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View Full Version : How do you think Microsoft is going to solve the media/storage issue?


Raul3
11-30-11, 02:09 PM
I haven't been able to sleep because of this.

For the next generation, the Xbox 720 or whatever, how do you think Microsoft is going to solve the media issue? Basically DVD discs don't have enough space for all the data that's going to be needed. We have already seen it in some games this generation.

I can see them trying to "force" people to go the download route. But of course they have several options.

Liver&Onions
11-30-11, 02:20 PM
holographic cubes.

Drexl
11-30-11, 02:26 PM
It may depend on WHEN the next generation is going to start. Back in 2005-2006, I would never have guessed it would last this long, and it doesn't look to end anytime soon.

Download-only isn't ready yet. They are not going to turn their back on all the people that can't (or just won't yet) do it. It would be financial suicide to require downloads for every game. Before we get there, there will have to be a transition period in which every game is available either way, and then it's just a matter of watching the sales figures from each method. The PC is pretty much at that stage now, and the PS Vita will be doing that.

I would assume it will have to have a larger disc size, probably BD unless they can do something proprietary at less cost.

bunkaroo
11-30-11, 02:45 PM
Isn't Nintendo planning to do a proprietary high capacity disk for the next system? I don't see why MS couldn't do the same thing. Why not use the HD DVD tech? As long as they're not dual-sided. :D

Matthew Chmiel
11-30-11, 02:53 PM
I would like to see download-only, but I agree with others, it isn't ready for consoles. Physical media for consoles will be here to stay probably until the end of this current decade.

Unless Microsoft and Sony can come to some sort of a amazing, fantastic agreement on using the Blu-ray technology, I don't see Blu-ray being the way Microsoft goes. I could see Microsoft telling Sony to go fuck themselves before going the route of using BD discs for the 720.

Like bunkaroo mentioned, I could see them using that dormant HD-DVD technology as even a single-layer disc gives them 15GB compared to the 8.5–8.7 GB they're using now.

Dan
11-30-11, 02:57 PM
Blu-ray.

My problems with download-only are:
- not ideal for people without broadband (more than you think)
- no special editions with useless crap that I have to buy because I'm dumb.
- highly unlikely that pricing would be any better. It's hard to justify $60 for a NEW game, let alone a new downloadable-only game.

Liver&Onions
11-30-11, 03:06 PM
HOLOGRAPHS! Hear me now, beleive me later.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/ge-backs-500gb-holographic-storage/1467

Or thumbdrives using usb 3.0 .

Michael Corvin
11-30-11, 03:11 PM
Consoles will NEVER be download only. What retail outlet is going to sell your console without the benefit of game sales? You would see Gamestop, Target & Wal-Mart all boycott the system if that were the case.

Personally I'd love to see them go the route Blu-rays have gone and include a digital copy with the physical copy. Of course they'd have to get around people selling off one or the other. I like the convenience of having all my games at my fingertips, but don't want to give up the option of borrowing/loaning games to friends and just having a copy in case I lose access to my digital version.

Thumb drives could work for that. The system could "move" the game to the hard drive rendering the USB stick empty and not "re-sale worthy" without moving the game back to the stick.

Tracer Bullet
11-30-11, 03:14 PM
I can't see Microsoft paying the Blu-ray fee. It'll probably be a proprietary format. Will it be a disc? I don't know.

Raul3
11-30-11, 03:17 PM
Download and thumbdrives? Why not?

I used to install games to my USB drive when I still had my Xbox Arcade.

That, of course, is more expensive than a dvd disc though.

chuckd21
11-30-11, 03:17 PM
Blu-ray. I can't see any other viable option. They want these things in entertainment centers. Making it a Blu-ray player makes sense.

tlwizard
11-30-11, 03:30 PM
Considering that Microsoft is licensing the Kinect to Sony to include in their TVs, maybe Sony is going to license them blu-ray.

PopcornTreeCt
11-30-11, 03:39 PM
I think download should be a viable option. Keep the physical games available for those who want it but also release games for download on release day.

Drexl
11-30-11, 03:51 PM
Consoles will NEVER be download only. What retail outlet is going to sell your console without the benefit of game sales? You would see Gamestop, Target & Wal-Mart all boycott the system if that were the case.

Did they boycott the iPod and other MP3 players? What about smartphones? Tablets? Those devices encourage you to buy media from a distributor that isn't the store where you bought it, even if some of them don't require it (after all, you can still buy CDs - for now - to feed an MP3 player). I'm not sure why console games would be different, although it will probably take longer.

I don't doubt that they'd fight it at first, but I wouldn't say it will never happen. Gamestop is even in the DD business now, having acquired Impulse.

fumanstan
11-30-11, 03:54 PM
I don't think download only will be happening anytime soon, but I agree that it wouldn't surprise me to see release day download options for those who prefer it.

I'm voting Blu-ray, even despite Sony.

Michael Corvin
11-30-11, 04:03 PM
Apps for smartphones and tablets are a separate market that never had a physical format. CDs are a closer comparison, but with music sales on an continual decline, it still isn't quite as analogous. I just don't see retailers giving up a piece of an 18 billion dollar pie without a fight.

I also think release day downloads are unlikely. Retailers have already put up a stink about that and the reason why we don't get games on demand until 6 months later. HOWEVER, a more likely scenario is in store download cards. Retailers still get a piece of the pie and gamers still get the convenience of a digital copy.

Maybe "never" was a strong word, but as long as video gaming is as profitable as it is now, we won't see a download only console for a few generations. Didn't the PSP Go sorta (on a small scale) prove that gamers want physical media?

mhg83
11-30-11, 04:06 PM
I think what we'll see next gen is two different systems available. one Disc-less drive and one with a drive. I don't really see a problem with multiple dvd games. Final Fantasy VIII was 4 discs back in ps1 days and no one complained!

dtcarson
11-30-11, 04:08 PM
I definitely think they'll push a lot more direct download. Maybe even charge more for a physical copy. But unless things change soon, there's still a lot of people who can't download games, or who won't mess with online purchasing, points, credit card, etc.
I'm not sure about BD since Sony was so influential in its success, but if they're positioning the device as an entertainment device, I think they'll have to do it.
I have no problem with DVDs. Even for games that require multiples - I think I can deal with a thirty second break to switch every 15 hours of story or so.

