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Citing slow Internet connectivity in many countries as well as many other reasons, both Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. reportedly decided to retain optical disc drives inside their next-generation game consoles. Given rising requirements for storage space, the two platform holders are likely to use Blu-ray disc technology, including its 100GB/128GB flavour known as BDXL.

Both Microsoft and Sony have considered getting rid of optical disc drives in their next-generation game consoles known as Xbox Next (Durango, Loop, etc.) and PlayStation 4 "Orbis", which would require them to set up datacenters around the globe, but will increase their abilities to sell games directly to consumers located in different parts of the world and therefore improve profit margins. Nonetheless, since Internet connection speeds are generally inconsistent in different locations on the planet, both decided to continue using optical discs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Although Internet speeds in the developed countries are very fast nowadays, optical disks have a number of advantages in addition to carrying new games. Firstly, they allow to avoid installation of costly high-capacity hard disk drives; secondly, they potentially allow previous-generation games to be played on future-generation consoles; Thirdly, optical discs with games clearly make relationship between Microsoft and retailers a lot easier, as the latter are very interested in selling video games, not only game consoles.

Game retailers do understand that eventually packaged media will cease to exist in general, just like it already de-facto happened to music and is about to happen with movies. As a result, many start to sell coupons to get content online.

"If we all agree the technology is inevitable - which I think it is because it is like death and taxes - it is still going to take longer to happen than it did for music and movies," recently said Paul Raines, chief executive officer of GameStop.

As previously reported, Microsoft and Sony have already supplied hardware development kits of Xbox Next and PlayStation 4 "Orbis" game systems to software. Based on unofficial information, both systems utilize accelerated processing units and graphics processing units designed by Advanced Micro Devices.

Microsoft and Sony did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Microsoft, Sony, Xbox, Playstation, Xbox Loop, Durango, Orbis

Discussion

Comments currently: 3
Discussion started: 05/31/12 02:09:22 PM
Latest comment: 06/01/12 05:12:18 AM

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1. 
Thank god they saw reality on this one and kept the optical drives for their next gen console. As long as disc are still popular in which they are with Blu-Ray then there will always be a need for an optical drive.
0 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 05/31/12 02:09:22 PM]
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2. 
While I don't mind digital downloads for games, I rip my music from CDs into a lossless format as CDs have better audio quality than the AAC and MP3 files available for download on iTunes and Amazon music. The same quality difference can't be seen on optical discs and digital downloads for games.
0 0 [Posted by: DirectXtreme  | Date: 06/01/12 03:36:01 AM]
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3. 
I'm very much for download-only consoles. But on one condition - games should be much cheaper than they are today. After all, there will be no manufacturing cost, no retailer markup and no second hand market. There's a small distribution cost but that's negligible. And the consoles can implement some torrent-like system, so they don't burden the first party servers so much. So again - make it cheap and they (I) will come.
0 0 [Posted by: kokara4a  | Date: 06/01/12 05:12:18 AM]
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