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Wada: Square-Enix Preparing For The Big Industry Shift

The industry is changing faster than any of us might have expected, and Square-Enix president Yoichi Wada says that in another ten years, just about everything will be different.

According to MCVUK, Wada says he's preparing his company for the seemingly inevitable switch to digital distribution and server-based games. He says these next ten years will offer unrivaled market growth simply because the concept of a "console game" won't exist any longer; the traditional ideas will have been left behind. Interestingly enough, he says both Sony and Microsoft are prepared for this and third-party developers had best follow suit, or suffer the consequences. Said Wada:

"Somewhere around 2005 the console manufacturers’ strategy shifted. In the past the platform was hardware, but it has switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn’t even needed anymore. With that, any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played – that’s exponential growth in the potential of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous."

For Square-Enix's part, Wada says they're focusing more on "social and browser games" and of course, they're keeping a close eye on the progress of Final Fantasy XIV. But you know, when FFXV is all set to arrive, you may not be asking whether or not it'll be available on "multiple consoles;" that's a question that, according to Wada, will be irrelevant at some point in the future.

11/26/2009 10:33:02 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

therabbitkinge
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 10:51:49 AM
Reply

Wow that sounds like a grand vision I mean look at the progression of cassette tapes to CD's to MP3's noone looked at it at first but now people are glad to pay or download digital music... I dunno maybe we will have to prepare for this change just as well ^_^

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fluffer nutter
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 11:52:47 AM

Moving to mp3s was not a progression in terms of quality but in terms of distribution. That's what is so sad. People are now paying the same price for compressed audio as they would be for a much better, digital recording on a CD, SACD, etc.
The type of gaming "systems" that Wada is talking about would be very similar to what is already available for companies, homes, businesses, that cater to terminal users. That would be very interesting, as long as we have the bandwidth for it.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

oldmike
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:32:03 PM

also keep in mind how long it takes to download
a song is what 5 meg vs a game thats 50 gig

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NeoHumpty
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 3:31:53 PM

@oldmike-I'm pretty sure what is being said in the article is that they are planning on network based games. You wouldn't need to download them to play at all. It will come to your tv from the server where the game is playing. So it won't be a matter of what console you have, but a choice of who provides your service.

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Naztycuts
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 11:02:38 AM
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I dont know about you guys but this is what I'm afraid of as a gamer. "When you buy something, but you don't have a physical copy of it to hold, you don't really own it." I remember reading that some time ago in the forums here and I couldn't agree more. It's different if you rent a movie from PSN, but I won't buy full versions of games from the store because I'D RATHER HAVE A DISK.

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NoSmokingBandit
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 12:16:42 PM

Discs have resale value, meaning they are inherently worth more to the consumer than a digital download. The problem is that distributors dont think this way and charge us the same amount for a disc as they do a download.

I love having discs too, they are just cooler. I imported Quest For Booty so i could have the disc. If i ever run into financial trouble i can sell my copy of Q4B unlike if i had downloaded it.

I wont buy a game off PSN, XBL, whatever. If its not on a disc i wont buy it, and im sure there are many who think like i do. If they want to take away physical media they will be losing and upsetting a portion of the fanbase that has been around since the early days.

Last edited by NoSmokingBandit on 11/26/2009 12:18:12 PM

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NeoHumpty
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 3:38:43 PM

I'm trying to get in the mindset of it's not buying the game, rather paying to play it, like in an arcade. I'm not too crazy about the idea, but if the prices will start to come down some I could be coaxed. No $400 console is a start.

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big6
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 11:40:24 AM
Reply

Seems like the industry is thinking this, because maybe there is an industry-wide push for this to happen (by certain market leaders like Microsoft or Sony or whomever). The industry wants it, because it will curb piracy and rental services, which don't generate income.

But if you ask any common person around you, I think the majority would want the PHYSICAL MEDIA in their collection, instead of everything on a Hard Drive that may crash one day.

The industry will try and force digital distribution down our throats, but I'm not biting...

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Andysw
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 11:46:50 AM
Reply

Make final fantasy XV a playstation exclusive please square enix.

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sobleck
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 7:01:42 PM

why?

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Jawknee
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 8:00:55 PM

Cause the xbox sucks.

