After Xbox 360 - Microsoft was originally planning to go all digital and ROMless right?

Archaea

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My buddy and I were discussing the plans for the Xbox design after Xbox 360. As I recall in preliminary rumors it was said to be an all digital version. With no physical media -- all being downloaded from MS Xbox Live servers directly -- but that concept caused an outrage and got scraped because the general public wasn't ready for all DRM content.

Am I remembering that right? I did a quick web search, but can't find anything on it now. Not sure if that has all be erased from history because it didn't come to be, or if I am remembering wrong. My friend Stitch1 is telling me I've remembered that wrong - It was always going to have a ROM.
 
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T4rd

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My buddy and I were discussing the plans for the Xbox design after Xbox 360. As I recall in preliminary rumors it was said to be an all digital version. With no physical media -- all being downloaded from MS Xbox Live servers directly -- but that concept caused an outrage and got scraped because the general public wasn't ready for all DRM content.

Am I remembering that right? I did a quick web search, but can't find anything on it now. Not sure if that has all be erased from history because it didn't come to be, or if I am remembering wrong. My friend Stitch1 is telling me I've remembered that wrong - It was always going to have a ROM.
I think it was always going to have a disk drive, but there were going to be restrictions based on the publisher on if you could resell/trade a game to someone. Found this vid about it on Youtube:

 

SeymourGore

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I think it was always going to have a disk drive, but there were going to be restrictions based on the publisher on if you could resell/trade a game to someone. Found this vid about it on Youtube:

Yar, that's what I remember. Disc drive, always online DRM requirement, and no used game sales.

Sony had a pretty successful parody video about it.

 

zamardii12

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Jesus... i've forgotten just how much Microsoft fucked up the Xbox One launch. It's all coming back to me now too... the reveal talked about TV like 80% of the time instead of games, the ridiculous requirement of Connect, and the large price tag. Thank god for Phil Spencer because he really turned things around. Games are still a problem in my eyes... not enough exclusives to sell the console especially now that all first party Xbox titles release same day on PC...
 

Armenius

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A classic. Don Mattrick's vision of making the Xbox an entertainment center instead of a gaming console. Thank Atheismo for Phil Spencer.

Another classic. Limited internet connectivity? Buy an Xbox 360.
 

zamardii12

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A classic. Don Mattrick's vision of making the Xbox an entertainment center instead of a gaming console. Thank Atheismo for Phil Spencer.
Holy shit... he actually said if you don't want to be online then buy a Xbox 360. What a dick.
 

defaultluser

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Yeah, it was basically trying to transition a console to Steam, way before anyone was ready :D

Steam came before everyone was ready for pure digital content delivery, but the slow growth of it's offferings over the last 15 years has made it hurt less. Also, day-one patches on Xbox One/PS4 has made playing AAA games without internet impossible.
 

chameleoneel

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Yeah, it was basically trying to transition a console to Steam, way before anyone was ready :D

Steam came before everyone was ready for pure digital content delivery, but the slow growth of it's offferings over the last 15 years has made it hurt less. Also, day-one patches on Xbox One/PS4 has made playing AAA games without internet impossible.
Yeah but steam has an offline mode where you can still load and play your games. Xbone would have required always online. That was the one major sticking point for the whole thing.

If they had not required always online, I think things would have been fine. Console culture has shifted majorly towards digital, anyway. Not only with the users, but also how games are ultimately served to us. For many games, a physical disc ends up merely your proof of purchase.
 

Viper87227

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Yeah but steam has an offline mode where you can still load and play your games. Xbone would have required always online. That was the one major sticking point for the whole thing.

If they had not required always online, I think things would have been fine. Console culture has shifted majorly towards digital, anyway. Not only with the users, but also how games are ultimately served to us. For many games, a physical disc ends up merely your proof of purchase.
I'm not even sure always online was really the issue, so much as WHY it was always online. Game rentals, used game sales, and swapping games with friends is hugely ingrained into console culture. Microsoft wanted to do away with this, they wanted it so that if you wanted to play an Xbox game, you had to buy a new copy. The always online was their anti-second hand DRM.

The funny thing is, this transition is happening organically anyway. Digital sales have far surpassed physical sales on consoles by now. This is only going to continue into the next generation. Physical media is dying. I bet most people who purchase these next round of consoles never put a disk in them. I'm sure, even if not at launch, diskless SKU's from both camps are all but guaranteed this generation. People are ready for it, they have been for a long time... it just needs to be a choice.
 

vegeta535

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I'm not even sure always online was really the issue, so much as WHY it was always online. Game rentals, used game sales, and swapping games with friends is hugely ingrained into console culture. Microsoft wanted to do away with this, they wanted it so that if you wanted to play an Xbox game, you had to buy a new copy. The always online was their anti-second hand DRM.

