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post #31 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 11:46 AM
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When solid state memory is cheap enough (less than $5 for 32GB for the chip and packaging)... when, not if... the move to solid state game distribution will take over discs. When this happens, here's what your local Gamestop will look like:

There will be a wall to browse games, but it will be filled with thin OLED screens where you can swipe and tap... getting extreme detail for each game... videos.. screen shots... manuals... everything. If you decide to buy, great, you can either purchase right there for delivery to your home, or you can go to the counter and two things will happen. If they actually have the physical solid state media from the manufacturer, you'll get it. If not, you'll have the option to be given, for free, a copy of the game on a generic solid state device that they burn for you on the spot.

They'll never actually be out of stock of any game. Depending on the speed of your internet at home, it may actually be faster to go to the store to get the game since the store will contain a server that houses the games for immediate download.

In addition, perhaps ten years from now, game consoles will have 1TB+ removable solid state drives that you can download to directly to from home, or that can be brought to a physical store for immediate downloading from the server in the store. No other type of media needed at all. If you have the console, you'll have the hard drive.

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post #32 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jrinck View Post

When solid state memory is cheap enough (less than $5 for 32GB for the chip and packaging)... when, not if... the move to solid state game distribution will take over discs. When this happens, here's what your local Gamestop will look like:

Doubtful. One of the issues is that GS canibalizes the prior generation and keeps old discs in circulation. Assuming MS sticks with physical media, that means that there will be a used market that extends for a decade beyond the next gen (we're now talking the 2020s). Assuming MS doesn't find some way of blocking/limiting used games or that publishers don't further cripple used games, GS will be siphoning off the industry's old media for a while. GS isn't some sexy Apple Store. They're a small step above a pawn shop. They'll always opt for the expedient, cheap, ugly solution. No made-to-order boutique games.

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In addition, perhaps ten years from now, game consoles will have 1TB+ removable solid state drives that you can download to directly to from home, or that can be brought to a physical store for immediate downloading from the server in the store. No other type of media needed at all. If you have the console, you'll have the hard drive.

Ten years from now, we won't be worried about local storage. We're already seeing impressive streaming tech for games and other media on consoles. In ten years, that tech will be much improved. No need for much local storage.

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post #33 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 01:33 PM
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Asumming the Next Xbox will launch at the end of 2013, The Xbox 360 will likely not get phased out till 2016 (2017)? The Next Xbox will be in year 2020 at least when total sales surpass the Xbox 360 (if ever). The quality difference in games between Xbox 360 and Next Xbox will not be that much different. Most games will still be in 720p, but perhaps a steady 60fps, more shadows, textures, AA etc, etc. They would make games forward compatable, but with Xbox 360 and PS3 sales well over 100 million (together), the bulk of the sales will still be for current generation users and will have to be physical media, thus appeasing the masses.

With that being said, the 'hardcore' gamers for the most part have broadband already. Those that crave the latest and greatest will jump forward to the next generation, and be quite happy with DD. Probably they will have the system set up where you can download the game days before release (like the weekend before), and at midnight Tuesday, they will send you the activation code and you can start playing exactly at 12:00. The' stress' on the system is when everyone is trying to download it at the same time, but just like current pre-oders at amazon, bestbuy, gamestop, you can pre-order DD from these retailers, and setup the download through their servers (Amazon for example already has the infrastructure) or EA (orgin) thus limiting the issues with bandwidth. Likely you would be able to download from Live marketplace directly as well. Bizzard already does this with games like Starcraft 2, and I also bough Dawn of War 2 from Amazon, and 12-15 gigs did not take very long.

It makes great sense to have a diskless system for next gen, because current gen will be in the majority till 2020 anyways. They will make the transition eventually over the next 7-8 years and any bandwith issues will likely be none. The Xbox 360 launched with 20G HDD. Now 250G is standard. That is a 12x increase in 6 years. That means the next Xbox will likely have close to 1T HDD space. What is the use of all that space if not to use it. It did not take long for people to abandon CD for MP3. There was the initial resistance, but the convienience was far greater. Similarly all the publishers/studios will likely be in favor of the system anyways. I bet it would not be a hard sell for the 1st CoD title on the next Xbox to be DD only. They already charge way more for map packs than anyone else, and people still buy it. Peer pressure will force people to cave in a accept the DD method.

