Originally Posted by number1laing
This is not a problem that will be fixed in 3 years. In fact it probably will never be fixed completely, and companies have to see if locking out all those customers is worth it. I doubt Sony and MS will think so.
It may not be up to Sony and MS, though. It's the publishers who are pushing most strongly for a DD future.
For the major pubs, they're now looking at about 50% of total revenue from DD. However
, the margins are much higher for DD and remain higher for longer (retail doesn't just cost more to produce/distribute, it also drops price faster to clear space for newer product; and there's the whole issue with used sales). What that means is that once we reach the tipping point
where the percentage of total revenue is high enough that real profit from DD far surpasses physical sales, then publishers will think very seriously about dropping discs altogether. It also has a cascading effect. As DD picks up speed, it makes physical media (distribution, manufacturing, retail) exponentially more expensive with exponentially decreasing margins.
Basically, that means pubs can make much more money selling DD to fewer customers than with physical media. So it may not matter that large percentages of the current consumer base are without decent broadband. Profit is king, and at a certain point it no longer is cost effective to bother with physical media. But that's maybe 5 years or more down the road.
As for the next console and whether it's all DD or not, it all depends on when it's released. If it's released before that tipping point, it'll have physical media. If after, it won't. My sense is that MS will release a console before that tipping point, so it'll definitely have physical media. But it'll probably be the last console gen to do so.