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

DPsx7 said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

The OP said "the end of discs" and I think that is the best way to put it.  I can agree that discs are going away.  I don't think carts are going away.

Nintendo is going to keep selling carts, because too many people buy mostly carts.  Also retailers are a great way to market games.  They do a lot of their own marketing which is basically free marketing for the game publishers and console makers.  On the other hand Microsoft is clearly going hard toward the all digital route.  It's going to be somewhat successful, at least, if for no other reason than they just bought Bethesda and a bunch of other game studios.  Hot exclusive games can make any platform successful regardless of how good (or bad) the idea fundamentally is.  So Microsoft wants to get to discless as fast as possible, and they are definitely going to be successful enough that they can't be ignored.

That just leaves Sony.  I think for Generation 10 Sony is going to have to choose who they want to compete directly with.  They will most likely choose Microsoft, as the path of least resistance, since they and Microsoft have been fairly similar in the past.  In this case PS6 will be a discless system that focuses on a digital subscription service.  They might also to choose be more like Nintendo if they feel there is more money on this route.  That means Sony will make something like a "Vita hybrid" with carts.  Either way Sony will have to toss discs aside for one of the other two paths.

Regardless I'd have to agree that the era of discs will end in a few years, but physical media will continue through carts.

I don't think so. The problem they have is no games. Sure you'll say "but they bought..." when that doesn't guarantee a damn thing. Rare anyone? Personally the only thing I'd miss is Doom. Burned out on Dishonored and Wolf. Prey was neat but I dunno what they'd do for a sequel. Haven't played anything else. Anyways, since their catalog relies so heavily on BC it's easier to try digital even though they got shot down once before. (Have they learned nothing?)

Companies know it's suicide to go all digital, everyone has media coming next gen. Unless prices drop dramatically the market isn't going to wean off discs for a long time. I can see a couple reasons why it may benefit then to trade optical media for carts. Like I said before as long as we have this option I'm ok with it. As soon as we lose control, forced to be always online, I'm done.

*Cards aren't that pricey. They aren't as cheap as burning discs but what does a 16-32gb card cost now? That's plenty for the majority of games. Ramp up production and the bulk costs won't be high at all.

Hahah, you are like that guy who always says "the Switch has no games".  I mean, he can say it, but that hasn't stopped Switch from breaking all kinds of sales records.

They just bought 8 studios with Bethesda being the most important one.  That is authentically a big deal.  That basically means their first party output is comparable to Sony now.  id software is actually an important studio too.  They created the FPS genre, and that still means something to a certain set of gamers.  And yet Bethesda is still even a bigger deal than that.  I personally hate Bethesda RPGs, but I still find people in RL who say Skyrim or Fallout is their favorite game.  These games have appeal and name recognition with people who are unaware of 99.9% of games out there.  And obviously you can find tons of people on the internet who love these games.  Skyrim has sold over 30 million copies.  That is a big deal.

I don't even like defending Microsoft, but what you said is pretty ridiculous.  You might as well have said the sun is purple.  They are going to have games, and the Bethesda games are definitely killer apps for Gamepass.  People are going to get Gamepass just because of the games it will have.  You can deny it if you want, but you're going to end up pretty shocked when subscriptions go up for Gamepass when the latest Bethesda game gets released.



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DPsx7 said:
DonFerrari said:

And cheap cards don't have enough speed anyway.

I don't think it's the speed that matters. Anything local installs faster than a DL and it's a lot more future proof. I've had this argument with someone else. Discs are yours to protect, if something happens then you're to blame. Digital, they can take it away for any reason or you lose access because an account got hacked or server went down. These you don't have control over.

Shadow1980 said:

I'm going to echo what some others have said in that if the console market ever abandons physical media, then I abandon them. I don't care if it's disks or cartridges, but I demand a physical format. Aside from a few Virtual Console releases on the Wii U and 3DS, the only digital game I've spent money on in the past decade was Blaster Master Zero on the Switch.