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post #34 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by deveng View Post

With that being said, the 'hardcore' gamers for the most part have broadband already. Those that crave the latest and greatest will jump forward to the next generation, and be quite happy with DD. Probably they will have the system set up where you can download the game days before release (like the weekend before), and at midnight Tuesday, they will send you the activation code and you can start playing exactly at 12:00. The' stress' on the system is when everyone is trying to download it at the same time, but just like current pre-oders at amazon, bestbuy, gamestop, you can pre-order DD from these retailers, and setup the download through their servers (Amazon for example already has the infrastructure) or EA (orgin) thus limiting the issues with bandwidth. Likely you would be able to download from Live marketplace directly as well. Bizzard already does this with games like Starcraft 2, and I also bough Dawn of War 2 from Amazon, and 12-15 gigs did not take very long.

There are a ton of "hardcore" gamers that live in rural areas that don't even have broadband, so you might want to change your outlook before you look like an idiot.

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post #35 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 02:56 PM
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I have 250GB HDs on my 360 systems. And they're full. I constantly have to delete my favorites to install new favorites.

For the games that aren't favorites, I run them off disc. Thank goodness that's an option that the Xbox has. But ideally, I like to run them off the hard drive.

So unless they dramatically increase the size of the storage device (whatever device it is, but most likely the hard drive because it's the cheapest and will remain cheapest for quite some time), a totally digital device is not worth it. I don't want to be downloading, erasing, and redownloading several gigabytes of game data all the time.

Here's a recent example. I downloaded a demo off XBL which I think was a 1.6 GB download. I'm backlogged in games and demos. but rather than entertain the idea of erasing the 1.6 GB download and redownloading it at some future time (considering I want to really play the demo), I erased Black Ops off the hard drive. Because it's much faster to reinstall the game from the disc than to download the 1.6 GB demo.

And with data caps starting to be implemented even across broadband (thanks, Netflix), it's only going to get worse by going to an all digital model.
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post #36 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by americangunner View Post

There are a ton of "hardcore" gamers that live in rural areas that don't even have broadband, so you might want to change your outlook before you look like an idiot.

You may be a little misguided and somewhat arrogant in your statements. With regards to the consoles, the majority of 'hardcore' gamers play on line.

I suppose we may have differing opinions on whom a hardcore gamer might be, but I think in the second decade of the 21st century, most will agree that the the 'hardcore gamer' is one who plays alot/practices alot in order to be very good at such game(s) online. Getting the high score in pacman used to be a milestone, or inidication of such gamer, but nowdays, it ones abilities against human opponents that is a reflection of the time spent playing and practicing (thus becoming hardcore). Sure there are some very taleneted people that spend very little time playing and are really good, but that is not the rule, but rather an exception. Most people that I have played with that are really good, are the ones that play a lot, and play a lot against other people.

Most AAA games that comes out have a massive online component and people buy the games for the online component, not for the campaign. Infinity Ward had a statistic with CoD4, only 5-6% of people had unlocked the tutorial achievement. That is because 95-99% of people who play CoD4 bought if for on-line only. Similar for Madden/Fifa/NBA etc, where people dish out lots of money every year to play on-line with the latest rosters, not the rural people you speak of (ever heard of Satelite internet?). For them they can pick up Madden 06 and have a similar experience to Madden 12.

Blizzard games (World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, and upcomming diablo3) are all on-line only. In actual fact, you cannot play Startcraft 2 (even the campaign) unless you are connected to battlenet. Star Trek online, Star Wars old rebulbic, etc etc, are all on-line. Steam requires you be activated through steam to play any of the games that require the Steam client. Without internet you cannot play the game.

No, most 'hardcore' gamers have an internet connection. The few that do not have internet, are not hardcore anymore.

