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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:13 am 



Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Posts: 24
TheSwartz wrote:
One thing I think of is the market for books.

10 years ago, everyone was predicting that digital books would entirely replace physical books. Yet, after a rapid and dramatic drop in physical sales, this leveled off with a large chunk of consumers still preferring to read physical books. What I've read in articles documenting this is, we currently have this steady state; with certain things published as digital only, but a lot of new books are selling at some ratio, like 80:20 - digital vs. physical. And, the publishers are continuing to print because there is enough demand to continue justifying it. And, from what I've read, this isn't expected to change anytime soon.

Similarly, there are nichè books that are almost entirely sold in physical form still (or at least sold at a 1:1 digital version with the physical version). An example would be tabletop RPG books. i.e. "D&D". And specifically all of the higher production value stuff, not the gazillion indie print stuff. These books are laid out in a way that's most appreciated in a large, physical format. These are often collectible. Plus, old grognards just want their hard-cover books dammit! Not the greatest comparison, but this makes me think of things like Limited Run games.

Lastly, think of books sold purely for display purposes. Like coffee table books, or art books, etc. Or how the manga publishers know that if they print the same issue, with 4 different covers, that many fans will feel compelled to "collect them all". All of this is similar to the Collector's Editions we see in games as a way to get you to give them more money, but in return give those fans a way to obtain a coveted physical product. However, look at the Fire Emblem 30th Anniversary Edition just announced for the Switch. It's a nearly perfect collector set except... you just get a digital code to download the actual game... such a bummer!

I'm not quite sure how these observations translate to video games. Not the greatest "apples to apples" comparison of media formats. But, I hope it's encouraging for physical media to stay, in some form, for a while longer. But, I'm not counting on it for the long-term... I think we should appreciate what we have, while we have it.


That's a nice comparison, but the thing about books is that there are book readers who don't even know how to use a computer or a tablet and don't care to learn. Not that that's a bad thing, but the point is there's a pretty big difference between having a physical book in your hands and some electronic screen device, even if it's an e-reader.

But with videogames there's not going to be any difference in the gameplay regardless if it's a downloaded game or one or stored on a physical cartridge or disk. You can't say your disk version looks better or feels different than someone else's downloaded version just because it's on physical media. The only exceptions are 1) The pure nostalgia of inserting physical media into your gaming computer or console and 2) If we're talking about the difference in gameplay and graphics between physical media on its original hardware vs. digital downloads of the same classic games on newer hardware via emulation or HD remakes.

What I like about physical media is
  1. I can keep the game as long as I want. It doesn't matter if my console spontaneously combusts. As long as my game carts or disks don't get damaged I can always repair or get another console.
  2. I can sell the games I don't really like. Back when I was a kid my brother would sell some of his (and sometimes mine, little stinker) games and use the money to buy a better game.
  3. There are many (used) games I can still buy on physical media without having to buy a new console or resorting to piracy. But that's not the same with downloadables. For an example, I have a Wii...

If game sellers could make owning digital downloads have the same advantages, or at least benefits that outweigh the disadvantages, then I'd welcome digital, console locked downloads with open arms. But that would likely defeat the whole point of game sellers going to downloads. Sure, Nintendo could still keep the Wii Store open and even be making a little money at it. But it's in Nintendo's best interests to try to convince me I should by a Switch instead.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:26 am 



Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Posts: 24
Here's one thing that downloadable-locked may have an advantage over physical media. I finally found a copy of the MS-DOS version of the Simpson's Arcade game on floppy disk, since I thought that the MS-DOS and Commodore 64 versions should be cheaper than the arcade PCB's. But it's for sale at $299.99 USD on eBay! At least there was a moment you could get the Xbox 360 or PS3 version for much much cheaper. And there's a chance it might come out again on a newer platform for a cheap game price, at least some day in the future.

Of course, ironically someone like me would have to buy a new +$300 console in order to buy it then, if it every happens. That's a lot more than the $10 PS3 yardsale special I got hoping I could still purchase the game.

