#1 Posted by Jayzilla (2555 posts) -

With games getting larger and larger in terms of file size, and all our games heading in a digital future, are their game companies who have lobbyists trying to get data cap limits lifted?

1.) It seems odd to me that for the past few years game companies have been touting a "digital future" fully knowing that data rate limits are in place. It's actually like the worst possible time for games to go all digital. Do you guys see this being changed ever?

2.) As a person with slow internet speed (I am not giving up living in the mountains for games (Nature>Games) but I still love games. It was a shocking revelation when I purchased Shogun 2: Total War and then could NOT install the files from the disc. I had to download the game from Steam even though I had a physical copy. This really is just a side effect of the issue. It's an issue nonetheless.

3.) Do you guys know of any game companies or console manufacturers that are actively lobbying to have data caps removed? My internet has no data cap thankfully, but I see this as a real issue going forward with the new console generation and also with Steam, GOG, Origin etc. If you have any links to game companies that do have lobbyists in their corner I would love to have them.

It seems to me that a lot of gamers are going to have issues playing multiple games in a month going forward. Once this generation is in full swing and there are multiple 40GB+ games per month to be played.

What are your thoughts? Thanks, Duders!

#2 Edited by Khann (2784 posts) -

As someone who lives in a country with pretty tight caps (though definitely much better than a few years ago), and is primarily a PC gamer, the caps can be pretty crippling at times. Depending on the ISP, you could pay up to $1/GB for extra data on top of your cap. Because uploads are generally included in the cap, it can restrict things like livestreaming, uploading to Youtube etc, as well.

I would have to imagine that this will end up being one of those things that will just be a matter of time before it's forced to change.

#3 Posted by MildMolasses (3213 posts) -

The caps in Canada are pretty shitty, especially compared to what people in the US can get, but you can shop around and find smaller isp's with better deals. I'm lucky as I currently have unlimited, but that was by bundling phone and cable with it. When I leave here, I will only be getting the internet and will have to shop around. I have the benefit of being in a major city with more options than more remote areas, but it could still be pretty expensive trying to find something in the 200GB+/month range

#4 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3748 posts) -

They definitely should be like you say man. Next gen consoles could be seriously boned up if things were clamped down on.

#5 Edited by AngriGhandi (755 posts) -

See, this is why I think the all-digital future might actually be a myth when it comes to games.

For 90% of the population, "good enough to stream Netflix" is all the internet speed they need. They won't be willing to pay for more speed - which they'll almost never use - purely so they can download games that they can just as easily buy on disc.

And so, without the consumer demand, why will internet companies be motivated to upgrade their infrastructure? They're barely motivated to please the customers they have as it is.

Faster internet is as much a cultural and political issue as it is a technological one at this point-- and now that speeds have reached the point of "good enough" for most people (but games are only going to keep getting bigger), I think we're seeing the point where technological capability and the cultural/political forces diverge.

(For example, "High-Definition" terrestrial radio exists, and 93% of people listen to terrestrial radio. So why haven't they upgraded to High-Definition? Because they consider what they have to be good enough for their needs.)

Games might be 100GB by the end of this generation. If 4k (4096 × 2160 pixels) catches on over the next decade (and once the economy recovers, TV companies are going to want a Next Big Thing), the next gen could potentially require textures 4 times as large/detailed as they are now (no, really, do the math on that).

So, is Google going to pay for free fiber for the entire planet just so we can download our insanely large video games? Because if not, that level of internet just isn't going to exist.

Hence, 2TB Purple-Ray discs. Or games on flash drives. Or something like that.

I think the "all-digital future" might be the "flying car" of media.

#7 Posted by Jayzilla (2555 posts) -

It just baffles me that console makers think that we are only going to want digital. I love digital, but most times I want a disc because of data caps. We will see what happens.

#8 Posted by YukoAsho (2001 posts) -

See, this is why I think the all-digital future might actually be a myth when it comes to games.

For 90% of the population, "good enough to stream Netflix" is all the internet speed they need. They won't be willing to pay for more speed - which they'll almost never use - purely so they can download games that they can just as easily buy on disc.

And so, without the consumer demand, why will internet companies be motivated to upgrade their infrastructure? They're barely motivated to please the customers they have as it is.

Faster internet is as much a cultural and political issue as it is a technological one at this point-- and now that speeds have reached the point of "good enough" for most people (but games are only going to keep getting bigger), I think we're seeing the point where technological capability and the cultural/political forces diverge.

(For example, "High-Definition" terrestrial radio exists, and 93% of people listen to terrestrial radio. So why haven't they upgraded to High-Definition? Because they consider what they have to be good enough for their needs.)

Games might be 100GB by the end of this generation. If 4k catches on over the next decade (and once the economy recovers, TV companies are going to want a Next Big Thing), the next gen could potentially require textures 16 times as large as they are now (no, really, do the math on that).

So, is Google going to pay for free fiber for the entire planet just so we can download our insanely large video games? Because if not, that level of internet just isn't going to exist.

Hence, 2TB Purple-Ray discs. Or games on flash drives. Or something like that.

I think the "all-digital future" might be the "flying car" of media.

You joke, but right now there are currently new formats in testing to supplant Blu-Ray. Here's one that seems to be chugging along and might just be ready for PS6.

Holographic Versitile Disc (HVD). Six terabytes of capacity.

Six terabytes.

Six.

Fucking.

Terabytes.

That's a lot of video game...

#9 Posted by Crembaw (315 posts) -

I suspect it's more likely they'll just devote yet more money to advertising, to make sure you download *their* 100-gig game, not those five po-dunk indie losers' games that each take 20.

Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Sony might team up to push against data caps, though, considering they all benefit from users having none (at least I think that's the case, please correct me if I'm mistaken).

#10 Edited by Broomhitches (172 posts) -

If data caps are eventually removed, I think ISP's will be throttling our speeds drastically.

#11 Posted by YukoAsho (2001 posts) -

If data caps are eventually removed, I think ISP's will be throttling our speeds drastically.

Depends on the ISP, really. I imagine we'll see more specific protocol throttling, such as with BitTorrent. Either way, we're not seeing the end of discs any time soon, no matter how much @jeff wills it.

#12 Edited by Floope (190 posts) -

Canada is internet hell.

#13 Edited by Chop (1994 posts) -

As a Canadian and a PC gamer, I'm well versed in this annoying shit.

My plan is currently 60 gigs a month with unlimited between 11 pm and 12 pm (Also this is the super expensive plan; cheaper plans have no unlimited and are as low as 20 gigs). I can just throw game downloads on while I sleep and it works for me but it's still not ideal. I love the idea of going fully digital but yeah, probably not gonna be a reality in Canada for another million years or so.