The funny thing is, this transition is happening organically anyway. Digital sales have far surpassed physical sales on consoles by now. This is only going to continue into the next generation. Physical media is dying. I bet most people who purchase these next round of consoles never put a disk in them. I'm sure, even if not at launch, diskless SKU's from both camps are all but guaranteed this generation. People are ready for it, they have been for a long time... it just needs to be a choice.
I want to see numbers. I don't believe digital has surpassed physical yet on consoles. I want physical personally. I would still buy PC games physically if it was possible. I know it will happen eventually. The problem with digital on consoles is once servers go down the games are gone. Hell a lot of time digital games won't even transfer to the next system. Nintendo is notoriously bad with their digital rights management.
 

Viper87227

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I want to see numbers. I don't believe digital has surpassed physical yet on consoles. I want physical personally. I would still buy PC games physically if it was possible. I know it will happen eventually. The problem with digital on consoles is once servers go down the games are gone. Hell a lot of time digital games won't even transfer to the next system. Nintendo is notoriously bad with their digital rights management.
I've seen it mentioned a few times. While we don't have hard numbers (Sony and MS don't generally release this information), here's a few sources after some quick googling:

https://www.shacknews.com/article/110487/dfc-digital-console-revenue-to-pass-packaged-sales-in-2019
https://www.ccn.com/playstation-4-digital-game-sales-overtake-physical-thats-a-first/
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-01-03-uk-video-game-sales-now-80-percent-digital

Maybe "far surpassed" was an exaggeration on my part, but many sources claim they have taken the lead. It's safe to assume this trend is only going to continue upward.
 

Domingo

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You have to imagine digital sales will continue to grow. Retailers can still sell things, they would just be like PC games and have a download code in the box. That way we're not at the mercy of one single digital store's prices.
It totally kills reselling, trading, renting, etc. using the current paradigms, but I'd have to think those things could still occur if the platform wanted them to exist. Temporary keys, being able to transfer games between ID's once, etc. can work but it's going to take some serious forethought and infrastructure. I don't see it happening this generation either, but by the end of the lifecycle it'll probably be pretty close.
 

vegeta535

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I've seen it mentioned a few times. While we don't have hard numbers (Sony and MS don't generally release this information), here's a few sources after some quick googling:

https://www.shacknews.com/article/110487/dfc-digital-console-revenue-to-pass-packaged-sales-in-2019
https://www.ccn.com/playstation-4-digital-game-sales-overtake-physical-thats-a-first/
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-01-03-uk-video-game-sales-now-80-percent-digital

Maybe "far surpassed" was an exaggeration on my part, but many sources claim they have taken the lead. It's safe to assume this trend is only going to continue upward.
No doubt it will keep growing but there is still a place for physical. I hope we will still get physical games for awhile.
 

T4rd

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I've gone all-digital on my consoles now just for the convenience of not having to swap discs and also so I don't have to worry about losing/breaking discs between moving and with kids around. That's esp. useful on Switch where it's too easy to lose those little carts for it, kids will lose those quick.

But I also have decent internet and don't care at all about trading games in or anything, as I typically only buy games on sale long after they've released anyways, barring some PS4 exclusives.

I thought it was funny that MS released a Xbone S All Digital (SAD, lol) edition though, which wasn't any cheaper whatsoever than the standard One S, so I failed to see the point in it at all.
 

Armenius

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I've gone all-digital on my consoles now just for the convenience of not having to swap discs and also so I don't have to worry about losing/breaking discs between moving and with kids around. That's esp. useful on Switch where it's too easy to lose those little carts for it, kids will lose those quick.

But I also have decent internet and don't care at all about trading games in or anything, as I typically only buy games on sale long after they've released anyways, barring some PS4 exclusives.

I thought it was funny that MS released a Xbone S All Digital (SAD, lol) edition though, which wasn't any cheaper whatsoever than the standard One S, so I failed to see the point in it at all.
I'd still be buying physical if you didn't need to keep the disc in the console to play the game after it's installed.
 

Stitch1

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I am a big fan of physical media but it hardly seems worth it anymore. For example I bought COD Modern Warfare on black Friday. Popped the disc in and let it do its install. So far no problem. Then it wanted a download a huge patch. sigh. It does, Then another and another. I ended up downloading WAY more than what was on the disc to begin with. To make matters worse I only wanted to play the campaign. Yet I had to have the downloads in place before I could start. The main reason I bought it on disc was so I could blow through the story quickly then trade it back in. I realize not every game has a 100gb+ install size but still the ones that do you would think the disc would have most of that data on it.

I have been a long hold out on going digital with my gaming collection sticking mostly to just the free monthly games. But if I am going to be downloading the game anyways, I might as well get all the benefits of that medium.
 

