VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

General and high profile video game topics.
eneuman96
Posts: 310
Joined: April 13th, 2015, 11:16 pm

VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby eneuman96 » April 22nd, 2018, 1:03 am

https://venturebeat.com/2018/04/21/cons ... downloads/

I think it's safe to say the vast majority of us disagree with this article.

What disturbs me is that the article makes little to no effort to acknowledge the biggest issue with going all-digital--namely, that access to such games will eventually disappear--and condescendingly acts as though lack of collectibility is a bigger issue: "Old-school collectors might miss accumulating boxes, manuals, and physical media, particularly if they hope to cash out someday on eBay. But anyone who actually enjoys playing games will quickly realize that the convenience of access to an all-digital collection is comparatively priceless."

It's true that the rise of digital gaming has given us access to some excellent indie titles that otherwise simply wouldn't exist, but I don't think it's a controversial opinion hereabouts to say that an all-digital future would be a nightmare.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 2307
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby scotland » April 22nd, 2018, 6:45 am

I think he has missed the emotional joy of collecting. I don't collect to cash out one dsy, nor am Iiving in a disorganized heap of hardware. I collect because its fun, the items are tangible and real and ready to be enjoyed within a few minutes of the the thought happening. I like having a physical collection - manuals included. Holding my copy of ET or Combat or Mortal Kombat is chocked full of memories. Even games I got 2nd hand have the weight of someone played it and made memories on it before I did.

Its fine for others to feel differently. One former member here was a devoted play-it trade-it-in person and no collection at all. I have both physical and digital books, and I do enjoy many of the benefits of digital

pacman000
Posts: 749
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 9:04 am

Re: VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby pacman000 » April 22nd, 2018, 8:48 am

Actually, I've been thinking of late that consoles should ditch their internal processors & just put everything on a cartridge, like the Coleco Telstar Arcade. SOCs are getting so powerful & cheap it's starting to sound practical again. ;)

pacman000
Posts: 749
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 9:04 am

Re: VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby pacman000 » April 22nd, 2018, 9:19 am

Ok, read it. My thoughts:

Got the positives right, but forgot the negatives. Says Apple solved them, but I disagree. I run out of room on my phone constantly. I usually turn data off when playing, but a lot of games need it on to load their next level pack. I have limited data; constant downloads are expensive. And the games are too cheap to support most developers without turning them into some form of gambling.

pacman000
Posts: 749
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 9:04 am

Re: VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby pacman000 » April 22nd, 2018, 1:11 pm

Also, the author makes a mistake. Online distribution's not free; it just moves a variable cost, the cost of each disk, to a fixed cost, the cost of renting servers.

If a game fails & it's on a disk or cart you can still sell it off slowly over time & eventually make your money back. If an online game fails you can't do that; your only option is to shut it down.

User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11804
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Re: VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 22nd, 2018, 3:39 pm

Yeah this article is the kind of propaganda the games industry is pushing so hard. And it's not convincing.

Another thing the author fails to consider is that physical games are actually worth something. He sounds like he made out pretty well when he sold his old collection. His currently digital collection may take up a lot less space, but it's worth about $0. And has he held on to that old collection, it might be worth 10x as much right now!

Not only that, but he could still be playing all of those games. Let's see how many titles from his digital collection are still accessible in 10 years. Probably less than half.

Some of his arguments "for" digital are really arguments AGAINST if you ask me. Take this one for example: "And it’s much easier to make an impulse buy from an online store than a physical retailer."

pacman000
Posts: 749
Joined: December 30th, 2015, 9:04 am

Re: VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby pacman000 » April 22nd, 2018, 4:54 pm

I actually find buying things online harder than buying things in stores. Username? Password? Credit Card Mumber? I don't have time to remember all that!

User avatar
Retro STrife
Posts: 809
Joined: August 3rd, 2015, 7:40 pm

Re: VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby Retro STrife » April 22nd, 2018, 11:11 pm

Like everyone else here, I completely disagree with the article. But it does hint at a notable point -- it's likely the retailers that will keep physical releases going for years to come, more so than consumers. It's all about the money. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo don't care much what we all think because they figure we'll buy games either way -- but they do care what Wal-mart, Best Buy, and GameStop think. They need those stores to sell their consoles and help market their games, and pulling physical release games off the shelves will hurt that relationship.

While there's tons of downsides to digital-only, lack of storage space is one that this article doesn't consider strongly enough. Storage space has never kept up with the growing size of software. My iphone was completely full at Day 1, due to all my music. And it took just ONE YEAR for my 500 GB PS4 to be completely full, and I have a relatively small collection! For digital-only to work, I should not have to delete my purchased games in order to make room for new ones.

