|Comrade Tovya said:
I actually said the same thing here in the forum a week ago. I don't think it will happen with the next console generation though, I think it will happen the one after that. I think solid state flash media is the next step in the evolution of games... and then during that time period and after, the conversion to a soft-copy only.
Games will never be sold in any quantity on solid state flash media. For starters, that's basically stepping backwards to cartridges - except flash memory is even more expensive to make than cartriges were (and is overkill since it's read/write - and you don't need read/write for games - maybe some space for updates, but the console itself can hold those). CDs/DVDs/and even BluRay are immensely cheaper to produce than flash media.
Super Black Friday deal: 8GB pen drive for $14
Normal cost for DVD replication: well under 10 cents per disc
I agree that the next round of consoles will probably not be "download media only" - but they will likely be the first generation where almost all games are available for download (we're starting down that path now - with Sony even offering some current-generation full retail titles in download form - and obviously plenty of smaller games and older games available for download on all platforms.)
I wouldn't be suprised though if one or more of the console makers offered a version of their console with no optical drive - because it will likely be unnecessary for many customers - while a premium version will include some optical drive for those who don't have a fast net connection and/or want to play their legacy physical media movies.