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Old 5th Dec 2008, 11:08   #1
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Atari: Next gen will eschew physical media

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2008/12...ysical-media/1

Atari's Phil Harrison may be ex-Sony but he still thinks that discs and physical media are on the way out.

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Old 5th Dec 2008, 11:22   #2
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Perhaps in the future, but in the UK, our broadband is still poor compared to the rest of the world (Japan.) We still have limited bandwidth, download caps, connection downtime and throttling.

I love Steam, but was a little concerned after downloading Left4Dead's 7 odd gigabytes that BT might get all upset and throttle our connection.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 11:33   #3
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Optical media will not die out until we get proper internet connections.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 11:38   #4
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ill be glad not to have disks anymore
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 11:41   #5
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These are the guys releasing a DVD version of EVE, a game you can download......

DD is great, but not with my capped connection (thx Virgin) :s
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 11:55   #6
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I don't know, there's something about getting a physical disc in your hand combined with the fact that for better games, I prefer to get the special edition version (I know, I'm just a marketing whore!)

And like everyone else, I'd really rather not have to download all my games thank you very much - especially when PS3 games start filling a whole Blu-Ray disc, like MGS4 allegedly did. I'd rather not have to wait to download 25Gb of data.

The reason that music downloads have been so successful is that a whole album can be downloaded as MP3 files of a couple of hundred megabytes, tops. That kind of file size is acceptable, because the download is very quick with today's broadband speeds.

The model falls down with games, because that speed of access is reduced hugely. A few minutes for an album is OK, a few hours (days, even) is not. If I buy a game, I want to play it now.

Factor in the fact that all the games will have to be stored on a hard disk, and the next generation of consoles will need to come with multiple terabyte HDDs just to store the downloaded games.

Nice idea in theory, horrible idea in practice.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 12:23   #7
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Why not store them in SD cards, they are getting a lot cheaper now, and most PC's would be able to use them. Maybe not in the near future but I'm sure they will be using some flash media, as internet isn't going to get much faster that soon!
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 12:31   #8
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Totally agree with the comments about the great idea in "theory" but totally gimped due to this country's pathetic broadband performance.

I'm living in one of the UK's top five cities and can only get a 768kbps connection, IN 2008 NO LESS!!!

It's beyond a joke and reflective of just how poor our little country is at making change.

As for the concept of DD's instead of physical media, right on!

Absolutely loving STEAM but don't necessarily feel that other DD services from others will be anywhere near as good.

To get an idea of the variation in service and format, just look as TV DD services and compare the likes of BBC's i-Player, 4oD, and ITV Catchup.

All vary hugely, but the only one that ticks all boxes constantly is the BBC's because one can argue that due to whatever reasons, they're totally consumer oriented.

The same goes for Valve and I think it's because of this that their service is so good, rather than simply assuming that the concept of DD's being solely responsible for their success.

The Atari's and EA's of our world are little more than cash hungry accountants to me, as demonstrated by countless offerings and their subsequent delivery, and support.

This won't change when these companies come on to the DD bandwagon.

They'll still release broken software, dishonour support, tie up our freedom and try and charge for things that have never been paid for previously, and give as little as possible in return.

Basically, poor business practise won't go away due to their chosen supply channel, and this is infinitely more important than how you make a product available.

To sum up; I think that Atari's and EA's see only two benefits to DD, piracy protection and cost reduction. I doubt very much that they see it as a tool for improving service and value to us.

It's little more to them than a cost-cutting and risk reduction tool.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 13:38   #9
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I've been using steam for quite some time now, and I love the fact that i don't scratch my CD's or DVD's anymore....or lose them.

BUT, if DRM is going to creep even into Download models, then why are we bothering ?
I understood steam was supposed to be DRM free, since you have an account and log into it....

I have suspended all my future steam purchases until i'm sure i'm not getting what I don't want...
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 13:41   #10
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Give me a disk and a box to keep on my shelf any day of the week. DD is fine for small games (see XBLA) but once that starts creeping into the muliple-GB range we're looking at a storage problem.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 14:01   #11
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Steam is great! Atari should just use Valves framework and have no bother! Valve needs to get in on the console action with a client though. But BT needs to start rolling out Fibre far faster then its currently doing and Virgin needs to get there act together because this throttling pisses me off but what really gets me is the apalling latency in the evenings making online gaming impossible between 5pm and 10pm.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 14:08   #12
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Great idea in theory as mentioned above!