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post #37 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by deveng View Post

It makes great sense to have a diskless system for next gen, because current gen will be in the majority till 2020 anyways. They will make the transition eventually over the next 7-8 years and any bandwith issues will likely be none.

But you're forgetting about publishers. If the choice is between releasing a game for a disc-less system (hypothetical Xbox) and one with optical media (Xbox 360), you can bet that most publishers will continue to choose the system with a disc. Without publisher support, you don't have games; and without games, you don't have gamers; and without gamers, you have a dead system.

Again, the tipping point will be when the money recouped due to exigencies of the physical retail market (production, distribution, format licensing, used game sales, retail margins, higher digital margins, improved piracy protections, etc) outweighs the cost of losing the disc-bound market (consumers without internet, consumers who are resistant to digital products, young consumers who are kept offline by their parents, consumers shopping at Walmart, etc).

Once that critical tipping point is in sight, you can bet that MS will jump on it. But we're just not there yet. In another decade, maybe. MS could force the issue sooner than later, but that would be a major risk. And it would be a risk that MS would be asking all of its publishing partners to take with them. I suppose if they all see doom ahead for the physical retail market, they might have to go along. But I don't think the picture is that bleak yet. And they don't really lose much by including a disc reader/player.

More likely is that we'll continue seeing a transition with more publishers releasing digital exclusives, DLC, etc. Eventually, discs will simply become outmoded and unwieldy on their own without having to force the issue.

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post #38 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 03:54 PM
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(ever heard of Satelite internet?)

Unless there have been changes that I'm not aware of, satellite internet is pretty much useless for online gaming.

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post #39 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by deveng View Post

You may be a little misguided and somewhat arrogant in your statements. With regards to the consoles, the majority of 'hardcore' gamers play on line.

They've spent many millions to develop, market, and release a accessory specifically designed to get the system into homes of casual gamers. They've consistently sold a non HD equipped console as a low cost option since day 1. They're certainly not going to give up on the casual gamer since there is a ton of money to be made in that segment.

And what the heck is a hardcore gamer? The person that only plays Halo, Call of Duty, and Madden online? That's typically what people have in mind when they use that term...

When I go to boards full of people playing a wide variety of 360 software, including niche franchises like vertical and horizontal shooters, classic game compilations, and many other genres (I hate the term, but if anyone is a hardcore gamer, it's certainly not the Halo/CoD/Madden fanatic, it's the person that is playing a large number of games spread across most every genre there is, from years ago to the present), it's not uncommon to come across people with absolutely zero interest, broadband connection or no broadband connection, in ever bringing their 360 online and dealing with patches, firmware updates, online multiplayer, video streaming, apps, dealing with DRM, dealing with things like credit card fraud or account fraud, etc.

Optical media's days might be numbered due to the publishing advantages of digital, but the technology isn't obsolete and we have many years left where it is going to be all but a necessity for publishers to have as an option. Heck, perhaps the most accepted digital distribution of all and where it all started is music and it has only been in the last year or so where downloads finally outnumbered sales of cd's (And records, SACD, and I imagine some music still even makes it out on cassette, although I'm sure easily 90% of those sales were on regular CD's).

I would not be shocked at all if I go and buy the latest game console in the 2020's to see it still equipped with a optical drive and for plenty of game options to be available on optical disc. I'm not even sure a all digital future for gaming is even a real option for consoles. Imagine all the infrastructure someone like MS would need just in order to be able to support a few big launches a year like Halo 4 later this year and a few days around Christmas and so on, that goes underutilized most of the year with regular use not coming anywhere close to capacity. Can they ever afford to have the infrastructure in place to support a few days a year of a huge number of game downloads when regular use might not even be using 10% of that download capacity the other 340 or 350 days out of the year?
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post #40 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by deveng View Post

You may be a little misguided and somewhat arrogant in your statements. With regards to the consoles, the majority of 'hardcore' gamers play on line.

I suppose we may have differing opinions on whom a hardcore gamer might be, but I think in the second decade of the 21st century, most will agree that the the 'hardcore gamer' is one who plays alot/practices alot in order to be very good at such game(s) online.

ugh. yet another person trying to define a mass of people...

