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So I've heard that (admittedly anecdotally) from a couple of gamers. The fact that M$ has an Xbox that's "digital only" somewhat scares me. Dunno about PS. Also dunno about Nintendo, but AFAIK, they seem to be holding on to physical media (which isn't mutually exclusive with digital since they've had that and cartridges/discs for a while now)



On a related note, Game Stop is in a bit of dire straights, having trouble finding a buyer for themselves. It seems that these "digital only vg" will do them in. Interesting if nothing else how they used to exploit the "buy back a game for close to nothing, shrink wrap it, then sell it for mucho profit" is now at its end of line.


I'd like to say this makes me happy/sad, but, I sort of stopped getting heavily into vg.
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Eh, I'm okay with the digital future for games. Last physical copy of a game I bought was Mass Effect: Andromeda, and I bought that from Amazon. Last new game I bought from GameStop was... Halo 4? The last game I traded in to GameStop? I dunno. It was when I was cleaning out some XB360 games I didn't want when I got my XB1 and got peanuts for them.

GameStops days are numbered. Well, not days, but years. This next cycle of consoles will still have physical media, but I suspect physical sales will decline. Platform holders and publishers are doing all they can to keep profits in house and not support a middleman that actively pushes used versions of games that cut the platform holders and publishers out of the profit loop. I feel really bad for GameStop employees who are counting on that employment for a check. I do not feel bad in the slightest for GameStop as a corporate enterprise. They've rode the used game horse hard and made a bunch of money off of it.

For me buying digitally puts more money (eventually) in the pockets of people making the games. That makes games more profitable. That means I might get more games. Selfish? Yes. Short sighted? Possibly.
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I'm definitely not a fan of the digital only route, but I also acknowledge all the advantages for developers and consumers that comes with digital distribution. I'd also assume that the number of folks that prefer physical games is dwindling as digital only adopters grow in number, though that's just an assumption. I have no evidence -- anecdotal or otherwise -- that this next generation of consoles will be the last to support physical media, but I've thought for a long time that it may be the case.

It's interesting because video games seem to be my last barrier to going digital. Outside of a handful of CD's and vinyl from artists I really want to own physical media from, I'm pretty much digitally exclusive for music, TV, and movies.

As for GameStop, I was working there during the build up to the Xbox One launch, and I remember the internal panic around the whole not being able to play used games thing. It's something I, as a lowly employee, had never really considered. But since then, I've felt like the company was on borrowed time from that alone, the mismanagement and other internal woes over the past several years notwithstanding. It sort of makes me sad in a way because GameStop is one of the last "video game stores" out there, although they feel more like a video game trinket and merch store now.
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As a collector, the concept of an all-digital future bothers me. For PC I've given up on physical for a little while, mostly out of convenience, but I'd prefer console gaming to stay primary physical.

As I said in another thread we had about this topic, I can't see myself paying more than $20 for a digital only game anytime soon. Last time I did that was I think when Skyrim first launched, which I got on Steam for $60.

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GibbRS wrote:
As a collector, the concept of an all-digital future bothers me. For PC I've given up on physical for a little while, mostly out of convenience, but I'd prefer console gaming to stay primary physical.


+1

A digital only future would be a nightmare for me. I love tangible media and want a physical copy as a collector. Not to mention how bad my internet options are where I live, and how my current lack of internet access is cutting me off completely from digital game purchases and patches.

I think there is always going to be some demand for physical copies, even if it is niche. Physical movie releases havnt completely disappeared yet and I imagine it will be the same for games.
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Well,that will be interesting since then people will be selling off consoles with games downloaded, I would suppose, the way "PT" is sort of a big thing worth something like $1,200 if you're willing to sell the machine with the data stored on it.
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I've been digital only on PC for years and have never once wished I had a game on CD or thumb drive or floppy disc.

In fact when my wife bought her Apple Macintosh laptop I scoffed at the fact it doesn't have a disc drive. In all the years she has had I have never felt it was missing anything.

I'm actually more surprised to hear that the Xbox361 or PS5 have a disc drive.
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Gamestop hurt Gamestop, they came in an gobbled up all the small used video game shops, raised the prices and pushed lousy practices. Their buisness plan was get rid of legacy game sales and buy used games for next to nothing, then sell them 5 dollars less than full price. Rejoice! Ebay, Amazon and digital sales have dethroned the bloated monster.

At the release of the last generation of consoles the same thing was said, 'this generation is the probably the last with physical media'. Nobody knows, but I suspect Nintendo will never give it up, and to a lesser degree Sony. If Sony doesnt give it up then Xbox will have a hard time convincing people a lease is better than ownership.
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GibbRS wrote:
As I said in another thread we had about this topic, I can't see myself paying more than $20 for a digital only game anytime soon. Last time I did that was I think when Skyrim first launched, which I got on Steam for $60.
I may have said this in another thread as well (probably NOT a reply to you mind you) that I don't really get games on physical media for more than $20, let alone digital only!

