Next Generation Console Game Media Format

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  • andijames 17 Nov 2011 14:12:12 2,821 posts
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    Something that was mentioned back in the news section reporting on the new Microsoft console has got me thinking (dangerous i know..).

    If Microsoft decide to stick to using media to deliver games (which is more than likely as high internet speeds aren't nearly as highly available to everyone at the moment) then will they have a few options.

    1) Use blu-ray as a media. This would be interesting as they would have to pay a license fee to use the technology i believe and they have been rather vocal in the past about not disliking the format.

    2) A new 'cartridge' based media. Thinking back to the ole nintendo days but with modern technology. With USB sticks, SSD media coming into more viable pricing brackets would it be more likely that they could use this as a game based media? It would certainly help combat piracy (most likely use a proprietary format) and it would circumvent the need to pay a license fee. Plus less mechanical parts in the machine so maybe a lower build cost? Downside being that the media may be pricey (Turok 64 for 70 springs to mind!).

    Any thoughts on this? Could be interesting :)

    vivir el momento

  • Fake_Blood 17 Nov 2011 14:19:42 4,317 posts
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    Nope, it's going to be bluray.
  • andijames 17 Nov 2011 14:41:32 2,821 posts
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    Most likely yeah but given that technology is owned in part by Sony i thought it may have spurred them to consider alternatives and with flash memory prices dropping quicker than a hoar's draws then it lends to the idea that a cartridge format of sorts could be viable.

    vivir el momento

  • silentbob 17 Nov 2011 16:14:38 29,023 posts
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    Download. Big HDD. Done.

    VR News: www.roadtovr.com -- Follow us on Twitter.

  • andijames 17 Nov 2011 16:17:20 2,821 posts
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    @LaFlamaBlanca - The read speed is only 2X in the PS3. Blu-ray drives can now read at 12X speed so the streaming of data 'shouldn't' be an issue in the next revision i would imagine.

    vivir el momento

  • cianchristopher 17 Nov 2011 16:24:47 6,360 posts
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    But if they're reading at 12x speed, wouldn't they then sound like the "vacuum-cleaner" 12x dvd drives in the Xbox 360?
  • one-more-martin 17 Nov 2011 16:34:05 22 posts
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    SSD is a decent bet, but of course it will depend on the cost by the time the console manufacturers have to decide on final format. I work in IT industry and we see most customers buying SSD storage, both at a wintel and enterprise storage level now, it's reliable, fast and getting cheaper.

    Oh and the kids can't scratch it by leaving it on the floor when they put their games in the xbox
  • Psychotext 17 Nov 2011 16:34:21 54,518 posts
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    It'll be 10x+ blu-ray in the next xbox most likely, and as long as it's a good one it shouldn't need to sound like a vacuum cleaner.

    It'll sound like a vacuum cleaner

    Sony will probably use HVD just to force everyone to upgrade again. :D

    Oh, and Sony received more of the DVD royalties than they receive of the Blu-Ray royalties. Didn't stop Microsoft using DVD. Don't mistake posturing at the start of the gen (there's no doubt HD DVD hurt Blu-Ray's adoption) with making stupid decisions going forward.

    Edited by Psychotext at 16:35:15 17-11-2011
  • ronuds 17 Nov 2011 16:40:43 21,788 posts
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    one-more-martin wrote:
    SSD is a decent bet, but of course it will depend on the cost by the time the console manufacturers have to decide on final format. I work in IT industry and we see most customers buying SSD storage, both at a wintel and enterprise storage level now, it's reliable, fast and getting cheaper.

    Oh and the kids can't scratch it by leaving it on the floor when they put their games in the xbox
    I'd love SSD, but I think it's still too expensive. You'll not only have the price of the storage itself, but then there will be added costs in putting software on it.

    I think MS will do like Nintendo and go proprietary - whilst continuing to big pimp their download/streaming services.
  • ram 17 Nov 2011 16:43:39 3,483 posts
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    silentbob wrote:
    Download. Big HDD. Done.
    we will be
  • Phattso Moderator 17 Nov 2011 16:55:58 13,623 posts
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    I'm wondering if people actually know how expensive SSDs are, to be suggesting that games will be distributed on them?! Not to mention one of the more harmful things we could do to the environment, not just in terms of manufacturing but also in shipping these things around vs. a good old CD style media.

    It'll be Bluray, it almost has to be. Now that HD-DVD is long dead (but never forgotten) the hyperbole that used to surround that format war is moot.
  • Fake_Blood 17 Nov 2011 17:01:39 4,317 posts
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    Bluray discs only cost a few cents in production, nothing can compete with that.
    You'll be able to download the games too, but they are not going download only this gen.
  • chopsen 17 Nov 2011 17:05:44 16,127 posts
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    Slight tangent, but music industry is going download only within 12 months, says blog nobody has heard of that is looking for webhits:

    http://www.reghardware.com/2011/11/07/record_labels_to_kill_cd_format_by_end_of_2012/

    Edited by Chopsen at 17:06:10 17-11-2011
  • oceanmotion 17 Nov 2011 17:06:11 16,025 posts
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    Has to be Blu-Ray for Sony and MS. They want to be the centre device under the TV and now that Blu-Ray is successful, it will be in Microsoft's next console.
  • chopsen 17 Nov 2011 17:07:12 16,127 posts
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    To not use BR would be just be bloody mindedly arkward.