I think even apart from the retailer perspective, something big has to change for DD to be more successful. Many gamers rely on trades and reselling in order to get more games, and unless the price of a new release drops, or there's some way to transfer ownership of DD, I think that's still a tough wall to break for many consumers. At least Steam has good sales rather often.

orangecrush
11-30-11, 04:31 PM
A couple of thoughts.

1. Digital download only isn't going to happen for a very long time. The trend in ISP's is bandwith limits. How would you like to hit your limit with one retail download game. Not to mention all the people who live in the hills and can't even download patches for Skyrim and whatnot. The majority of the console game buying public doesn't buy digital games on the console.

2. Those who like getting games for cheap better pray every day that phsyical games don't go away. Digital only = expensive for a lot longer than physical disks + no possibility of selling when you are done w/ a game.

Raul3
11-30-11, 04:34 PM
Retailers are fine with the current model. Publishers want to move to a digital model, so they don't lose revenue in the used market.

I think Gamestop was planning, or already has, download stations. Something like that can help for the people that don't want to download at home.

But yeah, it's hard to expect a download only option for the next generation.

Deftones
11-30-11, 04:39 PM
They'd better not move towards digital downloads only yet. I trade games in and I want to continue to have that ability.

chuckd21
11-30-11, 09:36 PM
There's no way they'll be moving towards digital distribution. With games about to be bumped up to 25-50 GB, people won't have the bandwidth.

edstein
11-30-11, 10:11 PM
Blu-ray is not going to happen. It will be a USB thumb drive type media or maybe a credit/gift card shaped media with a RFID type technology built in before another disc based option comes out. I expect the next gen Xbox to still have a DVD drive for backwards compatibility but new games will be on a larger format proprietary device.

bunkaroo
11-30-11, 11:32 PM
Fuck it - let's go back to cartridges. I miss blowing on games. Sometimes I blow on my discs when I'm feeling nostalgic.

Rob V
12-01-11, 07:28 AM
I'm going Blu Ray... they'd be stupid not to go down that road. The next Xbox should be the ultimate entertainment center and you can't have that w/out BD.

chuckd21
12-01-11, 07:33 AM
Knowing Microsoft though, Blu-ray playback will only be available via Gold Membership.

RocShemp
12-01-11, 08:03 AM
Fuck it - let's go back to cartridges. I miss blowing on games. Sometimes I blow on my discs when I'm feeling nostalgic.

I still absentmindedly do that with discs. I justify it by thinking I'm removing any stray dust that may have landed on the data side.

al_bundy
12-01-11, 08:17 AM
blu ray

its a huge consortium which Microsoft is a part of, it's not Sony. i think the issue back in 2005 was that you needed a really fast CPU (at the time) to play the content and the drives were expensive. 2012 smartphones are more than fast enough to play the content and the drives are dirt cheap

sony screwed up by playing on specs and a lot of people like me bought a PS3 just for the blu ray player and streaming functionality and it's a loss for sony.

chuckd21
12-01-11, 08:59 AM
Everyone just keep in mind that "Sony" isn't all one big company. There are lots of smaller companies and divisions within, and the Blu-ray component isn't the same as the gaming one.

Sony makes computers that run Windows. Microsoft makes software that supports Blu-ray drives. So it's not like Microsoft paying for the Blu-ray tech means that money will fund the PS4.

foxdvd
12-01-11, 09:13 AM
the better question...what if the 360 had used HD dvd right from the start? What if there was near 60 million HD players in the market...would the Blu-ray/HD fight still be on?

mattysemo247
12-01-11, 09:45 AM
With the HD-DVD failure a couple years back, I don’t see Microsoft trying out another format anytime soon. I think it’s pretty much a guarantee that they are going to go the Blu route with the next system. It already has solid foundation with developers and consumers and offers plenty of capacity. And like others have said, I don’t see any of the companies going the digital download only route anytime soon either. Especially now with many of the providers putting monthly caps and charging for data overages.

RichC2
12-01-11, 10:12 AM
They'll go Blu-ray, hopefully it's faster than that slow POS in the PS3.

al_bundy
12-01-11, 10:29 AM
With the HD-DVD failure a couple years back, I donít see Microsoft trying out another format anytime soon. I think itís pretty much a guarantee that they are going to go the Blu route with the next system. It already has solid foundation with developers and consumers and offers plenty of capacity. And like others have said, I donít see any of the companies going the digital download only route anytime soon either. Especially now with many of the providers putting monthly caps and charging for data overages.

if MS goes download only don't expect gamestop to carry it. and i bet best buy would have some reservations about selling it as well

orangecrush
12-01-11, 10:30 AM
They'll go Blu-ray, hopefully it's faster than that slow POS in the PS3.Are there any fast blu-ray players right now? I honestly don't know.

d2cheer
12-01-11, 10:38 AM
the better question...what if the 360 had used HD dvd right from the start? What if there was near 60 million HD players in the market...would the Blu-ray/HD fight still be on?

:thumbsup: Good question. I bet Microsoft is kicking themselves about it.

Dan
12-01-11, 10:45 AM
the better question...what if the 360 had used HD dvd right from the start? What if there was near 60 million HD players in the market...would the Blu-ray/HD fight still be on?

Well, HD DVD didn't come out until April/May 2006, which was after the 360 was released (Nov 2005). BUT, if Microsoft had waited, installed HD DVD in the 360 from the get-go... yeah... I imagine that fight would still be raging on, as the user-base for each format would have been more equal. It might have been enough to make Blu-ray dead in the water... but we'll never know. The BEST thing about HD DVD was that it was 100% region free.