Mysti_Fogg wrote:
Well,that will be interesting since then people will be selling off consoles with games downloaded, I would suppose, the way "PT" is sort of a big thing worth something like $1,200 if you're willing to sell the machine with the data stored on it.
That's one bonus when I purchase a used Ipod Classic... I still get to enjoy the music that's preloaded on it. In the case of a recent purchase, it's Mac formatted (whereas I use Windows), so I'll need to see if I can find a workaround for this.


Otherwise, will this even work? Aren't games tied to individual user accounts? I went to a vg section of a convention where they had consoles you could sit down at and play. At least for Xb and PS, when you tried to play digital only games, they ask for your user name and password that the account purchased the game with. I don't know if that's transferrable upon new console ownership.
 
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GibbRS wrote:
As a collector, the concept of an all-digital future bothers me. For PC I've given up on physical for a little while, mostly out of convenience, but I'd prefer console gaming to stay primary physical.


My problem isn't with the distribution, it's with the DRM that's enforced in these downloads.

As long as the games are downloadable only, BUT they make it possible to play on any single machine (so that I can have the game outside on a memory card or whatever, and jack it into another console), then why not? I love myself a package and a manual, but the real zest for me is the ability to play the game in 30 years, after my console broke and the downloading services is finished since decades back.
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Zimeon wrote:
[...]but the real zest for me is the ability to play the game in 30 years, after my console broke and the downloading services is finished since decades back.


+1
 
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Zimeon wrote:
[...]but the real zest for me is the ability to play the game in 30 years, after my console broke and the downloading services is finished since decades back.


Ideally. But it doesn't always go as planned. I no longer trust batteries to keep their saves. My Turbo Duo needed a new laser, which I replaced and it still needs new capacitors if I wanted to hear anything. The disc drive on my Xbox failed. My NES only gives me flashing screens. My Genesis works fine, but the Power Base Converter doesn't. This leaves me with no way to play my Master System games.

Physical media is no guarantee you will be able to play your games into the future.
 
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frumpish wrote:
Zimeon wrote:
[...]but the real zest for me is the ability to play the game in 30 years, after my console broke and the downloading services is finished since decades back.


Ideally. But it doesn't always go as planned. I no longer trust batteries to keep their saves. My Turbo Duo needed a new laser, which I replaced and it still needs new capacitors if I wanted to hear anything. The disc drive on my Xbox failed. My NES only gives me flashing screens. My Genesis works fine, but the Power Base Converter doesn't. This leaves me with no way to play my Master System games.

Physical media is no guarantee you will be able to play your games into the future.


My modded PS1 Ive had since the 90's has a disk reader from a newer model jury rigged in the case. I was pleasantly surprised when it worked.
 
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Lurkfish wrote:


For me buying digitally puts more money (eventually) in the pockets of people making the games. That makes games more profitable. That means I might get more games. Selfish? Yes. Short sighted? Possibly.


Possibly, but that's not what happened with music or books.

I mean obviously it's complicated, but in broad strokes, so far digital distribution has meant more money for the companies that control the distribution platforms, and not for content creators.
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It's certainly plausible that the next wave of consoles will be the last with physical media.

But, it's difficult to engage in the topic with much sincerity, because the industry overall has long been drawn to a romanticized view of "disruption," where established models are presumed to be at the end of their lifecycle.

Consoles were already supposed to die before PS4 and XB1. Everything was supposed to be free-to-play by now, or more precisely, free to begin playing but monetized through extensive microtransactions. Single player games were supposed to be fossils at this point.

In short: maybe. But the industry loves its eleventh hours.
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frumpish wrote:
I no longer trust batteries to keep their saves. My Turbo Duo needed a new laser, which I replaced and it still needs new capacitors if I wanted to hear anything. The disc drive on my Xbox failed. My NES only gives me flashing screens. My Genesis works fine, but the Power Base Converter doesn't. This leaves me with no way to play my Master System games.

Physical media is no guarantee you will be able to play your games into the future.


My point is, you can usually buy another used console. However, if my 360 breaks down, and I buy another used one, it's bye-bye all my downloaded games, unless Microsoft still allows downloads for my account.

The games can also break down, of course. But if the games are separate, and the consoles are separate, I haven't put all eggs in the same basket. My PS2 broke down 2 years ago. Solution? Bought another one, and all my games and all my saves are still in pristine condition. Not so at all if my Wii U decides to say goodbye.
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Zimeon wrote:
frumpish wrote:
I no longer trust batteries to keep their saves. My Turbo Duo needed a new laser, which I replaced and it still needs new capacitors if I wanted to hear anything. The disc drive on my Xbox failed. My NES only gives me flashing screens. My Genesis works fine, but the Power Base Converter doesn't. This leaves me with no way to play my Master System games.

Physical media is no guarantee you will be able to play your games into the future.


My point is, you can usually buy another used console. However, if my 360 breaks down, and I buy another used one, it's bye-bye all my downloaded games, unless Microsoft still allows downloads for my account.

