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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    How would next gen console going download only affect the PC?

    So lets say the next generation of consoles was released with no kind of disc drive. Instead everything is sold via the console download market.

    What kind of effect would that have on the PC?
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  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    I doubt it'd have any notable effect on the PC; it's not like their markets/stores would be any more shared than they are now. The only thing I can think of is that it might highlight some of the issues in digital distribution now that such a significant size of the gaming market would be using digital stores, provided one of the digital console stores would really screw things up in some manner.

    On the other hand, retail game stores would be so screwed.
    Last edited by Flint; 12-12-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    It wouldn't have any more of an effect on the PC as it would on itself by screwing over retail outlets. In fact if the next gen of console systems went download only and PC didn't and kept producing discs (for some mad reason), it might boost the PC gaming user base as PC games would be on the shelf.

    They'd be shooting themselves in the foot by assuming everyone with a console has the ability to download or even stream games.

  4. #4
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    It won't and it already will. As much as game companies like to bitch about gamestop, they play a valuable role by recommending, showing, and subsidizing (albeit weakly) games. Then there's the problem of internet access in the US, which is not close to universal. Finally, the console makers don't seem to understand the importance of software sales and lowering software prices, especially since I believe the rights to publish a game on the console is a flat fee per title rather than a percentage. Think about how well the PSP Go went over. Consoles will probably try to gradually phase into a digital only future, so they can bring most of their buyers with them.

    On the other hand, the steam box will almost assuredly be digital only and who knows what that'll do to the market? It'll certainly make Linux look more interesting.

  5. #5
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    If console games went downloadable only wouldn't that make them much easier to crack and get a hold of pirate copies? And wouldn't that take consoles another step closer to being more akin to proper PC's, and thus even easier to emulate?

    Either way, downloadable only console games should make them cheaper and more popular but on the other hand if people feel they have to buy hardware and download games they might as well just opt for a PC and get games for cheap off of Steam, especially now that Steam has that Big Picture mode which makes PC gaming much more TV friendly.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheXand View Post
    If console games went downloadable only wouldn't that make them much easier to crack and get a hold of pirate copies? And wouldn't that take consoles another step closer to being more akin to proper PC's, and thus even easier to emulate?

    Either way, downloadable only console games should make them cheaper and more popular but on the other hand if people feel they have to buy hardware and download games they might as well just opt for a PC and get games for cheap off of Steam, especially now that Steam has that Big Picture mode which makes PC gaming much more TV friendly.
    No, it wouldn't. Data is treated the same once it's received from either a hard disk or an optical drive. There's no reason it would require console companies to change their architecture, APIs, any of that junk to make them more like PCs.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Gamestop will go out of business, so good for everyone.

    But I also think prices would drop. Not as much as they should, but it would be safe to assume maybe 50 dollar new consoles games (rather than 60 or 70) with 40 dollar new PC games as the norm (because the excuse for higher console prices are licensing fees to use the platforms).

    Beyond that, nothing would really change. Odds are redeemable codes would still be sold in supermarkets in Redcoat Land and Best Buy in America, so people would still be able to shop in a brick and mortar store if they want to.
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  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Gamestop will go out of business, so good for everyone.
    Except the maybe 15,000+ people employed by them.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    Except the maybe 15,000+ people employed by them.
    Eggs for an omelet? :p

    Yes, it would suck in that case. But the vast majority of those employees are not particularly attached to Gamestop (its a retail job...), so they would get reabsorbed by other retail outlets or get new jobs that require little to no training. Store managers might have a bit more trouble (too experienced to be a cashier), but also remember that new stores will be built in those locations and that they'll have a decent shot at applying for those jobs.

    Executives and the like are a bit more boned, but they are also the ones who were pushing for the screwing over of the gaming community and industry, so my sympathy for them is a lot less. Their families I feel bad for, but not them (which doesn't really make sense :p).

    But honestly, retail in general is in danger. People are rapidly realizing that digital is MUCH more convenient and has the potential to cost a lot less. But I for one would prefer to not hold back the march of technology, especially when it results in cheaper and more accessible products for almost everyone.
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  10. #10
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    It'd be nice to see the consoles have finally caught up.

