Industry analysts are seemingly united in thinking that the next generation of consoles, starting with the Xbox 360 successor, will offer both physical and digital content in equal measure.
In an article on IndustryGamers, EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich has gone as far to claim the next console will be a “true hybrid” of distribution methods.”
“The digital transition will be just that, a transition, and neither Microsoft nor Sony will force consumers to go 100% digital,” Divnich said. “The digital transition will ultimately be at the choice of the consumer and Microsoft and Sony will continue to support physical media until the mass market has reached the tipping point of acceptance on digital.
“Right now, only about 10% of console software revenue occurs digitally and it would be inefficient for either manufacturer to accelerate that to 100% through a cloud or digital only environment. I know companies like Apple forced their consumers to go 100% digital, but keep in mind that at the time Apple was still emerging as a market leader in the music space. They understand that it would take years to go from 0 to 100MPH. Microsoft is already the market leader and it would be detrimental to their current success if they hit the reset button and forced consumers into an experience they may not be ready for,” he added.
“I’d expect the Xbox 720, or whatever they choose to call it, will act as a true hybrid console, supporting both physical and digital media with the long-term hopes that they can provide enough incentive and value to accelerate that transition.”
The next Xbox is heavily rumored for a reveal next year with a possible holiday release date. Is the industry, and you, ready to embrace digital-distribution to this degree?