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THQ CEO: Future Consoles Will Ditch Physical Media

Like your game collection? Keep your discs all mint? Well, fortunately or unfortunately, you won't have to worry about that in the future.

THQ CEO Brian Farrell told GamesIndustry.biz that sooner or later, hardware manufacturers will abandon physical game media.

Instead, they'll use cloud computing; not ironically, Farrell was talking at this week's Cloud Gaming USA Conference. He says the disappearance of discs will save money throughout the industry; the hardware would be cheaper, and developers and publishers could entirely avoid the cost of producing, packaging and shipping. Now, the industry is shifting to a "games-as-a-service model where direct consumer feedback allows the ability to operate in this always on, always connected environment."

Still, he did admit that content matters most to consumers; how they get that content isn't quite as crucial. Finished Farrell:

"Technology alone will not give a clear benefit to the consumer. Cloud computing and data storage could potentially do a lot, but it's what we do with it as game designers and publishers that really matters most."

Yeah, well, I've said it before and I'll say it again: I want a tangible collection that I can see and touch. I don't want a bunch of digital files on a machine. Call me a dinosaur but that ain't a collection.

Tags: games industry, next generation, game consoles

9/9/2011 8:42:25 PM John Shepard

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Comments (77 posts)

Douchebaguette
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 9:42:46 PM
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With the amount of full AAA downloadable titles appearing recently I can see that happening...however perhaps not with Sony; they're still nurturing Blu-ray.

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Akuma07
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 6:17:36 PM

No way, I am sorry, but DD will not happen anytime soon.

There are pros, but there are massive cons too.

It MAY save money in the industry, but it will deffinately raise costs on Sony's end too, they already dont make any money for the first 3 years of releasing a console.

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wenezz
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 9:52:24 PM
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i started my collection a few weeks ago. and wow how it makes me feel when i come home and see them lined up so neatly.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:25:08 PM

its nice to feel you actually OWN them, you can't get that with digital.

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Claire C
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 11:15:52 PM

That's cause you don't really own it. Not really. :P

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Stabs88
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 10:59:42 AM

When you think about it being all digital, does that mean the price goes down for us as customers? I mean as of now we are paying $60 for a game in the store AND also for download. Does that make any sence?? I don't want publishers to charge me $60 for a game i dont really "have" (means in my hands) I know the day is coming where that will happen for everything...just how we are evolving, not that i like it. I think we are fine with what we have as it is. Why go farther? I mean i know why but....cant things just stay still for a while?? I like the now

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dmiitrie
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 3:08:54 AM

@Stabbs: For me, and I'm willing to guess that a LOT of people feel similar, it makes perfect sense. When I buy a game, I'm paying for the ability to play that game. Having a thing you can hold does not, in any tangible way, alter the experience of actually playing the game. And while I understand that all the stuff that comes with having a hard copy can increase the enjoyment if a game for certain people, the primary purpose of a game remains the gameplay.

That being said though, while I prefer to download my games, I'm against taking options away from people. If people really want that disk, and I know that many do, they should be able to have it.

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iwillbetheone
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 9:54:37 PM
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That won't happen for at least another 10 years. That's the minimum time needed for great quality internet to be available cheaply everywhere in the world. But if it does happen, what will become of the hundreds of games that people have collected till now?

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Cpt_Geez
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:05:57 PM
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Im with you John I rather have physical media.

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PasteNuggs
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:13:18 PM
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I wish the industry wasn't headed in this direction. I like that I can go and look at my collection all neatly organized on my shelves.

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Fox hounder
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:22:51 PM
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Well THQ CEO, if cloud gaming is such a great money saving idea, why not make games exclusively for OnLive? show the other third party publishers how its done, and be the first one to take that big step. Seriously though, it always seems like its the CEO's or the publisher bosses that are wanting cloud gaming, you don't hear too many developers asking for it. There should always be an option for physical media, a one size fit's all doesn't do anybody any good.

