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Carmack: The Console May Only Have Another 10 Years

How we play our games continues to change and eventually, the console may disappear entirely.

With the rise of cloud computing and technological limitations, id Software's John Carmack believes the console could die out in 10 years. Speaking in a recent Eurogamer interview, the long-time game maker talks about the future and wonders what it holds in store.

"The next-generation will be here soon, in a couple of years. Thatís going to be that much farther beyond [the current generation]. Itíll be another ten times as powerful as this. Iíd be surprised if that doesnít last over a decade before people wind up saying, well, weíve really tapped out everything you could possibly do on there.

Itís a scary thought to think, is the generation after the next one the last console generation, effectively?"

It seems the difficulty will come in convincing people to purchase more costly machines. "They'll be able to do it on the next generation," Carmack said, "but it's going to be much harder." And as for the generation after that, who knows? He adds that there are "huge advantages" for "piping everything over a broadband connection," which may effectively end the console's reign.

For our part, we maintain our stance that without a physical product, the hardcore gamers will be quite unhappy. But perhaps in time, that will change as well.

Tags: id software, john carmack, game consoles, gaming industry

6/16/2011 10:46:59 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (100 posts)

Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 10:59:40 AM
Reply

"The next-generation will be here soon, in a couple of years."

So he is predicting 2 years?

I think there a few important factors to take into account...

Firstly, OnLive is already available and experimenting with "broadband" gaming over the internet. There are still lag issues eventhough OnLive's CEO admits that streaming and network lag detection algorithms are being continously worked on and "improved". The issue is that network congestion and internet "pipe-sharing" won't just go away, infact it could get worse as more and more people demand faster speeds.

Carmack my invisage a world where everything is "streamed" to the user, but there are limitations such as cost per megabyte of data, i.e. the dreaded data cap; and how many people want access to the same service in highly congested areas... especially if this takes into account cellular - let's face it, more and more people want to game on the go too, and this demand will only rise. As we all know, wireless cellular datacaps are even worse than physical fixed line datacaps...

It is conceivable that in 10 years time data costs will not be such an issue, but we don't know that for sure. I work in the Telecommunications field as a radio planning and optimisation consultant, and I can tell you, getting a cellular network to behave properly under heavy load is not easy... trust me on this :)

Carmack also speaks as if everyone will have access to the internet. A good majority of people will, but not everyone. There may also be individuals who want to play their gaming "offline", who are comfortable with the idea of remaining "off the grid" so to speak. What happens to them?

The cloud will become more important, but there are real security concerns to. Just look at the past 2 months, and see how many other websites and internet services were hacked to sh*t! The CIA's site went down yesterday thanks to Luzsec... its almost impossible to find these people. Sony also recently admitted they still have no clue who broke into PSN definatively.

I don't know, I get a funny feeling about this... c'mon, who wants all their gaming internet based and in the cloud?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 6/16/2011 11:12:28 AM

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:11:40 AM

It's probably not so much a prediction as it having knowledge of dev kits out in the wild.
A 2 year lead in time to a next gen cycle is necessary for devs to prep the software.
ID may very well have hardware in their possession already.

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:18:20 AM

I think yes, but not necessarily specific development boxes for the next generation of Xbox or Playstation. I think what developers do is look at current technology in the PC world, especially GPU technologies and corresponding graphical bandwidth these GPU's can attain, and base much of the planning on what thet technology can do now.

As we saw recently at the developers conference, Epic rolled out their impressive tech demo based on current PC specified GPU cards from NVIDIA. Essentially they were making a statement to Microsoft and Sony that this is what they can do now with todays tech, "so please engineer your next generation hardware to do this as a minimum bench mark"... otherwise, hell... what type of improvement would we have had over what we already have?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:32:25 AM

Qubex, I agree with you here - regarding onlive and broadband streaming.

The problem with streaming gameplay over broadband is one of the capacity of the network and the latency of the network. Unless there are going to be huge numbers of powerful game servers scattered across the glow, there will always be latency issues with the controls. Even with fiber links and optical switching, there are still certain fundamental things that have to happen for a data packet containing control information to be sent to a remote game server. At 60 frames per second, there are only 16.7ms per frame. In a fast game, you want your controls to be responsive within that time so that the control is real-time to the user. But even pinging my local ISP takes longer than that. Even if we overcame the bandwidth issues, I don't see how we can ever overcome the controller latency problems. Unless we start using predictive logic where the game server predicts controller input, but I think that would be even worse for hardcore games.

I honestly think we are more likely to see a situation where games do not physically, or electronically reside in our home console. So we might stream the game to the console for local execution. But even that requires a lot of bandwidth to avoid long load times.

Personally, I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea of digital delivery with local storage than I am with full game streaming. I'd prefer to keep the physical media as well, but I realize that may not be possible - long term.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:02:10 PM

...scattered across the GLOBE...

Stupid predictive typing...