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Soultaker
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 12:21:33 PM

no the japanese version doesn't have subtitles and I myself dont want this digital distibution. I can handle it for ps1 games and add on content, but i don't want to fill my hdd up because they want to distribute full games digitally its freakin BS

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 12:40:17 PM

You are talking about the OnLive "console," which streamed games off of servers and was supposed to be the next big thing, and went away in a poof as soon as it debuted.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 11/26/2009 12:41:11 PM

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___________
Friday, November 27, 2009 @ 12:33:51 AM

what?
onlive aint out yet.
and apparently even that had some lag while streaming crysis wars at GDC09.
in jappan and other areas that have high download speeds, and usages its a viable practical piece of tech.
only problems being

1 can they get every publisher on board.
theres no point having a service that does not have many games, and sony, ninty and M$ have said they will not allow there games on there so thats a massive dint.

2 very few countrys and very few people have access to the equipment required to make this practical so i can see it being a massive flop overall.
in countries that have high quality internet it could be a massive success and be the future of gaming, but theres no where near enough people who have access to the required tech.

another thing there not thinking off bandwidth.
how are they going to handle that?
its kinda pointless if im online playing a game on onlive but theres just enough bandwidth for that, so no one else in the house can use the net.
thats another thing i doubt they have thought of.
what if i want to go online to look for a guide?

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tlpn99
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 12:41:27 PM
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Had this one before I would rather have the disk. Physical copy for me over digital copy any day. Plus I am sure there are more of us on here who agree with me too. :)

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Alienange
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 12:47:18 PM
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Hey Wada, 2010 is coming up! Where's my flying car? Still don't have one? Well I'm sure it'll come right around the time we get rid of consoles.

This guy's making a big mistake. "social and browser games" Bwahahaha!

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oldmike
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:24:47 PM

keep in mind hes also a BIG microsoft fanboy
how about they just get FFXIII out and not have it suck

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 12:47:22 PM
Reply

This is nonsense, in ten years the infrastructure of high speed internet across the world still won't be anywhere near as vast or reliable as it would have to be to accommodate all or even most gamers. Even with a decent connection I don't want to think about the time it takes to download a 50gig game on its release day. I'm sure one day this will happen, but it is not soon. I trust that Sony will be smart enough to continue to offer physical media for many years to come. Honestly who here wants to abolish their game collection and/or dvd and blu ray collection?

And SE wants to move into the casual market? They truly have lost their way. And the strategy hasn't shifted to the network, online multiplayer is just popular but that doesn't mean all things video game must be online. People still need an SP experience. Wada's cheese slid off his cracker.

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 5:47:35 PM

PSP Go was a good test product for this downloadable games service thing. Apparently UMD is still the medium of choice, not digital download.

The PSP 3000 is still selling through the roof, and EB Games refuses to stock PSP Go cos there's no financial benefits for us selling it.

I too think it's all BS, only small 200 MB games are popular to download. Everything else is done on physical media. And most countries (like Australia) are quite far behind in online technologies that physical media remains the only option we have.

Look at CDs. After 20 years on the scene, they are still being purchased. either for the car or as a gift. Bluray games, Holographic disc games etc etc. will always be around in the future because games will continue to be bigger and better. Not everybody will have the bandwith to stream or download games, plus I like looking at my games collection sitting on my shelf, not a number on the screen.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 12:51:47 PM
Reply

This guy is ridiculous lol
Seriously, not everyone has internet

And a lot of people, specially those in the rural areas (if I'm right), have really slow internet connections

I still want my physical copy of my games

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leatherface
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:00:10 PM

Wada's he thinking!?!

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Banky A
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 9:21:08 PM

Haha Mr. Pumpkin face

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Alienange
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 1:11:16 PM
Reply

He's also saying console manufacturers’ "strategy shifted" and that "it has switched to the network?" Back in 2005? Is this guy for real? Those who MAKE consoles don't want consoles?

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Bo0mKiiD
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:05:59 PM
Reply

You can't stop progression. Sooner or later discs will be put to rest, why not sooner? The sooner they start the more kinks they could work out ahead of time. We'll all look back at digital and go "remember when we had to purchase and store stuff on obsolete data drives? Much more tougher then using your MIND!(600GB porn downloaded in a second)". Screw you, a man can dream.

Last edited by Bo0mKiiD on 11/26/2009 2:06:41 PM

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 5:53:27 PM

Won't happen til everyone in the world has an optical cable net connection, and thats at least 20 - 30 years off.

