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Will game consoles stop using physical media next gen?

Yes 9 8.11%
No 102 91.89%

The 9th Generation is still going to feature physical media. Perhaps the 10th Generation after is when we'll start having serious conversations and than the 11th Generation (If we're still doing generations by then) will be when physical media is outed entirely.

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I really can't say if they'll go fully digital or not. Last gen, a console that was fully digital didn't seem feasible due to limitations. Now seeing how digital sales have increased for certain games, I feel like digital right now would seem achievable rather than streaming, which still hasn't reached maturity.

I also believe the great majority won't like the sudden shift to digital and streaming. But it's something most, if not all, publishers, developers, and hardware manufacturers will have to agree on. They also need to make it highly attractive to the masses, like including full backwards compatibility of massive game libraries throughout future console iterations.

There will be some resistance, but companies will most likely take Henry Ford's "two horses" philosophy and ease us into digital.

I still hang to my phisical collection.

duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

You might get the option of buying one with no disc drive but they will still offer them with drives. Adopton should be around 50% for digital software. Maybe the PS6. We shall see.

I expect them to phase out the normal/barebone retail editions of some AAA and a lot AA games over the next years, but keep the pricier "special editions" and of course the expensive "collector's/limited editions" of these games. When that is accepted, perhaps the "special editions" will disappear, too and the "collector's editions" will include a download key instead of a disc.

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John2290 said:
Not a chance in hell but I think we will see near a 50 percent split in digital to physical fairly early on and getting a majority mid way through. Not sure what that means for retailers.

They could still sell game hardware and controllers though, right.

Bit that's what I mean, will they want to when they see such a massive loss of revenue from software which is where the money is. Will we see hikes in hardware cost? Will the big three have to take a hit and pay retailers for larger display areas. Will it be a boom for mom and pops shops? Will most people buy online from Amazon like stores? And with hardware having less display space in this eventuality what will it mean for sales? What will it mean for competition among the big three? Hell, no one knows but it'll be interesting seeing it play out. 


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Mnementh said:
Too early to replace physical media already next gen. ON PS4 digital sales just reach around 50%, the physical media will not be dropped before digital is at least 80%, probably even 90%. And even then console makers have a problem: the retail needs to list these consoles. If a console manufacturer decides to drop physical media the retailers will not be very happy and may decide to delist the console too.

Even 10% additional profit is enough to justify the driver, the cost is almost neglible and long run even the royalties of the 10% would make sense to have.

duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

Even though digital is replacing physical at a rapid pace, physical is still to big to ignore.

I expect disk drives for sure for the main next gen console. The gen after that though (2025-2026), they will be complete gone.

Bet with Intrinsic:

The Switch will outsell 3DS (based on VGchartz numbers), according to me, while Intrinsic thinks the opposite will hold true. One month avatar control for the loser's avatar.

No chance. Physical media will continue to persist for some time. Sure, digital has eroded physical's market share, but that doesn't mean that it will continue to do so indefinitely like it did for music (digital made inroads for movies & books, but we haven't seen Blu-ray and print sales crater like we did with CDs... at least not yet). There are simply too many gamers who prefer physical media, and I think at some point the physical/digital ratios will start to stabilize at a point that would still justify the continued presence of physical copies. Maybe if there's some meaningful reforms for IP law, especially as it regards the first-sale rule and ownership of digital copies, then I could see physical declining to the point where it would be pointless for a console to lack discs or carts, but that seems unlikely in the foreseeable future.

I'll still point out that most big Nintendo games only have a 10-15 % digital ratio. No way in hell, this'll happen as soon as the 20's like some people theorize. Also, digital adoption as slowed a hell lot since the sudden growth it had during this gen.

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