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jlch777
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 3:04:32 PM

There are still 30fps games that struggle with latency problems (I am looking at you NFS Shift 2) imagine playing those games over a internet connection -_- You have to sum the latency from the tv, from the software itself then add the latency of a crappy Broadband connection nnnaaaahh!!!

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 8:23:16 PM

Completely agree with Highlander and Qubex.

I think streaming and cloud based gaming is still a long LONG ways off. I'm thinking 20-25 years, or until the bandwidth and latency issues are completely wiped out.

I think digital download will increase, only if prices for digital service goes down, and Steam appears to be the only service that offers discounts on digital download over its physical media brethren.

On PSN and Live, Assassin's Creed 1 is 29.95 (here in Australia) to download, when EB Games and other stores are selling the disc for $20, or $16 preowned.

So, there are many factors that need to be in place before Cloud based gaming and streaming becomes the norm.

1. Internet bandwidth increased and no latency issues.

2. Cheaper price for downloads than physical media.

3. Fibre-optic internet coverage for more than 90% of the world

4. ISP's that offer unlimited access and download limits, both mobile and landline.


The fact that PS2's are still selling even though they are 11 years old technology is proof enough that the world isn't ready for cloud based gaming and streaming anytime soon, not even in 10 years.

I think it's gonna be another 3 console generations before the console is finally wiped out, but even then there will always be an audience wanting physical media and single player stories, like me.

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 8:58:31 PM

Wonderful post Dancemachine, yes Highlander and yourself raise some important points. 90% of world does need fiber to the home to make it a non-latent fully broadband world I think...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Eld
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:01:26 AM
Reply

Does anyone take into consideration what will broadband cost if cloud gaming takes off?

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:08:01 AM

Hmmm, well, it's not really about ISP provider rates.
Instead, it'll be buying into service packages. Xbox Live, for example. You pay extra for a value added service.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:34:11 AM

Think of the bandwidth caps. Comcast has a relatively poorly known limit of 250GB, which sounds like a lot, unless you start streaming HD movies on Netflix every night, or streaming games to your screen... With more than one gamer in the home, bandwidth becomes a real issue as you can't really have two, three or more HD video data streams without wholesale change in infrastructure and ISP policy.

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ace_boon_coon
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 3:37:22 PM

Yeah cloud gaming won't take off for at least another ten years I believe. AT least I hope. I will continue to hoard my physical media.

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 8:29:49 PM

Since many of you here are from the US or UK, I would like to point out that many countries like Australia have abysmal internet speed and horrible download limit packages.

I'm one of the lucky ones to have a great high speed connection at 5 Mbits p/s and a 100GB monthly download limit. Only a handful of people here have that luxury.

Netflix, Hulu, all of those movie streaming services are not available here in Australia. We're lucky enough to have Youtube.

Many countries are worse off than Australia in terms of internet and ISP's and download limits. Even speed is a factor, and 5Mbits p/s is heaps in this country.

Anyways, when talking about stream gaming, you gotta consider the state of the internet for the world, not just the US alone. A lot of people will be left out in the dark 10 years from now if it were to happen.

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Sancho
Friday, June 17, 2011 @ 6:55:07 AM

Well I am in the states and I have comcast. I've heard of the internet cap, but I stream movies on Netflix in HD constantly when I'm not playing games. Seriously like ALL the time. And I've never been taxed any overage charges. Also at one point in time when I got my 320 gig HDD for my PS3 I literally downloaded every demo in the store unless I already had the game. Still I've never received an overage on my cap. I believe that the cap is only in certain states. I'm in Missouri and being as its not like California in population they may not care about enforcing or applying it to our accounts. Idk but thought that it would add to the discussion.

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Highlander
Friday, June 17, 2011 @ 3:03:03 PM

Check the small print.

The reason for the cap is that they want to have a way to ban accounts of people running torrents. It's not intended to hit people like you or me watching movies on Netflix or playing PS3/360 games. But you know how it is, rules like that have a way of hurting everyone.

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:01:48 AM
Reply

I have no doubts that this will be the eventual future.

Consoles will, over time, seem very "horse n carriage"

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Mornelithe
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:02:07 AM
Reply

I honestly don't think people are going to ever truly adopt streaming in such a widespread fashion as people think. As you say Ben, the physical aspect of actually owning the game, is really a big deal. The thought of losing every single one of your purchases due to either a new streaming device, a company going under etc... just isn't financially sound.

I think eventually consoles will simply be folded into a form factor of PC. You can basically do it now without much cost (no, I'm not talking a high-end gaming rig), they're just not as slick in appearance as the consoles.

For me though, there's no way in hell I'll EVER be utilizing a streaming service. Ever. I'm way to accustomed to having full control over my devices, software, network, etc... And going through a streaming service is simply asking me to trust in people. And, well, people haven't earned my trust in a long, long time.

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Underdog15
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:03:31 AM
Reply

Yes, but how long until Broadband can pipe through enough information for us to enjoy high amounts of HD goodness?

To me, the first step is that -everyone-, -everywhere- needs to first have fiber-optics high speed connections (or something better) first... I mean... 2 gens from now will have software containing HOW much information, and HOW much computing power? I can see high speed cable and DSL maxing out fairly quickly.

