Will The Next PlayStation Console Feature An Optical Disc Drive?
With all this talk about physical video game media disappearing in the future in favor of digital downloads, PS4 Talk has wondered: will the next PlayStation feature the seemingly essential optical disc drive?
Although we're not the biggest fans of removing the disc format entirely, we have to agree that without the disc drive, Sony would have more design freedom with the PS4. First of all, it wouldn't even have to lie flat or stand erect; it could look however you wanted it to look, and to top it all off, we wouldn't have size limits for games, anymore. Currently, a game has to be made to fit on a Blu-Ray disc, but without the disc, there's no restriction. Of course, this could lead to a spiraling issue that results in 100GB games quickly maxing out HDD space. Then again, perhaps by that time, HDD space won't even be a hindrance (what with all the technological advancements and all). The machine would also be quieter, smaller, and could also be less expensive thanks to major savings on manufacturing costs. Oh, and if you wanted to buy a game, it would merely be a matter of turning on your PS4, putting in the relevant information, and hitting the "Download Now" button. No braving the elements and the crowds trying to get to the stores.
However, it appears to be a race more than anything else. If - if - digital downloads start to become the preferable mode of delivering video games, will it take hold fast enough for the release of the PS4? Or perhaps the better question is this: shouldn't Sony be working on initial designs of the PS4 already? If so, are they really considering a machine that doesn't boast an optical disc drive due to the digital download expectation...?
12/8/2008 Ben Dutka