  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    Well for me the big possibility is that the reduced cost of no shipping/distribution/pressing could mean more big developers/publishers taking risks. When you essentially cut costs by a quarter you no longer have the same worries as before. This could mean less Medal of Honours and more Dishonoureds. It would also make developers more independent as they'd no longer need to sign to a publisher for distribution and could just sell straight through the manufacturer. On the down side these developers may not have enough resources to produce PC versions at the same time and we could see longer waits or we could see them sign exclusivity deals.

    As for retail, I'd say it's already stone dead as far as the PC goes and it hasn't done us much harm.
    Last edited by Bhazor; 12-12-2012 at 07:24 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    But I also think prices would drop. Not as much as they should, but it would be safe to assume maybe 50 dollar new consoles games (rather than 60 or 70) with 40 dollar new PC games as the norm (because the excuse for higher console prices are licensing fees to use the platforms).

    Why do you think prices would drop? On a console, you would be restricted by the single console manufacturers store, so they would charge whatever the hell they like!

  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    But I for one would prefer to not hold back the march of technology, especially when it results in cheaper and more accessible products for almost everyone.
    Cheaper to produce and sell, yes. But definitely not to buy. Last time I checked all-digital copies of games still cost the exact same as ones in boxes.

    It's a boon for publishers only. The customer doesn't get any of the savings passed on to them.
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  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vandelay View Post
    Why do you think prices would drop? On a console, you would be restricted by the single console manufacturers store, so they would charge whatever the hell they like!
    Because even the major publishers seem to realize that lowering costs increase sales and one of the big things limiting digital right now is that everything costs the same as it would if we had boxes (in many cases). So it is a small loss on the profits per unit with a large increase in number of units sold PLUS it is good PR.

    It already happens with the existing digital-only titles on the consoles except they are actually a LOT cheaper to start with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shooop View Post
    Cheaper to produce and sell, yes. But definitely not to buy. Last time I checked all-digital copies of games still cost the exact same as ones in boxes.

    It's a boon for publishers only. The customer doesn't get any of the savings passed on to them.
    And that is because the publishers and distributors don't want to kill the retail chains. Go do some research on how Gamestop (and other b&m stores) basically killed the PSP Go which actually WAS a digital-only device.

    Or go check how basically every major (American) publisher whipped out their winkies and started jerking off the moment Apple (Steve Jobs specifically) gave them a good excuse to force price matching of ebooks with hardcovers.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    And that is because the publishers and distributors don't want to kill the retail chains.
    Maybe, but I can't see them changing their price. Really the only AAA dev/pub that has managed to get digital pricing right in Australia on Steam has been Valve. Everybody else does a terrible job at it, pricing their games in USD to match retail boxes. There's absolutely no reason for it, particularly if our dollar gets weaker in which case we pay more for less. Even the "saving retail" argument is on thin ice here since importing from overseas at 50% or more of the price (even compared to Steam) is becoming the norm.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Maybe, but I can't see them changing their price. Really the only AAA dev/pub that has managed to get digital pricing right in Australia on Steam has been Valve. Everybody else does a terrible job at it, pricing their games in USD to match retail boxes. There's absolutely no reason for it, particularly if our dollar gets weaker in which case we pay more for less. Even the "saving retail" argument is on thin ice here since importing from overseas at 50% or more of the price (even compared to Steam) is becoming the norm.
    Well, I'm mostly considering the US market where console games are 60 or 70 USD new and full-price PC games are 50 or 60 USD new. Obviously you'll still have regional distributor stupidity, but I am positing that the base price (that they then stupidify) will go down. Not a lot and nowhere near as much as it should, but a bit.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Is it relevant to say that the consoles definitely aren't going download only?

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    Is it relevant to say that the consoles definitely aren't going download only?
    I think it is. The world doesn't have the infrastructure yet to support it properly. And we still have a generation of people around who don't know how to do things like buy downloads or even figure out when a game is coming out.

    My brother, for example, only finds out about games coming out when he wanders past a Gamestop. He doesn't know when the next Fifa or CoD is coming until the signs go up in the shop front window. Theres a massive portion of the market just like him. Make games download only and take away advertisements in game store (which would no longer serve a purpose) and you're cutting off a lot of customers.

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