    So I expect Nintendo to use parchment.
  • oceanmotion 17 Nov 2011 17:08:58 16,025 posts
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    Sure Nintendo has already confirmed it's proprietary which is no surprise.
  • Fake_Blood 17 Nov 2011 17:11:10 4,317 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    Slight tangent, but music industry is going download only within 12 months, says blog nobody has heard of that is looking for webhits:

    http://www.reghardware.com/2011/11/07/record_labels_to_kill_cd_format_by_end_of_2012/
    Well yes, CD retail is already dead.
    If ms and sony go download only it would kill the game retail market, retailers won't sell a console they can't sell games for, and a lot of people are stuck on 2-5mbit lines which is fine to download an album, but it's just not realistic if we're talking about 20gb games.
  • Deleted user 17 November 2011 17:13:23
    One things for sure nothing will ever replace the disc format. I just cant see it ever being replaced.
  • Deleted user 17 November 2011 17:14:12
    Blu ray is a fad, will not have the longevity of DVD.

    Digital, on demand, is the future ... people already download HD media by the truck load every day... May not be authorised.. but the fact is it is consumer preference given the chance.
  • oceanmotion 17 Nov 2011 17:18:27 16,025 posts
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    HD content doesn't exactly match the quality of Blu-Ray in picture, sound, extras and probably price in most options.

    Edited by oceanmotion at 17:19:37 17-11-2011
  • Deleted user 17 November 2011 17:23:53
    If Nintendo are using a variant of Blu-ray I'd expect MS and Pony to do the same.
  • chopsen 17 Nov 2011 17:24:50 16,127 posts
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    Digital distribution may be the future, but the infrastructure is not extensive or well developed enough for it to make be more convenient than physical media for media of the order of GBs.

    In the time it takes me to download a HD film on PS3 I can:

    1. Drive to blockbusters and back
    2. Chose something I'm in the mood for there and then
    3. Watch it
    4. Drive it back again.

    And it's been like that for the best part of a decade with no investment to improve the infrastructure.

    Edited by Chopsen at 17:25:29 17-11-2011
  • Deleted user 17 November 2011 17:25:45
    In terms of video, the quality of compressed HD download is superior to SD, it's only the technophile that would appreciate any further difference. A media format is not sustained solely by the support of the technophiles.

    HD tv's have made standard DVD collections look like dogshit.. an expensive downgrade for the majority of consumers. A compressed .mkv makes this look better and returns some of the investment.

    Aside form HDTV people have also invested in broadband and grown ever fond of convenience, the line between acceptable quality and convenience is to the advantage of digital distribution.
  • one-more-martin 17 Nov 2011 17:50:13 22 posts
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    Phattso wrote:
    I'm wondering if people actually know how expensive SSDs are, to be suggesting that games will be distributed on them?! Not to mention one of the more harmful things we could do to the environment, not just in terms of manufacturing but also in shipping these things around vs. a good old CD style media.

    It'll be Bluray, it almost has to be. Now that HD-DVD is long dead (but never forgotten) the hyperbole that used to surround that format war is moot.
    I agree at this point in time cost etc rules it out. My I work for a IT manufacturer and have seem the cost drop and the take up increase hugely in the last year or so. If it keeps going that way then I wouldn't rule it out being used in some form in the next gen consoles
  • chopsen 17 Nov 2011 18:00:39 16,127 posts
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    AnotherIdiot wrote:
    In terms of video, the quality of compressed HD download is superior to SD, it's only the technophile that would appreciate any further difference. A media format is not sustained solely by the support of the technophiles.

    HD tv's have made standard DVD collections look like dogshit.. an expensive downgrade for the majority of consumers. A compressed .mkv makes this look better and returns some of the investment.

    Aside form HDTV people have also invested in broadband and grown ever fond of convenience, the line between acceptable quality and convenience is to the advantage of digital distribution.
    The 1st generation of large HDTVs made DVD look rubbish. Newer HDTVs are surprisingly good at SD picture sources. Sure there's a difference. Regarding the issue of "compressed" HD (all HD is compressed, obv): in my neck of the woods, getting that to work acceptably is a gamble, and the difference between (for example) HD quality iPlayer and a reasonable transfer on a SD DVD is fairly inconsequential on my 50" plasma tbh.

    Obviously, anecdote != data, but there are just too many barriers and not enough incentives to make wholesale digital distribution for any hardware platform hoping to achieve a large enough user base to make making a new console viable. Not everybody lives in a city with fibre optic broadband.
  • Phattso Moderator 17 Nov 2011 18:21:54 13,623 posts
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    one-more-martin wrote:
    I agree at this point in time cost etc rules it out. My I work for a IT manufacturer and have seem the cost drop and the take up increase hugely in the last year or so. If it keeps going that way then I wouldn't rule it out being used in some form in the next gen consoles
    I really can't see it. When you're talking about producing 50 million consoles over five years, the added engineering costs of including an SSD (you'd need a more standard small form factor HDD for capacity on top) into the chassis, handling the thermal and power requirements, and getting it all for a reasonable cost suggest that it's not going to happen.

    At the price points a home console has to hit, and for the capacity you'd get affordably in an SSD in the next 18 months, you might as well just bung 32GB of flash in there (the 360 'tard' model already has 4GB, and all 360s can use a flash drive via USB anyway).

    Maybe you're right - but I'd be willing to lay down cash money that you're not. ;)
  • Psychotext 17 Nov 2011 18:28:30 54,518 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    In the time it takes me to download a HD film on PS3 I can:

    1. Drive to blockbusters and back
    2. Chose something I'm in the mood for there and then
    3. Watch it
    4. Drive it back again.
    In 7 minutes (possibly faster, I've never timed it exactly) I can download a 4gb MKV.

    Not all of us have shitty connections.

    That said, digital only would lead to us being ripped off to epic proportions (especially in the UK).

    Edited by Psychotext at 18:32:34 17-11-2011
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