Anyway, MS will have Blu-ray on the next console for all the reasons stated by others (it's not just Sony's product, it's cheap/easy to implement now, 10+ gb downloads only work for a small fraction of the entire market, etc. etc.).

Raul3
12-01-11, 12:47 PM
Blu-ray is the logical option.

However, in tech companies, sometimes, the logical, smart, option is not the one chosen. Microsoft, and several other entertainment companies think that Blu-ray movies are a niche product. With the success of Netflix and in a lower scale iTunes (movies), they think digital download/streaming is going to be, or is, the most popular option. So Blu-ray loses that one benefit.

So, although I also hope for blu-ray, I don't think Microsoft is going that way for the next Xbox.

Rob V
12-01-11, 02:04 PM
Absolutely no way they go streaming or digital download. There are some (shocker) that don't have broadband or bandwidth to d/l massive games. Microsoft would be excluding a good portion of the market that use DSL or have no internet at all.

FatTony
12-01-11, 02:11 PM
I think download-only is a ways off still, since not everyone who owns a console has a powerful enough broadband connection to download a 50GB game, and the bullshit data caps that many ISPs have implemented will hinder some gamers' ability to download to their heart's content. I also don't see them going with flash drives, as that seems like it could open up piracy to whole new levels (and flash drives are considerably more expensive than discs).

Blu-ray makes the most sense on paper, but Microsoft won't want to give a chunk of every sale to their competition. I also don't see them resurrecting HD-DVD as-is, since those discs topped out at 30GB if memory serves and I've read that 100GB+ Blu-rays are on the horizon.

I think they'll end up going with some new, proprietary, high-capacity disc, possibly an extension of the HD-DVD disc spec in order to have something that can compete more directly with the capacity of Blu-ray without having to pay Sony a dime.

Dan
12-01-11, 02:59 PM
Blu-ray makes the most sense on paper, but Microsoft won't want to give a chunk of every sale to their competition. I also don't see them resurrecting HD-DVD as-is, since those discs topped out at 30GB if memory serves and I've read that 100GB+ Blu-rays are on the horizon.
Shortly before Warner opted for Blu-ray (they previously released on both formats), The HD DVD group had announced that they had developed 3-layer discs that could hold up to 51GB that supposedly would have worked with all existing HD DVD players. Chances are, the yield was extremely low, though, as they had a hard enough time with flipper discs and dual-layer HD DVDs (to be fair, Blu-ray had low yields for BD-50s at the time, too). Had they survived, the reliability would only have gotten better.

Man... I wish someone involved would write a good book about that format war. I'd love to hear about the conversations going on at Warner in the week leading up to their announcement to ditch HD DVD. The rumor at the time was that they were planning to drop Blu-ray (like Paramount did only a couple months earlier), but flip-flopped in the last 24 hours.

glassdragon
12-01-11, 03:12 PM
Well, HD DVD didn't come out until April/May 2006, which was after the 360 was released (Nov 2005). BUT, if Microsoft had waited, installed HD DVD in the 360 from the get-go... yeah... I imagine that fight would still be raging on, as the user-base for each format would have been more equal. It might have been enough to make Blu-ray dead in the water... but we'll never know. The BEST thing about HD DVD was that it was 100% region free.

Anyway, MS will have Blu-ray on the next console for all the reasons stated by others (it's not just Sony's product, it's cheap/easy to implement now, 10+ gb downloads only work for a small fraction of the entire market, etc. etc.).

While it can't be argued that the 360 would have been better with an hd drive if not just for the space for games, I doubt there would still be a fight. Regardless of who won, someone would have by now. Studios would not have liked making multiple hd formats for a long time. It would have likely been too costly and they would have gone to one or the other by now. Typically when 2 formats hit that use the same type of tech, one wins out and the other is mildly supported. IE Superbits, SACD and so on. I'm not saying blu-ray would have won, but one of them would have by now.

I also believe that had hd-dvd won, then it would have some kind of region encoding by now also. I don't believe blu-ray had any at first either, but the studios can put it on there if they choose. I could be wrong though

I'm thinking proprietary format also, but much like the GDROM on dreamcast, just use it for games and not try to market it as any other type of media disc.

davidh777
12-01-11, 03:46 PM
While it can't be argued that the 360 would have been better with an hd drive if not just for the space for games, I doubt there would still be a fight. Regardless of who won, someone would have by now. Studios would not have liked making multiple hd formats for a long time. It would have likely been too costly and they would have gone to one or the other by now. Typically when 2 formats hit that use the same type of tech, one wins out and the other is mildly supported. IE Superbits, SACD and so on. I'm not saying blu-ray would have won, but one of them would have by now.

I can believe this. Blu-ray is having enough trouble gaining a foothold in a going-away-from-optical-media world; an ongoing format war would have made customer commitment even worse.

Man... I wish someone involved would write a good book about that format war. I'd love to hear about the conversations going on at Warner in the week leading up to their announcement to ditch HD DVD. The rumor at the time was that they were planning to drop Blu-ray (like Paramount did only a couple months earlier), but flip-flopped in the last 24 hours.

I would totally read that book.

mmconhea
12-01-11, 06:57 PM
I don't see it being anything but bluray. MS doesn't give a crap where those minuscule royalties go, sony doesn't give a crap where they come from as long as they come. They aren't a bunch of grudge-holding teens with HDDVD/BRD rivalries still bussing around in their heads. They both are going to have consoles that sell, they both license technology to each other in other markets. Bluray is the only super high capacity format that can has infrastructure for high-volume production. I don't think MS wants to build factories and handle it themselves. BR would allow it's publishers to easily manufacture discs using existing factories.

MS will try to push more downloads, but try downloading the next COD:MW on launch day. It would be a disaster that kills downloads as a distribution method for buyers. I myself have been fucked 2-3 times already by Xbox downloads that took forever or had issues. I'll never go for a large title that i want at launch.

mhg83
12-01-11, 08:04 PM
MS will try to push more downloads, but try downloading the next COD:MW on launch day. It would be a disaster that kills downloads as a distribution method for buyers. I myself have been fucked 2-3 times already by Xbox downloads that took forever or had issues. I'll never go for a large title that i want at launch.