Last edited by Fox hounder on 9/9/2011 10:29:06 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:26:10 PM

yup, CEOs want to cut the cost of physical media. Developers are gamers so they aren't as blind to the benefits.

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dmiitrie
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 3:14:01 AM

@World: I'm assuming that you're speaking of the benefits of physical media, correct? So, what would those benefits be? Because every one I can think of has to do with secondary or tertiary aspects of gaming (ie. Reading a manual, reselling / giving / lending games, looking at your collection on your shelf).

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DazeOfWar
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:23:35 PM
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I'm with you John. I love seeing my collection of games sitting on my shelf. Hell I sometimes forget what games I have and it's like Christmas all the time. I do not want a cloud base service.

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Underdog15
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:25:44 PM
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Sure we have the technology to begin that, but connectivity isn't up to speed yet. Not enough people are connected to high speeds that make that easy.

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Highlander
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:37:11 PM

A network failure would disable 100% of gamers in that situation. After experiencing the PSN outage, who really wants to have *all* of their gaming dependent on a single point of failure?

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Qubex
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 11:51:54 PM

Yhea, that is the issue Highlander... hell of a risk to take come to think about it. To not be able to play games due to some network failure or other is a huge issue and one that cannot be easily overcome if gaming was an all-in-one service based model.

Surely the industry can understand this?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Temjin001
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 12:12:06 AM

"who really wants to have *all* of their gaming dependent on a single point of failure? "

Ask Ben. He was without power for a while. Even them disks won't spin by themselves ;)

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BigD0207
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 8:59:56 AM

I agree with TheHighlander, if their network goes down or even if your ISP goes down that would disable 100% of your games. Also I prefer the physical media as well. When my PS3 went down and I had to restore my digital information that I had and it took me a couple days to do that task. I prefer the physical media as my backup. Also the other thing that concerns me about going all digital is that some ISP are starting to set limits on how much data that you can stream\download. You could use that limit up real quick by streaming movies and if you had to download games that are the size of Metal Gear Solid 4, if I remember correctly Metal Gear was 50 GB.

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Dancemachine55
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 9:35:55 AM

Sorry Highlander, but I would have to disagree with you there.

If games use the PSN or Xbox Live method of digital distribution, then a network failure shouldn't affect access to the game at all if you have already downloaded and installed it. It's already there on the hard drive, so even if the network is down, you can still play it. Only thing holding it back is download caps and price of digital content often being more than what some stores sell the disc for.

I believe digital distribution, if done the same way as PSN or Live, is actually better than physical media! Sure, a library of games would be great, but what happens if they are stolen? What happens if your house burns down or gets washed away in a flood? The games are gone and so are thousands of dollars you spent building that collection. With digital, if that were to happen, you get a new computer, reinstall steam or whatever DL service you prefer, log back in and Re-download the games you want to play one by one, no need to spend more money getting your games back.

I'm hoping game streaming doesn't become a reality, like OnLive, because a network failure on that model would disable all gamers. Downloading games, however, is a better model because YOU still own the game, but it is just stored on a hard drive instead of a disc.

Simply look at music. Would you rather have a massive pile of CDs sitting next to your discman, or would you rather have an MP3 player with all your music on it?

Music was the first to go digital, tv shows and movies next, now video games are primed to go digital next. I know it is sad, but at least so long as you have your digital account, you will own those games in your purchased list.

I just hope it isn't implemented before 99% of the civilized world has broadband Internet with 1TB or unlimited download plans. Until then, discs should always be an option that coexists with digital distribution.

Last edited by Dancemachine55 on 9/10/2011 9:41:52 AM

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Highlander
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 3:09:36 PM

Dancemachine,

Cloud based gaming - the darling of the anti-BluRay Microsoft camp introduces two single points of failure, the network and the cloud. If the cloud goes down, you lose the games; if the network goes down you lose the games. That is the nature of depending on the cloud for your games. It's not just about digital distribution it's about always on streamed content similar to on-live. No network, no games.

I hate the idea.

