We’re almost five years out since the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One. What this means is that their successors are on the horizon—even if they don’t launch any time soon, they’re on the cusp, in active development, and will be out by 2020 or thereabouts, presumably.
What will these new consoles look like? One point of speculation has often been that they may move to a digital only model, eschewing physical media entirely. However, according to Andrew House, who formerly used to lead Sony’s PlayStation division, that doesn’t seem likely. Speaking at the GamesBeat conference (via TechRadar), House revealed that he was of the opinion that both these consoles will still use discs, mostly because consoles continue to break into developing markets like India and China, where physical media still reigns supreme.
“I don’t have any firm knowledge on this, but my sense is that you will see the disc around in the industry for a while. If you’re going to tap into some of these [developing] markets, then allowing for that more traditional physical purchase model as an option is probably no bad thing,” he said.
In spite of this, House revealed that he expects game streaming to nonetheless play a major part in the next generation of consoles.
“If you look back at console gaming history, there are certain inflection points that allow for the industry to be upended and for new participants to emerge,” he said. “One of those is when you have a wholesale shift in the distribution method. In content-based industries, that is what is creating barriers to entry for people to come in.
“So, other than the technical challenges, there’s no reason why game streaming can’t be present in games in the same way that we have seen in the music and film and television industries.”
Sony, of course, has already got PS Now as a streaming and delivery solution, which may be informing House’s opinion and take on this matter a little. Whether or not game streaming ever actually catches on, owing to the unique challenges that the interactivity of video games pose, remains to be seen.
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