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With the dawn of new consoles just around the corner, I believe the age of the disc is about to end. Since its humble beginnings (sometime around the SEGA Saturn, I was too young) the disc has been the go-to guy for just about everything. Nintendo did try to prolong the life of the cartridge but, eventually met defeat. For whatever reason, the disc fluctuated sizes for a good 5 years, but we still aren’t quite sure what in the world the GameCube was thinking. Eventually everything returned to normal, the cartridge found its happy little medium (DS!), and to this day the good ol’, round, donut of video delight reigns supreme.
But with online gaming came the Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network (and Wii Shop I guess), and with those came downloadable games. Coming in both the arcade and on-demand variety, each market now sports more than 500 games (Wii = 300s). You can now download anything from Peggle to Assassin’s Creed Revelations from the comfort of your living room couch – or bed, you bedroom gamers. As more and more games become available for instant download I have started to wonder. Why aren’t all games released as downloadable from the start?
Now before all of the “swag” crazy, pre-order bonus, freaks flip out on me, hear me out. I am one of you after all (Maybe not so much on the whole swag thing). So let’s say you want to pre-order the new Aliens: Colonial Marines, which comes with its share of badass goodies. Instead of going to GameStop to pick up all of your stuff, turn GameStop into a one stop, “swag” shop. Pre-ordered games would give you the option of paying extra to have the equipment shipped to you, or you could go pick it up later in the day.
This works out well (in my head) for a number of reasons. First, now we can turn GameStop into a place where hardware and bonus goodies are sold. You miss out on that awesome journal that came with the Halo: Reach Heroic Edition (I didn’t)? Come pick it up at Gamestop for 20 bucks. Now instead of gypping us on our trade-ins now they can gyp us on the price of our extras. But face it, if you had the opportunity to pay 75 dollars just for the sculpture of Noble Team (courtesy of the Legendary Edition) a year after the game came out, you would probably do it. Second, this makes midnight releases completely different. No more waiting in line for hours for Call of Duty. Instead, your Xbox, or other respectable device (cough cough), will start your download the day before release. Then, as midnight approaches, you sit in front of your TV and watch a countdown until the game releases. Your copy is then unlocked and you get right into the action. Would that not be amazing?
So Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, give us a future gen console with a terabyte of memory and start phasing out hard copy games. You get to cut down on production costs while still making a profit and we get another reason to never leave the house. Just kidding. But seriously!