Not if they do what Steam does. About a week before a new game launches you can pre load the full game and when midnight hits, the game decrypts and unlocks.

al_bundy
12-06-11, 02:37 PM
Shortly before Warner opted for Blu-ray (they previously released on both formats), The HD DVD group had announced that they had developed 3-layer discs that could hold up to 51GB that supposedly would have worked with all existing HD DVD players. Chances are, the yield was extremely low, though, as they had a hard enough time with flipper discs and dual-layer HD DVDs (to be fair, Blu-ray had low yields for BD-50s at the time, too). Had they survived, the reliability would only have gotten better.

Man... I wish someone involved would write a good book about that format war. I'd love to hear about the conversations going on at Warner in the week leading up to their announcement to ditch HD DVD. The rumor at the time was that they were planning to drop Blu-ray (like Paramount did only a couple months earlier), but flip-flopped in the last 24 hours.

what were the sales numbers? i forgot who dropped HD-DVD first and started the cascade of the other studios but i'm sure it had 100% to do with sales

Rob V
12-06-11, 03:15 PM
I thought it was Toshiba.

Jeremy517
12-06-11, 04:44 PM
I'm not sure what royalties are now, but in 2009, it was $9.50 for a Blu-ray player and 11 cents for a read-only Blu-ray disc, with Sony getting less than 30% of that. It wouldn't surprise me if royalties have gone down since then. I don't think MS would care about that much going to Sony.

Dan
12-07-11, 12:03 AM
what were the sales numbers? i forgot who dropped HD-DVD first and started the cascade of the other studios but i'm sure it had 100% to do with sales

tl;dr version: Paramount dropped Blu-ray. Warner dropped HD DVD. Retailers followed Warner. Then Toshiba/MS gave up.

I was following the 'war' closely at the time. I only remember it as a consumer, as I had no insider knowledge or anything like that.

From what I recall... people (myself included) argued that HD DVD owners were buying more titles per person, but since they were immensely overshadowed by the sheer number of Blu-ray owners, HD DVD didn't have a single week at the top after the launch of the PS3. The only week where there was a chance was the week Transformers was released on HD DVD only. If I recall correctly, Transformers had more copies sold than any other HD DVD or Blu-ray title at the time, but it was still greatly outsold by the massive 2 for 1 sale that pretty much every Blu-ray-only studio "coincidentally" put on that week.

As for who dropped HD DVD first... it was Warner. At launch, Universal was the only studio exclusive to HD DVD. Warner and Paramount were releasing on both formats, but both seemed to favour HD DVD as there were a number of HD DVD exclusives released by both studios. Sony, Disney, Fox, and Lion's Gate were all Blu-ray exclusive from the get-go.

While Warner used identical video encodes for both formats, Paramount was doing two separate encodes for every release, trying to utilize each format to the best of their abilities. There were a ton of debates on which was "superior," and being on the side of HD DVD, my memory tells me the HD DVD encodes by Paramount were better (but really, they were practically identical).

Then, out of nowhere, Paramount announced that they were dropping Blu-ray. Not only that, but the titles they were planning to release as early as the following Tuesday were all being pulled from retailers. Some fans managed to snag copies of Blades of Glory on Blu-ray. Unfortunately, it was pretty clear that the HD DVD group paid Paramount a hefty sum for the exclusivity. Lots of bad press.

HD DVD players became a hot item on Black Friday in 2007 and on Boxing Day in Canada. While I convinced both of my brothers to buy the $99 HD-A3, I even knew a few people who went that route as well. We all figured that, with Microsoft's support, things could only get better for the format.

Toshiba and Microsoft supposedly had a big AWESOME event for the big electronics show in January 2008 (CES, if memory serves). This is when most people expected Warner to announce that they, too, were dropping Blu-ray. The day before that announcement, Warner came out and said they were dropping HD DVD and going Blu-ray exclusive, citing sales and future growth as the reason (no one REALLY wanted a format war). Based on the fact that they had done a number of exclusives for HD DVD, it was quite a shock. Then retailers like Wal-mart said they were doing the same. Toshiba and MS cancelled their big CES event. Then, days later, Toshiba announced that they were dropping HD DVD. Since Toshiba was the only real manufacturer of standalone players (there was an LG model that was dual-format, but wouldn't play some HD DVD menus...), that was the true end. Paramount and Universal started releasing on Blu-ray within months.

To Warner's credit, they DID offer the HD2Blu program where you could send them your HD DVD covers (as proof of purchase) and they'd send you the equivalent Blu-ray for only $5. Paramount and Universal never bothered to throw HD DVD buyers a bone like that.

But back on topic ;) ... the dust has settled... Toshiba has Blu-ray players... and MS will support Blu-ray in the next XBOX. They'd be dumb not to.

al_bundy
12-07-11, 08:03 AM
and i hope the next x-box will also play 360 games. i'll dump my PS3 and 360 and get the new one on launch day before resale values really start to plummet

msdmoney
12-07-11, 03:19 PM
My problems with download-only are:
- highly unlikely that pricing would be any better. It's hard to justify $60 for a NEW game, let alone a new downloadable-only game.

I think you are right, we won't immediately see the benefits, if ever, of cheaper distribution costs. They will keep the pricing the same as retail while the transition occurs, so at the end the starting price will still remain the standard. MP3 albums are cheaper than CD's were though (retail not sale pricing), but the music industry was also competing against free piracy pricing as well to a greater extent..

A couple of thoughts.

1. Digital download only isn't going to happen for a very long time. The trend in ISP's is bandwith limits. How would you like to hit your limit with one retail download game. Not to mention all the people who live in the hills and can't even download patches for Skyrim and whatnot. The majority of the console game buying public doesn't buy digital games on the console.