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H8WL3R
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 9:34:31 PM

I thought, however, that there are some downloadable PSN games that require an internet connection and having to be signed in to the PSN while being played (yes of course for multiplayer, however, including the single player portion as well).

I think one such example being Bionic Commando Rearmed 2. A quote taken from Wikipedia states "IGN goes on to warn potential buyers of Rearmed 2 for the PlayStation 3, referencing the requirement that players must sign in to the PlayStation Network before starting the game." So there's at least one game right there that requires the internet AND being signed in to the PSN, unless I'm mistaken. Has that been altered at all yet? I don't know if there are more examples and if someone else has already pointed to this, sorry.

I'm with most of you as well, as in I prefer having a physical copy of the disc, personally most notable to me because of a better sense of security, portability and having a tangible, visible collection. To elaborate on security I'm speaking in terms of not needing to be online and/or signed in to use a game for which it was bought to use lawfully (and naturally at any given time, for single player especially), as well as it not vanishing, having been corrupted or being hijacked and/or stolen by someone else through the internet.

I do like that the option exists however for the parties involved in making/publishing/whatever-ing as well as for the costumers who wish to obtain their desired media (preferably legally) through digital distribution. Those who do not desire or feel any need for casing with included cover art, manuals and physical disc I think have their place as well, so as to lower the overall physical production and the probable land fill a portion of the games end up occupying eventually. Environmentally and economically I think this is partially a good thing, but please I ask the people in charge of the manufacturing and publishing divisions to not take away the choice of physical media and as a thought, of possibly using better means, more recycled materials or alternate materials (maybe for a portion of the product release) without hopefully changing too much of the look and feel. Just my respectful two cents.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:29:21 PM
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It WILL happen eventually, but the market will decide when I think. We had the tech to get rid of newspapers in place for years before it actually started to happen. It has taken a while for people to warm up to netflix as well, and even that cuts out all the time so there are internet connectivity issues that haven't been resolved enough yet.

I think there will be an all-download service available before we are all playing games from the cloud.

Whichever way it goes I don't like it either, I want to own things, not "have access" to them.

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oONewcloudOo
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:31:16 PM
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lol THQ aways the last, dev's have been saying this for years

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TheCanadianGuy
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:31:48 PM
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i absolutely hate the thought of this happening. i'm old school. i love having my shelf full of my games even ones i don't play anymore just as a reminder of past gaming experiences i've had. plus something thats always worried me about this is what if theres was ever some sort of problem with your system (or the network) & all your stuff got deleted. or you couldn't access it ? you never need to worry about that with a disc!

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Highlander
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:36:10 PM
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How does removing a commodity optical drive from the system save significant amounts of money in the hardware. because everything is downloaded, we'll either pay through the nose for a big fat data pipe, or have a monster HDD or SSD in the system which will *increase* costs. Having seen the utter chaos that occurred with the PSN outage, I firmly believe that going to an entirely cloud or digital solution is a terrible mistake. Physical discs and local storage are important because they make the device able to function in the event of a network failure. Mr Farrell needs to stop sitting so close to Microsoft's folks, their cloud computing wacky weed is clearly affecting him.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:42:24 PM

It just saves money for developers and publishers since they don't have to stamp discs and ship plastic. That stuff costs a lot, but like you say that savings won't get passed on to gamers for other reasons.

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Fox hounder
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:45:07 PM

@TheHighlander. It saves them money, and that's all they care about. Most of these third party publishers have their own best interest in mind, not ours.

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Highlander
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 3:34:25 AM

Well, on the one hand, not printing discs, might save them money, like perhaps a dollar per unit, with another dollar on packaging, and another on distribution. The real money is in the retail distribution and retail sales chain, that's where the majority of the revenue get's lost.

All that aside, any publishers that ignore the impact of the PSN hack and subsequent outage are ignoring the 'elephant in the room' at their peril. One major outage and all this cloud computing, cloud gaming malarkey is just electrons in the wind.

