cases with some kind of leaflet inside.  Blu Ray cases are so fragile they often don't survive delivery without a crack.  And the whole recycling thing is a complete joke - nothing but a ploy to give the illusion of being green.  As if landfills are currently overflowing with empty game cases!

Even most CDs today are packaged in disposal cardboard instead of the plastic jewel cases, and five minutes out of the wrap they're already showing wear.

It's the same type of situation with games.  Instead of catering to audience that values physical media, it's like the industry is actively discouraging people from buying it.  We all know digital delivery is the way of the future, but you'd think they would at least make an effort on the physical side while the market still exists.

Anyway, I'm off my soap box.  Your turn. 

ptdebate1
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby ptdebate1 » February 11th, 2015, 5:55 pm

You raise some hot issues here. I thought that unskippable previews were only present in rental copies but if that's not the case, that sounds infuriating.

I never paid much attention to packaging and I prefer digital because it's easier for me to manage, but I do concur that video and CD packaging standards have changed a lot since the 90s.

A lot of the frustration of internet-mediated content lie the fact that the U.S. has some of the worst internet standards in the world. Our FCC has, up until recently, defined "high speed internet" as 4Mbps--that in a world where one can cheaply secure a 1Gbps connection in Europe or Asia. Things have to change on this front before we can truly embrace the "future" of entertainment and the Internet--whatever that happens to be.

Sudz1
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby Sudz1 » February 11th, 2015, 6:33 pm

Ahhh, there you have it!  You're exactly the kind of consumer the Entertainment industry is trying to phase out - those that believe they should 'own' games, movies, etc.  I realize nobody ever really reads EULA's, but if you did you'd notice that more and more you (the consumer) is being told that you aren't actually BUYING anything... you're simply paying for the RIGHT to access the movie/show/video game/etc.  They want to completely shift the market such that nobody owns a darn thing they put out, only a temporary 'license' of sorts to enjoy it for a brief time; completely on the publishers terms, naturally. 

Vexer1
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby Vexer1 » February 12th, 2015, 12:56 am

Like it or not physical media will not list forever, it will eventually degrade and become unreadable and soon online will be the only way you'll be able to experience older games.

I tend to lean towards physical copies myself, but I will get a game online on platformers like Steam, GamersGate or GOG if it offers something the physical version does not, for example I got Dying Light on Steam rather then getting a physical CD-Rom as that's the only way you can get the season pass on the PC version, I also got Far Cry 3 on Steam as it has all the DLC that was previously only available as pre-order bonuses. Gamersgate was also the only place where you could legally buy the uncensored version of Manhunt 2(which was rated AO, so Steam couldn't sell it)

I personally don't care about Blu-Ray one bit, I see no reason to spend money on a blu-ray player rather then spending it on games, from what you said they don't sound like an improvement over DVDs at all, at least DVDs let you skip around in the film whenever you want(even rental copies don't force you to sit through previews).

I rarely buy CDs anymore so I don't care too much about packaging of those, though the most recent CDs I did buy seemed fine.

I never feel like people are being discouraged from buying physical copies of games.

One case where I am choosing physical over digital is with Resident Evil Revelations 2, it's being released as an episodic game with individual releases of episodes happening every few weeks and then a full retail release with all the episodes coming in March, I pre-ordered the retail version at Gamestop as it's more convenient for me to have all the episodes on disc rather then downloading them all individually.


scotland171
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby scotland171 » February 12th, 2015, 6:08 am

[QUOTE=Vexer]

Like it or not physical media will not list forever, it will eventually degrade and become unreadable and soon online will be the only way you'll be able to experience older games[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Vexer]Not me, I'll keep on getting current consoles, physical media will eventually succumb to bit rot and soon the only way you'll be able to play those older games is online anyways.[/QUOTE]

Is this the second law of thermodynamics argument? Alas, we are bound to live in a human lifespan. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

Given the evidence of Atari 2600 cartridges versus servers and hosting services being shut down, physical media has proven durability over anything online. Online games require some critical mass of users to support hosting services, while physical media does not. This loss of hosting support happens orders of magnitude, plural orders there, to physical breakdown. Further, physical media continues to exist even when its creators would remove it from the marketplace, whuch is the crux of the issue.

An original copy of the Magna Carta was just discovered in a small town in England. Decades after any current online game is shut down, there will be copies of 101 BASIC computer games, already more than 40 years old. That is physical media too and it will outlive anything online.


Vexer1
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby Vexer1 » February 12th, 2015, 1:15 pm

I would disagree there, some games are so rare most will never be able to afford them, so online is pretty much the only way an average person can ever play them.  That's also true for many arcade games.

Don't see what on earth the Magna Carta has to do with video games in any way, paper isn't composed of data so of course it won't go away if it's properly protected.  

But data will eventually go away, we've already seen that happen with some CDs released in the 80s which have now become unreadable due to bit rot, so like it or not it will happen to games eventually.


Oltobaz1
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby Oltobaz1 » February 12th, 2015, 1:40 pm

The way I see it, both medias have their pros and cons, even though I prefer physical storage. If you take care
of your stuff, it will last a lifetime. Possibly a couple. Nice Ronsard quote by the way, Scotty...

Slightly off topic, a friend recently gave me his old first generation PAL Playstation he had modded at the time for US and Japanese games as well. The console was untested and had not been running in more than ten years. I was expecting it not to work at all, or possibly with some issues, due to how fragile these things are. My own Playstation I insist in keeping as a relic died a long time ago due to some heavy disk swapping, well, my friend's works like a charm! I already had a modded PSONE, this PSX will make a suitable replacement if it ever fails in this lifetime.

ZetaX1
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby ZetaX1 » February 12th, 2015, 2:09 pm

[QUOTE=Vexer]But data will eventually go away, we've already seen that happen with some CDs released in the 80s which have now become unreadable due to bit rot, so like it or not it will happen to games eventually.[/QUOTE]

I think you overestimate the severity/prevalence of "CD rot".  I've got bunch of CDs from the 80s, haven't had one crap-out yet.  Same goes for 5.25" floppies.  As long as you don't get a strong magnet near the floppies, and don't store you CDs in a microwave oven (look for that one on YouTube!), they will probably outlive all of us. 

Could a few of your disk-based (or cartridge-based) games get goofed-up over time?  Sure, anything's possible.  But I'd trust the longevity of something I have physical control over more than some sort of subscription-based cloud-stored corporate-controlled B.S.  Plus they look cool on a shelf.

Now the consoles, I'm not so sure how long any of them will last...

ptdebate1
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby ptdebate1 » February 12th, 2015, 2:52 pm

We're talking about digital storage of games as something that's necessarily controlled by corporations. I look at things a little differently.

I can have a "physical copy" of any of my original XBOX games any time I like--by burning them to a DVD. In about 5 years, I'll be doing the same for my PS3 games. In 15 years, I'll be doing it for PS4 games.

Vexer1
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Entertainment Industry and Physical Media

Postby Vexer1 » February 12th, 2015, 9:40 pm

ZetaX- Sites like Steam, Gamersgate, Green Man Gaming and GOG are not subscription or cloud-based though, so they're not going anywhere anytime soon.


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