2. Those who like getting games for cheap better pray every day that phsyical games don't go away. Digital only = expensive for a lot longer than physical disks + no possibility of selling when you are done w/ a game.

I agree with #1, I don't think the console market is 100% ready for download only games, although I don't they will make it an all or nothing thing. They will just focus much more heavily on downloadable games than they did last generation, and the transition will happen naturally. PC publishers didn't just abandon retail for downloadable games, but the transition is happening anyways.

2. Download only isn't the problem with pricing. If your perspective is only console downloadable titles then you might get that impression, but that's a very narrow view of downloadable pricing. The problem with downloadable pricing on consoles is that you are dealing with a closed platform where pricing is dictated by a very rigid platform holder. Once you've chosen a platform your access to downloadable titles is restricted to the platform holder, and MS and Sony (more Microsoft) have shown themselves to be very rigid on pricing models. And I think downloadable titles are still an afterthought this generation, they don't focus pricing and marketing on downloadable titles. The PC, an open platform, doesn't have this pricing problem, have you seen the sales from Steam, D2D, greenmangaming, Amazon, Impulse, Gamersgate, GOG, etc.? Downloadable only does not necessarily mean more expensive. Even on a closed platform like the iphone, where the platform holder doesn't exert such rigid pricing on the games, you see much better pricing for downloadable content.

orangecrush
12-07-11, 04:00 PM
2. Download only isn't the problem with pricing. If your perspective is only console downloadable titles then you might get that impression, but that's a very narrow view of downloadable pricing. The problem with downloadable pricing on consoles is that you are dealing with a closed platform where pricing is dictated by a very rigid platform holder. Once you've chosen a platform your access to downloadable titles is restricted to the platform holder, and MS and Sony (more Microsoft) have shown themselves to be very rigid on pricing models. And I think downloadable titles are still an afterthought this generation, they don't focus pricing and marketing on downloadable titles. The PC, an open platform, doesn't have this pricing problem, have you seen the sales from Steam, D2D, greenmangaming, Amazon, Impulse, Gamersgate, GOG, etc.? Downloadable only does not necessarily mean more expensive. Even on a closed platform like the iphone, where the platform holder doesn't exert such rigid pricing on the games, you see much better pricing for downloadable content.I was defintaly only thinking of consoles. Digital distribution on PC and (to a lesser extent) Mac is friendly to the CAGs amoung us because there are so many different places to get games. There is only one place to get digital games on Xbox and PS3 (generally speaking). Your only hope for cheap games is sale on point cards + sale on store. You don't see the crazy steam-like sales on Xbox (some titles on PS3 go for super cheap more recently).

davidh777
12-08-11, 12:31 AM
tl;dr version: Paramount dropped Blu-ray. Warner dropped HD DVD. Retailers followed Warner. Then Toshiba/MS gave up.

I was following the 'war' closely at the time. I only remember it as a consumer, as I had no insider knowledge or anything like that.

From what I recall... people (myself included) argued that HD DVD owners were buying more titles per person, but since they were immensely overshadowed by the sheer number of Blu-ray owners, HD DVD didn't have a single week at the top after the launch of the PS3. The only week where there was a chance was the week Transformers was released on HD DVD only. If I recall correctly, Transformers had more copies sold than any other HD DVD or Blu-ray title at the time, but it was still greatly outsold by the massive 2 for 1 sale that pretty much every Blu-ray-only studio "coincidentally" put on that week.

As for who dropped HD DVD first... it was Warner. At launch, Universal was the only studio exclusive to HD DVD. Warner and Paramount were releasing on both formats, but both seemed to favour HD DVD as there were a number of HD DVD exclusives released by both studios. Sony, Disney, Fox, and Lion's Gate were all Blu-ray exclusive from the get-go.

While Warner used identical video encodes for both formats, Paramount was doing two separate encodes for every release, trying to utilize each format to the best of their abilities. There were a ton of debates on which was "superior," and being on the side of HD DVD, my memory tells me the HD DVD encodes by Paramount were better (but really, they were practically identical).

Then, out of nowhere, Paramount announced that they were dropping Blu-ray. Not only that, but the titles they were planning to release as early as the following Tuesday were all being pulled from retailers. Some fans managed to snag copies of Blades of Glory on Blu-ray. Unfortunately, it was pretty clear that the HD DVD group paid Paramount a hefty sum for the exclusivity. Lots of bad press.

HD DVD players became a hot item on Black Friday in 2007 and on Boxing Day in Canada. While I convinced both of my brothers to buy the $99 HD-A3, I even knew a few people who went that route as well. We all figured that, with Microsoft's support, things could only get better for the format.

Toshiba and Microsoft supposedly had a big AWESOME event for the big electronics show in January 2008 (CES, if memory serves). This is when most people expected Warner to announce that they, too, were dropping Blu-ray. The day before that announcement, Warner came out and said they were dropping HD DVD and going Blu-ray exclusive, citing sales and future growth as the reason (no one REALLY wanted a format war). Based on the fact that they had done a number of exclusives for HD DVD, it was quite a shock. Then retailers like Wal-mart said they were doing the same. Toshiba and MS cancelled their big CES event. Then, days later, Toshiba announced that they were dropping HD DVD. Since Toshiba was the only real manufacturer of standalone players (there was an LG model that was dual-format, but wouldn't play some HD DVD menus...), that was the true end. Paramount and Universal started releasing on Blu-ray within months.

To Warner's credit, they DID offer the HD2Blu program where you could send them your HD DVD covers (as proof of purchase) and they'd send you the equivalent Blu-ray for only $5. Paramount and Universal never bothered to throw HD DVD buyers a bone like that.

But back on topic ;) ... the dust has settled... Toshiba has Blu-ray players... and MS will support Blu-ray in the next XBOX. They'd be dumb not to.