I dunno. I'm not as technologically versed on this as I wish I was, but to the uneducated bystander, such as myself, it seems to me that those broadband connections themselves would become the lowest common denominator of all the tech, would it not?

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:14:24 AM

Underdog, 15 years ago everyone was doing dial up. The bandwidth will be there. In fact, in many areas it already is.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:28:55 AM

where are these areas? i have the highest speed connection available in my area, and i can't even begin to express to you my frustration of how long it takes to download things.

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:37:28 AM

Well, for one I can speak of, in Utah, when I lived there 5 years ago, had whole fiber optic installed areas, including more metropolic locations. At the time they were offering 20MB bandwidth caps.

You realize that's more than fast enough to deliver nigh, Blu Ray quality video streaming?

Oh when you say "how long it takes to download something"
I think youre missing the point of Cloud networking.
The idea is to virtually eliminate large data file transfers altogether.



Last edited by Temjin001 on 6/16/2011 11:39:14 AM

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:54:40 AM

Temjin,

I have three gamers in my house. If we had HD gameplay streams to each console, that's a lot of data, and no current Internet service I am aware of could manage it. Also, that HD stream is compressed. there will be compression artifacts that you do *NOT* see when playing a game locally. Streaming the game data to the console and running it locally is a much more doable proposition though.

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:03:12 PM

Eh, they'll figure it out in 15 years ;)
I'm still blown away that today I can from work, type into this computer phone on a message board, among many other things. The science behind technology is a boulder rolling forward gaining velocity. Considering the massive academic buzz surrounding a Cloud based future, human will, will take us there.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:03:15 PM

@temjin

thank you for explaining it. i don't like the idea of having my games in a cloud so to speak. no connection, no games. plus what if the service is disrupted or can't handle the number of users? i still think it's over 10 yrs away.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:08:47 PM

Imagine a 1 month cloud outage caused by lulzsec....

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:18:47 PM

Yeah, network failure would be a downer. Better keep some books or classic games on hand for those rainy days. For me, I get more draw time in :)

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Eld
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:56:01 PM

Or what about any smaller technical issue. No problem. Call 800 number at the bottom of the screen and spend your evening talking to customer service.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 1:22:24 PM

Eld, my blood pressure just spiked 15 points even thinking about that.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 1:49:12 PM

Highlander-

"I have three gamers in my house. If we had HD gameplay streams to each console, that's a lot of data, and no current Internet service I am aware of could manage it."

What do you mean by this exactly? All three playing online at once, all three streaming HD, or something completely different. Sorry if it's a stupid question just trying to be more clear on what you mean.

Reason I ask is we have 3 PS3, and 2 PC's constantly running online. my roomates play online on their PC's or PS3 and stream Netflix or hulu from their media PC's all night at the same time ( picture them playing games while watching movies, Thats what they do), while I either stream Netflix or am playing online with them from my PS3. We have 20mbps service. Does this factor into what you are saying?

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 6/16/2011 1:50:27 PM

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:07:48 PM

He's talking about all three people in his house hold streaming HD games at one time with his connection is a no go.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:15:18 PM

Ok thanks jawknee. That's what I thought. Area constraints are still at large, even where I live so I see where he's comin from.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:49:51 PM

What I'm getting at BigRailer, is that in this future that people keep pushing where we stream games live to our screens instead of having consoles, that would mean in a multi-gamer home, you would have one HD video stream (the game is running on a remote server, not a local console) per gamer. So for three gamers, that's three HD video streams, one for each game session being played. Now the thing is, that games rendered locally have great fidelity, but to push 60 frames per second at HD resolution down a broadband connection, you have to use a lot more compression than found on a BluRay disk. To accommodate multiple players per location with fully streamed gameplay, there will have to be a substantial increase in collective and local bandwidth to cope with that. But the thing that will be a deal breaker for me is that to stream 1080p60 at a realistic data rate, there will have to be considerable video compression, and that is bound to lead to significant compression artifacts such as blockiness visible on screen, especially during fast moving sections of a game.

All in all, I despise the idea of playing games on remote servers and streaming the video to my home.

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 3:05:02 PM

Yea, with the way speeds are now, I can that becoming a problem. I have pretty fast cable internet and I can't even play a game online while the wife watches Netflix without either Netflix or the game lagging.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 3:17:37 PM

Highlander-

Thanks for clearing that up, and I'm glad I asked cus I was thinking you meant something else. But I agree with you that playing games on a remote server is not a good idea. And my point was that even though our Internet stays stable now with all our activity, there is some hiccups, and I don't think it would handle much more. Gaming doesn't seem to be the issue with lag, it's streaming that seems to be our issue of there is one with buffering. But Netflix actually works very well regardless, but some services like hulu are terrible for us.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:06:28 AM
Reply

"JUST SAY NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 6/16/2011 11:06:46 AM

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RadioHeader
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 1:31:23 PM

I know right? I can't believe some of us are actually entertaining the idea.

