PS5/Xbox Series X/S have cancelled optical drives one after another! Will the game CD die?

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For game fans, the biggest event this year should be the launch of a new generation of game consoles. Both Microsoft and Sony will launch the latest Xbox SX/SS and PS5 game consoles at the end of this year. Many players have noticed that whether it is Xbox or PS, this time a pure digital version without optical drive has been launched.

PS5 and the new Xbox both launched a digital version of the game console without optical drive

This is considered by many friends to be a signal-the game disc is about to go down the stage of history. On the one hand, the Xbox camp launched a pure digital version of the model without optical drive as early as the Xbox One generation. Now Sony has followed this move. The giants’ efforts to push the digital version will naturally make waves; on the other hand, other areas such as Multimedia audio and video, optical discs are no longer mainstream media. Whether it is music CDs or movie DVD/BD, they have given way to network streaming. The elimination of game discs is also part of the historical trend and will become a reality sooner or later.

Under the membership system such as XGP, the digital game offensive is getting more and more fierce. Will physical games die?

However, in the hearts of the player community, game discs and cassettes are still indispensable. Even though the digital version has a price advantage and first time advantage, many players still insist on playing physical games and dismiss the digital version games. However, can feelings surpass reality? With both Sony and Microsoft pushing the digital version of the game, and the steam and other platforms on the PC in full swing, will the game discs decline in recent years, until they die? Today, let’s talk about related topics.

Why is the industry pushing for digital games?  

Compared with physical games, the advantages of digital games are obvious.

· No longer need optical drive and other hardware, reducing cost and failure rate.

To read physical games, whether it is a CD or a cassette, additional hardware is required. Take the optical drive as an example. Firstly, it will push up the cost (BD optical drive keeps the price of PS3 high, and the market performance was once in a mess), and secondly, it is easy to damage. The new generation of game consoles use SSDs. The non-optical drive version has no other mechanical structure except for the heat dissipation system. The durability is expected to reach a new level. At the same time, it is cheaper than the optical drive version and has its own unique features.

Even mature models like PS4 have experienced classic optical drive failures such as auto-spitting.

· Issuance is more convenient, reducing intermediate links.

The distribution of physical games needs to be distributed through intermediary agents such as GameStop. This slows down the speed of game distribution. On the other hand, it pays additional costs and causes problems such as inventory pressure. The digital version of the game is directly distributed to users through the Internet, which is faster and more direct, and the official price is usually cheaper than the physical version.

Why is the genuine rate of domestic PC games increasing? A digital game platform like Steam makes it easier for players to buy genuine copies.

· Suppress second-hand transactions and protect game profits.

Digital games basically cannot be used for second-hand transactions. Popularization of digital games means that the market share of second-hand games can be greatly reduced. Game manufacturers and publishers cannot make profits through second-hand game transactions, and digital games can better guarantee profits.

Second-hand games are a very large market, but they cannot bring revenue to game manufacturers. Digital games can eliminate this market.

· Better experience.

For players, the digital version of the game also has an experience advantage. For example, the digital version of the game can be pre-ordered and pre-downloaded. Players can play the game as soon as possible on the timeline of the lifting day, without having to queue up in the game store or wait for the delivery of the flash disk; for example, the digital version of the game does not need to replace the disc Switchable games, this will definitely let you feel what is the real humanistic care in the winter bed…

The digital version of the game can be pre-ordered, pre-downloaded, and can be played as soon as the unlock date is reached

From the perspective of distribution efficiency and play experience, digital games are indeed better than physical games. So is it really time for game discs to withdraw from the stage of history?

Will game discs really disappear?

Game manufacturers and publishers are the strongest promoters of digital games, but players stand on the opposite side in this regard. As long as players have a certain amount of gaming experience, they will most likely stand in the support of physical games. The reason is simple. Digital games cannot bring the purest gaming experience. Only physical games really belong to players.

What does it mean? This involves the ownership of the game. In essence, the digital version of the game does not really belong to the player, and the player only has the right to lease the digital version of the game.

Compared with the physical version, the digital version of the game without actual ownership has the following problems that are difficult for many players to accept.

· Manufacturers can remove and price digital games at will.

Just like taking an online video off the shelves of a certain film or TV series, or using the “first look” to start the price, when the platform decides to remove a certain digital version of the game, or substantially increase the price, players can do nothing about it.

For example, in “Neal: Mechanical Age”, the price soared from 199 yuan to 412 yuan when unlocked

Facts have proved that once digital products are controlled online by the service provider, it is difficult for users to prevent the service provider from changing the content. For example, Amazon has done the task of remotely deleting files from user kindle after removing books such as “1984”. At present, on platforms such as Steam, even if the purchased games are off the shelf, they can still be found and downloaded from the game library, but will this service change? The only thing players can trust is the unpredictable conscience of the service provider.

· Digital game distribution channels are unreliable, and “lock zones” are common

What does it mean? Whether it is an application store or a game store, there is a “lock zone” phenomenon . For different regions, the content in the game store is different. In the domestic game store, you cannot download many foreign game masterpieces. I believe the “National Bank Martyrs” have a deep understanding of this.

An interface that should be familiar to all Steam players

As far as the current situation is concerned, the “lock zone” for game discs is far looser than the digital version of the game in the game store. You can run game discs from other regions on the National Bank game console, but you cannot run digital versions of other regions. What’s more, digital games in other regions could have been run through some channels, but suddenly these channels were blocked. The distribution channels of digital games are always not so reliable for players.

· Digital games cannot be traded second-hand.

The digital version of the game cannot be freely traded, and it is also a major manifestation of the player’s lack of actual ownership of the game . Second-hand games are poisonous weeds that cannot be harvested for manufacturers, but for players it is a delicacy that can greatly reduce the cost of playing. In the previous generation, Microsoft announced that it would restrict the circulation of second-hand games through technical means. As a result, Xbox One was taken away directly, and Microsoft had to change its course. It can be seen what position the second-hand games occupy in the hearts of players.

The benefits of digital games are for new games. If you want to play old games, second-hand physical games will be more affordable

Although physical games are not as fast as digital games in terms of distribution efficiency, they have a more flexible transfer mechanism. Whether you want to transfer the game or save it for a long time, there is no problem. As a cultural product, this is rare. Years later, when you recall the past and want to relive the joy of the old games, you can easily find old game cassettes and CDs, and put them in the game console. Everything is the same. This kind of sentiment, I am afraid it is difficult to have a digital version of the game.

The physical game has a sentimental aura, which can satisfy the player’s collection addiction and sense of ownership, which cannot be matched by digital games

· Digital games rely on the Internet

Finally, the size of the game is getting bigger and bigger, not all players have the network conditions of Uvo. Even in developed countries, there are areas where the Internet is not very smooth, not to mention the situation of going to friends’ houses to play games together. It is always more comfortable to bring a few game discs to play in the past than to borrow an ID to download to others.

Later, for various practical reasons, in the current environment, although the digital version of the game has already shown some advantages, there are still huge fans of the game CD. For players, physical game discs and cassettes are in many cases more convenient, more secure, and more emotional.

Judging from the actual market performance, players’ acceptance of pure digital game consoles is still relatively limited. Microsoft has previously launched the Xbox One S pure digital version of the game console, which is $50 cheaper than the regular version, but the market performance is extremely bad. This shows the rejection of the digital version by players.

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