The only point he makes that I do agree with is that the pricing structure of digital-only games needs to be revamped. And by the way, that brings up another benefit of physical media... with physical media, games eventually drop in price and the resale market dictates their value. With downloadable games, publishers can keep them at $60 forever.

bluenote
Posts: 106
Joined: August 14th, 2015, 5:16 pm

Re: VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby bluenote » April 23rd, 2018, 10:07 am

Retro STrife wrote:Like everyone else here, I completely disagree with the article. But it does hint at a notable point -- it's likely the retailers that will keep physical releases going for years to come, more so than consumers. It's all about the money. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo don't care much what we all think because they figure we'll buy games either way -- but they do care what Wal-mart, Best Buy, and GameStop think. They need those stores to sell their consoles and help market their games, and pulling physical release games off the shelves will hurt that relationship.

While there's tons of downsides to digital-only, lack of storage space is one that this article doesn't consider strongly enough. Storage space has never kept up with the growing size of software. My iphone was completely full at Day 1, due to all my music. And it took just ONE YEAR for my 500 GB PS4 to be completely full, and I have a relatively small collection! For digital-only to work, I should not have to delete my purchased games in order to make room for new ones.

The only point he makes that I do agree with is that the pricing structure of digital-only games needs to be revamped. And by the way, that brings up another benefit of physical media... with physical media, games eventually drop in price and the resale market dictates their value. With downloadable games, publishers can keep them at $60 forever.


I disagree with this point. All you need to do is look at the music industry. Cds are no longer in Best Buy, and there's very few now in Target, Walmart, etc. Has this hurt the record labels? Not at all. They have embraced the streaming model and record labels are making record (excuse the pun) profits. Yes, bands are struggling but the record labels are now flush with cash, with very little retailer presence.

I think this will eventually happen with video games. Heck, look at EB Games/Gamestop. Half of the store is Funko Pops, mugs, tshirts and other merchandise. Only half the store is actual video games. This is exactly what happened to HMV here in Canada (and other large music chains in the US) before they went bankrupt. You start seeing more shelves with other merchandise besides cds.

Having said all that, I think us on this forum are a dying breed. We like our physical games but I think it's clear that the industry is eventually moving to download only. If you look at the current generation of consoles, at least half the games available are download only (the indies).

I think the video game industry is just following the lead of other media. Magazines are dying quickly. Newspapers. Cds. Physical books seems to be doing relatively well funny enough.

Another point is a few people on this thread are saying that download games are not forever. This is true, but how long are you expecting your NES, Genesis, etc to last? I would imagine we may be getting close to that time where the internal electronics start to die. Same with your PS3/PS4. Do you think in 20 years those consoles are going to run, with all of the moving parts? How about the optical media? Bit rot is a real thing. I can't say for sure if our collections will still work in 20 or 30 years, but I would say it will be getting pretty difficult to find these old consoles working in that time.

I will always prefer the physical product, but if my only choice to buy a game that looks really good is download, then I'll have to do that. I'm not going to miss out on a potentially fantastic game because it doesn't come in a case.

User avatar
Retro STrife
Posts: 809
Joined: August 3rd, 2015, 7:40 pm

Re: VentureBeat article "Consoles need to ditch discs and embrace digital downloads"

Postby Retro STrife » April 23rd, 2018, 12:11 pm

bluenote wrote:I disagree with this point. All you need to do is look at the music industry. Cds are no longer in Best Buy, and there's very few now in Target, Walmart, etc. Has this hurt the record labels? Not at all. They have embraced the streaming model and record labels are making record (excuse the pun) profits. Yes, bands are struggling but the record labels are now flush with cash, with very little retailer presence.


I partially agree, but I think there are two key differences for the video game industry compared to the music industry:

1. You can't sell consoles digitally. You need the help of brick-and-mortar stores to sell your consoles. (Whereas in the music industry, the record labels are entirely separate from the electronics companies that make the listening devices.) Wal-Mart only wants to sell an Xbox One if it will also have the chance to sell games and accessories with it. Then again, I guess Wal-Mart could still have a wall of "download code" versions of games, even when physical releases are gone. Just little cards you buy to get each game online. GameStop, though, relies more heavily on physical media for its business model.

2. In the gaming industry (unlike the music industry), publishers rely heavily on retail stores for their marketing. GameStop is always pushing games for companies. Best Buy makes their own commercials about various games and systems that you can buy at their store. You might even see a big cardboard sign for a new Nintendo game as you walk into Wal-Mart. So the publishers need to cultivate that relationship.. whereas the music industry relies more on radio and TV to market its artists and music, rather than retailers.


Return to “Video Games General”