Developers envisage a future where they don't waste money printing, packaging and shipping discs. They don't need to pay those pesky retailers. Instead, they charge us fifty quid to stream some shit over the internet, thereby eliminating competetive pricing and the 2nd hand market. Cute. Now f**k off!

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 8:48:23 PM

Already happening Radioheader.

15 years ago, games like Braid, Castle Crashers or Limbo would have shipped out on discs or cartridges. Now, anything below 1GB is pretty much download only on Steam, PSN or Live, eliminating physical media altogether since the game file is small enough for most people.

Plus, these games are download, not streamed or cloud-based, meaning you download it and own it. Only difference is, if you lose your HDD, you lose the game but not the digital receipt, so you just re-download the game again once you've got your console fixed.

I can only see cloud-based gaming and streaming working once everyone in the world has access to 1GB p/s bandwidth and unlimited download packages from ISP's, which I believe is still another 20-25 years away, or 3 more console generations.

I reckon PS4 and PS5 will keep physical media for the old school gamers, but there will be a definite push in downloadable content and games becoming the norm.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:08:56 AM
Reply

i don't buy it. there will still be a box that sits by your tv whether its made by sony or ms. until broadband speeds improve substantially this pipedream of streaming is just that.

2 yrs until the next console cycle begins is probably a spot on prediction, though.

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:19:08 AM

Whether it's a box or a protocol built into the TV it wouldn't matter. The idea here is to eliminate a $250-$600 piece of hardware to buy into.

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Eld
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 1:03:54 PM

It's not like this service will be free. Think of enormous cost to deploy and maintain infrastructure for something like this. Monthly charge would quickly add up to ridiculous amounts surpassing cost of local gaming hardware. It's all on us in the end.

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Nas Is Like
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:13:29 AM
Reply

"For our part, we maintain our stance that without a physical product, the hardcore gamers will be quite unhappy. But perhaps in time, that will change as well."

The hardcore gamers will not be hardcore gamers in about 10 years. That's when life (marriage, family, career, etc.) really sets in. On top of that, lots of people I know (myself included) don't buy nearly as many games as we used to, nor are we as interested in games as we used to be. I guess those people, along with myself, are slowly growing out of the gaming phase. I predict it will happen to the current generation of hardcore gamers, and the hardcore gamers of 10 years in the future will likely be more into digital gaming instead of console gaming.

Last edited by Nas Is Like on 6/16/2011 11:14:21 AM

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:23:11 AM

Depends though, you can't be stereo typical about the "hard core gamer". The hardcore gamer, be it male or female, does not necessarily have to follow the "normal", however it may be defined in the 21st century...

I should be married with kids now right, as I am in my mid 30's. Well I am not, and probably will never intend to marry nor have the responsibility and expense of having a family... and yet I am still a gamer, and enjoy the harder side of gaming.

Also, as you say; "and the hardcore gamers of 10 years in the future will likely be more into digital gaming instead of console gaming", is probably quite true. All we need to look at are the mobility trends of today and one can extrapolate that digital distribution and mobile gaming will probably be the norm...

The question are, will people be happier for it? will they be happy being always connected? Will they want to stream and consume all their data from the cloud? Will they be satisfied with the security methods used to protect their privacy and data?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 6/16/2011 11:26:54 AM

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:27:32 AM

"The hardcore gamers will not be hardcore gamers in about 10 years. That's when life (marriage, family, career, etc.) really sets in."

Not so. I have been married for 2 years, I have a child, a band and a home business to run and I still find time to play games. Games come after my family and work but I still make and find time to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies. Seems to me if you're really a ore gamer than you will not give up the hobby despite life moving forward.

Last edited by Jawknee on 6/16/2011 11:29:13 AM

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:34:24 AM

ugh, typos. sorry just woke up.

"ore" should be "core" and "than" should be "then".

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Excelsior1
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:44:46 AM

oops replied in wrong area.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 6/16/2011 11:49:45 AM

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RadioHeader
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 1:36:56 PM

oops I just wanted to be the third fail in a row.

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maxpontiac
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:13:32 AM
Reply

It sure seems the PC devs want a new console.

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:25:11 AM

It seems PC devs want the console to die.

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:29:28 AM

It seems like it... they are pushing hard for a premature birth of the next generation...

I guess if it can guarantee us 1080p at 60fps for every game released, be it multi platform or exclusive - it can only be a good thing...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:47:12 AM

PC devs are hoping for a continual resolution drive forwards. Never mind that it's actually difficult to see much difference between resolutions higher than 1080p, even sitting at a monitor. PC games and development have been driven by display resolution and GPU performance for nearly two decades. If anything is nearing the end of it's life, it's that.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:54:24 AM

@qubex

1080p 60 fps sounds very exciting doesn't it? let's not forget about the memory constraints console developers are facing too. 512 mb ram isn't very much by today's standards.

i eagerly await the arrival of the next generation of gaming consoles.

