eclipt1c

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The End of Format Wars

This entry is mostly in response to this article from Giant Bomb on the future of game formats. 

The initial quote from Phil Harrison is:
“There’s a generation of kids being born today and probably already alive who I’m pretty confident will never buy a physical media product. They will never buy a DVD, they will never buy a CD, and they will never buy a game in a box.”
I think that this statement is unequivocally true, because both Sony and Microsoft are heading in this direction already.  Sony already has the option on its online service to download full PS3 games to your hard drive, and Microsoft has recently added the capability to download your disks so that your disk drive doesn't spin.  There's also the fact that it costs tons of money to physically publish a game in disk format.  Granted it costs money to keep up the bandwidth, but eventually (very soon) this will be more economically feasible than physically printing a disk and case.  Finally, the last obstacle is space, but as of publishing, you can buy a 1 TB (formatted is 930 gigs) hard drive for around $100-$150, which means that you would have room for about 19 games.  Cut out the DVD drive and the support costs associated with that and you can probably afford to put in a several terabyte hard drive into the system.

With people already moving towards digital distribution in about every other entertainment arena and the PC, consoles will probably skip over blu-ray completely, or at most have it for the next generation, with the generation after that going completely digital.  
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