Nice recap. It jibes with what I remember. I really miss those aggressive format-war sales. :) And Warner had stuff like Batman Begins and V for Vendetta on HD DVD and I was leaning that way too, even though I'd bought in to both formats with a PS3 and 360 HD DVD add-on. Amazon gave me some kind of credit for having bought my HD DVD add-on, though. :up:

I also remember Amazon having some kind of deal to buy high-def hardware then get some kind of discount on software for a year.

PopcornTreeCt
12-08-11, 02:07 AM
I hope there's a better format than Blu-ray. Sony hasn't done jack with the PS3.

19K
12-08-11, 06:07 AM
I hope there's a better format than Blu-ray. Sony hasn't done jack with the PS3.

What do you mean Sony hasn't done jack? PS3 gets firmware updates constantly to keep up with the latest technology and support ANYTHING blu-ray has to offer, 3D, etc.. There hasn't been single game that has come out that has required more than a just one disc. Blu-rays are extremely scratch resistant (actually I've NEVER seen a scratch on one) so even used games are like new. Like others have said, Microsoft would be stupid not to use blu-ray. They already fucked up once with the HD-DVD. If they try to create a whole new format they're just asking for it.

Michael Corvin
12-08-11, 07:25 AM
I think he meant in regards to maximizing Blu-ray's capabilities. It's hampered by a 2x drive(requiring installs) and since the 360 dominated for so long, that tends to be the lead platform for non-exclusives so graphically & performance-wise there is no benefit to BD.

19K
12-08-11, 10:19 AM
I don't understand the big deal about installs? It's a one time thing when you first put the disc in and usually pretty minimal. Besides, when patches come out, don't you NEED some kind of game file on the hard drive?

Raul3
12-08-11, 02:24 PM
In the PS3 not all games can be installed to hard drive. Read speeds are slower when compared to the DVD drive in the Xbox 360. So some games have suffered performance issues in the PS3. I don't remember any game right now, but I'm sure a google search should show some titles.

glassdragon
12-08-11, 03:01 PM
In the PS3 not all games can be installed to hard drive. Read speeds are slower when compared to the DVD drive in the Xbox 360. So some games have suffered performance issues in the PS3. I don't remember any game right now, but I'm sure a google search should show some titles.

Bayonetta was so bad that they had to add an install option in a patch.

I mean, when you hit start to go to your menu, it took a good 3 or 4 minutes for your menu to open.

orangecrush
12-08-11, 03:46 PM
Now that I think about it, as long as there is the option to install your game to the HDD, I don't care if the games are 15 DVDs or 3 blu-rays.

PopcornTreeCt
12-08-11, 03:55 PM
What do you mean Sony hasn't done jack? PS3 gets firmware updates constantly to keep up with the latest technology and support ANYTHING blu-ray has to offer, 3D, etc.. There hasn't been single game that has come out that has required more than a just one disc. Blu-rays are extremely scratch resistant (actually I've NEVER seen a scratch on one) so even used games are like new. Like others have said, Microsoft would be stupid not to use blu-ray. They already fucked up once with the HD-DVD. If they try to create a whole new format they're just asking for it.

Blu-rays are clearly better in A/V than DVD yet not so much with video games. I don't know how much graphics has to do with Blu-ray vs. DVD but it should look at least a little better and not the same or worse in some cases.

I like the PS3, watch a ton of movies, stream music, but gaming? Where are the next gen graphics? The next gen processing?

al_bundy
12-09-11, 09:53 AM
x-box has sold too many consoles this generation and better game sales per console. i bet too many people are like me who bought a PS3 just for the blu-ray/netflix capability. although my son loves the rub a dub dub demo

most games are designed with the x-box in mind which is why the graphics are usually about the same

Tracer Bullet
12-09-11, 10:07 AM
Is anyone really unhappy with graphics anymore? I think we're at the point of diminishing returns. I'd rather see a focus on art direction.

fumanstan
12-09-11, 10:15 AM
Blu-rays are clearly better in A/V than DVD yet not so much with video games. I don't know how much graphics has to do with Blu-ray vs. DVD but it should look at least a little better and not the same or worse in some cases.

I like the PS3, watch a ton of movies, stream music, but gaming? Where are the next gen graphics? The next gen processing?

The PS3 looks considerably better then the PS2. There's your next gen graphics.

RocShemp
12-09-11, 10:25 AM
Is anyone really unhappy with graphics anymore? I think we're at the point of diminishing returns. I'd rather see a focus on art direction.

PC tends to blow consoles away (assuming the game was built from the ground up for PC rather than just a straight port from console). So there's still room for improvement.

Tracer Bullet
12-09-11, 10:44 AM
PC tends to blow consoles away (assuming the game was built from the ground up for PC rather than just a straight port from console). So there's still room for improvement.

Yeah, but my point is, does it matter? Do games need to be photorealistic? Is that even a worthy goal?

The most interesting and creative games tend to come at the end of a console's life-cycle... I think gaming would be better served if we got off this treadmill.

Skyrim looks amazing and it's on a 6-year-old console.

al_bundy
12-09-11, 10:51 AM
PC tends to blow consoles away (assuming the game was built from the ground up for PC rather than just a straight port from console). So there's still room for improvement.

PC's have this problem of needing expensive graphics cards and the games install annoying DRM software on your computers. and the input is still mouse and keyboard

Nintendo pioneered new input methods to move games away from the usual walk in a line, kill someone, repeat

Dan
12-09-11, 11:08 AM
PC's have this problem of needing expensive graphics cards
Which is why I moved away from PC gaming. I bought a new video card just so I could play Doom 3 when it came out. Never again. I'll buy the odd game on Steam, on sale, but that's it. Usually just the Valve and independent stuff.

and the games install annoying DRM software on your computers.
DRM can be good (Steam) or bad (everything else).

and the input is still mouse and keyboard
For some games (Starcraft? C&C?), M&K is a must. But, you can plug a wired XBOX 360 controller into any PC and it works well on most other games, from what I recall.

Still, I'll continue to buy consoles, and I'll only use my PC for "light" gaming.

