Modular optical drives should be standard on today's consoles

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Rangers, Mar 2, 2010.

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  1. Rangers

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    I was reading a thread at GAF on the most reliable past consoles. Answers varied, but of course the obvious conclusion is something like the SNES is likely to be in another realm of reliability than anything with an optical drive.

    I can grab a high speed DVD burner for my PC for ~20 bucks. If any console maker was willing to offer a console with a modular, removable (easily "plug and play") optical drive and sell replacements at cost ($20), it would really remove a ton of worry, and make consoles overall far more reliable. As of now, unless your console is under warranty, a flaky drive means probably an automatic $100+ repair. And flakey optical drives are just too common imo.

    Thoughts?
     
    #1 Rangers, Mar 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2010
  2. corduroygt

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    Judging by 360 hdd prices, prepare to pay $100 for that modular drive.
     
  3. Rangers

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    That's why I specifically stated the manufacturer would have to be willing to sell it at cost.

    Some benefit to the manufacturer can be derived as well. Excluding the Wii, most hardware is sold at a loss most of it's life. It doesnt help Sony or MS for you to buy another console if yours breaks. It hurts them.

    I would envision these replacement drives not necessarily being available in your Wal Mart's, but perhaps directly on the web, and maybe at Gamestop. They wouldn't be something that would really be pushed obviously, just available if you need one.
     
  4. corduroygt

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    As long as the replacement is significantly cheaper than a new console people would buy the replacement, so $99 is a valid price. Also people who buy new consoles sell their broken ones which then get fixed and played most of the time, so manufacturers have just added another console to their user base when that happens.
     
  5. Rangers

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    Most people dont sell their broken consoles. A few niche users do on ebay.

    $99 might be a valid price, but I would hope the mfrs could just this once not be greedy. Maybe $49.
     
  6. Shifty Geezer

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    If it fit into a removable half-height 5.25" ATX style housing, they could do like PS3's HDD and just let people make whatever drive changes they want. There may be performance problems, but overall I'd have thought not much to worry about.

    Then again, there's the issue of piracy. The drives need to include some hardware DRM. I guess that precludes the chance of standard components. It's always the honest guy who gets stiffed. :(
     
  7. obonicus

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    Just by flashing a firmware on commodity drives the 360 shipped with people were able to play backups. I suspect this will be an issue next time around with publishers.
     
  8. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    Was it not hacking the early DVD drives in 360s that helped to make DVD copies of games work in the system? I don't think having a modular optical drive would help in that regard, unless the built in anti-piracy measures in the hardware and software were actually "foolproof":wink: Also, I only see a promotion of badly manufactured drives, unless the specific reason to buy another drive was for one that was significantly faster than the palsy 12x or whatever is in the current system, though I know an external drive would need it's own power supply as well to get 24x speed.
     
  9. flynn

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    Yes, MS made the mistake of not encrypting the DVD firmware. If it is, I don't see any security risk and only MS approved devices would work on the console anyway. AFAIK the PS3's Blu-ray drive security has never been compromised.
     
  10. randycat99

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    I'll have to agree on this one- woulda been nice to be able to plug in an external br drive to my ps3 over usb. I don't much care for paying Sony $150 to fix something that shouldn't have broke in the first place, or spending another $200+ for a new ps3. So all I got left is a ip/usb media player + downloaded-game machine with a defunct optical drive.
     
  11. Rangers

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    I meant modular, more as one that fits in a port on the system. Everything fits flush and "like new", it's just removable. Maybe with a couple screws for extra locking down.

    I would think this would never happen, but Sony allowed end user HDD upgrades...same concept sort of. Think of just replacing your optical drive instead of HDD.

    Except you wouldn't do it to get a better or faster drive either, the specs would be the same. Purely a reliability feature.

    And the drives would only come from the console manufacturer (Sony/MS/Nintendo). I'm not advocating you be able to just go buy any third party drive and put it in.

    It would especially work for Wii/360, since DVd drives are so cheap. It wouldn't have been such a great idea in the early days of Ps3, as a Blu Ray drive was expensive anyway. However, the price of a Blu Ray drive will approach commodity status over time too of course.
     
  12. Richard

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    Just a thought but perhaps optical media for games is not really something we want to hang on to.
     
  13. obonicus

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    After seeing this topic come up endlessly in the next-gen console tech thread, I don't think anyone can come up with a convincing alternative.
     
  14. NeoTechni

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    Wouldnt that make it many times easier to hack like all the XBOX360/Wii drive hacks?
     
  15. Silent_Buddha

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    Interestingly this is how computers were sold in Japan prior to them going with how computers are built and sold in western countries.

    HDD's, add in cards, etc were replaceable without opening the case. you'd unscrew one or two screens pull it out and then push in the replacement and screw it in.

    This was abandoned when they went fully western DOS and Windows "compliant" (wrong word but can't think of a better one) for a variety of reasons. Cost being a major factor.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  16. eastmen

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    Flash.


    A flash reader would take up very little room freeing up a 5 1/2 inch drive area to either shrink the console increase cooling capacity.

    Since flash has no moving parts its will last much longer and so will the carts used.

    The system would be cheaper to make also.

    The only problem is price. I still feel if they can get 16 gigs of flash for around $5 bucks at the launch of the next console cycle its a viable move foward . Using raid 0 for the cards they can get much higher read speeds than any drive and a constant speed with low seek tims to boot.
     
  17. Shifty Geezer

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    Flash discussion already held here.
     
  18. eastmen

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    I know. I just offered it as an alternative because someone asked if there was one :)
     
  19. Richard

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    True. Solutions such as this only serve to make the alternatives more convincing however.
     
  20. corduroygt

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    Too bad flash is an extremely expensive alternative to the $1 polycarbonate disc as a delivery medium. Cheapest always wins. Same goes for modular drives, since even $2 cost difference between a removable drive vs. built in means $200M over the console lifetime assuming 100M sales.
     
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