Going All Digital

By Jason Green

We all feel it’s inevitable; to one day download all games instead of buying a hard copy at the store.

Technology is already moving in that direction, with full games being downloadable on Xbox Live, the Playstation Network, and iOS, that the general gamer public think the next cycle of consoles will be all digital downloads and buying a game at Gamestop or Wal-Mart will be a thing of the past.

If not downloadable, there’s always streaming.

Remember Blockbuster video? No? Well it was a store where one would have to drive to and rent an actual hard copy of a movie.

Now with the inclusion of movie streaming services, such as Netflix, VUDU, and Amazon instant video, Blockbuster stores are now a thing of the past and have since become a streaming service as well.

There’s still the Red Box, but I think it’s only a matter of time before that becomes an instant streaming service too.

A few years ago a new service called OnLive debuted. OnLive is essentially the Netflix of video games, where as you plug in the device, make an account, and choose between a huge number of games to stream to your TV.

Could that be the way of the future?

Well not quite yet.

OnLive has been out for a good amount of time now and it hasn’t seemed to catch on just yet.

If streaming isn’t the way to go, maybe downloading is.

For the past few months, games have been released as a hard copy and digital download simultaneously in stores and on the PSN.

This may all seem like baby steps for some because, consoles still have slow connection speed when it comes to downloading and there are still some consoles with small hard drive space.

But baby steps do lead to walking; and, there are some PS3 models and Xbox 360 hard drives that can hold up to 320 gigs or more.

Maybe future consoles will have 1 terabyte of storage and a much quicker download speed.

Personally, I believe we will be hitting an all digital gaming future, but not for a very long time.

Sony tried going all digital with the PSP Go but that flopped hardy than a fat guy doing a belly flop into a pool of syrup.

With the new cycle of consoles a few years away, I don’t think Sony or Microsoft will suddenly drop that bomb out of nowhere so I can safely assume that the PS4 and new Xbox will still use game discs.

The new nintendo Wii U is scheduled to come out at the end of the year and that still uses discs.

I think that we will hit that point probably in the console cycle after this one.

But how would stores like Gamestop just disappear? Would they become something of an antique store?

I like having a hard copy of a game. As I am a very impatient man who doesn’t want to deal with waiting for a download. However, I am also lazy and not getting up to change a disc would be awesome.

Either way, whatever the future brings, I’ll be okay with.



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