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:57:46 AM

I have to give a thumbs up to highlander. It's true about resolution.
On PC you're typically a couple feet from the screen, where all 2million+ of those pixels will be appreciated. But on a tv in your living room? It's not as big of a deal because your eyes will blend the pixels from that distance.

Not to say a person can't SEE the difference, I can in RR7 and Teken5, it's just not as appreciable as it is when viewed from up close.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:07:39 PM

Temjin,

I think that a game rendered truly at 1080p with good anti-aliasing and filtering along with all the particle, lighting and shadowing effects you can shake a stick at will look so good that the ability to resolve pixels even sitting close to a monitor won't make a difference.

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 8:57:18 PM

I reckon, now that PC's support 360 controllers, the gap is closing once again.

Consoles will never die. PC games don't have party games, Move or Kinect support, a single online service connected to 1 single rig, etc.

PC is for the hardcore, the truly hardcore.

Consoles are for both hardcore and casual audiences who want a single easy to use service and piece of technology.

PC has way too many social networking options, voice chat services, digital download services and so on that it confuses many people, so they turn to consoles for something simpler and easier to navigate.

Just my thoughts, I could be wrong here though but that's what I've observed with most people here in Australia. Many have only heard of Call of Duty, Wii and Playstation, they hardly know what any of it does. Too busy surfing, partying on weekends and hiring movies at the local DVD store to get into gaming. :D

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 9:09:25 PM

Excelsior1, yes... it kind of is the holy grail really... to give 1080p 60fps as minimum to all titles. With that resolution environments and graphics will look that much better and character detail and texturing will look awesome... "Assets" will cost more to produce and artists will have to go over the top to make sure textures look realistic. Models will sport finer detail too, and overall the game tech will across to be more crisp and refined. Just look at Wipe Out in 1080p to give an idea of how wonderfully crisp everything looks...

Memory will be an issue, that is why I have always hammered home here, that more memory in the PS3 would have definitely extended its life time even further... The Cell and RSX do some waiting about for data being streamed in. It would obviously have been better if the PS3 sported 1 or 2 gigs of ram from the outset, however, as Highlander previously pointed out, due to the PS3's memory being "specialised" and very quick, it would have cost to much...

In the end it is all about cost... it is a fine balance... The PC people don't really understand that when they are doing out their rigs... well, the ones that have money to burn that is...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:45:13 AM
Reply

Carmak says that the next generation will kick off in about two years and that will last about 10 years and the generation following that will likely be the last of the consoles. By my math that makes about 12 years until the soothsayer's predicted end of consoles comes about. 12 years is 6 eternities in technology.

That said, in the last 10 years, I've had dial up internet, cable internet, dial up again, DSL internet and back to cable. Dial-up wasn't fast enough to stream the noise of a loud fart. My original cable internet was about 75% of the speed of my current cable internet I get between 6 and 12Mbit/second performance right now from Comcast (or is it Xfinity? - what a crap brand name....). DSL never peaked above 2Mbits and I was well within the distance for the CO, so I was getting near the best performance I could without going to the next tier which simply multiplexes in a second DSL channel. Even then, DSL would not compete with my cable Internet. Even with anticipated developments it's unlikely I'll be able to get more than 20Mbits/second sustained via cable internet until the go to optical fiber. So in 10 years I've seen at most a 50% increase in available broadband bandwidth. Unless there is a big change, a further 50% increase will not support multi-gamer homes and streaming game-play to set-top boxes - always assuming that a technological miracle erases network latency for controls.

I think he's partially right though. Unless TV resolution doubles or quadruples again, the next generation of console will effectively be more than good enough, and there won't really be much need for new consoles. I'm sure that there will always be some reasons, just not as compelling as increased resolution. The thing is that for home viewing, a 55-inch 1080p screen viewed at 6-10 feet is right at the limits of the human eye to resolve individual pixels. You have to get bigger screens or sit closer to begin to have an issue there. Which tells me that there is no pressing need to go much beyond 1080p (if at all), and so we are not going to see a major push beyond the next generation in those terms.

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 9:03:54 PM

You are good on these points Highlander - vastly higher internet speeds have been spotty at best. I mean you can get the higher speeds if you are willing to pay for it, but it is still not like having fiber run to your home.

Then your are go with anything broadband... with fiber it won't even feel you are using the internet anymore it is so quick

I currently have a 2mb cable internet connection at home which feels quite slow to be honest. I never get the full speed as the pipe is shared amongst many households in my condo apartment complex here...

Again, willing to pay $89 dollars a month, then we will server you 100mb, but I know many people don't want to bother, including myself...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 11:59:13 AM
Reply

I think it's obvious most consumers are not willing to give up their physical media especially after this PSN fiasco. Sony clearly intends to provide us with physical media for years to come. I think Carmack is grasping at straws here.

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maxpontiac
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:58:37 PM

Well, I know this one is. Digital games are not something I will ever take serious. I want my case that holds the disc!

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 3:06:24 PM

Indeed. As ClaireC said, if OnLive is the future of gaming, then I will simply quite gaming. New games anyway.