PopcornTreeCt
12-09-11, 12:56 PM
Yeah, but my point is, does it matter? Do games need to be photorealistic? Is that even a worthy goal?

The most interesting and creative games tend to come at the end of a console's life-cycle... I think gaming would be better served if we got off this treadmill.

Skyrim looks amazing and it's on a 6-year-old console.

What's the alternative?

Michael Corvin
12-09-11, 01:05 PM
Exactly. It doesn't matter... until they show us the alternative. Then you see that 6 year old console for what it really is.

Tracer Bullet
12-09-11, 01:15 PM
Exactly. It doesn't matter... until they show us the alternative. Then you see that 6 year old console for what it really is.

What's the alternative?

Easy. Look at a PC game. Sure if you're really into graphics you'll care about the differences, but I think consoles are at a level of graphical fidelity where the use case for more powerful hardware is seriously lacking.

foxdvd
12-09-11, 01:21 PM
I hear they are thinking about this as a solution....


http://www.instructables.com/image/FYNK5ZRPR5ERIE2PSN/Floppy-Disk-Bag.jpg

PopcornTreeCt
12-09-11, 02:47 PM
Easy. Look at a PC game. Sure if you're really into graphics you'll care about the differences, but I think consoles are at a level of graphical fidelity where the use case for more powerful hardware is seriously lacking.

Eh, I disagree. We could always use better graphics and not just with better scaling resolution but in better processing. I saw some video on youtube some company did about graphics, looked quite impressive. We're just not there yet.

I also don't think that because the 360 has been around so long that something couldn't come along and blow it away. I just have a hard time believing it will be Blu-ray.

Tracer Bullet
12-09-11, 02:55 PM
Eh, I disagree. We could always use better graphics and not just with better scaling resolution but in better processing. I saw some video on youtube some company did about graphics, looked quite impressive. We're just not there yet.

Perhaps. We'll find out in a few years.

I think it's a matter of we're going from the equivalent of VHS to DVD or DVD to HD to, say, 720p to 1080p. Sure it's better, but most people don't care (or they can't tell the difference.)

I think that art direction is going to play a much greater role in the future of videogames than raw processing power.

fumanstan
12-09-11, 06:28 PM
PC's have this problem of needing expensive graphics cards and the games install annoying DRM software on your computers. and the input is still mouse and keyboard

Nintendo pioneered new input methods to move games away from the usual walk in a line, kill someone, repeat

The xbox controller works great in Windows. And the mouse and keyboard is still considerably better then a gamepad for FPS games, in my opinion.

Matthew Chmiel
12-10-11, 01:07 AM
Yeah, but my point is, does it matter? Do games need to be photorealistic? Is that even a worthy goal?
That's not the point. To break it down, in an ideal world, you want the frames per second to match the hertz of your television and the resolution of the game to match the resolution of your television. If I have a 60 Hz HDTV, the ideal is for the game to run at 60 FPS. If I have a 1920 x 1080 television, I want the game to have that same resolution.

To use an example, I'll use Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

On both the 360 and PS3, Battlefield 3 runs in a native resolution of 1280 x 720 at 30 fps. If you have a television that maxes out at 720p, you're in business as the resolution is top notch. However, anything higher? The PS3 doesn't upscale to 1080p whereas the XBOX 360 does. However, if you're playing the game on a PC? The sky's the limit for Battlefield 3 based upon your system.

Call of Duty: Black Ops on the PS3 had a native resolution to 950 x 544 at 40 fps. In a rarity, the PS3 edition of the game was able to upscale it to 1080p. If you had a 360, you got a better version of the game as it was running at 1040 x 608 with 60 fps. Again, like most games, the XBOX 360 upscales it to 1080p if your display can handle it. However, if you're playing the game on a PC? The sky's the limit.

I don't know the exact resolution of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, however the game runs at 60 fps on both the PS3 and XBOX 360. However, if you're playing the game on a PC? The sky's the limit.

The games will always be limited by the hardware. On my iMac, I'm able to run Team Fortress 2 at 2560 x 1440 at a consistent 120 fps with very little drops. Did I mention the game also has all the video settings maxed out? However, if I limit the frames per second to 60, I would never know the difference as my iMac is only 60 Hz.

If the next-gen consoles can match what a computer can do now, we will be in quite a treat for the next games we'll be able to see.

Tracer Bullet
12-10-11, 09:00 AM
That's not the point. To break it down, in an ideal world, you want the frames per second to match the hertz of your television and the resolution of the game to match the resolution of your television. If I have a 60 Hz HDTV, the ideal is for the game to run at 60 FPS. If I have a 1920 x 1080 television, I want the game to have that same resolution.

To use an example, I'll use Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

On both the 360 and PS3, Battlefield 3 runs in a native resolution of 1280 x 720 at 30 fps. If you have a television that maxes out at 720p, you're in business as the resolution is top notch. However, anything higher? The PS3 doesn't upscale to 1080p whereas the XBOX 360 does. However, if you're playing the game on a PC? The sky's the limit for Battlefield 3 based upon your system.

Call of Duty: Black Ops on the PS3 had a native resolution to 950 x 544 at 40 fps. In a rarity, the PS3 edition of the game was able to upscale it to 1080p. If you had a 360, you got a better version of the game as it was running at 1040 x 608 with 60 fps. Again, like most games, the XBOX 360 upscales it to 1080p if your display can handle it. However, if you're playing the game on a PC? The sky's the limit.

I don't know the exact resolution of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, however the game runs at 60 fps on both the PS3 and XBOX 360. However, if you're playing the game on a PC? The sky's the limit.

The games will always be limited by the hardware. On my iMac, I'm able to run Team Fortress 2 at 2560 x 1440 at a consistent 120 fps with very little drops. Did I mention the game also has all the video settings maxed out? However, if I limit the frames per second to 60, I would never know the difference as my iMac is only 60 Hz.

If the next-gen consoles can match what a computer can do now, we will be in quite a treat for the next games we'll be able to see.

