Alternative distribution to optical disks : SSD, cards, and download*

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Cheezdoodles, May 26, 2008.

  1. corduroygt

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    They don't even have to pay the devs any extra and take the same 40% cut that retail takes in exchange for promoting the game on the console. The lack of second hand sales from DD will still benefit the devs. Console makers can use the extra royalty fees per game to subsidize more powerful hardware instead.


    I disagree, the point of a console is that everyone experiences the same visuals and controls.
     
  2. tongue_of_colicab

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    Wouldnt heavy compression and a large hdd be a better solution than downloading? A 500gb hdd would probably be the least you can expect in a next gen console. Could they manage to compress 10~15gb to 4gb? I did a quick check with DeadSpace and the dvd is 7.something gb and installed its 10gb so from 4gb to 15gb might be a tall order.
     
  3. hoho

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    That heavily depends on what kind of data there is. Going from lossless sound and textures to lossy ones can easily give you 10x and more compression ratios. Staying on lossless compression barely gives 2x if even that.
     
  4. -tkf-

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    For the record, i use flash disks extensively across the different platforms i work with. I absolutely love them and look forward to Harddrives having a well deserved vacation forever on the shelfs of no sale.

    I would still in a total egomaniac way prefer flash games for the next generation with no limits on price or specs in size or speed. Because i can afford to buy the games i really really want even if they are expensive. But i doubt it will be the case :)

    I am not arguing my stand out of a personal agenda or out of "hate" for flash or because there is a hidef war going on that makes me pull out all arguments to support Blu-Ray no matter the cost of the arguments. Blu-Ray killed and destroyed HD-DVD and i am still smiling and feeling incredible good every time i think about it, i got my wish granted, the best HiDef format that i could ask for, and i will get my movies no matter what happens with the next consoles and no matter how fast or slow Blu-Ray evolves.

    1) True but still have to balanced against having the only defacto HiDef format and DVD playback included, if the price is worth the extra added value.. you end up losing value by going without optical.

    2) True both for console and games, but even the small DS carts are still half the height of DVD cases and thicker. Not just a clean cut 90% shelf space earned. As for the Consoles themselves, i don´t think it matters as much. But we have no real data, i can only agree but i don´t know to what extent.

    3) Of course it´s tougher but not perfect, there is a physical contact everytime you insert a card so there will be wear and tear. And i have no problem with my discs.. yet.. So true but the least important advantage.

    4) GT5 on a Flash media? oh yeah...

    5) same as in 2.
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

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    That's not entirely true. People on SD sets don't ge tthe same experience as those on HD sets. Those on slow broadband can't host as large games as those on fast broadband. Those who pay for certain peripherals get a different experience to those who don't. And those who go online get access to games and content not available to those who don't. So reality is far from everyone experiences the same visuals and controls and overall console experience.

    BB penetration is high enough that it's a fair offering if you want to make that trade. Personally I don't think it's worth it as optical is the best distribution method alongside local installation to overcome the loading issues, but if someone went that way, free upgrades for online consoles would be a nice incentive to get people onto the network, while still offering the casual who doesn't know or care about the visual upgrades the same core experience.

    Not by a long chalk. You can only go very lossy to save space. Currently everything is compressed as best it can be regards texture compression etc. and already audio is lossy. Unless you turn every texture into a JPEG on the cart and convert it to an S3 texture at installation, there's not much you can do, and that is about as far as you can go with the assets I think. Video is already looking ropey in some titles. Model data can't be lossily compressed! I suppose there is an issue of how much unused space there is due to file structure, but I doubt that amounts to much. And needn't amount to anything on a Flash cart AFAIK.
     
  6. Shifty Geezer

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    Durability isn't a win for the cosole companies. Optical disks can faultless robsutness as long as used sensibly. Unless you mistreat them, they won't go wrong. And if people do mistreat them and break them, they have to buy a replacement which is good for the console companies. Given it's legitimate extra sales, durability isn't an advantage I'd afford flash for a home console. You might be able to talk about drive failure with the consumers, and offer a general console robustness, but I doubt that'd turn into measurably improved sales considering everything that people look to in a console. Certainly N64 didn't win much interest for not having an error-prone optical drive
     
  7. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    The drive durability is certainly an issue. I've no doubt that repair cost is significant.

    It's going to come down to whether the initial savings in the box are enough to offset the higher media costs for flash. The later they launch, the more flash becomes a better option.

    And whatever they do, I expect DD will be there to offset cost for those with broadband.
     
  8. -tkf-

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    Unless it´s within warranty it´s not the console makers problem.. as long as they just make sure it doesn´t break on purpose but within reason.
     
  9. AlphaWolf

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    A customer with a non working console, is no longer a customer, so yes its a problem.
     
  10. corduroygt

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    Or they can make DD standard with a built in HDD and optical as an option. Because in the end, companies want the cheapest distribution model possible. I don't think there's much question of optional HDD's next gen, since they want people to get accustomed to DD only.
     
