Next Gen Console

Ask yourself this. If you were to design a next gen console from scratch, what would it be like?

When you ask yourself this question it’s kind of funny to compare it to the real next gen consoles. The most glaring out of date feature is DVD/bluray drives.

It seems like you’d look at the iPhone, iPad, steam, android and it would be obvious that physical media is not next gen. The only reason you would continue to sell games like this would be because you are already selling games this way and are scared to rock the boat. We want revolution, not evolution.

This general attitude is ultimately why the next gen consoles are going to be out of date before they’re even released. It’s not hard to trump this, and either Steam or Apple will be the people that do it.

34 thoughts on “Next Gen Console

  1. That’s true but the problem comes into play when next-gen games take up 20gb+ of data with the high res textures. How to quickly get that to people, especially when they have crap internet connections, or none at all, is I think the real reason physical dvd/bluray drives are still in place.

    1. @Garry: I can drive to my local retailer and buy the game and get back home and start playing it in under an hour. Downloading a game like GTA V takes about 27 hours (if it manages to download at full speed the entire time)
      So, yes, it is the best way for now.

    2. Eh that’s an extremely short term problem, and also only really applies to third-world countries with no infrastructure or ones that do little to thwart monopolies or encourage competitive markets (i.e. America).

      Also, once you’ve bought the game – and if it’s game you really want – you’re going to wait to download it at that point. And if it’s a AAA launch title that might sell out, this provides you a way to still get it.

      It seems to be working for Steam. I wait overnight for a game to download if I need to or play Peggle Deluxe in the mean time. The fact that all the next-gen consoles still have a Blu-ray drive isn’t something that really crossed my mind until it was pointed out here. My MacBook doesn’t have a CD drive, and I have never missed it.

  2. The death of physical media is the last thing I want from the next-gen. I don’t feel like I own a game I don’t own it on a disk or other physical device. I like owning a box with a disk in it. Game boxes are pieces of art, and the disk is pretty important to me.

    1. No, but I am one of few who don’t play any games on my phone. The other thing about most phone games is that they lack substance or meaningful story. PC/Console games, such as Bioshock Infinite or any of the Elder Scrolls Games, are games I will want to go back to in 10-20 years. Its quite likely that, by that point, the services we use may not be around anymore. If steam goes away, my games will also go away. This isn’t to say that I don’t buy games on steam, but that I like to buy games that I will want to play again (ones that leave a great impression and are close to my heart) in the future. Digital isn’t bad, but I’m scared of digital-only.

  3. Many people aren’t willing to move on to the digital age, especially with more expensive purchases like video games.

    I imagine at least by next generation optical media will be gone entirely and hopefully networking will be up to snuff where Gbit connections can result in Netflix level of game distribution to clients.

    Apple have unfortunately burned bridges with video games as a medium by banning anything that goes against their code of ethics on the store stating if you want to raise questions then write a book.

    Valve are onto something, but the general public still believes optical media is important, I work in a IT department and many people still rely on to this day optical media for many things when made completely redundant through networking / NAS

    1. I get this… But things aren’t going to move on unless it’s dragged on.

      It’s like not inventing the car because there’s no petrol stations. Just do it and everything else will work around it.

    2. ^This. Tesla didn’t stop making the next generation of EVs because there weren’t enough EV stations. Now look how many there are: http://carstations.com

      Hopefully when we move away from optical media, it will create a demand for better Internet infrastructure. Most people are “ok” with their current speeds because they don’t know they need anything more. Give someone 1 week with Google Fiber and a $1000 iTunes/Steam/Amazon Gift Card and that person will never be able to go back to purchasing digital goods in a store.

  4. As long as internet connections that pump 5MB/s+ to your home network aren’t a thing that’s readily available to pretty much everyone, going all digital isn’t such a good idea, I think.

    While I downloaded a number of really big games on Steam (RAGE and Max Payne 3 come to mind, both being 20GB+ iirc), I buy most games as physical copies simply because driving downtown and getting them is faster than downloading them using my crappy internet connection.

    What is currently happening is a good thing. We got traditional media for everyone and digital copies for people that either a) got a good internet connection or b) got much time on their hands/are patient. I’m using both, depending on size of the game as well as the pricepoint. (Online Sales beat retail prices most of the time.)

  5. I think the problem lies with some consumers who have the idea in their heads that a console is a physical media platform after all that’s the way its been for years, where as with a smartphone or tablet there has been no other choice apart from digital, even steam isn’t a physical console (until the steam box comes out) its a program. people are afraid of change we all saw that when Microsoft announced that you could not share disks with friends but it would happen digitally. things don’t change that easily unfortunately anymore.

  6. I don’t think disks will die totally. Some people prefer boxes because they’re something they can touch, because box versions can (not all of them, but many) be played without internet connection. People still like boxes and here’s a proof: when my friend went to a games store to buy Saints Row IV, he found an empty shelf.

  7. In addition to my earlier comment, it’s also important to note that physical new games are cheaper in 99% of all cases. If consoles were digital only there would be zero competition between retailers and games would be much more expensive. GTA V costs €70 on PSN, but only 50€ in stores. I definitely don’t want to pay 20€ more just for the ability to wait a few days for the game to download until I can play it.

