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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Will digital distribution kill 'exclusivity'?

Whilst our friends at TheSixthAxis and sites like CVG speculate on whether Kojima-san will announce MGS5 at TGS 2009 for 'multiple platforms', we're standing back from the rumours and are offering you a debate instead.

Konami have been quoted as saying that they are not confirming MGS5 for the Xbox 360, but they are (unsurprisingly) looking at how to maximise their revenue by seeing if they could offer the next MGS game up as a multi-platform title.

The constraint on the X360 release of even the current MGS title is, of course, their reliance on DVD as their storage standard. BluRay offers the kind of space you need for a title like MGS 4 and 5, whereas DVD simply doesn't cut it.

So why bring the game out on disc-based media at all? In fact why bring any game after, say, 2010 out on a disc? By then, super-high-speed broadband will be fully adopted and hard disks will be even cheaper.

The other day, I even saw a 'terabyte laptop' available for sale at less than £1,000.

With Sony having had the foresight to allow customer upgradeable HDD units (mine is currently running 250Gb, but it could easily be a 1Tb drive by 2010), broadband and cable getting faster all the time, and successful P2P distribution models already running, digital distribution seems like the way forward (much to the chagrin of retail outlets like GAME and HMV).

Which begs the ultimate question; who needs 'exclusives' when the current unique selling point of the PS3 - BluRay - becomes obsolete?

Of course, there is one thing we're not mentioning. What the unique selling points of the PS3 going forward might be.

By 2010 we would expect that developers will start to really get to grips with the hardware and push out titles that look, feel and play heaps better than any other console or platform.

If that happens maybe the 'platform exclusive' is here to stay. If not, we don't really see why publishers and developers would put all their eggs in one basket once you take the storage and distribution element out of the equation.

Agree? Disagree? Your thoughts in the comments please...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because by the time MGS5 come out, it might very well be 60gbs, in other words as big as the whole HD for the Pro 360... Be realistic friend. Do you think in 2 years that the PS3 and 360 will magically have 500gb HDs? Even that is small if games that only fit on BR would be released in digital format.

14 October 2008 17:10  
Blogger DolphGB said...

Actually, I do.

My PS3 already has 250Gb inside. I could easily make this a 500Gb drive tomorrow.

By next year, we'll have Tb drives available in 2.5" format for installation in any PS3.

Virgin already offer up to 20Mb broadband speeds, and with new technology this is going to be even faster in 2010.

14 October 2008 17:29  
Blogger Danny_D said...

I personally cant wait for 20XX to arrive, I hear Dr. Wily offers insane download speeds.

But all kidding aside, new 360 and PS3 SKUs have had a bigger HDD inside again and again. Coincidence? I think not.

For better of for worse, it's going to happen. Microsoft is already betting (heavily) on it and my guess is that Sony will not be that far behind.

We have already witnessed Steam's digital distribution model succeed, Xbox 360's Live Market Place thrive and PlayStation's PS Store follow suit with games, TV shows and movies for download.

It's happening and it may be sooner than we expect. Or not. They may have the technology, but will the global market (we) have the money?

14 October 2008 18:19  

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