Home Gaming Next gen consoles probably won’t use physical media

Next gen consoles probably won’t use physical media

1 min read


At the beginning of this generation, it looked like at least one of the major console manufacturers was looking to eschew physical media, opting instead to use digital distribution as its primary way of delivering games to users. The Xbox One was meant to be largely be digital – but consumer backlash meant a swift 180.

The next one though? It might not even have a physical disc drive at all. Speaking to Geekwire, former president of Microsoft‘s Entertainment & Devices Division Robbie Bach said that the next generation of consoles likely won’t use physical media.

“Does it have a physical media? Probably not, so how does that look? Is it just a game box or is it more? What’s the balance between what an Apple TV is and what an Xbox or a PlayStation 4 is? These are really interesting questions, and the teams going to have to wrestle with those. That next generation will be a whole new game.”

While this sort of rhetoric is thrown around all the time, I’m starting to think that it will soon be the case, and if it’s not implemented in the next generation, then it’ll most certainly be done for the next one. While I’m largely okay with that – as I’ve found I’m downloading most of my games these days, I’m not convinced our internet is up to the task for a digital distribution dominance yet.

Are you ready to give up on discs? On the one hand, as I download everything anyway, it suits me fine – but there’s a weird sentimental value that physical media can have. Beyond that, there’s the real fiscal value; games can be traded in to fund new ones – which is how the console industry keeps going. I fear that going completely digital may end up with the industry eating itself – particularly locally, where games are distributed by third parties.

Last Updated: September 8, 2015


  1. WitWolfy

    September 8, 2015 at 08:11

    Doubt it… If they do I’ll just get myself an awesome PC and get my games cheaper via STEAM.


    • Admiral Chief Returns

      September 8, 2015 at 09:04

      I’d like to get my grubby paws on the new Steam Controller


  2. Umar

    September 8, 2015 at 08:16

    In terms of trade ins…nope I’m not. I prefer digital, but the main thing that worries me is the price, especially in SA. When a game costs R200 more than its physical counterpart then you know digital only distribution is going to be a problem here.


  3. Jonah Cash

    September 8, 2015 at 08:25

    How about just make two different models? One with a disc drive and one without a disc drive. Surely it can’t be that difficult to understand and execute?!


    • WitWolfy

      September 8, 2015 at 08:33

      As long as we make our voices heard there will be physical media FOREVER. No doubt about that.


      • Jonah Cash

        September 8, 2015 at 08:34

        Two different models solves all of that without any outrage necessary…


    • The Sten

      September 8, 2015 at 10:17

      Or make a disk drive an external, optional perhiperal?


      • Jonah Cash

        September 9, 2015 at 09:44

        Even better! My laptop has no drive and the external works just fine… The two times a year I need it (if that much) Hahaha


  4. DragonSpirit009

    September 8, 2015 at 08:26

    I prefer the physical things. Digital always bites me in the ass while Murphy is sitting in the corner smiling!


  5. Martin du preez (D4RKL1NGza)

    September 8, 2015 at 08:35

    Pretty sure I read the EXACT same articles before the PS4 and xboner was launched


  6. Reid

    September 8, 2015 at 08:57

    If they can create a console equivalent of steam or even better fully integrate with steam I would be all for going digital on my ps5, but for now it’s very lacking.


  7. Admiral Chief Returns

    September 8, 2015 at 09:03

    Guess what folks, you will STILL PAY PREMIUM even if the exclude the physical media


    • Ottokie "Yahtzee"

      September 8, 2015 at 09:23

      ^ this…unfortunately


  8. Alien Emperor Trevor

    September 8, 2015 at 09:31

    Standalone blu-ray player, only $300. It’s not a games box, it’s an entertainment box. Remember TV TV TV TV TV TV SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS taking over the living room etc?


    • Splooshypooh

      September 8, 2015 at 10:16



  9. Ghost In The Rift

    September 8, 2015 at 11:05

    simple, no internet no gaming, not gonna work for those without a good connection….includes me:-(


  10. Francois Knoetze

    September 8, 2015 at 13:08

    already going mostly digital lately. But if they do they better change their pricing too. None of the hogwash about keeping the physical and digital competitive as to not lose market share in one area.


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