I find a person that plays The Sims 5 hours a day every day far more hardcore than the guy who plays Battlefield 3 on weekends.

And there are plenty of hardcore players that don't play online. If you notice, on the free Xbox Live Gold weekends, the level of competition goes up big time and that's because the non-online elite gamers can play online finally.
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post #41 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 06:31 PM
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I guess we can differ about the semantics of what a hardcore gamer is.

To me a person that play Farmville 5 hours a day in my opinion is not a hardcore gamer. That is a person that plays farmville a lot. If that person however spends endless hours researching how to build the best farm, creating the best mix of zombies, crops, and perhaps even spends real money to get all the perks upgrades to have a competitive edge over his/her peer, then I would call that person a hardcore gamer. Then again, if he/she is spending money to get perks etc, they can only do so if connected online. Why would such a person do this? Well, usually to brag to friends on how good they are (which requires and internet connection) or get recognition for their accomplishments (via facebook).

I rememer playing Diablo 2 a lot. It was one thing to play a lot, level up characters, trade items etc, but it was another thing to spend endless hours researching on weapon/armor permutations, looking at hps (hits per second), calculating damage modifiers, and then experimenting in game. Most of this data was useful for the PvP part of the game. Was the guy who spent hours collecting chipped gems converting them to flawless gems a hardcore gamer? Was the guy buying these gems in order to re-modify weapon suffixes and prefixes the hardcore gamer? Was the person doing endless Mephisto and Pindleskin runs the hardcore gamer? Or was the hardcore gamer the one that actually played on hardcore mode (where if you die, your character is permanently dead with all the equiment)? To me it was the person that played on hardcore mode, not the others. Of course there is a grey zone here, but that is how I differentiated different gamers.

I guess it comes down to whether one views the hardcore gamer as a competitive person, or one who plays a lot for recreation. I view it as the former, one who is competitive. The measure of competitiveness is done with other people (high score, fastest lap time, winning tournaments etc), or even with ranking systems (though most of them are flawed). That is why I equate hardcore gamer with one that is 'connected' because there is usually non simple way to measure competiveness without other people. I have no doubt there are exceptions, but my guess is that number is low. I guess you could have a LAN party and play locally, but those were the days of Halo CE, not 2012.

With regards to the original point of having this arguement, does it make sense for the next Xbox not to have an optical drive? No, of course not. But I can see why they would consider doing it, and I do not view it as a deal breaker, because the 'hardcore' gamer will not care about physical media. Their main focus is on the actual gaming, the associated advanatges of better hardware, and the improved social interaction with other gamers. The lack of an optical drive does not prevent any of this. We can all argue for the merits of an optical drive, but at the end, none of us have the user usage data, and the marketing department at MS is probably much better educated about market trends than we are. If they go the route of no drive, they probably have research to support the decison, and perhaps it ties in with some long term gameplan that they have and none of us know.

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post #42 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by deveng View Post

You may be a little misguided and somewhat arrogant in your statements. With regards to the consoles, the majority of 'hardcore' gamers play on line.

I suppose we may have differing opinions on whom a hardcore gamer might be, but I think in the second decade of the 21st century, most will agree that the the 'hardcore gamer' is one who plays alot/practices alot in order to be very good at such game(s) online. Getting the high score in pacman used to be a milestone, or inidication of such gamer, but nowdays, it ones abilities against human opponents that is a reflection of the time spent playing and practicing (thus becoming hardcore). Sure there are some very taleneted people that spend very little time playing and are really good, but that is not the rule, but rather an exception. Most people that I have played with that are really good, are the ones that play a lot, and play a lot against other people.

Most AAA games that comes out have a massive online component and people buy the games for the online component, not for the campaign. Infinity Ward had a statistic with CoD4, only 5-6% of people had unlocked the tutorial achievement. That is because 95-99% of people who play CoD4 bought if for on-line only. Similar for Madden/Fifa/NBA etc, where people dish out lots of money every year to play on-line with the latest rosters, not the rural people you speak of (ever heard of Satelite internet?). For them they can pick up Madden 06 and have a similar experience to Madden 12.