    1. He doesn’t have a link to download the game; it’s being sold on Steam. If you want free Garry’s Mod, search for GMod 9 on the internet.

  8. I think there are two problems with online distribution on consoles:
    1. You can only buy games through Xbox Live/PlayStation Network and therefore there is no competition. They set the prices and you either have to buy it from them or buy a disc. On PC we have many places where we can download games from so we aren’t forced to buy from one place (although Steam does have the largest market share).
    2. I can see many people being annoyed when they have to spend hours downloading all their games, or not being able to use a console at all if they don’t have reliable internet. I am willing to put up with it on my PC but not everyone is that patient. Maybe when average internet connections exceed 5-10MB download speeds, online might become the norm.

  9. The main reason that the XBone’s digital-centric model failed so horribly, and why Microsoft got several new assholes torn in them over it, is not because we don’t want to move forward. It’s because we don’t want to move backward.

    I’m A-OK with digital downloads. 90% of my games are Steam games. It’s great, it’s convenient, they’re priced well, and Valve has a dead man’s switch that they’ll throw if they have to shut the login servers down for good to ensure we can still play. It’s also super convenient since I spend about $10 in fuel alone just going into town and I’m not exactly flush with cash, so shopping at brick-and-mortar stores isn’t exactly the best idea.

    But what Microsoft did? No. No and fuck that. What Microsoft did was basically try to tell me I don’t own a goddamn thing I buy. What Microsoft did was try to invade my privacy. What Microsoft did was try to make me their bitch. And that just isn’t cool. I’m not gonna stand for it, and most gamers won’t, so we all collectively ripped Microsoft’s face off.

    If the XBone had simply added in a convenient Steam-like digital game service I would have been A-OK with it. Had they said the kinect was optional I would have been A-OK with it. But they didn’t, and I hate the XBone because of it.

  10. Disc media is the console’s form of DRM; it’s very hard to pirate a console game or just plain not worth it.

    I dont believe Apple has any intention of making serious gaming hardware, that’s not where their core market lies.

    By the way, I know someone’s already said it, but internet connections are not good enough yet, at least not where I live. These service providers basically made secret agreements to screw over the consumer.

  11. I’d imagine if we move full-digital, retail stores would be something where you bring your own USB and they can sell/give you your game files on there, which you can then install on your PC, console, whatever. It could even not be a store, a vending-machine-like thing would suffice.

    That would help people with bad connections. They could make some money selling USB sticks or any alternative they use, as well. The console would have no need for an optical disk drive, and everything would be online anyway, so the thing would be optional.

    In any case, that’s what just popped into my mind as an alternative.

  12. 1. If physical media is good enough for Google (The People’s Champion) then its good enough for the people.
    2. Relying on the internet is like relying on a dog to send for help when you’re trapped under a rock. That dog’s a dick and hes off having some bitches. The internet has so many points of failure that its ridiculous as a data store business model.
    3. whare is my larrys mod dowloads
    4. Microsoft is trying to summon Satan into corporeal form and start the Apocalypse.

  13. I guess that all the pros and cons of the game distribution were mentioned, except for the environmental issues with both physical disks ( plastics and manufacturing ) and online storage ( server cooling and energy supplying). Either way, digital is the way to go as soon as at least 80% of the people have good internet connection. But never digital-only. Admit it. You want to have a framed copy of HL3 when its comes out, to join your HL physical disk collection :P

  14. It’s just what other have predicted: The new consoles barely have Mid spec hardware and they’re already outdated.

    Now of course they try to add TV features because a lot of people have a PS3 or whatever as a cheap blue ray player, but is that all it’s going to become? A blue ray player???

  15. You have to worry about what the middleman provides for physical copies of games. There’s a whole set of jobs and companies that sells and manufacture the copies of games which provide an easier solution to many people. All digital is a burden to many people for those who have unreliable internet connection, time consuming for a midnight release for slow internet connections, and even in Canada, internet prices are still horrendous where 80gb is all you can get with $60 plan from money sucking multi service providers like Rogers. 80gb is like a blu ray disk and a week after a game’s release of updates. Digital is a revolution, its great, but why replace it completely when physical copy is not broken. The next-gen consoles offer online, you have two, enjoy it. Steam only has a chance of digital only is because it’s what they’re good at, introducing a new console with disc use is something that the middleman are hesitant to accept considering what little cut if steam sales go crazy while physical will be a loss. What steam is doing is offering a locked pc that anyone can afford so that people like kids or adults don’t have to buy a top performance pc or laptop at $800~+ in addition to their work/school pc that was a measly affordable $400 which run graphics at low and still have less than 30 fps. That’s the reason why game consoles exist in the first place, to be affordable while offering high, not best, performance (or good enough for your 60fps hdtv). The use of digital copy, is a feature as it made physical copy a feature along with it.

  16. I ain’t downloadin’ no 40gb game on this connection. Even to people who pay $100-$150 a month for internet access, that would probably be at least an overnight download. For me, 40gb would take literally weeks.

    It must be nice to live in a world where you have enough money to ask hard-hitting questions like “WHO EVEN NEEDS AN OPTICAL DRIVE”

    Fuck the day when the only way to get something is to wait for weeks while it downloads, seriously

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