  11. Squilliam

    Squilliam Beyond3d isn't defined yet
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    It really depends on what proportion of consoles will use digitial distribution predominantly and whether they will support digital distribution at retail (kiosks/download to flash). If we start to look at say >50% sold via these means within a couple of years of the generation starting then it starts to make a lot of sense from an overall cost perspective. However it is possible that they could go for a hybrid model and not sell games on cartridges but instead use a rewritable media and optical distribution and direct download. They may even go as far as to link the game license to the account and not to the physical game disc.
     
  12. -tkf-

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    The amount of RROD problems tells us something else.
     
  13. AlphaWolf

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    That it was all covered by warranty and paid for by MS?

    Why are all your arguments a moving target?
     
  14. -tkf-

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    Are you trying to argue that Optical drives fail so much you loose customers over it, eventhough you have had Consoles for the past +10 years using them while the sales have gone up up up?

    Or in other words, based on consoles since the PSX you have zero proof that the inclusion of Optical causes anyone to loose customers that would magical return with flash media.

    Using reliability and durability as a major selling point for flash may have it´s rights for handhelds, but for consoles i just don´t see it.
     
  15. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    No. I said it had a cost. You tried to claim if the drive failures it's only the customer cost so it doesn't matter. Which is completely stupid.

    It's a damn good thing I never claimed that, but if an optical drive fails, somebody has to fix it, or they won't be buying any games.

    Everything is a cost, everything matters. Sony removed usb ports because it saved them 10 cents or something.
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

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    What proportion of console owners with an existing library and invested interest in a particular console don't pay for a fix or buy a new console when their drive dies? Do we really think Joe Public is going to look at a console with an optical drive, think to himself, "man, that's only going to break on me. I wish I had a console without an optical drive," and then head towards the console that has Flash when it also doesn't support the advantages of disc?

    Drive failure and disc failure strike me as low on the list of selection criteria. I imagine Joe Public really doesn't care about the distribution media other than price and whether it works. They'll grumble if it's slow to load, but won't know what transfer rates and seek times are to make an informed choice, so they'd buy some dog-slow, 2 minute loading times BRD based console over an immediate load cart-based console if the optical console offer £10 cheaper games and BRD movie playback.
     
  17. eastmen

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    I'm not sure I agree about the size. There are many advantages of having a smaller console.

    The cost of the console will be less as the casing /plastic is less , the packaging costs will be less , shipping costs will be less , retail can stock more of them .

    Just look at the huge clamor for smaller systems. The Playstation was replaced with the psone , the ps2 was replaced with the pstwo and the ps3 was replaced with the ps3 slim. Even the xbox 360 has had a slim model introduced .


    While not a RROD the optical drives scratching discs on the 360 and going bad were costly problems for MS

    As for the n64 I think its a bit old as being released in the 90s to use as an example for consoles that may not launch until 2012 /13.

    Look at it this way. Lets say the next gen console is $500 bucks to produce. MS sells it for $400 . So they are now loosing $100 on the system. With in warrenty the drive dies and now MS has to replace the faulty drive. Lets peg the drive at $30 . So now Ms is out $130 + shipping two ways for the full console which could cost another $30 or more if its the size of the original xbox 360. So now your at $160 or more for that console. Assuming ms makes $10 per 3rd party title sold ms would need an attach rate of 16 games per faulty console .

    Now look at a flash console. Instead of $500 to produce your looking at $470 . Flash has no movable parts so the failure rate will be much lower. Now ms is loosing $70 and has to just sell 7 titles. Even if the flash reader fails the actual cost will be in the single digets . In fact ms can simply have two card readers built into the system and it can be sold as a feature so you don't have to change games when playing. In fact say you had gears of war 4 and gears of war 5 but them both in and now when playing gears of war 5 all the gears of war 4 multi player maps will load up . Good way to limit used titles.
     
    #937 eastmen, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2011
  18. hoho

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    Last I heard (could be wrong though) DD is already at 50% or more of overall revenue on PC. With unified system via XBL/PSN/whatever Nintendo has they have the potential to make it even bigger.
     
  19. -tkf-

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    I did not try to claim, it´s the truth, if your drive fails out of warranty you have to pay for the repair it´s not the manufactures problem. You make it a problem by saying that "then they don´t buy games" of course not, if they choose to not get it repaired?

    So your argument is that manufactures should consider the reliability of optical drives because if a drive breaks down, then the customer might not get it repaired and then he/she wont buy more games.....?

    Lets just play with this scenario, that would be someone that either didn´t have a lot of games since they would be worthless without a working console or someone that didn´t really should have bought the console to begin with since they didn´t need it for games.

    "My blu-ray is broken i will stop buying movies"
     
  20. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    I'm not talking about consideration in buying the device, I'm talking about lost opportunity to sell games. If a console fails under warranty that's a cost to the manufacturer if it fails outside of the warranty, some consumers might wait to repair it, some might not bother, some might switch, some might get pissed off and never buy another product from them again... all of those options wind up with a cost to the manufacturer. Just like increased profile and power use increase costs for shipping. Is it a huge number no, but it's far from a non issue from the manufacturing side. If Sony can be bothered to remove a few USB ports, they certainly care about things like warranty charges and consumer retention.

    Joe Public most certainly cares about the cost of his console.
     
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