Hate to be that person, I waited it out and sure enough LRG released both BMZ games on disc/cart. That was one game I always wanted a sequel to but couldn't bring myself to spend more than $10 on a digital game. Other than PSN freebies and a few deep discounts I really don't shop there.

hunter_alien said:

This. Honestly, the selfishness of gamers is a bit sickening. Do you know how much plastic pollution comes from those 3 billion+ discs that are printed every generation? Or the storage and transportation and their effect on the environment. Honestly, as much as I loath DRM practices, I am glad that discs and cartridges are going the way of the dodo. They will pretty much become niche collector's items.

You're not serious right? How is it waste if you're keeping them? As for storage and transport those will always be things for any goods so the effect is minimal.

Unless I mistook the point made, it was that going cartridge instead of BD you wouldn't need to install on the console, and the other point was that 16 and 32Gb cartridges are getting cheaper. Neither of those really makes a difference, because games for 9th gen will need 64Gb or more available space more likely than not and the speed of cartridges even though higher than BD won't make install go away (at least for PS and Xbox).

About the plastic waste someone posted a time ago that if all the plastic of all the games ever printed was compacted it would be a very small chunk of plastic.



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

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

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"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

I'm thinking we might see USB type C proprietary pen drives as the new storage solution.



AsGryffynn said:
I'm thinking we might see USB type C proprietary pen drives as the new storage solution.

maybe, but it'll still need  cart like port to be elegent, and the only solution currently fast enough on a USB-C form factor is thunderbolt, which is firmly on intel and apple's side.

There is a fucking reason why the XBSX/S uses a proprietary slot for it.

As for the disc speed argument, while BD goes up to 72Mb/s, that is not NEARLY enough for THIS gen, let alone the upcoming one, i mean it wasn't enough for certain wii U games to function at full capacity.

all in all though I think at least console game devs are going to put in effort to compress games at least a bit again starting this gen, and especially so if they have to move to carts in the next one, so at least games would probably still fit on the smallest common size of 128GB. going lower for the base size might negativly influence price... unless you are nintendo and manage to compress what is effectivly a 8th gen AAA console game enough to fit within a high end first gen iphone...



DPsx7 said:
DonFerrari said:

Unless I mistook the point made, it was that going cartridge instead of BD you wouldn't need to install on the console, and the other point was that 16 and 32Gb cartridges are getting cheaper. Neither of those really makes a difference, because games for 9th gen will need 64Gb or more available space more likely than not and the speed of cartridges even though higher than BD won't make install go away (at least for PS and Xbox).

About the plastic waste someone posted a time ago that if all the plastic of all the games ever printed was compacted it would be a very small chunk of plastic.

I'm neither here nor there. If it reads from the cart, fine. If it installs to speed things up that's ok too. My goal is to avoid being tied to the internet, whether to DL it or demanding an active connection to play.

Not exactly. A great many of the games I play aren't breaking the 30gb mark. There's going to be better compression. Maybe the price of development will be too great and we'll see more indie style games than AAA. Realism/graphics only goes so far, a game still has to be fun ya know? We'll see what happens.

I don't know anyone who buys physical games with the intent to throw away any of it. The only real waste is the cellophane.

Not gonna happen outside of perhaps Nintendo. Most 9th gen games will be over 30Gb. And sure I prefer to have physical as well and I'm fine with cheap BD.



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

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

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"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

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DPsx7 said:

Hate to be that person, I waited it out and sure enough LRG released both BMZ games on disc/cart. That was one game I always wanted a sequel to but couldn't bring myself to spend more than $10 on a digital game. Other than PSN freebies and a few deep discounts I really don't shop there.

What? They did? Dammit! Why didn't anyone tell me?

Immersiveunreality said:
Great , less waste.

I don't agree with this argument because the math doesn't back it up. The amount of plastic waste that comes from physical games is vastly overstated.