Armenius

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I am a big fan of physical media but it hardly seems worth it anymore. For example I bought COD Modern Warfare on black Friday. Popped the disc in and let it do its install. So far no problem. Then it wanted a download a huge patch. sigh. It does, Then another and another. I ended up downloading WAY more than what was on the disc to begin with. To make matters worse I only wanted to play the campaign. Yet I had to have the downloads in place before I could start. The main reason I bought it on disc was so I could blow through the story quickly then trade it back in. I realize not every game has a 100gb+ install size but still the ones that do you would think the disc would have most of that data on it.

I have been a long hold out on going digital with my gaming collection sticking mostly to just the free monthly games. But if I am going to be downloading the game anyways, I might as well get all the benefits of that medium.
On both Xbox One and PS4 patches are downloaded concurrently with the game installation process, so I don't understand what you're saying here. Regardless, you only ever need to download one patch to get the game up-to-date, unless you're talking about DLC being downloaded.
 

zamardii12

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Armenius is correct, and besides MY whole argument with physical media is that you can sell and resell it. The vast majority of my physical games are pre-owned. Very very very rarely do I buy a game at launch at full retail price. Although lately i've noticed that my backlog is so large at this point that even games I want at launch I forget about until they're on sale. I have definitely gotten great deals on digital games aside from Nintendo, but i've had to wait which works out because again my backlog is insanely large and there are so many games that I already own that I want to play that by the time I get around to wanting to buy a a game I was looking forward to it's already on sale...
 

Stitch1

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My point is that the downloaded content required to play the game was larger than what was on the disc.
 

Stitch1

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https://www.gottabemobile.com/how-long-will-call-of-duty-modern-warfare-take-to-download/amp/

Here you can read up on it. I guess I shouldn't complain too much. I bought it for $38 and traded it in for $30. I don't normally trade games in unless I have a good reason to. Like in this case it only cost me $8 plus tax to play it. I actually made money off of Wolfenstein. But that was Best Buy being silly with their game deals.

I still buy more physical games currently but that might change with this next gen.
 

vegeta535

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My point is that the downloaded content required to play the game was larger than what was on the disc.
Well the Blu-ray discs only hold 50gb. Activision being the asshole cheap fucks they are didn't want too spring for a few be disc like RS did for RDR2. I still don't understand when CoD is so good damn big.
 

T4rd

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I am a big fan of physical media but it hardly seems worth it anymore. For example I bought COD Modern Warfare on black Friday. Popped the disc in and let it do its install. So far no problem. Then it wanted a download a huge patch. sigh. It does, Then another and another. I ended up downloading WAY more than what was on the disc to begin with. To make matters worse I only wanted to play the campaign. Yet I had to have the downloads in place before I could start. The main reason I bought it on disc was so I could blow through the story quickly then trade it back in. I realize not every game has a 100gb+ install size but still the ones that do you would think the disc would have most of that data on it.

I have been a long hold out on going digital with my gaming collection sticking mostly to just the free monthly games. But if I am going to be downloading the game anyways, I might as well get all the benefits of that medium.
I haven't played Xbone in a while, but on PS4, unless you want to play online, it doesn't force you to download updates and gives me the option to continue playing without an update, so I assume Xbone would work the same way.

Not sure about consoles too, but I got that same CoD MW game on PC and it would let me start playing the game well before it was done downloading (which it was over 110 GBs on PC for the base game, not sure what those campaign packs are you're showing), which I've seen a lot on PS4 as well, but I know not all games support that from what I've seen on both platforms.
 

Stitch1

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Yeah, most games at least let you play something after a little bit. But not the case here. So the main benefit of physical was lost on this one. The trade it made up for it. But really for as much data as I downloaded I might as well just just bought it digitally.

When I had two of the same systems digital was way nicer. I could be playing the game in my basement on the projector for long sessions. Then jump back in for a quick round or two in the living room before or after work. Also having my game collection at a tap of a button makes me lean a little more towards going digital. That and game pass. With gamepass I kinda feel like I'll only really buy games I'm really interested in. Like cyberpunk is a day one buy. Even if it were on gamepass I would buy it. But most other games... Meh I could wait for game pass or keep playing what is on the service.
 

Viper87227

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I've gone all-digital on my consoles now just for the convenience of not having to swap discs and also so I don't have to worry about losing/breaking discs between moving and with kids around. That's esp. useful on Switch where it's too easy to lose those little carts for it, kids will lose those quick.

But I also have decent internet and don't care at all about trading games in or anything, as I typically only buy games on sale long after they've released anyways, barring some PS4 exclusives.