Blizzard games (World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, and upcomming diablo3) are all on-line only. In actual fact, you cannot play Startcraft 2 (even the campaign) unless you are connected to battlenet. Star Trek online, Star Wars old rebulbic, etc etc, are all on-line. Steam requires you be activated through steam to play any of the games that require the Steam client. Without internet you cannot play the game.

No, most 'hardcore' gamers have an internet connection. The few that do not have internet, are not hardcore anymore.

Again, you act like people in rural areas that only have access to DSL but play several hours a night aren't hardcore. You are the arrogant one.

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post #43 of 62 Old 03-13-2012, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deveng View Post

I guess it comes down to whether one views the hardcore gamer as a competitive person, or one who plays a lot for recreation. I view it as the former, one who is competitive. The measure of competitiveness is done with other people (high score, fastest lap time, winning tournaments etc), or even with ranking systems (though most of them are flawed). That is why I equate hardcore gamer with one that is 'connected' because there is usually non simple way to measure competiveness without other people. I have no doubt there are exceptions, but my guess is that number is low. I guess you could have a LAN party and play locally, but those were the days of Halo CE, not 2012.

This debate just went from "silly" to "borderline offensive." You've basically changed the terms of the debate from one's time investment in gaming to one's financial investment. I think you're missing the point. MS knows its audience.

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post #44 of 62 Old 03-14-2012, 08:34 AM
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How did this go from a rumored discless Xbox 720 to defining who is teh Hardcorez?
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post #45 of 62 Old 03-14-2012, 09:44 AM
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Microsoft already has the all the data it needs to make the decision. They already know the total % of people who sign up for Xbox Live and how much bandwidth/speed those people have when they play games on-line.

If the current trend will support the transition over to DD-based distribution, it will happen. If the current trend is not favorable, it won't.

It is not complicated and it has nothing to do with the definition of "hardcore gamers".
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post #46 of 62 Old 03-14-2012, 10:37 AM
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In the beginning, there were cartridges. There wasn't much other choice. They were expensive to make, but were durable. Cartridges ruled until a transitionary period in the early '90s.

Then they moved to discs because discs were so much cheaper to produce than cartridges. More storage capacity + cheaper production. Discs weren't as durable as cartridges, but the cost difference was too much to ignore.

As games got more complex, discs fortunately were able to keep up, culminating with blu-ray.

However, we're now at a similar point as the early '90s, though vice-versa. Solid state memory (or cartridges, if you will), are now getting cheap to the point where they can store full game data. As they get cheaper to make, and higher capacity, coupled with their durability, you'll see a transition at some point in the next few years BACK to cartridges. We're already kind of seeing this with the Vita.

Downloadable games will make inroads, but as I pontificated earlier, that won't be a primary delivery source for many years, if ever. Online and retail will coexist for a long, long time.

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post #47 of 62 Old 03-14-2012, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TeflonSoul View Post

Unless there have been changes that I'm not aware of, satellite internet is pretty much useless for online gaming.

Yep, it's not the bandwidth so much as the latency.

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post #48 of 62 Old 03-14-2012, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jrinck View Post

In the beginning, there were cartridges. There wasn't much other choice. They were expensive to make, but were durable. Cartridges ruled until a transitionary period in the early '90s.

Then they moved to discs because discs were so much cheaper to produce than cartridges. More storage capacity + cheaper production. Discs weren't as durable as cartridges, but the cost difference was too much to ignore.

As games got more complex, discs fortunately were able to keep up, culminating with blu-ray.

However, we're now at a similar point as the early '90s, though vice-versa. Solid state memory (or cartridges, if you will), are now getting cheap to the point where they can store full game data. As they get cheaper to make, and higher capacity, coupled with their durability, you'll see a transition at some point in the next few years BACK to cartridges. We're already kind of seeing this with the Vita.