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sirbob6
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:44:19 PM
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I like to be able to touch the things I own.

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BikerSaint
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 10:50:24 PM
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World, Yes

And nowhere did THQ CEO Brian Farrell say that either!

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Claire C
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 11:08:07 PM
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Digital option? Yah.

Digital only? No.

I don't think it will happen anytime remotely soon. Game makers want it so they say it. Doesn't make it a reality.

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Dancemachine55
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 9:49:39 AM

It's why I love the PS Vita so much. All their games will have a physical and digital distribution option to purchase, so it's there to please all parties!!

Here's an idea!!! Why not include a code with new physical games that unlocks digital acess to it, like with Steam! That way, should you lose the physical copy, the digital backup us always there should you need it. Preowned games don't get this digital code. Best way to fight preowned for publishers since it doesn't lock people out of any content, but still holds back on a major bonus of buying brand new. :)

Come on Sony, make it happen!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 11:08:33 PM
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THQ needs to focus on trying to compete with EA and Activision. They are sinking man.

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Claire C
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 11:20:34 PM
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Also still collectin the classics for the future just in case. =P

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Eld
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 11:22:20 PM
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Cloud is like nuclear reactor. Works fine until one day something bad happens and then you regret you ever built the damn thing.

I don't think cloud is going to take over as easily as people think. CEOs who don't know difference between bit and a bat are just crunching numbers but in reality there are major obstacles.

Now, downloadable will happen, but not for a while.

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Beamboom
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 4:39:39 AM

"downloadable will happen" -> It's already happening, dude. :)

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Eld
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 9:46:19 AM

I meant downloadable only or at least when majority of games comes with major incentives to download them.

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Temjin001
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 11:50:42 PM
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I'm on both sides of it all. I like the convenience of digital. I just don't like the DRM stuff(especially if a game requires an online connection to even play) and having to provide all of the disc space with your HDD sucks, too. I suppose once cloud gets rolling, the HDD issue will sort of go away.
While I kind of like having a shelf of games, sort of, like to look at them in my cabinet and think... oooh, games, mine. Mine until I die and they all get thrown out or given to someone who is like "what the heck is Ninja Gaiden and what the heck was a X.B.O.X" hehe, I try not to be too materialistic. Having stuff is cool, but it's all temporary in the end, even if you think it's yours ;)
Anyway, I've been more of a space conscientious guy, so I like the idea of eliminating hard media for the sake of saving space.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 1:13:42 AM

getting all Zen on us?

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Eld
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 9:53:02 AM

On open system like PC I would be more accepting of going digital, but on locked down system like console I would rather keep my discs.

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Russell Burrows
Friday, September 09, 2011 @ 11:54:49 PM
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Sigh not this crap! again!
Ps1 days some day we will be able to download an entire! Game CD! thereby obsoleteing the discs??
HA!!!

PS2 days some day we will be able to download an entire! Game DVD! thereby obsoleteing the discs??
HA!!!

PS3 days some day we will be able to download an entire! Game Blu Ray! thereby obsoleteing the discs??
HA!!!

PS4 days some day we will be able to download an entire! Game BD200! thereby obsoleteing the discs??
HA!!!

Same dumb predictions every five or so years...........CEO idiots!!

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xnonsuchx
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 2:38:52 AM
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Tired of hearing this! Until 95-98% of everyone around the modern world has multi-Mbps+ broadband as standard, digital-only content distribution is going to leave hundreds of millions of potential customers out in the cold...and I don't think most companies want to give up those potential sales. As others have said, optional digital copies = good; ONLY digital copies = f-off, d-bags!

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Highlander
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 3:36:03 AM

Can you imagine the glee on the faces of the black hat organizations when they see a company go all digital with a platform? They'll take the network/cloud down, and hold it hostage demanding money to release it.

