Home Gaming PC Gaming is quickly becoming digital-only, as Fallout 4 reminds us

PC Gaming is quickly becoming digital-only, as Fallout 4 reminds us

2 min read

Fallout 4 isn't all on the disc on PC

There’s an idea that physical media will always be a part of the way we consume games, and I’m often inclined to agree. having the convenience of a physical disc to pop in and install over a massive download is, and probably always will be, a choice that consumers will demand. Except when the demands are ignored, which has been happening on Pc for quite sometime now.

It’s still surprising, but PC gaming has steered towards a digital only future for months now. A stark reminder of that was when Metal Gear Solid V launched on PC via both Steam and physical media, with the latter simply containing a Steam Installer to initiate a download. There was no physical copy of Metal Gear Solid V to be purchased – a move that elicited little shock among those who have been gaming exclusively on PC for years now.

It’s a common thing, but Fallout 4 is subverting it in someway. When the game launches on PC next month, most of it will be on the disc for installation. So you’re not going to be expected to download well over 30GB just to start playing, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be downloading nothing. As Director Pete Hines said on Twitter, parts of the game are still up in the cloud waiting for installation.

That’s still a far better deal for those of us who are internet handicapped, but still not a complete solution. Worse yet is that it’s becoming the exception rather than the rule, as more and more games release with installers burnt onto discs instead of game files themselves. Activation via systems such as Steam are required in this age to curb piracy, but at what point does it become easier to not ship physical media at all?

While Microsoft and Sony aren’t ready to start imposing the same on consoles, it seems that future is set for PC gaming. And its true dawn doesn’t seem far away either.

Last Updated: October 20, 2015

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