Downloadable games will make inroads, but as I pontificated earlier, that won't be a primary delivery source for many years, if ever. Online and retail will coexist for a long, long time.

LMAO on the bolded point. You brought visions of the old Coleco cartridges and 8 track tapes to my head! You do understand that the marketplace has only tapped about 1-5% of Blu-Ray's actual potential and lifecycle...right? It is going to be around a very-very long time. And in cheap storage capacities greater than 150gb. That is more than enough for the most ambitious game even 30 years from now in all likelihood. Some talk like Blu-Ray is obsolete right now. MS can go DD only if it wants to. And watch XBox get clobbered by Playstation with brilliant higher-Quality Blu-Ray games. I think you are very ambitious with your SSD forecasts. But time will tell. Methinks Blu-Ray games is going nowhere but up over the next 15-30 years. And blank Blu-Rays could be just as easily copied at retail as any media. But you are opening up all kind of piracy threats with either approach.

Like I said earlier...this is really a silly debate over a silly topic. But its fun nonetheless. MS isn't Apple. It's entire ecosystem is Open Looped and entails many partnerships and strategic alliances (including retail). To operate optimally, MS must satisfy them all, or it ceases to exist as constructed today. Apple's system is Closed Loop. And it cost end users a ton more to buy in too as a result. They can do DD only, or whatever they want. If some company went all in on DD only with SSD cartridges as you suggest...it's much more likely to be a company like Apple.

I completely agree with your last point. Retail and online will coexist for a very long time. In fact...if one was to flame out in the future for whatever reason, I'd lay odds online being the DOA victim. Retail was here 3000 years ago and will be here 3000 year from now...if people are still around. Because that is how folks like to trade. Online changes the retail experience or broadens the options. Not eliminate either as some have suggested on these threads. And I suspect that is why the XBox 360 offers all retail options. And so will NextBox...and the Next...and the Next etc.
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post #49 of 62 Old 03-14-2012, 05:41 PM
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However, we're now at a similar point as the early '90s, though vice-versa. Solid state memory (or cartridges, if you will), are now getting cheap to the point where they can store full game data. As they get cheaper to make, and higher capacity, coupled with their durability, you'll see a transition at some point in the next few years BACK to cartridges. We're already kind of seeing this with the Vita.

Solid State Drives cost many times more per gig than optical media like Blu-Ray. And I can assure you that the technology has adequate capacity for many years to come. I doubt more than a relative handful of next generation games will even require a double layered 50 gig disc and there's room to expand well past that point if needed. They've taken the technology up to 100 and 400 gigs that apparantly can be read successfully with existing drives, and 1TB disc are on the near horizon.

That's the exact opposite of the situation we were in as we started the transition to optical media in the early 90's with CD attachments for various consoles, the CD-i, the 3DO, and culminating in the release of the Playstation and Saturn. The traditional media didn't offer anywhere close to ample capacity and even the smallest capacity cartridge on a platform like the Nintendo 64 cost many times more to manufacture than a pressed CD on the competition with hundreds of MB's more of storage room.

Optical media is dirt cheap. SSD's are not even anywhere close to being competitive price wise. And due to the digital push, something like the Xbox 720 will offer hundreds of gigs of storage space no doubt. Simply installing the game to that drive will negate much of the advantage of a SSD in the area of load times.

SSD's will never equal the cost of optical media. The only prayer that technology has in the gaming world is to get cheap enough eventually where, even though they still cost several times more to manufacture than a optical disc with similar capacity, the elimination of the cost of an optical drive on a console swings the financial pendulum in favor of more expensive SSD's as your game medium. And that also means heavily subsidizing the cost of the media for your 3rd party publishers since Nintendo showed us not long ago what the ramifications were when your medium cost far more than the competition's. Your publishers won't be sticking around.

And from what I know about the technology, it's very much a premium product that is very expensive even with a small capacity. I remember a laptop that was released about two years ago that offered a SSD option that wasn't very large at all (well under 100 gigs). That option added $1000 to the cost of a laptop over a standard laptop hard drive of similar capacity. Granted that's MSRP and I'm sure they were gouging customers by an awful lot since they knew people would pay extra for it, but it's still an indication of just how expensive this technology remains to this day.