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Wissam
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:03:12 PM
Reply

Epic fail Mr. Carmack. HOW DID YOU KNOW. you had a magic ball or something ? lol.

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Claire C
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:05:47 PM
Reply

If 'Onlive' is the future of gaming then I regretfully hand in my resignation. :_(

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:07:59 PM

Indeed!

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Temjin001
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:26:12 PM

OnLive is massively off target.

I remember my old Business Manager told me, he was like, businesses aren't in business to buy laptops and computers from you. They're used towards a purpose to serve their business needs. You need to find out what those needs are.

Basically, I think of OnLive similarly. While it's cool and interesting to play games over a network, ultimately old games, and lack of first party leadership isn't going to compel gamers to enlist. Gamers don't play games to try out network services. They play games for the purpose of entertainment. And virtually any other outlet for gaming is found somewhere else better than OnLive.

TAKE THAT PACHTER!

Last edited by Temjin001 on 6/16/2011 12:26:57 PM

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 9:10:24 PM

Temjin... maybe it should be called OnDead...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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daconverse
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:13:02 PM
Reply

i will always want a cosole just because sometimes people have problems with the internet and having a console always gives you a way to play your games. i say they will better the combination of cloud and consoles.

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Sir Dan
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:37:11 PM
Reply

This is not something I feel will ever effect me so I don't worry about it. I am 44 years old. What do I have, 20 years solid gaming left? By then I will have PS1-4 and all the games I bought and all the ones I can buy used for cheap when the world goes "cloud". I will be set until I slip off into the great "cloud" in the sky. At least for single player, which is what I really like anyway. My kids will be making the adjustment and I'm sure they will be OK with it. There are hundreds of great games to catch up on. This is what I'll be doing when the console goes the way of the buggy whip.

Last edited by Sir Dan on 6/16/2011 12:37:55 PM

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Wissam
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 12:46:39 PM

And I though I am too old to gaming and I am 28.

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RadioHeader
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 1:48:20 PM

"I am 44 years old. What do I have, 20 years solid gaming left?"

Aww man, it's so depressing when you put it like that, but it IS hard to imagine gaming beyond 64. I'm going on youtube. There must be someone in their 70's still pwnin nubs.

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Sir Dan
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:33:32 PM

Yeah my twitchy fingers run the gamut from Space Invaders, Asteriods, Defender, Galaga, Pacman, Robotron, Pitfall, Donkey Kong, Intellevision, SNES, PS1 through PS3 baby! I've had a great career. I actually don't think I'm that unusual though. Didn't I read recently the average is 37?

Last edited by Sir Dan on 6/16/2011 2:35:35 PM

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RadioHeader
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:45:45 PM

Yup, just 37. Things are just getting warmed up. To stay motivated, just picture your grandchildren owning you one Christmas morning years from now. You don't want that to happen, do you?

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maxpontiac
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:59:39 PM

I sure like seeing gamers that around my age (37).

Here is to another 20 years!!

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maxpontiac
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:59:40 PM

I sure like seeing gamers that around my age (37).

Here is to another 20 years!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:04:03 PM
Reply

Rubbish. There was a time when they didn't think anything new could be done with the Television too.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:09:33 PM
Reply

I'll read the comments after work this arvy, but for now I'd just like to say that I think he's wrong. The consoles will stick around, though certainly not forever, and he seems to imply that PCs will become the standard, which I simply cannot believe. If anything, the PSVita is the future, with insanely powerful processing abilities. It'll offer a cheaper solution for both hardware and software creators, as well as being far more 'connectable'. As long as they don't go completely digital for a good long while, I'll remain happy.
More later.

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 9:13:27 PM

Of all comments, this is the one I believe most.

PSVita is hardcore gaming on the go, and mixes both physical and digital media into one beautiful package. It will have social networking, gaming, music, videos, and on the gaming side of things is powerful enough to produce games at near PS3 quality.

With 3G and Wifi models in production, all the needs of gamers will be met. Heck, even Near will provide a new incentive to get into social gaming, spread your Trophy count with other gamers, and so on and so forth.

PSvita's online PSN service practically matches that of Live, if not moreso, and it's both free and portable!!! Download games and demos, chat with friends (mic and speakers built in so no headset required), people you passed with a PSVita will be added as a potential friend to play with, 3G and Wifi options, Music Unlimited streamed or downloaded... PSVita IS the future!!!

If Vidzone and Home come to PSVita, the transition will be complete. So tempted to get one day 1 now!!!

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Lawless SXE
Friday, June 17, 2011 @ 1:54:13 AM

Thanks DanceMachine. Funny though that my thoughts went in a completely different direction than almost everyone else's on this topic... But to agree with you in an earlier post, you're lucky to have the kind of connection you do here in Australia. Not for too much longer, with the rollout of the NBN, unless it ends up beig scrapped, but for now most definitely. I run off a 3G modem because the only alternative is Dial-up and while 3G is more expensive, I think it's better for the speeds on offer.