But the storage requirements and the D/L time is a major factor!

With BT currently upgrading its current network to thier 21CN network, which is going to take around 10 years i think, which is not going to reduce speed to something that would allow you download a 20GB game in a couple hours, then the issue of throttling, caps, what if the games are distributed by a legal means of torrent software or some new derivavtive (sp?) and your isp says hold on a second, thats alot of torrent trafic, we are going to cut your connection.....

Then the storage requirements, as mentioned games filling up whole blu-ray discs, 25Gb for a single sided, what about us poor sods who can only afford small hard drives? where you can only fit on a few games?

but then there is still the satisfaction of having some physical in you r hand when you hand over 30 quid.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 16:33   #13
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BT's 21CN is a joke. All it is is going from ADSL to ADSL2+. I've got that already, I went from 3Mbits/400Kbits to 5.5Mbits/1Mbits... not exactly going to rock the world is it.
If you get 1-2Mbits on a theoretical 8bmits. ADSL 2+ will give you about 1 extra Mbits... that's it.
BT's idea of 21st Century Network is every other countries idea of a 20th century network. They were too cheap to go for VDSL (52Mbits), which France and other parts of Europe have had for years... They've all now moved on to VDSL2+ which is up to 100Mbits.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 16:33   #14
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I love downloading game purchases, apart from 360 games, the only PC gmae I bought on a disc was RA3, everyting else is on Steam.

Of course I am blessed with a line that lets me download at 1.5 megabytes/sec

You can winge at BT for dragging their heels on the fibre rollout but you should blame OFCOM. BT wanted to roll out fibre several years back, but were told, they would be forced to hand parts over to allow fair competition, so why should BT spend the multi-billion pounds of investment if going to be forceed to just hand it over?

What should have happned with BT, like what has happened with Gas, water is a company like Transco, who own the lines/pipes and rent it to companies.

You get the govement to give a chunk of cash to BT, to buy the infrastructure off them, and do it that way.

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Old 5th Dec 2008, 19:05   #15
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I'd far FAR rather own a physical copy, regardless of download speed.
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Old 5th Dec 2008, 19:58   #16
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Originally Posted by naokaji View Post
Optical media will not die out until we get proper internet connections.
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Old 6th Dec 2008, 07:13   #17
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Hmm. This guy does not know much about distribution. Not saying I do, but there's a huge problem with digital media distribution. Such as download time, lack of high speed internet, payment options, storage space. Plus a lot of consumers will rather have a physical disk then something that solely exists on their media device.
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Old 6th Dec 2008, 08:11   #18
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digital distribution is definitely the way of the future. the pirates are already doing it, it's only a matter of time before the industry catches up.
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Old 6th Dec 2008, 11:13   #19
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Hmm most people are saying it would be fine if their internet connection was fast enough. I personally haven't bought a physical game in years. The only games I buy are from Steam, I live in New Zealand with a 10Mbit capped connection. The speed of the connection is not really that much of an issue for me. I don't mind if it takes a day or so to get it. The ISPs just need to stop capping us so low.
For me I do like the special editions and some games that are not on steam, but I find that I just don't play those games much. It's so much easier just to open up steam and look at your games to see what to play. Combined with the streamlined updating system I never have to worry about the latest patch or anything.
I have been off physical media for ~2-3 years now.
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Old 6th Dec 2008, 12:19   #20
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I can't believe people are citing storage space as a concern.
Do they realise you can buy a 1TB HDD for 80??

Internet speeds are a concern but remember we're not talking about going 100% DD any time soon.

DRM etc on the other hand is a major concern.
Someone already said that companies won't see it as an opportunity to make thing better for the consumer, rather a way to cut costs and make higher profits for less work.

If they somehow managed to stop piracy but didn't make their products and services any more appealing to consumers, they'd be in for a massive surprise as their income didn't increase at all.
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