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Limbo dev: the retail model is "broken"

"Why should I get a console if games need to be installed?"

The retail video game model "has always been and still is broken".

That's according to Dino Patti, boss of Limbo developer Playdead games.

Limbo, a digitally distributed game that launched last year on Xbox Live Arcade, wowed critics and proved an immense commercial success. It was later released on PC and PlayStation 3.

Patti is yet to reveal Playdead's next game, but told Eurogamer it will almost certainly be downloadable - something he's perfectly happy with because, in his view, discs are outdated.

"The retail model has always been and still is broken, from a developer's point of view," Patti told Eurogamer at the GameCity6 festival.

"Driving discs in a big van all over the world is really inefficient. I don't understand how anyone can make money out of this. Driving a truck to Japan just to get it delivered to people when they can get it from the net? Hopefully the new consoles will embrace the download space even more."

While Microsoft has remained quiet on its next Xbox plans, Sony has indicated its next PlayStation will not be digital-only.

"We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn't as robust as one would hope," former Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kaz Hirai said in August last year.

"There's always going to be requirement for a business of our size and scope to have a physical medium. To think everything will be downloaded in two years, three years or even ten years from now is taking it a little bit to the extreme."

Patti agreed with Hirai, but insisted the world was turning towards digital.

"There will be discs for a long time from now, but the world has adopted download. When your mum and dad start to download things, that's when it's everybody who does it. So many publishers are pushing [discs] and there are so many channels which just won't die easily. In terms of money it's still bigger than download. There are still a lot of people who buy their games that way. It still makes a better presence."

Patti also singled out the need to install modern console games as an annoyance - echoing similar complaints made by Twisted Metal maker David Jaffe.

"I hate to have the disc myself," Patti said. "I only buy the disc if I want a console game, but everything else I download from Steam. And all the new games today also need to be installed. Why did I get a console if the games need to be installed? That really sucks. That's a PC.

"It should be more like plug and play. The first consoles were cartridges. When it takes one hour to install Gran Turismo 5? I don't know. Obviously it improves performance, but they should be able to build consoles with better performance from the disc drive."

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