A 25 gig single layered Blu-Ray disc cost well under $1 today in materials, cost of manufacturing the disc, and pressing the contents onto it during the replication process. It's simply not anywhere close where SSD technology is concerned. You might as well go around acting like the latest Ferrari model to roll off the manufacturing floor at Maranello is an actual choice for an elderly person on a fixed income that needs to replace their vehicle.

It makes about the same amount of sense...
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post #50 of 62 Old 03-15-2012, 12:07 AM
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You guys are missing the point. SSD doesn't need cost parity with optical drive to be successful. All it needs to do is to get the content from the distributors to the end-users. It is a delivery method, not a storage solution.

Everybody agrees that a hard drive will be part of every Nexbox. The games will be played off the hard drive, and having an optical drive is a pain in the ass since I have to physically switch the disc even though the game is already installed in the hard drive. Who really likes doing that???

The current Xbox already allows you to use your own USB stick as an extra drive. It is a very small step from that to allowing you to take your stick to the local Walmart or Gamestop to download the game to your stick (if you do not have broadband at home to do it directly) and bringing it home and then trasferring the content to the hard drive.

With this scenario, the price difference between the USB stick and the optical disc is a moot point because you can use the same stick over and over again. The (read/write) speed advantage of the USB stick alone will make it worthwhile even though it costs 10X more.

And you are already getting assimilated into the other half of this schema - activation keys. All purchases in the future will require activation key that will tie the game purchase to your console.

There is a ton of goodness that comes from disc-less game transactions from Microsoft and game developers point of view. This WILL be the future. The only question is when.
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post #51 of 62 Old 03-15-2012, 02:43 AM
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http://www.engadget.com/2012/03/14/i...ed-to-blu-ray/

We're almost there. The argument for physical media is becoming less and less convincing. Not there yet, but almost. Compression technology is advancing quickly. The cloud is here. No denying DD is the future. For the nextBox? Eh, maybe. The one after that? Surely.
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post #52 of 62 Old 03-15-2012, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gameboy View Post

You guys are missing the point. SSD doesn't need cost parity with optical drive to be successful. All it needs to do is to get the content from the distributors to the end-users. It is a delivery method, not a storage solution.

Everybody agrees that a hard drive will be part of every Nexbox. The games will be played off the hard drive, and having an optical drive is a pain in the ass since I have to physically switch the disc even though the game is already installed in the hard drive. Who really likes doing that???

The current Xbox already allows you to use your own USB stick as an extra drive. It is a very small step from that to allowing you to take your stick to the local Walmart or Gamestop to download the game to your stick (if you do not have broadband at home to do it directly) and bringing it home and then trasferring the content to the hard drive.

With this scenario, the price difference between the USB stick and the optical disc is a moot point because you can use the same stick over and over again. The (read/write) speed advantage of the USB stick alone will make it worthwhile even though it costs 10X more.

And you are already getting assimilated into the other half of this schema - activation keys. All purchases in the future will require activation key that will tie the game purchase to your console.

There is a ton of goodness that comes from disc-less game transactions from Microsoft and game developers point of view. This WILL be the future. The only question is when.

No one is missing the point.

We're discussing physical media under the assumption that the next Xbox will support physical media. You're talking about a system that is all digital. Two completely different scenarios.

What amounts to a memory card that the media temporarily resides on from kiosk to console isn't what we're discussing at all.

SSD technology, despite what a few people in this thread think, isn't anywhere close to be economical enough to serve as a permanent storage medium for gaming to take the place of optical discs. At most if an all digital future comes about, maybe it will serve as a reusable temporary transfer card like you suggested to get your games home to your hard drive from a kiosk placed at a retailer.
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post #53 of 62 Old 03-15-2012, 08:15 AM
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No, you are still missing the point.

Nobody is saying that Xbox will ship with expensive SSD drives. It will come with a regular hard drive which are cost effective. That is the medium for the permanent storage, not SSD.