First of all, most games don't just get thrown out in the garbage. In fact, I would imagine relatively few do. The amount of discs and game cases I've discarded over the past 20 years amounts to zero. Also, game discs and cases can be recycled, so it's not like they have to end up in a landfill if someone wants to throw them out.

But let's just assume that every console gamer decided to throw all their physical copies into the garbage. How big of a mess would that be?

We do know how many games have been sold on the PS4, so let's focus on that. As of Dec. 31, 2019, there were 1.18 billion PS4 games sold globally. Now, obviously not all of those are physical copies, but let's assume that about 80% of them are, meaning about 945 million discs. A standard-size optical disc is about 13.36 cubic centimeters in volume, so if you melted all those discs down and made a cube out of them, it would be only about 12.6 billion cubic centimeters, which sounds like a lot until you realize that that's a cube only about 23.3 meters per edge. That could fit into my small-ish back yard, and would only be a tiny section of the typical landfill. And the game cases (original dimensions, meaning not melted down, since they are storage boxes) occupy only about 23.67 times the volume, meaning a roughly cubic shaped stack of 945 million PS4 game cases would be about 67 meters per edge.

So, even if every PS4 owner threw out all of their physical copies, case and all, the amount of garbage would be far, far from ruinous (in the U.S. alone, all the garbage tossed in one year amounts to a cube 805 meters tall, which is over 1700 times the volume of a 67-meter cube), and I'd submit that only a tiny percentage of those games actually will be discarded. Even if 10% of all physical PS4 games get tossed into the garbage over the next decade, it would barely register compared to how much trash we produce in general (only 0.005% of the U.S.'s annual garbage output, if I did my math right). Realistically, less than 1% of games get thrown out in the garbage, so a cube of trashed PS4 discs would probably be at most about 5 meters tall. You could fit that into the video games department at your local Best Buy.



Shadow1980 said:
DPsx7 said:

Hate to be that person, I waited it out and sure enough LRG released both BMZ games on disc/cart. That was one game I always wanted a sequel to but couldn't bring myself to spend more than $10 on a digital game. Other than PSN freebies and a few deep discounts I really don't shop there.

What? They did? Dammit! Why didn't anyone tell me?

Immersiveunreality said:
Great , less waste.

I don't agree with this argument because the math doesn't back it up. The amount of plastic waste that comes from physical games is vastly overstated.

First of all, most games don't just get thrown out in the garbage. In fact, I would imagine relatively few do. The amount of discs and game cases I've discarded over the past 20 years amounts to zero. Also, game discs and cases can be recycled, so it's not like they have to end up in a landfill if someone wants to throw them out.

But let's just assume that every console gamer decided to throw all their physical copies into the garbage. How big of a mess would that be?

We do know how many games have been sold on the PS4, so let's focus on that. As of Dec. 31, 2019, there were 1.18 billion PS4 games sold globally. Now, obviously not all of those are physical copies, but let's assume that about 80% of them are, meaning about 945 million discs. A standard-size optical disc is about 13.36 cubic centimeters in volume, so if you melted all those discs down and made a cube out of them, it would be only about 12.6 billion cubic centimeters, which sounds like a lot until you realize that that's a cube only about 23.3 meters per edge. That could fit into my small-ish back yard, and would only be a tiny section of the typical landfill. And the game cases (original dimensions, meaning not melted down, since they are storage boxes) occupy only about 23.67 times the volume, meaning a roughly cubic shaped stack of 945 million PS4 game cases would be about 67 meters per edge.

So, even if every PS4 owner threw out all of their physical copies, case and all, the amount of garbage would be far, far from ruinous (in the U.S. alone, all the garbage tossed in one year amounts to a cube 805 meters tall, which is over 1700 times the volume of a 67-meter cube), and I'd submit that only a tiny percentage of those games actually will be discarded. Even if 10% of all physical PS4 games get tossed into the garbage over the next decade, it would barely register compared to how much trash we produce in general (only 0.005% of the U.S.'s annual garbage output, if I did my math right). Realistically, less than 1% of games get thrown out in the garbage, so a cube of trashed PS4 discs would probably be at most about 5 meters tall. You could fit that into the video games department at your local Best Buy.