The games can also break down, of course. But if the games are separate, and the consoles are separate, I haven't put all eggs in the same basket. My PS2 broke down 2 years ago. Solution? Bought another one, and all my games and all my saves are still in pristine condition. Not so at all if my Wii U decides to say goodbye.

I feel like this is an archaic solution to a structural economic problem.

At the point at which we came up with digital media and a widespread network of storage and distribution of said media, personal archiving should have become redundant for purely practical purposes. But because we allow the storage and distribution to be held behind the walls of proprietary systems and exceedingly restrictive copyright protections, then we are stuck with either avoiding the vastly superior digital solution to maintain some measure of personal autonomy, or else hope that the corporate entities in control will decide the PR value of maintaining legacy distribution systems is sufficient to justify their maintenance.

I would rather there be a third way.
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paralipsis wrote:
I feel like this is an archaic solution to a structural economic problem.


The solution isn't archaic as my goal is to be able to keep my stuff. A digital storage solution isn't vastly superior in this particular case. Of course, having a huge common library where I could go to play any game in history would be better than nothing, but would still prefer to have my own copy. A rental or lending institution is usually monitored, and I'm one of those who don't like that what I do gets registered at some sort of humongous central service

I do prefer to get cases. But makers these days have completely missed that people who buy physical media usually wants some sort of paper manual too, and without that, I feel slightly ripped off. Instead, games have some sort of in game "help" function on "how to play" which is way worse. I want to have it separate from the game, in a book. Also, some character design sketches, some comments on the characters or world view, or a small interview with the designer, or something like that.

But I digress. I'd prefer physical media, but my main gripe with the downloads is not the lack of package, but the lack of freedom.
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Zimeon wrote:
paralipsis wrote:
I feel like this is an archaic solution to a structural economic problem.


The solution isn't archaic as my goal is to be able to keep my stuff. A digital storage solution isn't vastly superior in this particular case.

If the digital solution wasn't burdened by DRM, then you could have the choice and create as many local backups as you pleased.
 
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paralipsis wrote:
Zimeon wrote:
paralipsis wrote:
I feel like this is an archaic solution to a structural economic problem.


The solution isn't archaic as my goal is to be able to keep my stuff. A digital storage solution isn't vastly superior in this particular case.

If the digital solution wasn't burdened by DRM, then you could have the choice and create as many local backups as you pleased.


Naturally. As I suggested. Digital downloads that are DRM free, and a central storage location is basically the same thing.
 
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JohnRayJr wrote:
Lurkfish wrote:


For me buying digitally puts more money (eventually) in the pockets of people making the games. That makes games more profitable. That means I might get more games. Selfish? Yes. Short sighted? Possibly.


Possibly, but that's not what happened with music or books.

I mean obviously it's complicated, but in broad strokes, so far digital distribution has meant more money for the companies that control the distribution platforms, and not for content creators.


A couple of years ago Ubi at a shareholders meeting did a breakdown of physical va digital revenue streams for their products and discussed their push to go digital.
It's not like it was a staggering amount but it was something. Digital platform holder and publisher essentially split the chunk that was going to the physical retailer.
Of course this is the platform holder and publisher making more revenue, as you point out it doesn't mention the developer (the artist in the case you mention). But increased profitability may (I would say likely, but that's just conjecture on my side) keep game releases coming. Additionally, even if the developer sees no additional profit from digital distribution they see infinitely more profits per unit sold digitally than GameStop selling used physical copies of the same unit.
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Nintendo will have physical media for at least 2 generations (14 years) after Sony and Microsoft get rid of it. Nintendo's fans aren't into 4K (Nintendo even said they would die if they tried 4K now) and don't have as easy access to Internet as others.

As for GameStop, I could do without them. They charge too much and give too little.
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Radiumus wrote:
Nintendo's fans aren't into 4K and don't have easy access to Internet.


I don't really understand this. You're talking about over 100 million people, internationally. You're saying that, statistically speaking, they are more concentrated in areas with poor internet infrastructure?

The next Nintendo platform will probably be 4k simply because it will be a ubiquitous display standard by then. I agree that Nintendo's marketing has not been about the graphical frontier for a long time, but 4k is already moving into the phase where it's just what everyone has in their living rooms, because it's the practically the only thing for sale.
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JohnRayJr wrote:
, but 4k is already moving into the phase where it's just what everyone has in their living rooms, because it's the practically the only thing for sale.


Which is irrelivant, because the HDTVs we had to buy still have another good 15 years left in them before we buy a replacement.
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yaverot wrote:
JohnRayJr wrote:
, but 4k is already moving into the phase where it's just what everyone has in their living rooms, because it's the practically the only thing for sale.

Which is irrelivant, because the HDTVs we had to buy still have another good 15 years left in them before we buy a replacement.

True for many of us, but again it's easy to think of the whole world as just being like those around us whereas that's often an oversimplification. There are still lots of people ageing into a stage in life where they are making a home, or migrating and starting afresh somewhere. What's on the store shelves now will make up a large segment of the userbase in several years even if most people with decent 1080p TVs don't upgrade.
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