SSD technology (like a USB stick) will be used to transfer content when you do not have access to Internet. But that is not meant to be permanent storage (like a cartridge).
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post #54 of 62 Old 03-15-2012, 11:41 AM
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No, you are still missing the point.

Nobody is saying that Xbox will ship with expensive SSD drives. It will come with a regular hard drive which are cost effective. That is the medium for the permanent storage, not SSD.

SSD technology (like a USB stick) will be used to transfer content when you do not have access to Internet. But that is not meant to be permanent storage (like a cartridge).

It seems to me that is the same thing he just said.

There is a slim possibility that games could be sold in the store on a prepackaged USB stick. This kiosk thing people keep dreaming about, I don't ever see happening. It sounds like a horrible idea. I'd rather go with dd only before adopting that lunacy. No one has said anything about the main HD in the Xbox being ssd, I think everyone knows that's out of the question for a long time(just imagine the MS price point for a large capacity ssd).

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post #55 of 62 Old 03-15-2012, 12:05 PM
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You won't see games sold as prepackaged USB stick. That is correct due to the manufacturing costs.

The kiosk goes in hand with DD. DD is what MS and game developers want. But going DD-only is impossible because not everyone has broadband. But you can make the entire system to be DD (downloading the game to the local drive) and employ kiosk for the last mile for those without broadband.

This simplifies the distribution process (because all the games are distributed the same way), provides much greater control to MS/Publishers, while keeping the hardware cost down. As I have said time and time again, there is WAY too much incentive for the manufacturers and publishers for this not to happen. It is all just a matter of when.
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post #56 of 62 Old 03-16-2012, 01:29 AM
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No, you are still missing the point.

Someone didn't read the post they replied to.
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post #57 of 62 Old 03-16-2012, 06:43 AM
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Someone didn't read the post they replied to.

It is probably due to the perceived tone of your response. You are essentially agreeing on the big points, but you sounded liked you disagreed with him.
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post #58 of 62 Old 03-16-2012, 12:21 PM
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It is probably due to the perceived tone of your response. You are essentially agreeing on the big points, but you sounded liked you disagreed with him.

If that's how he interpreted it, my apologies for not making it clearer (Although I don't see how that mistake could be made when only the last sentence of my reply was in agreement with his points).

But to again attempt to provide clarification for him, people were discussing the media that games will permanently reside on in the future. And some people were proposing SSD as a legitimate possibility to take the role that optical media currently holds on a future console such as the Xbox 720. And that is never going to happen due to the high cost of SSD technology and I wasn't incorrect in pointing that out like Gameboy claimed.

Nobody was discussing it in terms of serving as a temporary transfer card for games to reside on temporarily between kiosk and console (The people discussing the kiosk idea before him in this thread were talking about regular flash media or the console's hard drive itself, those that mentioned SSD tech were discussing it in the context of a permanent storage medium for retail games to reside on). If such a system were to come about in the future, I agree with him that a reusable SSD transfer card would be viable in such a situation.

But the two were never mentioned together until he popped in.
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post #59 of 62 Old 03-16-2012, 12:23 PM
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Now that is all settled...

Based on the press release today from Microsoft, I think we can all agree that OP's link about the "leak" was completely fabricated.
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post #60 of 62 Old 03-16-2012, 12:37 PM
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While I don't think there is any possibility that MS will go "Discless" in NexGen. I can envision them using NexGen in a way to extend the profitability and lifecycle of the XBox 360 via a hybridized format...and the convergence of marketplaces and some functionality with Windows 8. Daekwan suggested a while back over in the "Big Boy" thread that MS could satisfy all worlds by going modular design with NexBox. I still think that is a fascinating and plausible approach. Especially in light of the Seattle Times article over on the BB thread. In fact, MS could even design NexBox to download game discs directly from the XB360's DVD drive...or via an outboard, high quality, noiseless Blu-Ray drive...onto a multi-TB HDD in the nexGen console. Either way...none of this will be happening anytime soon IMO. Looks like XBox 360-Swill be with us for awhile.
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