Originally Posted by deveng
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?