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xnonsuchx
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 7:38:48 AM

I know we've had some differences of opinion when it came to hacking (I ONLY ever supported hacks that didn't allow illegal copying), but you're always the most spot-on technically and realistically here that I've seen...and I wish I could divulge some of the NDA stuff I've come across over the past several years, but yeah, hackers love of f'ing up networks/etc. doesn't bode well for online digital-only options.

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___________
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 4:24:09 AM
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mhmmmmmmm.
and who is going to cough up the hundreds of millions of dollars required to replace the copper lines with fibre optics?
will you be sacrificing the rolls royce for us mr farrell?
yea..... thats what i thought!

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Eld
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 9:55:02 AM

More like billions.

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AshT
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 4:25:50 AM
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physical media will go but only after maybe 10 years

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Beamboom
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 4:57:05 AM
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I can't possibly think they mean that the entire games should be stored in central servers like some of you suggest, with multiple gigabytes of data transferred whenever you want to play a game. That's so far into the future that we can count it in generations, not years - that's way, waaaay into the future.

But people, you are aware that a *lot* of your data today are already stored in a centralized, cloudy way and that you possibly are quite happy with that.

- Your emails are stored at hotmail/employer/isp
- Your contacts on your phone may be synchronized with your Facebook and/or gmail contacts
- Your calendar/appointments data might be synced with Google Calendar/employer server
- Your Spotify playlists
- Your psn trophies
- Your bookmarks (Ubuntu free cloud service, yay!)

The list really goes on and on.

But the games will be fully functional also if PSN is down, just like psn games were working when psn was down now.
At least, that's my prediction. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/10/2011 5:33:55 AM

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Highlander
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 3:12:04 PM

Yes, and when my phone network goes down I am ticked. I use VOIP at home, so when the ISP is messed up, I have no phone, and no net, and get ticked, if my email at Hotmail or Gmail is unavailable, I get ticked, if my email at work is out of commission, business stops - and I get ticked. You're not winning the argument with these examples because these are all examples of single point of failure that cause problems when (not if) they fail. Oh, and I have experienced every one of these failures at least once in the last two years.

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Beamboom
Monday, September 12, 2011 @ 8:29:42 AM

... just like power failure renders the games unplayable no matter how they are stored. I've experienced that too, within the last two years.
But how often have you experienced gmail being down for instance - and for how long? That's not cause noone has tried to sink them...
And what does it matter if your games are unplayable for a few hours or even days every two years, if that ends up being the situation?

The address book on your phone is still stored locally and fully usable on your phone, it's just not syncronized while Facebook (or whoever) is down. Same with the calendar. None of them are useless when the network service is down. And they will resync once it's up again. No data is lost.

The PSN being down for a *month* is an exceptionally rare case - I've never experienced anything like that ever before, and I don't expect to experience it again in a very long time.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/12/2011 8:44:34 AM

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Highlander
Monday, September 12, 2011 @ 9:42:28 AM

ISP related outages are not that rare, neither are relatively slow and poor DSL connections. Let's not forget the bandwidth caps that many people are under - without even knowing it. If everything shifted today to streamed content and downloadable content with no physical discs, two things would happen.

First of all the network backbone of the Internet would come under more pressure than it ever has, and in the case of many ISPs, more than can be coped with. I'm not saying that the entire Internet would fail, but it would become highly congested, especially within the ISP's local network domain, the sheer bandwidth requirement would be an issue.

The second thing is that within a week of such a change over, many users would hit their bandwidth cap. Mult-gamer homes, and homes with multiple HD TVs that receive streamed movie/TV content would hit the cap first, but many others would follow.

To achieve this digital utopia, a egalitarian (one might even say communist - tongue in cheek mode) paradise of equal distribution of resources to all, Internet bandwidth in the 20+ Mbit/second range will need to be more or less ubiquitous, and ISPs would have to remove their caps. I can't begin to imagine the investment required to make that happen, not the monthly subscriptions required to pay for it. How many people will be able to afford this digital revolution?