I'd very much like to continue on with OnLive, gaming streams latency issues, etc., but I'm far too late to really be involved, so I'll leave it at that.
Peace.

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A2K78
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:49:34 PM
Reply

"sure seems the PC devs want a new console."

Given the fact that the current consoles already are a generation behind(going on 2)the PC and the fact these developers have already invested tons of money and human capital into producing new engines/technologies its obvious as to they would want a new console. To this end I don't give any wrong and it further demonstrate(in my opinon) why consoles really aren't the best gaming platform compared to the PC which is always evolving in concert with Moore's law.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 2:56:20 PM

It's not quite as simple as Moore's law, and I'm sure you know that - since Moore's law says nothing about performance, rather it says that the number of transistors that we can fit on an IC will double every two years.

As for PC Devs and them wanting new consoles. You're kind of implying that these devs like to use innovative new CPU/GPU tech to build ever better engines. that's fine, but where was that attitude for the SP3's CellBE/RSX combination. PC Devs were tripping over themselves to pour scorn on it at one point. If they're so keen to exploit technology, then perhaps they should look at the PS3 before whining about wanting more?

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maxpontiac
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 3:39:15 PM

I disagree A2K78. In my home, I have two PC's, two laptops and two PS3's in the house.

Now while I know what the computers are capable of, I want to game on the PS3 because I work on a computer for 8-10 hours a day.

Why? Sitting down on my couch with a DS3 is relaxing. Sitting next to a PC/Laptop working a mouse is not.

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JackDillinger89
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 3:08:14 PM
Reply

"The console may only have another 10 years" Lol Only if Rage turns out to be mediocre like DNF then maybe carmack, maybe.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 3:23:01 PM

Wouldn't it be better to blame the developer for poor work than the console that runs their poor work?

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 9:11:44 PM

I expect Rage to be "good" at best. I think Carmack will want to make sure the tech looks good running on the PS3... and I would expect ID to not make a shabby product.

Big question is, will it be repetitive?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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bluedarrk
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 3:32:37 PM
Reply

There will always be consoles. Does anyone remember when the PS2 launched they had a commercial where a guy was basically in a virtual world and at the end it said PS9? If I remember that's what sony wanted to do was take the playstation that far and beyond. Maybe its just me growing up with consoles. I just can't picture life without them.

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Excelsior1
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 6:20:15 PM

i remember that commercial. the main thing i remember about the ps2 was how strong the playstation brand was back then. there was a tremendous amount of buzz and hype surrounding the ps2. very fond memories. the ps2 mowed down the dreamcast, gc, and original xbox like they were nothing. my how times have changed. i often wonder if we will see another console emerge so dominant again. history suggests that might happen next gen,

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bigrailer19
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 7:05:01 PM

Honestly Sony is still considered the power house it once was. The only reason the 360 took off from the way I see it of course, is because it came out a year earlier than the PS3 (which proved to be a mistake on MS part, considering the amount that got sent back because of RROD), which helped launch live and people became attached. I honestly believe if the systems were launched side by side we would see a very different outcome. Although the price of the PS3 at launch would have had to be comparable to the 360 as well.

But that's kind of off subject, but leads me to say I think next gen consoles will even more blurred as in more fanboys. Unless Sony or Ms can truly separate themselves in some way (which I believe Sony started to with the PS3) then this trend we have now will probably continue. Which sucks.

Btw I remember those commercials also. Back when Sony advertised! ;)
you know I'd like to see more of those creative commercials, I think it would help tremendously, not just software commercials.



Last edited by bigrailer19 on 6/16/2011 7:07:30 PM

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Pandacastro
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 5:12:29 PM
Reply

OT
Watch the trailer for moneyball, bobby kotick is in it. Its funny because brad pit ask him for money and he says no.

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thj_1980
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 5:25:41 PM
Reply

I wouldn't say another ten years, that seems way to early.

I believe the consoles are just going to take another variation just as a very portable one that you can take wherever you go but with power of today's high performance gaming pc.

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JackDillinger89
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 5:45:29 PM
Reply

Definatly highlander, i was just being sarcastic. I just love it how people seem to predict things in the gaming industry then obviously the opposite of what they predicted happens . Like these so called analyist. If sony and microsoft is secretly developing a new console (which they are) then obviously hardcore console gaming isnt going away in the next 10 years. Plus the development cost they will likely need current hardware sales to profit off of. Which means ps3 will be around for quite a while. I actually believe microsoft will release their next gen 360 successor first given the extremely lack of exclusives out for it. Its only a matter of time microsoft can rely on third party timed exclusive dlc nonsense *cough* mw3 *cough*

Last edited by JackDillinger89 on 6/16/2011 5:55:56 PM

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Nas Is Like
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 7:11:29 PM
Reply

@Jawknee

I'm really not a hardcore gamer. I didn't ever claim to be. And alright, your situation is legit, but not everyone will be as lucky as you in that situation.

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 7:51:55 PM

Not so much luck as it is a lot of hard work and balancing a schedule.

