Newbie to the site so if I cross any etiquette ect please throw it at me so I learn but 1st thing you should understand is that I tend to post from knowledge based conviction. I never look for fights but I research my kb rather than coming at topics from a "fanboy" approach.
This subject grabbed my attention baring in mind what was generally perceived to be the biggest E3 so far when it came to consumer impact, ( console) gaming & massive marketing f*ck ups. 1stly I should declare an interest, I'm a Sony guy through and through. Always have been( since I saved up for 18 months and brought a stereo system off of them and was looked after amazingly when it went wrong) & always will be so naturally I lean more towards the PlayStation than the XBox HOWEVER I go out of my way not to be a fan boy and see merits in both platforms.
But back to the subject at hand "
All it's going to take is one AAA game to start the movement"
In essence is this wrong, no. Is it at best 5 years away, yes. As the OG poster stated it will only take one publisher who has a blockbuster title to make that step but with the worldwide economy the way it is and the natural aversion to 'overt' risk within the industry I cant see any of the power houses taking the risk anytime soon. With SCE's widely lauded, but IMO more one sided than it's made out to be, support for the "indie games dev's" sector it would appear from the outside that the next/ best chance for a switch to full digital media in the console market would be from their camp. However a AAA title would undoubtedly be a 2nd outing of said title and would end up not being an "indie game" at all as whatever publisher is providing the backing will exert such influence over the titles style, content and DLC package that it will be too far removed from it's original and will either cease to be an indie game with a mass following based on it's merits and therefore wont make a big enough market impact to be a triple A title OR uniformed gamers will see the publisher and rubbish it for that reason alone( both EA & AV are starting to suffer mass consumer backlash over their perceived laziness regarding their catalogue, EA being a long way down the road towards official 'gamer h8').
IS THERE A NEW POWER HOUSE WAITING IN THE WINGS?
My only answer to this is: PLEASE GOD YES! But for even a high-medium publisher to make that step with the difficulty of getting the amount of credit facility needed I see this as not around the corner.
Some Of The Other Responses
Game Stop( US) GAME( UK/ EU) Saturn( GER) < Listed those Ive had experience of and understand rather than talking about those in countries I know nothing about)
There's an argument about their business models. They moved quicker than the music/ movie retailers so have come out better however it's still a struggle. When GAME nearly went to the wall earlier this year there was a mass outpouring of support from consumer which helped them extend credit facilities & continue as backers could see from consumer led support the business was definitely viable. Many consumers feel a deep affiliation to the store they grew up with( I remember it when it was called Electronic Boutique/ EB as I'm ancient lol) and didnt want to see it go. Also in the UK there is a long serving untrust in the postal service and it's ability to deliver games on release day -why pay £5.00 for rush delivery when it's still going to get to you one day after it's available in store. However is a long standing affiliation to a particular store a reason for it to survive? Long term I would say no but recent events, certainly in the UK, would suggest yes. When it comes to the "used games take money out of devs/ publishers pockets" statement I will use the same response I've always given: I have brought whole franchises worth of games( brand new) because of one game I bought at a discounted price so it can and does have a positive as well as a negative impact. IMO the used game market is an integral part of the games industry and I'd rather have it in the hands of Game or Game Station( yes I'm aware they are now the same entity) than MS/ AV ect. A physical/ high street retailer will always be more consumer led on price as their staff get the kick back from them taking the p*ss( MW3 price point originally placed at £55 but UK consumers stating they refused to buy a game above the £49.99 mark so greedy publishers couldnt add another £5-£10 off of one game being a case of note). Amazon and the others dont sell to benefit consumers in the slightest, they undercut by maybe a couple pounds or dollars to try and make the sales that's it. I cant remember who said it but there was a response pointing out the difference that PC gamers had regarding Steam ect and they couldnt have been more right. Theres a myriad of retailers who create a vastly different, considerably more consumer focussed market place for PC gaming compared to console gamers. IFFFFFFF the console market could develop this way then yes there would be no need for high street retailers. The importance of them is simple - the feedback they get from customers face to face feeds back into the industry that at the moment cant be trusted - if the only way we could complain about price points / recycling of content was via email then publishers for consoles would have us pay £100 / $140 for a standard game not an upgraded version. ( btw this isnt me being old and not liking the idea of digital only it's a realistic assessment of what would happen to f*ck console gamers if the big boys got their way and cut out a middle man that for once works on the consumers favor rather than the other way round).
DIGITAL V PHYSICAL: With BD carrying 55GB of data upwards more and more regularly it simply makes it pointless right now until western ISP's adopt the Asian approach more. I have a 120mbps connection which actually averages out at 134 but I'm in the infinitely small percentage of people in the UK with that kind of speed/ download capability. From the amount of friends I have in the US they seem to be generally way lower and the extent of their fibre network coverage wise which isnt susceptible to storms is way lower as well. Despite my high speed connection I will still get "ramp back" if I download more than 8.4GB in a single day or 65GB per month( something I personally see as idiotic if your going to offer such speeds but that's another topic totally) which means even with Sonys "download as you play" it isn't a viable option and ISP's need to be influenced to relax such constraints ( pre Virgins Nationwide upgrade the old cables could handle up to 305mbps peak with 70% capacity load I havent got the figures for what it is now but it's obvs gonna be considerably higher with that much investment). Yes compression rates have vastly improved over the last 4-5 years however at best your looking at iro 25GB for a content rich title. Furthermore whilst the PS4 will ship with replaceable drives there is no word on whether the XB1 will do likewise and with a suggested 500GB HD at launch is that really enough for a DD only move - personally I think not. Ive around 130 games in my PS3 library & my games purchases have slowed markedly in the last 18 months as I gear up for the next gens.
Think thats about all from what I can remeber reading of others posts - discuss lol