A new development over the last few years for the gaming industry has been the advent of digital distribution on a large scale basis, beyond just downloadable bonuses. Through platforms such as Steam, XBox Live and PSN, games are being delivered to us entirely differently than they were even just a short decade ago. So what is the next decade going to bring?
Back in 2006, former Sony exec Phil Harrison was quoted as saying that he would be surprised if the PS4, the next iteration of the Sony black box, would have a physical disc drive at all. That comment caused some interesting conversations in its wake, but current Sony exec Kaz Hirai has recently weighed in on the matter as well. In an interview with MCV, Hirai had this to say:
“We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn’t as robust as one would hope… There’s always going to be requirement for a business of our size and scope to have a physical medium. To think everything will be downloaded in two years, three years or even ten years from now is taking it a little bit to the extreme.”
I know that there are differing opinions on this issue out there. On the one hand, the idea of an all digital future at some nebulous point down the technology timeline is an exciting prospect, with instant access to all forms of entertainment. On the other hand, there is a part of me that likes physical copies of everything I own. To prove that I, you know, do in fact own it. There’s also the risk of things like the recent debacle with the PSP Go, where adopters of hardware without physical disc drives run the possibility of getting screwed.
So what do you guys think? Are you looking forward to an all digital future? Or do you prefer to keep a physical copy of what you own? I think this question is already answered in many ways for PC users who download via Steam, but go ahead and jump in anyway. Would you do this for all of your entertainment, based on your experience with Steam? Go!