Yes even if everybody discarded their games and cases and no compacting or recycling occured it would still be something very small. But well we discard very little, recycle plastic and then it would be very very very small amount of landfilled plastic.



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

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

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"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

DPsx7 said:
Pemalite said:

You do not want to use an SSD/NAND for carts/long term storage.

You want to use ROM.

They don't "burn" discs in a factory. They actually "stamp" discs instead, that allows for hundreds of thousands of disks to be created in quick succession at a low cost.
Where-as burning a disc requires discs with special chemicals/composition layers and takes "time" to add the data to the disc itself.
Plus those discs can and will degrade faster than a stamped disc.

They aren't records. How do you 'stamp' a disc?

The concept is exactly the same as a record.
There are "pits" in the plastic layer just like a record.

The difference is how those "pits" are sent back to the hardware... A record uses a pin that is dragged over the pits... A CD/DVD/Blu-Ray uses a laser that bounces of a reflective metal layer.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Disc_manufacturing

And I quote: "In addition, CD burners write data sequentially, while a CD pressing plant forms the entire disk in one physical stamping operation, similar to record pressing."

Feel free to look at the manufacturing process on Youtube for a more visualized reference point.




--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

hunter_alien said:
Immersiveunreality said:
Great , less waste.

This. Honestly, the selfishness of gamers is a bit sickening. Do you know how much plastic pollution comes from those 3 billion+ discs that are printed every generation? Or the storage and transportation and their effect on the environment. Honestly, as much as I loath DRM practices, I am glad that discs and cartridges are going the way of the dodo. They will pretty much become niche collector's items.

Since others already discussed the plastic issue, have you considered this
https://e360.yale.edu/features/energy-hogs-can-huge-data-centers-be-made-more-efficient

All those data centers hosting digital downloads, movies and streaming games use a lot of power to work and for cooling. Save the planet, stay offline.

Data centers are the factories of the digital age. These mostly windowless, featureless boxes are scattered across the globe – from Las Vegas to Bangalore, and Des Moines to Reykjavik. They run the planet’s digital services. Their construction alone costs around $20 billion a year worldwide.

The biggest, covering a million square feet or more, consume as much power as a city of a million people. In total, they eat up more than 2 percent of the world’s electricity and emit roughly as much CO2 as the airline industry. And with global data traffic more than doubling every four years, they are growing fast.



SvennoJ said:
hunter_alien said:

This. Honestly, the selfishness of gamers is a bit sickening. Do you know how much plastic pollution comes from those 3 billion+ discs that are printed every generation? Or the storage and transportation and their effect on the environment. Honestly, as much as I loath DRM practices, I am glad that discs and cartridges are going the way of the dodo. They will pretty much become niche collector's items.

Since others already discussed the plastic issue, have you considered this
https://e360.yale.edu/features/energy-hogs-can-huge-data-centers-be-made-more-efficient

All those data centers hosting digital downloads, movies and streaming games use a lot of power to work and for cooling. Save the planet, stay offline.

Data centers are the factories of the digital age. These mostly windowless, featureless boxes are scattered across the globe – from Las Vegas to Bangalore, and Des Moines to Reykjavik. They run the planet’s digital services. Their construction alone costs around $20 billion a year worldwide.

The biggest, covering a million square feet or more, consume as much power as a city of a million people. In total, they eat up more than 2 percent of the world’s electricity and emit roughly as much CO2 as the airline industry. And with global data traffic more than doubling every four years, they are growing fast.

yeah streaming is much more harmful for the environment.

not only does it use much more energy, but the rate of failure/replacement of said devices is greater then a console.