If you want proof, look at PSP Go sales. Many still prefer UMDs and discs for playing bigger games.

If you have 300 GB per month donwload limit for $30 bucks a month on an optical network, fair enough, your argument makes sense. But until everyone has that, it ain't gonna catch on.

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Jawknee
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 8:03:42 PM

Discs put to rest like CDs? I have an iPod and I still buy CDs.

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SvenMD
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:21:03 PM
Reply

I still just don't believe that it is feasable to say that digital downloads will take over the physical format.

How long have mp3's been around? And how long have we been able to downloadfrom iTunes? Yet we still have CD's being sold in stores.

My concern, that has been said before, "If I don't have it in my hand then I don't feel like I own it". What happens if your HD fails an you lose all your data? Where is the record keeping? What happens if you want to take a game over to a friends house?

Personally I want my games sitting on my wall. It just makes me feel better for some reason.

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DaNgerSteVe
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:27:03 PM
Reply

surprise every one hates him and there hasn't been an ate mp on his assassination

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oldmike
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:28:23 PM
Reply

One more thing if hes so right why is the sales of the new PSP so bad
every week in japan the sell over 30k PSP'sand they sell like 5k PSP-Go
ya that shows how much everyone wants downloads

Last edited by oldmike on 11/26/2009 2:28:38 PM

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jerocarson
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:35:53 PM
Reply

AFRICA? anyone??.. just a few percentage of us have access to the internet and very few to broadband.. and i am lucky to be among the broadband users...
i don't think Digital would come just soon!
thank you

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xnonsuchx
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:46:53 PM
Reply

Sorry, but I don't see digital distribution being the primary method of getting stuff until EVERYONE has superfast broadband (>10-20Mbits). Devs would be shooting themselves in the foot if they didn't release titles on physical media for the foreseeable future.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:50:18 PM
Reply

I wanna download a 25GB game on my ps4

Yes it'll take me a whole month? Sweet!

Last edited by Scarecrow on 11/26/2009 2:50:35 PM

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Douchebaguette
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:56:11 PM
Reply

Great. So this means S-E will concentrate to making their games for Gaikai or OnLive, unless the three current giants of the console industry move towards cloud gaming - which Microsoft even dismisses.

On another note: have you heard of Playstation Cloud? Could it be Sony's future GoD platform, or a new online service for PS3 [premium, perhaps??]. Nah, it was confirmed 100% fake.

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Alienange
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 2:56:31 PM
Reply

This article makes me so crazy I just have to say something else!

Here's another epic fail for digital downloads or "internet" games as Wada says. When you sign up for digital distribution you have to agree to the distributors terms and conditions. Well did you get the email with the latest modification to the terms and conditions of PSN? Now you can only download the software you bought onto 3 systems instead of 5. Just like that. No ifs,ands or buts. Can you imagine a world with all digital download or streaming games? They'd have their customers by the balls and there wouldn't be a damn thing you could do if they decide the terms and conditions YOU agreed to no longer suit them. They'll just change them and say "Screw you! You want to keep playing? You do so on OUR terms."

Leaving YOUR merchandise on THEIR servers is a baaaaad mistake.

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Hezzron
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 9:31:06 PM

Agreed

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 5:54:43 PM
Reply

Aussie gamers on this site may get this.

In reference to Wada...

"Tell him he's dreaming"

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 6:06:59 PM
Reply

Actually, I think Wada got the wrong idea.

In 2005, consoles shifted not to fully online gaming, but to online enabled gaming. It wasn't just introduced, that came with the Xbox and PS2 with network adaptors and Xbox Live, but it was refined and better integrated into the consoles.

I believe that the next generation of consoles will continue using discs but have bigger hard drives and even better integrated net capabilities.

Seriously, what console manufacturing company would in their right mind throw away about 80-90% of its audience just to push digital download and game streaming? NONE!!!

And all their arguments are the same. It all comes back to the freakin' stupid iPhone. Here's what they don't factor in. Most of the games downloaded for it are free apps. Also, they are about 20-200 MB in size. And here's the most important thing about the people who download these games on iPhone, THEY'RE ALL CASUAL GAMERS!!!!!