By the way, if you're interested in games enough to sigh up and comment on this site you're core enough for me. :)

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 9:14:27 PM

In some ways a family is like having a team. The family is a team. You have to all work together, and respect each other; BUT, in doing that, all family members also need some space and some time. Partners seem to forget this. It simply doesn't work if respect is lost over and one partner or the other tries to dominate all the time...

Nas, as Jawknee says, there has to be some space for you to enjoy your hobby. Moreover, as you have children, if you get them into gaming you will be enjoying many an hour with your kids gaming and having fun.

Make it a family event and make time for it... play, experience and enjoy it... together, as a team...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 6/16/2011 9:14:51 PM

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dmiitrie
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 7:18:20 PM
Reply

I'm not too sure how I feel about any theoretical streaming game service. While I love my streaming Netflix and desperately hope for a time when that and services like it will replace physical media and traditional television services, I understand that gaming is a beast of a whole different nature. And I just don't see how broadband capabilities will be able to keep up with the ever increasing demands that games put on them.

Digital distribution, since that's also been brought up, I'm very, very ready for. I really don't care if they ever get rid of physical, if that's what some people want, let them have it. But I honestly don't see a reason why every new realease isn't also available via the PSN. Steams done it for years for pc games to great effect. More options can't be a bad thing.

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Qubex
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 9:21:12 PM

Theoretically every new release could be on PSN... issue is people would run out of their allotted HD space quite quickly.

Over the life time of your PlayStation, if you purchase a game every two months (excluding PSN downloads of smaller titles), not to mention purchases of music and movies; you would end up chewing through at minimum x2 500gb hard disk over a matter of a few years. I already have 750gb's in my originally phatty and a 250gb in my new phatty I bought a few months ago.

I am going to upgrade the 250gb phatty to a terrabyte drive soon... and the rest they say is history.

Another factor to consider is what we have been discussing regarding internet and data caps... how much downloading can people do. MGS4 take about 22GB's of disc space on the blu-ray. Dumping that to your internal HDD would eat some nice space right there. Little Big Planet is similar in size. GoWIII is even bigger.... That is a lot of data to chew through, even though, understandably, users could budget their data and dl games over a period of time rather than all in one go if need be.

Additionally, you have retail channel partners and distribution networks to "keep alive". The high street retailer is still very much alive. Get rid of gaming retail and you will have another smack of unemployed folk all over the states and the world...

There is a lot to balance here...

I believe the change will come, but it may take another 2 decades before everything is purely purely digital. There will always be a group of people who want a physical product. It is conceivable though, that a child born today, in 2011, will not own a physical gaming product when they are in their mid twenties or thirties. They will be so used to getting the majority of their media from the "cloud"...

I just hope the sky never falls on our heads :)

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 6/16/2011 9:23:47 PM

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dmiitrie
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 10:06:32 PM

The storage problem is a concern, but I don't see it as an insurmountable one. From upgrading your HD to simply deleting games you no longer play and redownloading them when you need to, there are ways around it.

Also, I never suggested that hard copies stop being sold. As has been made readily by others here, demand for them is and probably always will be high. I just don't see why both sides of this issue can't be happy.

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Qubex
Friday, June 17, 2011 @ 1:53:09 AM

I see... yes, you make a good point there. Try to find a happy balance for all. I think they are trying to do that now. I have seen on PSN lately, quite a few older games being available to download purely in digital form.

It is happening in some respects, but probably slower than some would like.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Dancemachine55
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 9:25:42 PM
Reply

I'm happy with physical media for big games and digital download for smaller arcade games.

None of this streaming and Cloud based gaming for me. I like to own my games.

I'm honestly happy with the way things are now. Games coming as both physical and digital so the people have a choice. Still cuts down on materials since not everyone is buying physical, but the option is there.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 16, 2011 @ 9:37:02 PM
Reply

This might be true for the PC gaming industry but I don't see console gaming going into this cloud BS.

Seriously, gamers are very adamant about using and keeping their physical copy of games. That will never change.

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___________
Friday, June 17, 2011 @ 8:01:17 AM
Reply

to be honest i cant ever see onlive style gaming ever taking over.
maybe as a option, but never will be the standard.
1 ISPs are just too greedy, always limiting things, throttling your connection, disincluding things from your cap charging extra.
i just got off the phone swearing me head off at optus because they charged me 60 bucks for visiting sites "not included in my contract!"
WTF?
i paid for internet access that should include EVERY website!
not only x y and z, for a b and c you have to pay extra!

i can see consoles being replaced by handhelds like the PSV.
a console, and handheld all built into one!
nice and small so it does not take up too much room, plug it into your TV and play your games on it then once your out no wasting money on a portable unit just unplug it from the TV and theres your portable unit!
so pissed sony are not adding a video out port for the vita, that just lost it a few sales!

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Roach721
Saturday, June 18, 2011 @ 2:14:43 AM
Reply

There will always be some sort of game console in homes from here on out unless theres some big global catastrophy,weather it be in 3D or virtual reality or some sort of holograpgic thing a majig.

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