Sony and Microsoft Considered Download-Only Next-Gen Consoles
A report on the Wall Street Journal from yesterday reports that both Sony and Microsoft considered—but ultimately rejected—plans to ditch optical drives for their next generation consoles altogether. But because internet speeds around the world vary, with some unable to support the necessary bandwidth to download games, the idea was tossed.
The news comes from “people familiar with the matter,” though spokespeople for both Sony and Microsoft declined to comment on the story.
So what does that mean in practical terms? Well, it means that Sony and Microsoft aren’t ready to cut out the retail middle-man. And, to me at least, that helps debunk the rumor that the systems will inhibit the playing of used games. If you don’t have a solid option to get out of business with retail outfits, why would you limit their ability to sell consumers used games? Doing that would lose tons of money for retailers, and it’s not as though developers and publishers of console games would be able to get out of business with the console-makers. The only way they can do that is by going to the PC—which has its own set of problems with piracy and whatnot.
No, I have a sneaking suspicion that until these consoles lose their optical drives altogether, used games are going to stick around. Of course, that’s just my opinion—I could be wrong.