Remove disc, insert digital


With Sony’s recently released PSP Go, we saw Sony introduce a new idea purchasing your video games. For those unaware, the PSP Go has is UMD-less, meaning all of your games are purchased online through the PlayStation Store from your PSP, PS3, or PC. Although the PSP Go is not replacing the PSP-3000 model, and Sony will produce both models alongside each other, it’s still interesting to see a system that runs solely on games purchased digitally hit the market. This brings up some questions, concerns and thoughts to us as gamers. One of the most prominent thoughts being, are we slowly moving into an industry that will begin to sell all of their media digitally?

The PSP Go is not the only means of acquiring your games digitally. Both Microsoft and Sony have released many games on their online networks such as original titles, old arcade hits or classic titles from the days of PlayStation and beyond; and even Microsoft, with the recent introduction to purchasing full Xbox 360 titles from your Xbox LIVE account. Original Xbox games were made available just a couple of years ago, too. We currently purchase most of our games through retailers, online stores and local stores, but how soon can we expect this to possibly change?

If the next wave of consoles were to sell all of it’s games solely digitally, what would become of stores such as GameStop? those which thrive and profit off of the games traded in by people who were finished playing them? It would be interesting to see if any of these companies were to introduce features to let our friends “borrow” our digital copies of the games, if at all possible. At the end of it all however, would the value of games be diminished if we didn’t have hard copies of them? It would be a little upsetting to people like me, that enjoy collecting and displaying their games on a shelf or in a cabinet of some kind if I wasn’t able to actually own a real copy of the game. But that’s just me.

On the other hand, we wouldn’t have to worry about losing our games, or damaging the discs rendering them unplayable. It could be less costly for developers to sell their games digitally without having to distribute them through retailers, print the artwork and manuals, shipping them all over the world. It may also be convenient in the sense that we wouldn’t have to worry about securing a copy of the game, or have to travel to purchase our games either, but there are people (such as myself) who actually enjoy spending their money on a factory sealed game, opening it up to that new game smell and slipping the yet-to-be-played game into the system.

Although we might not see these changes for another couple of decades, (or maybe it’s closer than we think) it is interesting to feed the thought of having a console that operates solely digitally. What do you guys think? Leave your comments and ideas in the comments below and let us know.

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