Who knows, maybe someday I'll luck into a yardsale with the MS-DOS or C64 version being sold for a few dollars. Then again, the MS-DOS version apparently doesn't have the greatest sound. And of course, the C64 version doesn't have the greatest graphics. At $300 for the floppies, it's probably not that much more to buy the arcade PCB and getting it to work.

But I think for now, since I just want a game to play with the family, I think I'll stick to Mario Party.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:10 pm 


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Issac Zachary wrote:
Here's one thing that downloadable-locked may have an advantage over physical media. I finally found a copy of the MS-DOS version of the Simpson's Arcade game on floppy disk, since I thought that the MS-DOS and Commodore 64 versions should be cheaper than the arcade PCB's. But it's for sale at $299.99 USD on eBay!


You could just download the MS-DOS version and copy it to a floppy yourself using a USB floppy drive or something similar. It probably qualifies as abandonware.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:14 pm 


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There's no such thing as "qualifying" as abandonware.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:29 pm 


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I grew up with physical media, so I hated the idea of all-digital. Especially because I never would have played half the games I did without having been able to trade them in for the next one.

But Steam forced the console 3rd parties into such steep digital discounts that it became much more appealing after a while. The discounts were typically more than I'd get back trading or selling a physical version. Add in not having to get up & swap discs to flip between games, and always having your whole collection with you, and digital just made more sense.

But now I'm seeing the negative side. Servers & storefronts for 7th generation consoles shutting down. Games that I owned being arbitrarily delisted, so if they weren't on my HDD at the time I could never get them back. Games with licenses that would vanish forever once those licenses expired.

Then there are things like not being able to lend a game to someone. Not being able to sell a game off if it became valuable. If you sell a console, all your games go with it. And I began to miss having a collection. Knowing there were ROMs out there in the ether that you gave a revokable license for isn't the same as looking on your shelf and seeing an LE of a beloved game, or knowing that a goofy multiplayer game will be there to play with your future kids or grandkids one day. That you could even pass it on, and your descendants would know something about you and the experiences you had. That it might actually turn out to be a financially valuable legacy if it stays in the family long enough, those descendants could even build on it.

So yeah. It's pricier, but I've gone back to physical unless it's unavoidable. Even if it means getting less games that's fine, I have more than I'll ever finish anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:51 pm 


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Osirus wrote:
There's no such thing as "qualifying" as abandonware.


Whatever. My point is that nobody is hurt by people downloading it.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:48 pm 


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Somewhere, somehow, a rights holder is crying right now. Please, think of the rights holders. :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:08 pm 


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lalilulelo wrote:
Osirus wrote:
There's no such thing as "qualifying" as abandonware.


Whatever. My point is that nobody is hurt by people downloading it.


Absolutely not. Download away.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:20 pm 


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It's cute. When someone bootlegs the OSSC or the Wii HDMI, this forum is all upset.

Download what you want, but remember it's the same thing. Often, you're downloading a year or more of a dev's blood, sweat, and tears. I guess what bugs me is the flippant dismissal of software rights on a forum that cherishes the work of community hardware devs.

Hardware that (I might add) is completely worthless and useless without games to play. :) The community makes hardware to play game content, but the content has no value? Yeah. That doesn't pass the smell test. That's rubbish.
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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:47 pm 


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Udderdude wrote:
Somewhere, somehow, a rights holder is crying right now. Please, think of the rights holders. :cry:


I promise someday I'll license my copy of WinRAR.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:35 pm 


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orange808 wrote:
It's cute. When someone bootlegs the OSSC or the Wii HDMI, this forum is all upset.

Download what you want, but remember it's the same thing. Often, you're downloading a year or more of a dev's blood, sweat, and tears. I guess what bugs me is the flippant dismissal of software rights on a forum that cherishes the work of community hardware devs.