This is the same argument that I've been having with people since the days of the Microsoft initiated FUD campaign against Bluray. That campaign began claiming that BluRay was both obsolete and unneeded because of digital delivery. The problem as always is the lack of universally available and inexpensive very high bandwidth broadband internet. Unless that becomes as common place as running water and electricity, this digital future is exclusive to the haves, and the 'have nots' become disenfranchised. That's one hell of a lot of upset consumers who will be excluded from these supposedly future looking all digital platforms of the future.

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Beamboom
Monday, September 12, 2011 @ 11:33:30 AM

They continuously enhance/expand the bandwidth all over the world, and this all-digital/cloud service gaming would be introduced gradually - some would argue it has already started. One piece at a time.

Remember, it's not that many years ago when TV-streaming on the internet were utopia - today it's an established and fully functional service, even on mobile phones. Or movies on demand - that's some serious bandwidth consumed right there.
Or the MMORPGs that for many years already have been hosting *millions* of players - that's indeed "cloud gaming" too.

But please notice that I do not believe nor want physical distribution to vanish any time soon - not at all.
All I am saying is just that I really don't see the future to be *that* dark. It will work. And I also think we will get used to it, eventually. Well, maybe not us but the younger generation gamers :)

Just like music: A few years ago I did a major decision and went all digital: Ripped and sold all my vinyl and CDs.
At first it felt kind of strange, but today I am very, very pleased with it. I've just made sure there are some decent backup routines in place, plus the webstore I use for music shopping remember my buys so I can download the music again should I accidentally delete it - just like on psn.
Don't worry, things will get worked out. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/12/2011 12:27:54 PM

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timmagicker
Sunday, May 20, 2012 @ 12:54:56 AM

I would just like to make note, I am in Canada. My download speed is approximately 3.75MB/s. I have friends down in the USA with the same type of connection (30 MegaBit per Second), and they barely manage to break 500KB/s downloads. The reason?

Bandwidth limits. Not bandwidth caps.

Coming from a computer programming background, the idea of setting a console for cloud gaming is absolutely ludicrous in this day and age, and even in the forseeable future. We just don't have the speeds to make it possible. Hell, even 50 MegaBit per Second (The best that my ISP provides) translates to about 5.25MB/s download, at the absolute best.

Beamboom, on the account of MMO's, almost nothing of it is really stored on the server side, other than the server settings and character files (Unless it's a browser-based MMO, but they are a completely different kettle of fish).

World of Warcraft, for example. Your character lists are kept on the server end. The client itself, which receives all of the data, updates, etc, is on your computer.

If WoW was done with cloud gaming, you would have to stream the client (Which I believe is in excess of 20GB now, I know that with Wrath of the Lich King it was near 16GB). I have the second-best internet plan available for residences with my ISP, and I have a bandwidth cap of 175GB per month.

So, if we think of this logically, that would mean (Back in WOTLK days) that I would be able to connect to WoW approximately 8 times a month. That's not including the bandwidth needed for the transferance of data from my computer about what items I pick up, what I kill, etc, etc, because that is all done client-side as well. In fact, I believe that, after you connect to the WoW servers and select your character, a local copy of the data is stored secretly on your computer, which is where all of the information that is modified goes, and at certain points during play (Say when you complete a quest or level up) or you exit the game, the data in the local version is transferred back to the server side.

In short, cloud gaming would require us to download the entire game every time we wanted to play it.

I should also clarify, buying and downloading a game from the PSN isn't cloud gaming, it's cloud storage. Paying to access a game that is completely stored on the PSN without it ever being downloaded to your console is cloud gaming. I believe that I saw some people confusing the two terms.

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Wissam
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 5:40:12 AM
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Psp go would like to have a word with you mister CEO. are these people dumb or something. there are people who has over 150 games. what kind of HDD that will fit them. oh yeah. delete your older game to save some space. which means you WILL HAVE to download them again or copy them.
And with the recent DRM crap. you can't even copy them. and this wont even happen. there will
always be an option between digital and disk.