All I can say is, good luck to Wada if he can get people to download FF Versus XIII on ADSL or cable with a 10GB per month limit. Everyone will just buy it on disc, and that is how everyone will do it for at least another 50 years as games continue to grow in size and scope.

One more thing, I wouldn't be surprised if Sony or Microsoft tried to buy out OnLive and integrate it into their next console, have the best of both worlds with disc drives and streaming to cater to all audiences. Doesn't it just make so much sense?

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BigBoss4ever
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 11:35:07 PM
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stupid top heads, stupid move, stupid direction, i wont drop a tear if the company collapses someday, cuz they keep shooting themselves in the foot, and keep pissing off true and loyal RPG gamers by offering the so-called renovated paradigm or mechanism.

i believe the majority of the true jrpg gamers will have no problems if they keep the old classic rpg mechanisms forever with interesting story, fun game play and awesome graphics, anything else do not need change.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 11/26/2009 11:35:41 PM

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shadowscorpio
Thursday, November 26, 2009 @ 11:45:15 PM
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WELL WHEN AND IF THIS EVER DOES HAPPEN AS GAMERS, IF WE ALL KNOW THAT THIS IS GOING TO HURT US, WE MAY HAVE TO MAKE THE CONGLOMORATES AND DISTRIBUTORS OF THE INDUSTRY SUFFER BY NOT BUYING. I DON'T NEEDS ANYMORE POLITICS IN MY GAMING EXPERIENCE. ALL OF YOU HAVE BROUGHT UP EXTREMELY GOOD POINTS AS TO WHY THIS WOULDN'T BE A GOOD IDEA AND I AGREE.

Everthing digital? Not only would we not really own what we purchase and not only would they have us at their mercy when they want to change conditions on us but our one form of enjoyment could be stripped from us simple because the technology crashes... too many cons here.

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BikerSaint
Friday, November 27, 2009 @ 12:24:29 AM
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NO,NO,NO.NO, F*CK NOOOOOOO!!!!!

I dread the future, because it will be the death of us who are the most hardcore of gaming gaming collectors.

Unfortunetly for us, in the future our children's children may take their kids to a history museum just to see what the games of the past looked like.

And right there in the 2 rooms past the petrified wood, and one room past the Ford Edsel, and sitting right next to the DODO Bird eggs, will be these shiny metallic- silver little Frisbee -looking antique discs.
WTF!!!

Anyways, at this moment I have 1481 games for 13 consoles & 4 handhelds.
And even though I've just about used up every damned bit of available shelving space to put them, at least I can always glance over to my games & have my "Oh it's a great life being a gamer" moments of accomplishment.

It's almost better than sex when I dump out numerous bags of used game after getting home from one of my marathon games shopping sprees.

I don't mind having to peel all those damned GameStop stickers off the used games I bought.
(Well, actually I DO get quite pissed & curse the day they were born for having to use the game box for their own frigging sticker collection, as I remove their 17 on-for-life "10% off used games" stickers.) BTW, Lighter fluid soaked sticker come off easydoes the trick(& nooo, I DO NOT light the fluid) LOL

I don't mind having to clean each disc.

I don't mind having to polish out the game that have light scratches.

I don't mind having to catalog each game.

I don't mind spending hours & hours going through each gaming store's racks for something I don't have yet.

I don't mind rifling all the way down into the bargain bins to check each title.

I don't mind buying old sports title for $.99 each(even PS3 & 360 titles) even though I'll never play them(still need to complete the collections.

I don't mind popping every single disc in at least once, even if just to sample the game.


But with that in mind,
WHAT I DO MIND IS.....

I DON'T want to start a new collection of a bunch of fugly ducking flash drives sitting there all in a row.

And how would I know what's on each one without having to pop it in first, or making a catalog book just to remember what's on what drive(Like what's on this green one, what's on this blue on, and, oh damn I can't remember what's on this black one either.

I want see & feel my games. I want to tear the wrapping off, & like Al Pacino said ....
"I want to smell the scent of a disc". "HOOWAH"

You can pry my physical discs away from my clammy cold hands when I'm dead, but don't dare f*cking mess with my physical media till that day!(and I plan on living all the way through my 2nd 1/2 century to it's fullest too!!!

