PS4 and Xbox 720: Day One Digital Release Should Become Standard For All Games (OPINION)

By Vamien McKalin | May 10, 2013 03:03 PM EDT

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The next generation of consoles is upon us and everyone is either excited or going crazy over unconfirmed rumors. The most important thing about the upcoming generation of consoles is the games and the secondary features these platforms bring to the table. However, there's one thing I want both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 to make standard, and that is to make all titles be available digitally on day one. 

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I'm a person who despises having to own physical media, that's why every piece of music I have on my electronic devices is bought digitally. When it comes to software for my Windows PC, not a single one was installed from a CD-ROM. The only exception is Windows 8, since I needed a USB stick to install it on my laptop, but as you can guess, I acquired it digitally beforehand. 

The only contents I own on physical media are video games, and I pray that one day this will no longer be the case. My console of choice as of now, is the Xbox 360. If you own an Xbox 360 then you might have heard of Games on Demand. This allows folks to have the option to purchase physical media released digitally, and the only downside to this service is that games don't make it here on day one of release, it takes months. 

Such tactics to get people to invest in the physical media of video games is draconian in my eyes, and it is also backwards thinking. In an age that is classified as the digital millennium, one would think a digital mindset would be adopted by game developers and system manufacturers alike. I understand that some titles are released digitally on the PlayStation Store the same day as the physical media counterpart, but I can't really confirm this, since I do not own that system. If this is true, then by Odin's long luscious white beard, Sony is ahead of Microsoft in this respect. 

With the next generation of consoles not too far away, I hope it is taken into account that powerful hardware specifications and games are not the only things needed. Content for these consoles needs to be easily accessible. Making everyone go and line up in front of a store does not run along the lines of "ease of use." 

So many folks speak badly of PC gaming, but seem to be unaware that the content, which matters most, is easily accessible with a few clicks of the mouse. 

The specifications released by Sony of the PlayStation 4 and the rumored specs of the Xbox 720, suggest both systems will be similar to a PC in almost every way. It shouldn't be too hard then, to be similar in one more aspect: make all games be available digitally on day one. Do this, and you'll have a true next-generation console, because as you may have realized these past couple of years, big specs don't matter to many of the new devices being released on the market. What matters is how content is distributed to device owners. 

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