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SmokeyPSD
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 5:53:05 AM
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Seriously developers, just shut the f up. In my opinion every developer who is saying this every couple of months is so off base and with questionable motives of wanting a bit more of a lock down on their product to combat used sales and piracy.

In America, this might be at least alittle plausible, for the rest of the world. A resounding NO. Our gaming system of choice is PS3 too, BLURAY FOR FRAKS sake. It's only going to get bigger with high definition gaming making more use of that and if another console comes around the standard will go up from 720p textures to 1080p textures and even lossless audio.

It is outright ridiculous to think the global infrastructure of the net can hold up distribution of that in the near or even a bit down the track future. Digital has it's place, for how it is currently, for where it is feasible but it does NOT show a trend toward EVERYTHING GOING THAT WAY OH NO. It shows exactly that, things being distributed digitally now among everything else it has a place.

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AnonymousPoster
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 6:24:59 AM
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I really wish this would stop coming up. Is gaming going to lose physical media eventually? Of course. Is it going to happen in the next 10 years? Hell no! The next 20? Doubtful. 30? Will we still be here? This is a far off prospect, which everyone needs quit bringing up every two months. We don't have flying cars, we won't have all cloud computing games any time soon.

The infrastructure for something like this simply doesn't exist. The technology for large-scale implementation of it is massively cost-prohibitive. And the licensing agreements for digital distribution are completely nuts.

We already have games being pulled from Steam because EA and Valve want to have a pissing match. Content is jumping on and off Netflix like a couple of kangaroos in the mating season. We have DRM that locks your money into one service always and forever. It's a system of business in shambles!

I'll take a disc on a store shelf, any day, over this mess.

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SmokeyPSD
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 7:31:53 AM

Said a bit nicer than me but yes, completely agree.

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sha4dowknight05
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 8:05:01 AM
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No doubt on this one with the Playstation 3, for the innovation and long way it came from the rough start.

I can go on for a very long time about this one but I think I'll keep it short and simple.

Ps3 wins.

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TheAgingHipster
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 8:08:20 AM
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As long as I can always find an emulator or something to run the games after the console becomes obsolete, I'm on board.

One question, though--what happens to the used game industry? Buh-bye GameStop.

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Dancemachine55
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 10:02:22 AM
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So long as disc space keeps getting bigger and bigger, and games themselves get bigger and bigger, I doubt this will happen.

Until over 90% of the world gets fibre optic cable Internet, 2+ TB hard drives and a single stable platform to download from, I doubt many people would sacrifice their physical gaming collection and switch to digital only, especially after the PSN outage showing how fragile a network truly is.

Come back in 3 generations time, about 20 - 26 years, then we'll talk.

I also agree that this is the talk of greedy publishers trying to rush out ways of cutting costs for themselves, and not even thinking about gamers' best interests. I take more pride in my 100 + games sitting on my shelf than the 40+ list of titles on my Steam list.

Last edited by Dancemachine55 on 9/10/2011 10:04:59 AM

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shiroxkatsuya
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 10:40:34 AM
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why is it when ever i hear about cloud i think skynet o.O.....lol

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firesoul453
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 11:47:55 AM
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For sure physical media will disappear, but not any time soon...

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UbiEaActisuck
Saturday, September 10, 2011 @ 11:47:57 AM
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How will console ditch physical media with caps on internet data downloads? I have a 150 GB cap so I can download maybe 3-6 games a month. Anyways, the day they ditch physical media completely is the day I ditch gaming. Sorry I like having a physical product with actual value.

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dmiitrie
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 3:26:57 AM
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I love being able to download games, and ingot pretty pissed when a game that I want comes out and I'm forced to buy a disk. But I really think that people are at least a decade early to start calling for digital only games. People apparently still buy CDs, for christs sake.

Too many people threaten to quit gaming if they can't have a disk right now. And until that number goes down significantly, they'll still make them.

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AnonymousPoster
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 10:41:38 AM

The problem with download-only games is that the business model is still way too early and untested.