I thought it was funny that MS released a Xbone S All Digital (SAD, lol) edition though, which wasn't any cheaper whatsoever than the standard One S, so I failed to see the point in it at all.
Agree on pretty much all points. I purchased a total of two discs for the last console generation. RDR2, which came bundled with my console (and sold off after I beat it), and RDR1 (to replay) because it was $30 digitally for an old ass game and I could pick up a used copy for $5. My rule has been I'll allow myself one physical disc, then I still don't have to worry about swapping discs ;)

I don't care at all about reselling games, you get peanuts for them. I'd rather just buy a game and know it'll always be there if I feel like giving it another spin some day. I don't want the hassle of switching them, losing them, damaging them, etc. The convenience of digital trumps all for me.

I am a big fan of physical media but it hardly seems worth it anymore. For example I bought COD Modern Warfare on black Friday. Popped the disc in and let it do its install. So far no problem. Then it wanted a download a huge patch. sigh. It does, Then another and another. I ended up downloading WAY more than what was on the disc to begin with. To make matters worse I only wanted to play the campaign. Yet I had to have the downloads in place before I could start. The main reason I bought it on disc was so I could blow through the story quickly then trade it back in. I realize not every game has a 100gb+ install size but still the ones that do you would think the disc would have most of that data on it.

I have been a long hold out on going digital with my gaming collection sticking mostly to just the free monthly games. But if I am going to be downloading the game anyways, I might as well get all the benefits of that medium.
Physical media's value exists purely in cost. You can buy a game and then sell it when you are done with it. Or, you can hold off and buy a used copy, which devalues much faster than a digital copy would. A lot of people make the "people with shitty internet..." argument, but your experience here is exactly why that mentality is losing traction. We're at a point where pretty much any AAA game will require a full installation to the console anyway. On a good connection, downloading can be faster than installing off a disc. On a crappy connection, installing off a disc will still be faster... until patch time. Massive day one patches are becoming standard, buying a disc no longer exempts you from a lengthy download. Even with a huge patch, is it faster to install off a disk on a poor connection? Probably. But the disc is far from the time saver it used to be, there is no pop it in and play anymore. And in the case of pre-orders, everything gets a preload anyway, so even the shittiest of connections will have you playing a digital copy faster than a disk. In the next round of consoles, I don't expect internet speed to be a discerning factor for most disk shoppers. Data caps on the other hand... at least here in the US the standard seems to be 1TB, and we already have plenty of 100GB plus games. I think 100-200GB is going to become normal in the next few years. Chewing through 10-20% of your monthly data with a single game download... that can raise some eyebrows. It makes me wonder how ISPs will react, because the line that "nobody needs over 1TB of data" isn't holding water anymore.

I'd still be buying physical if you didn't need to keep the disc in the console to play the game after it's installed.
I think a lot of people would, having to put the disc in the drive is pretty much the reason why people don't buy physical. I don't see this ever happening though. Obviously it cannot be done without some kind of DRM, something to stop people from just installing a game, letting all their friends do the same, and then selling it once everyone has a copy. This is pretty much what Microsoft tried to do with Xbox One, and it was a colossal clusterfuck from the moment they announced it. I don't see MS or Sony trying to reintroduce DRM for disk games. You either possess the disk and put it in your console, or you don't play the game. It's just easier that way.
 

Domingo

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Have people been contacted by their ISP for going over their data limits? I'm on Comcast and have exceeded my supposed cap almost every month for years. Sometimes more than double. I've never heard a peep about it and that portion of my bill hasn't changed. I'm not saying other don't and Comcast doesn't in other places, but that doesn't seem to be something they're enforcing universally.
 

Armenius

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Have people been contacted by their ISP for going over their data limits? I'm on Comcast and have exceeded my supposed cap almost every month for years. Sometimes more than double. I've never heard a peep about it and that portion of my bill hasn't changed. I'm not saying other don't and Comcast doesn't in other places, but that doesn't seem to be something they're enforcing universally.
Comcast started knocking me immediately after the policy went into effect in my area, so I conceded and am paying them extra for unlimited bandwidth :sick:. There is no broadband competition in my area. It's a part of the state with "government mandated" monopoly.
 

Viper87227

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Have people been contacted by their ISP for going over their data limits? I'm on Comcast and have exceeded my supposed cap almost every month for years. Sometimes more than double. I've never heard a peep about it and that portion of my bill hasn't changed. I'm not saying other don't and Comcast doesn't in other places, but that doesn't seem to be something they're enforcing universally.
That's bizarre. Comcast here also, and before I had unlimited, I'd get pop-ups in my browser and on my phone when I was nearing my data cap. If you went over, another pop-up as well as an email stating your over. They give two free months, and after that it's something stupid like $10 for every 50GB over.

Normally they charge $50 for unlimited, but they have some thing where if you are on one of their 300mbps or greater plans and rent their gateway, you can get it for $20 a month. So, I do that. I average about 2TB a month. That's just the wife and I. All our TV is streaming (mostly 4K), and basically the rest of it is games. Absolutely no torrenting or anything of the like. It's not hard to eat up a lot of internet these days.
 
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