Turns out the new Xbox will not have a disc drive. This means no more renting games. No more lending games to your friends. No more borrowing games from your friends. No more buying used games. No returning a crappy game within 30 days of purchase.
Of course, none of this is confirmed by Microsoft. But they did chime in with the following.
“Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle like introducing the world to controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention. Beyond that we do not comment on rumors or speculation.”
Add that statement to a 2013 launch date for the new system and I’m willing to bet there’s a whole lot of truth to this report. Launch the drive-less XBOX 720 in 2013 while the XBOX 360 is still going strong. If a bunch of idiots buy the system then it’s a win-win for Micro$haft. If the gaming community isn’t as stupid as I think it is then it’s just venture capital lost and they still have the XBOX 360 keeping them in the game. Make no mistake, they are going to test the waters here.
Digital distribution as a medium is not a bad thing, digital distribution as THE ONLY medium is. When the consumer is presented with fewer choices, the consumer inevitably loses.
One could argue that digital distribution may drive down the price of games. But if that is the case, why hasn’t it already? SpiderBite of NGT just paid $60 for the digital download of Mass Effect 3. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that what you would pay for a physical copy?
I honestly don’t think game developers are thinking this through. Forcing me to buy digital copy and restricting what I can do with it is not going to make me buy more games, it’s going to make me buy less. We all can’t pull in 6 figure salaries like the top programmers and game designers do. Even crappy game developers and coders make a decent living. Hell, lets face it, if you’re in tech these days you’re not doing too shabby compared to the rest of us. I’m not envious, I’m glad these guys are doing well. I just want to illustrate that my reality and the reality of people that make money off my reality are obviously disparate realities.
My gaming budget is limited. Every game purchase I make has to be well thought out because it has to keep me entertained for 6 months or more in order for me to justify the expense. For example, I bought GTA IV and was not impressed. Guess which sequel I won’t be buying. I bought Fable II, HATED IT, and so Fable III has never touched my Xbox.
On the flip side of this, I bought Bioshock 2 used for $10. LOVED IT. Bought Bioshock on sale for under $20 brand new (it’s still sitting in its shrink wrap because I had rented a copy and played through it already.) Therefore Bioshock Infinite is a planned gaming purchase for me. A friend lent me Skyrim and I gave it back to him after playing for a couple of weeks because as soon as the GOTY edition goes on sale I will be purchasing it.
Considering my experiences with MW2 and Black Ops the only way I would even consider purchasing a game from Activision and Treyarch in the future is if I was able to rent or borrow the game and play it in its entirety. A few levels of a demo will not be enough to restore my faith in these 2 companies.
All this makes me wonder if the industry truly understands its customer base. Exactly who are they planning on selling all this digital download to? What percentage of the population has an internet connection fast enough? Do these guys still think that the middle class segment of society that propped up the industry in the 90′s and early 2000′s still exists? The working class jobs that their parents worked have all been shipped overseas for pennies on the dollar. The working middle class, those that truly drive an economy with their mass purchasing power, are now one paycheck from poverty and homelessness in some cases, two or three paychecks in all others.
And here’s the other conundrum a digital distribution only model presents. All these people at GameStop that will loose their jobs because of this, aren’t they gamers? Don’t gamers need money to buy games? Don’t you need a job in order to have money? And the purchasing power does not stop with the employees at GameStop, there’s the disc manufacturers, the truck drivers, etc. That’s a whole lot of people who can no longer purchase games for themselves or their children because they don’t have a job or have to make do with less. There is no such thing as trickle down economics. The economy trickles around, not down.
‘It’s only business‘ is the battle-cry of the unscrupulous.
THE TRUE MOTIVE BEHIND DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION
The ultimate goal of this digital distribution ONLY revolution will be to get you to pay for the game each and every time you play it. Square Enix is charging people more money on top of the $60 they already paid for the ending to their latest Final Fantasy game. It won’t be too long before you have to pay for your virtual bullets in CoD. I won’t even talk about what your ISP is going to start charging you once you start eating up all their precious bandwidth. If you think digital distribution will save you money as a consumer you’re either mind numbingly stupid or willfully ignorant.
The gaming industry is doing very well. This is about greed and control. This is about squeezing the customer dry. This is about taking more of your money for less in return. I’ve supported the gaming industry with my hard earned dollars since I was 12. I’m jaded of the effete crony-capitalist fervor that pervades our society today and I have been making a conscious effort to not support companies that have no conscious. ‘It’s only business‘ is the battle-cry of the unscrupulous. In my lifetime, I’ve been homeless and beaten, I’ve quit cigarettes and drugs; quitting my gaming addiction would be child’s play. Pun intended.
If this is the route the industry wants to take you can count me out. Even if things turn around for me and my gaming budget improves, you can count me out. Good luck with this gamers, you’re on your own and at their mercy. If you buy into this you deserve everything you get.
“The corporation is a true Frankenstein’s monster, an artificial person run amok, responsible only to its own soulless self.” ~ William Dugger
AFTERTHOUGHT: I remember when I was a kid and the folks weren’t doing so well, I didn’t get toys for Christmas, I got books. Come to think of it, maybe the gaming industry should continue to squeeze the life out of the consumer. If I ever get a novel finished this could only help me.
It appears that Square Enix is charging people for the ending to the new Final Fantasy. This guy is really pissed about it. I’m not too pleased either, well… to be honest, I couldn’t give a rats arse about FF13. I’m not all that into it.
Herein lies the problems of digital distribution not just in gaming but across various mediums. Today they charge you for the ending of a game, tomorrow they’ll be charging you for the bullets in Modern Warfare 3.