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___________
Friday, November 27, 2009 @ 12:24:46 AM
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so where is this magical world were at the flick of a switch i can be playing a game with no hardware required?
i think its a little early to call in the angles and harps yet isent it?
until download speeds are faster than what they are, and even more so until download limits are unlimited as standard meaning EVERYONE! has access to it this fantasy world will never happen.
hey, now thats how they got the name ;)

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just2skillf00l
Friday, November 27, 2009 @ 2:15:47 AM
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It took a day to download the GOW3 demo...around 2500MB. Imagine me trying to download a game, around 10 times as much information. That would be the day when I would dread gaming. If anything this idea should be implemented as an option, still leaving gamers the option of purchasing physical copies as well. Digital distribution works well with me for music because we aren't downloading gigs of information and we can transfer and back-up these files with ease. A game is a whole-nother story.

I'm usually for advancements in technology and distribution but I feel like many others have said, the gamer's library which is a very "sacred" thing will be physically stolen. I love my library and I'm not just ready to give it up.

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Snaaaake
Friday, November 27, 2009 @ 5:09:07 AM
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If gaming ever go digital distribution completely instead of physical copies, then I'd quit gaming for the rest of my life although I will regret it.

Last edited by Snaaaake on 11/27/2009 5:09:44 AM

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Alienange
Friday, November 27, 2009 @ 8:18:10 PM
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In other news: NetFlix stocks are down.

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Geobaldi
Saturday, November 28, 2009 @ 12:46:56 AM

But they're up again in afterhours trades.

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NetheRealm
Saturday, November 28, 2009 @ 7:51:40 PM
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ok I guess I can download the games & 1080p movie rentals from future Netflix instead of putting blurays into my PS5 but how are they gonna get all HDTV manufacturers to include dualshock six axis controllers, PSEye type cam & inputs lots of inputs, motion & steering wheel controllers, or will all new games with their layers of submenus to navigate through,even Tony Hawk's Ride be hands free no controllers necessary like Natal by then? Internet browsers, 3-D glasses, bluetooth headsets, harddrives for mp3 & photo storage all this needs to be built into & included with new HDTVs so they are ready to handle this On-Live consoless digital gaming future.

Sadly, we already do not truly own our purchases anymore so wether content is digitally distributed or not makes little difference.
Anyone notice how the Playstation you bought six months ago is not the same as the one you now own? Just look at the overhauled Ad cluttered XMB for proof. The manufacturers are using digital to keep tighter control of their products so only they can alter them in the future in the manner that benefits them most. The overhyped BD-Live is primarily a method to download the latest Advertisements for new movies arriving on Bluray & in theaters BD-Live is simply a marketing method to improve the profit potential of that 300 bluray you bought last year because when you pop it in now & in the future that 2007 300 bluray using BD-Live informs you of all the latest Gerard Butler movies you need to rush out & purchase! They sell us products & keep us in their digital jail & decide exactly what we are allowed to do with that product. We never truly own anything. That's why they call it JailBreaking your IPhone because we rent the Cell but They keep the Keys. That's the future threat of increased digital distribution & it is a scary one indeed.

Imagine you buy a new car & they decide you drive too much they send out a signal limiting or deactivating your usage. Or they send a signal that modifies your paint job to a color you hate. Sony has already proven this is quite possible & PS3 "Owners" got No Choice in the matter they can simply change anything & everything with system updates & I predict in this digital future system updates will apply to every electronic device created. Microsoft recently Perma Banned all modded Xboxes from Live, what if Sony decided to Perma Ban everyone who doesn't go on H.O.M.E. or purchase anything from the PStore because they aren't helping pay for the "free network" it's probably within their rights you were forced to agree to, or maybe they simply update the XMB to allow only pink & green colors, no longer play mp3s or display photos (since there's no profit in it for them & it takes you away from the PStore why wouldn't they?) & made your friends profiles so small you couldn't read the names?

Deal with it or don't use it because even though you think you "bought it" for "$600" like I did, they will always have full control. DRM = Big Brother. Back in the good old days you bought a Playstation & it never changed it just did exactly what you expected from day one, nowadays new features are added all the time some good some not good it's a double edged sword they add fuctionality but also more advertising. They add the ability for your friends to change the colors around their profile boxes, if they bother, but omit an option to make them entirely transparent like they originally were. What can you do? Until someone JailBreaks the PS3, take the good with the bad, there is no better option.

Last edited by NetheRealm on 11/28/2009 8:57:59 PM

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