But again, you're talking about things that most people don't notice and won't care about.

Drexl
01-26-12, 11:31 AM
There's a new article about the Xbox 360's successor, suggesting they may choose Blu-ray. Also of note, no more used games?

With the Consumer Electronics Show now in the rear-view mirror, it's time to start looking forward to other tech conventions like the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which will kick off this summer. It's possible Microsoft will announce its next generation game console at E3, and in the process dispel or confirm the many rumors surrounding the Xbox 720.

Forbes rounded up some of the more interesting ones as of late, including one originating from IGN in which it's being reported the Xbox 720 will be six times more powerful than the 360 and is slated to ship in October or early November of next year.

"Our sources have confirmed that mass production of the system's GPU will indeed begin by the end of 2012 but will not, however, be based on AMD's 7000 series Southern Islands GPU," IGN says. "Instead, the processor will be derived from the 6000 series, which was introduced last year. More specifically, it will be akin to the Radeon HD 6670, which offers support for DirectX11, multi-display output, 3D and 1080p HD output."

That's certainly within the realm of possibility, and technically, so is another rumor that Microsoft will finally implement a Blu-ray drive into its game console with the 720.

"Microsoft will upgrade its disc technology for its next Xbox from DVDs to Blu-Ray discs, catching up to rival Sony, games industry sources tell Kotaku, Kotaku reports.

What makes the Blu-ray rumor so hard to believe is the number of times we've heard similar chatter of Microsoft releasing a Blu-ray version of the Xbox 360, only to be strongly refuted by the Redmond software and hardware giant.

Kotaku also claims to have "heard from one reliable industry source that Microsoft intends to incorporate some sort of anti-used game system." It's unclear how it would be implemented, and while it sounds ridiculous, would anyone really be surprised if a console maker tried to pull off a stunt like this?

Microsoft, of course, is keeping mum about its next generation console.

"As an innovator we're always thinking about what is next and how we can push the boundaries of technology like we did with Kinect," Microsoft said in canned statement to Kotaku. "We believe the key to extending the lifespan of a console is not just about the console hardware, but about the games and entertainment experiences being delivered to consumers. Beyond that we don't comment on rumors or speculation."

What are your predictions and/or wishlist for the Xbox 720?

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/xbox_720_rumors_range_unlikely_blu-ray_unreasonable_anti-used_games_mechanism

I don't see why it would be surprising to have BD. They're going to need more space, and consoles aren't ready for digital distribution only, so they don't have much of a choice. So what if they haven't released a 360 with BD? If they did, it would only be for movies because they're not going to bother with game releases on separate formats.

I wonder what kind of anti-used game mechanism it would be. Online activation? Discs with a writable portion?

fujishig
01-26-12, 12:02 PM
I'd think the anti-used game thing would have to be online activation or some kind of registration, but that would really screw people who still don't have internet. I can't see them putting extra hardware for a disc write mechanism, or putting little memory cards in with every game sold, but who knows?

If they're going to go Blu anyway, why didn't they just release a Blu-ray add-on for the 360?

edstein
01-26-12, 12:05 PM
I stil think MS will stick to their current digital distribution ecosystem on the nexbox. I wouldn't be surprised if they ditched the optical drive all together. I may be proved wrong later but I don't see MS putting in a BD drive.

big e
01-26-12, 12:07 PM
I recall reading a article a few years ago about a disk technology that had a memory chip implanted in the disc. I believe the way the disc works was something inside the drive had to activate the chip, then the chip allowed the disk to be read. I don't know what ever became of that tech; I assume it's dead since I don't recall hearing anymore about it. Maybe Microsoft is planning to do something similar here?

fumanstan
01-26-12, 12:17 PM
I stil think MS will stick to their current digital distribution ecosystem on the nexbox. I wouldn't be surprised if they ditched the optical drive all together. I may be proved wrong later but I don't see MS putting in a BD drive.

I would be. It's already a pain in the ass to download 10+ GB games off of Steam.

starman9000
01-26-12, 12:20 PM
Yeah, it's one thing to require internet connection to function, but to require high speed would likely hurt their market share.

Drexl
01-26-12, 12:22 PM
If they're going to go Blu anyway, why didn't they just release a Blu-ray add-on for the 360?

Because it would only be for playing movies. With the next system, they may need it for storage.

I would be shocked if they left out an optical drive. Console games just aren't ready for digital distribution only. We haven't even reached the phase that music and PC games have reached, which is the point where almost everything (new) is available either digitally or on a physical format. Apparently that's where the PS Vita will be when it launches, but it hasn't happened with home consoles yet.

If they do have some kind of activation, I hope that a nice side effect would be the ability to transfer the entire game to the hard drive and not need the disc. If they can register a particular disc to an account, they should be able to do this.

Dan
01-26-12, 12:23 PM
Yeah, it's one thing to require internet connection to function, but to require high speed would likely destroy their market share.

fixed.

Groucho
01-26-12, 12:47 PM
One idea is an writable RFID chip that goes into the disc (similar to the technology used for Skylanders). I put that into my console, and it associates that disc with my machine (and with my Live ID if I'm logged in...similar to to how XBLA games work).

fujishig
01-26-12, 02:07 PM
One idea is an writable RFID chip that goes into the disc (similar to the technology used for Skylanders). I put that into my console, and it associates that disc with my machine (and with my Live ID if I'm logged in...similar to to how XBLA games work).

And then when your Xbox 720 RRODs, what do you do? Buy the game again? :)

fumanstan
01-26-12, 05:18 PM
Digital content transfer of licenses.

PopcornTreeCt
01-26-12, 09:51 PM
I don't know how I feel about killing the used game market. I've enjoyed pawning off my games to Amazon or traders and recouping most of my money, on the other hand, I would love to see Gamestop go the way of Circuit City.

Groucho
01-26-12, 11:07 PM
Digital content transfer of licenses.Yep. It could work just like XBLA games do today.