People RAVE about the convenience of Netflix and swear this is the future of movies. These people are idiots. Don’t get me wrong, Netflix is good for what it is. But if you’ve invested any amount of money into a home entertainment system Netflix is not delivering you the High-Definition goods.
And NO, Netflix will not be able to deliver you true High-Def content in the near future either. That would take a complete overhaul of the internet backbone in this country and corporations are far too preoccupied with giving CEOs exuberant salaries and paying out to the ‘most valued’ stockholders to actually re-invest any decent amount of money into the infrastructure. Normally the government would do it and corporations would profit from it but because we’ve already spent lots of tax money propping up these corporate titans our government is flat broke (while corporations are stinking rich, funny how that works.)
Ridley Scott was trying to explain this simple premise on Huffington Post. Scott was saying if you really want to see a film the way a filmmaker intended then the theater should be your first choice, but if you can’t get to the theater then Blu-ray is the way to go because;
It allows us to present in a person’s living room films in their original form with proper colors, aspect ratio, sound quality, and, perhaps most importantly, startling clarity.
Anything worth watching on Netflix I probably own. The quality of the picture streamed by Netflix is pathetic compared to even my oldest DVD titles. Netflix’s streamed Uncle Buck has nothing on my 1998 DVD release of Uncle Buck, a DVD that was released well before they started to digitally clean the movies up. And Blu-ray blows Netflix out of the stratosphere. This was all Ridley Scott was succinctly saying. And the following is what he was met with in the comments;
Once again an artist that defend an old media and a stupid system just because he is in the hands of bussinesmen that is so afraid loosing money that they actually fox it all up and loosing even more… They should try learn the same hard lesson that the music industry…
Blu-ray is old media? This guy obviously does not understand technology (especially the lossy MPEG format) but worse, he completely fails to acknowledge the fact that the music industry now forces him to pay for a song each and every time he wants to transfer it to a new device. I have Dark Side of the Moon on my computer, my laptop and my iPod and I only paid $11 for the CD. How much would it cost to do that through iTunes? Yeah pal, not only did the music industry learn that ‘hard’ lesson, they turned around and shafted you with it.
My old 1980′s TV got a pretty good picture and sound, and my old VHS-Movies still got good quality, sometimes i feel that my VHS can give me a better filmexperience than a DVD. Movie Magic doesn’t need the latest technology, it need love
How much you want to bet the clock on this guy’s VCR is still blinking?
Sorry, old man, disks (including BluRay) are dead. ISPs need to improve bandwidth quickly so high quality streaming alternatives can maintain a high-quality viewing experience.
Really dude? ‘ISPs need to improve bandwidth quickly?‘ I’m sure the executives will get right on that after reading your asinine post. And it’s f—ing idiot fan boys like this moron that really piss me off. I remember the 90′s, when fast internet connections started to proliferate. ISPs clung to their bandwidth like conservatives cling to Fox talking points. When it looked like the gaming revolution would eat up a lot of their precious bandwidth they discussed ways to block games from accessing their networks. They still cling to their bandwidth like Donald Trump’s balding, empty head does to his toupee; for dear life. A single Hi-Def movie is roughly 3.5 GB in data. Multiply that by Netflix’s customer base and that’s roughly 84,000,000 GB of data. Your ISP currently freaks out when you use more than 2 GB of data. You do the math.
Right now you pay Netflix a flat monthly fee. Eventually, when you have no other alternative, you’ll be paying Netflix each and every time you want to watch a movie. I can’t imagine them charging every time I wanted to watch Blade Runner… Let’s say they charge $1.99 a pop I would owe them well over $500.
Recently one of my favorite gaming commentators, TWTHEREDDRAGON, annoyed me with his review of Alan Wake American Nightmare. He talks about digital distribution and how a company no longer has to hire people to make the disk ‘and so they are going to eliminate a lot of jobs and save the a lot of money.’ He says this nonchalant.
Let me explain a trickle around effect that conservatives are either mind-numbingly blind to or just blissfully ignorant of. If people no work, they no make money. If people no make money, they no can spend money. Do I really need to explain to you what drives the “free” market? Sure, get rid of that guy making your disks. Now Mr. and Mrs. Corner Store where that guy lives are making less money and consequently little Johnny Corner Store, along with little Freddy Diskmaker, have less money to spend on their favorite hobby, gaming. I won’t even go into how much more expensive a hard drive for a gaming console is over one for a computer. And when these companies save themselves money in this way do they pass those savings on to you? Do they go and spend money at the corner store? F– no. They give themselves exuberant raises and buy a Lamborghini.
Back in the glory days of Sega Genesis and NES, console games had to be released in working condition. Then they connected the consoles to the internet and now people are paying $60 for unfinished and in some cases completely broken games. It took them over a year to release a patch for New Vegas, and they only did that because they wanted to sell the new DLC.
So, in light of Square Enix’s recent decision to charge people for the ending to their game, is it so hard to believe that future iterations of Call of Duty and Battlefield will start charging you for virtual bullets? Or that Netflix plans to one day charge you each and every time you watch your favorite movie? Right now, Steam’s pricing is far more reasonable than a brick-n-mortar store. Do you honestly expect it to remain reasonable when you have no other choice but to buy your games from them?
Yeah, you digital distribution fan boys can keep praising this so called ‘future of entertainment,’ while your Gods laugh all the way to the bank with your retirement money. Putting all your eggs in the digital distribution basket is foolish, and you know what they say about a fool and his money.
And, for the sake of clarity, I’m okay with digital distribution as a medium. What I’m not okay with is digital distribution as THE ONLY medium. When the consumer is presented with fewer choices, the consumer inevitably loses.