Forums - Gaming Discussion - Future of Physical Media in consoles - end of disks?

Now that even consoles are moving toward subscription based media, What you you guys think the future of physical media is?

Personally, I see them going toward the collector's item status, same as blu-ray.

Though however, I see everyone moving away from discs, as discs just don't work, hell, they haven't really since the start of gen 8.

even the much weaker wii U used install data on some bigger games to help loading (Xenoblade X)

I feel like everyone will move back to carts while simultainiously jacking up the price by at least 10$.

Making a port costs nothing compared to a disc drive, so there is a cost saving on a per console basis

plus they arn't as fragile as disc drives, and are much easier to repair and replace.

and by next gen, a 128GB read only SSD wouldn't be that expensive, currently they are around 20 bucks.

... Hell, now that I think about it, MS could do it right now with the series S/X, turning their proprietary expansion port from a 'detriment' into an asset since instead of moving around stuff from an HDD and back taking 30 minuetes, you can just hot swap a cart in and immediatly begin playing. even if it was 80$ (casue an ssd costs 20-30$ at 128GB when discs cost pennies) I'd say most people who would insist on buying phisical would buy this for the sheer convienience.



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Once it goes I'm done with the modern gaming period. I like to own things and play them years after services shut down.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

TheBraveGallade said:

Though however, I see everyone moving away from discs, as discs just don't work, hell, they haven't really since the start of gen 8.

even the much weaker wii U used install data on some bigger games to help loading (Xenoblade X)

I feel like everyone will move back to carts while simultainiously jacking up the price by at least 10$.

Making a port costs nothing compared to a disc drive, so there is a cost saving on a per console basis

I don't think anyone will be moving to cartridges unless the form factor can't house a disc drive. Reason being, cartridges are more expensive, so publishers would rather not deal with that. And there are no 

I do think this is the last generation of physical media for PlayStation and Xbox though, considering the systems are launching with disc-less versions, coupled with (and this is probably why) the ration of digital sales has increased a lot in the past few years. Capcom reported an over 80% digital ratio this year. And are expecting over 90% next year. But this is an odd year that promotes more digital purchases. Though none the less, I think digital is nearing the point where they'll be able to get away with all digital consoles. In the next 7 years they'll probably try it for their next systems.

DPsx7 said:
Drives and discs cost next to nothing.

Add the costs of manufacturing, packaging, shipping, logistics, retailers cut, etc, and it adds up to a big chunk of the pie.
Just removing the retailers cut, publishers and platform holders get about 30% more money when they sell games directly from the online stores. And publishers stand to gain even more by not having to deal with all the other costs involving physical media.

Last edited by Hiku - on 18 October 2020

Hiku said:

I don't think anyone will be moving to cartridges unless the form factor can't house a disc drive. Reason being, cartridges are more expensive, so publishers would rather not deal with that. And there are no 

I do think this is the last generation of physical media for PlayStation and Xbox though, considering the systems are launching with disc-less versions, coupled with (and this is probably why) the ration of digital sales has increased a lot in the past few years. Capcom reported an over 80% digital ratio this year. And are expecting over 90% next year. But this is an odd year that promotes more digital purchases. Though none the less, I think digital is nearing the point where they'll be able to get away with all digital consoles. In the next 7 years they'll probably try it for their next systems.

Ratio of actual game sales, or revenue?

Because companies usually just post digital revenue %s. And considering DLC/micro transactions can only be bought digitally it's not really an accurate reflection of how many people still buy discs.

Last edited by Ka-pi96 - on 18 October 2020

Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

Hiku said:
DPsx7 said:
Drives and discs cost next to nothing.

Add the costs of manufacturing, packaging, shipping, logistics, retailers cut, etc, and it adds up to a big chunk of the pie.
Just removing the retailers cut, publishers and platform holders get about 30% more money when they sell games [digitally online].

Sure, but that's not relevant to the OP's claim, since he's pushing physical cartridges as replacement to discs.
Drive and discs aren't the major cost (drive ≈ 2 flash carts), it is physical game retail that is cost* for game pubs.
* and more than costs as such, lost sales due to physical 2nd hard market which pure-digital does away with by design.
Nobody will change game format... to another physical format that doesn't do anything else for them (unlike digital).
Nintendo didn't actually change because they already were using carts in portables, which Switch certainly still is.



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Great , less waste.



Ka-pi96 said:
Hiku said:

I don't think anyone will be moving to cartridges unless the form factor can't house a disc drive. Reason being, cartridges are more expensive, so publishers would rather not deal with that. And there are no 

I do think this is the last generation of physical media for PlayStation and Xbox though, considering the systems are launching with disc-less versions, coupled with (and this is probably why) the ration of digital sales has increased a lot in the past few years. Capcom reported an over 80% digital ratio this year. And are expecting over 90% next year. But this is an odd year that promotes more digital purchases. Though none the less, I think digital is nearing the point where they'll be able to get away with all digital consoles. In the next 7 years they'll probably try it for their next systems.

Ratio of actual game sales, or revenue?

Because companies usually just post digital revenue %s. And considering DLC/micro transactions can only be bought digitally it's not really an accurate reflection of how many people still buy discs.

As part of its annual shareholder meeting, a Capcom representative was asked “through strengthening digital sales, what is your objective for the digital sales ratio?” to which Capcom responded that “our current digital download sales ratio is approximately 80%.”

https://www.kitguru.net/gaming/mustafa-mahmoud/80-of-all-capcom-games-sales-are-now-digital/

mutantsushi said:

Sure, but that's not relevant to the OP's claim, since he's pushing physical cartridges as replacement to discs.
Drive and discs aren't the major cost (drive ≈ 2 flash carts), it is physical game retail that is cost* for game pubs.
* and more than costs as such, lost sales due to physical 2nd hard market which pure-digital does away with by design.
Nobody will change game format... to another physical format that doesn't do anything else for them (unlike digital).
Nintendo didn't actually change because they already were using carts in portables, which Switch certainly still is.

Yeah, I replied to OP as well about that, but the other post I replied to seemed to focus on physical vs digital, with "Physical is cheaper" followed by the claim that discs and drives cost next to nothing.

But yeah, I agree with you.



Hiku said:
Ka-pi96 said:

Ratio of actual game sales, or revenue?

Because companies usually just post digital revenue %s. And considering DLC/micro transactions can only be bought digitally it's not really an accurate reflection of how many people still buy discs.

As part of its annual shareholder meeting, a Capcom representative was asked “through strengthening digital sales, what is your objective for the digital sales ratio?” to which Capcom responded that “our current digital download sales ratio is approximately 80%.”

That doesn't really answer my question. As I said, companies typically include all of their revenue (including things that literally can't be bought physically) in sales ratios, so there's no reason to assume differently here unless there are actual figures to show where exactly that % came from and what was/wasn't included.



Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

My point here is that phisical games are going to be the same as 'special edition' realeses starting next gen, which is why I'm saying that its going to go to carts.
If they start selling as carts, and as more of a collector's item, they'll have enough excuse to sell at 80, as long as its a plug and play implementation. especially if both companies uses it as also a memory expansion port anyway.



I would love to see discs replaced by SD cartridges. They are growing in size and in ease of production much faster than discs, plus they take much less space.
Sadly, I think publishers want physical media gone at all costs, they want absolute control over sales and distribution.



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