If Steam went bust tomorrow--crazier things have happened--what happens to the hundreds (thousands?) of dollars people may have spent there?? Gone in to thin air?

What happens if/when other publishers decide to pull an EA move and start up competing services? Games you paid for go poof?

What happens to all our PSN games when PS4 rolls around? Will we still have access to them on the new console?

What happens to these single-player games using always-online DRM when the publisher decides they don't want to maintain the servers any more?

There are too many unsettling, unanswered questions.

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Veitsknight
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 2:34:31 PM
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THQ is already known to be greedy with the online pass. The only reason they want the future to be digital is so they won't have to spend on manufacturing and earn more income thats if they keep the $60 price tag of games.

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PharaohJR
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 4:31:43 PM
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if consoles go digital soon why continue making them we should just do pc gaming. everybody wants a profit but not supply. smh.

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wakkaoaka
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 5:31:36 PM
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It will be like vinyl and cd, you cant replace having something you can hold like that :) saying that digital will take over is like saying that price is the key motivation behind the purchase. although yeah, digital will be most popular due to convenience, but wont replace physical media. we saw that with digital music.

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DrRockso87
Sunday, September 11, 2011 @ 11:02:20 PM
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No thank you! If I purchase a game that I regret, I want to be able to SELL it! SELL! This is just THQ's ploy to complain about used game sales. Simple as that.

Just to point out, I have NO problem at all with digital distribution living side-be-side with physical media. Hell, I encourage that. But digital distribution as the sole alternative? No thanks. Never.

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Abubakar996
Monday, September 12, 2011 @ 2:24:08 AM
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Bull shit, he thinks that is all gamers that get fast and cheap internet connection like the US, Man Il like to see my disc in hand incase my system crashes

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Highlander
Monday, September 12, 2011 @ 9:47:16 AM

I agree, but the worst thing is, that most people in the US do not have the bandwidth, or the bandwidth cap needed to handle this all digital future that Microsoft and their friends wish to promote over optical discs.

I'm in a three gamer house, the amount of bandwidth we'd need would be 2-3 times the norm. As it stands, to get that we'd need to spend two-three times as much as we do not to get wider pipes or an additional pipe, and that doesn't include the additional hardware to being these pipes together at the router.

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timmagicker
Sunday, May 20, 2012 @ 12:57:49 AM

I agree with you there Highlander.

CEO's seem to think that everybody has the amount of money that they have, so they can afford to have their internet access upgraded to the best possible level and still be able to afford rent, food, etc.

The kind of speeds and caps that we have (I'm on a fiber-optic network, and the download speed is great compared to the past, but still isn't really that fast) just aren't enough to deal with the requirements for cloud gaming.

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VampDeLeon
Monday, September 12, 2011 @ 9:58:01 PM
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I'd rather this never happen, I like shelving my physical disc copies of games I own, with the detailed box art and everything. All the downloaded games I have on my PS3 came free or were heavily discounted, that way if they ever do disappear I won't feel too cheated out.

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Crabba
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 @ 8:16:00 PM
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All I have to say is: No physical media = no new console for me! I have enough games to last me a lifetime already anyway :)

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Theroha
Thursday, May 17, 2012 @ 5:01:34 PM
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Personally, I trust physical media more. If my copy of a game or a CD or even a book is destroyed, that's my fault. I don't want some anonymous idiot messing up and destroying stuff I payed for. If I can only get the file digitally, I'll pirate it before I trust the game I payed for to someone else's server.

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darkflux
Friday, June 08, 2012 @ 11:17:24 PM
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exactly. what happens when you get a new console because your old one died (which NEVER happens with XBOX 360's... </SARCASM>), and all your games were on the old one, which is now dead in the water?

and what happens when you want to play your games, and are nowhere NEAR an internet connection (grandma's house for the season!).

and what happens when they pull support for an old game, which, once you sign that EULA, can be any time they choose!?

yeah, possession is nine-tenths of the law for a reason, y'know...

Last edited by darkflux on 6/8/2012 11:18:47 PM

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