Hardware that (I might add) is completely worthless and useless without games to play. :) The community makes hardware to play game content, but the content has no value? Yeah. That doesn't pass the smell test. That's rubbish.


It's an MS-DOS port of the Simpsons arcade game dude. I've never seen someone on this forum talk about pirating any recent, commercially available games.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:34 pm 


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orange808 wrote:
It's cute. When someone bootlegs the OSSC or the Wii HDMI, this forum is all upset.

Download what you want, but remember it's the same thing. Often, you're downloading a year or more of a dev's blood, sweat, and tears. I guess what bugs me is the flippant dismissal of software rights on a forum that cherishes the work of community hardware devs.

Hardware that (I might add) is completely worthless and useless without games to play. :) The community makes hardware to play game content, but the content has no value? Yeah. That doesn't pass the smell test. That's rubbish.


The developers are no longer receiving money for the game no matter what, because there’s no way to legally buy a new copy of the game anymore. Your only option is to buy a used copy, like that $300 floppy that was mentioned previously; in that case, the money is going to the reseller, not the developer. Nobody’s receiving royalties for it either. The only reason I suggested this is because the used copy was so ridiculously expensive - this doesn’t affect the developer at all, but it does deprive that reseller of their exorbitant price, which I think is good.

Personally, I like to own original copies of all of my games, because I’m a collector. But I sometimes download very old games (mainly PC games) in cases where obtaining an original copy is difficult or impossible. If the developers receive no money regardless of what you do, I don’t see how you can argue that’s morally wrong. I still usually give the developers money for other games, and if they would rerelease the games I’d gladly support them in that way.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:10 pm 



Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Posts: 24
Ya, I guess I don't know where I stand on "abandonware." I mean The Simpsons' Arcade is a pretty fun game. But it's only a game, and one that I don't see myself playing for hours on end.

Although the MS-DOS version can be legally had for some $300, or the arcade PCB for $500, I don't think it's worth that, at least not for me. I think there are other games and toys I could spend $300 on and have more fun with overall.

Downloading the game ROM for free is still kind of cheating even if the developers no longer get any money for the game anyway. Property is still property and people have the right to set whatever price they want for it, even if it's used property that they are reselling. Imagine if 3D printers got so good you could make yourself a free copy of other stuff like old Lamborghinis or old iPhones. Would that be a good thing or a bad thing?

The thing about consolized downloads is that they're kind of like leased software, in the sense that whatever money you put into them you're not getting that back. Once you're through with your console, it's time to say "bye bye" to your games you spent money on. This is ok for people who don't want to keep playing their old games forever. Kind of like people who lease a car that they don't see themselves driving forever and ever.

On the other hand I guess another way of looking at it is your console becomes one big game cartridge.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:08 pm 


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Issac Zachary wrote:
Downloading the game ROM for free is still kind of cheating even if the developers no longer get any money for the game anyway. Property is still property and people have the right to set whatever price they want for it, even if it's used property that they are reselling.


Downloading a copy doesn't affect the price of the original disks at all. People will continue to buy and sell $300 original copies no problem.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:28 am 


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Sengoku Strider wrote:
I grew up with physical media, so I hated the idea of all-digital. Especially because I never would have played half the games I did without having been able to trade them in for the next one.

But Steam forced the console 3rd parties into such steep digital discounts that it became much more appealing after a while. The discounts were typically more than I'd get back trading or selling a physical version. Add in not having to get up & swap discs to flip between games, and always having your whole collection with you, and digital just made more sense.

But now I'm seeing the negative side. Servers & storefronts for 7th generation consoles shutting down. Games that I owned being arbitrarily delisted, so if they weren't on my HDD at the time I could never get them back. Games with licenses that would vanish forever once those licenses expired.

Then there are things like not being able to lend a game to someone. Not being able to sell a game off if it became valuable. If you sell a console, all your games go with it. And I began to miss having a collection. Knowing there were ROMs out there in the ether that you gave a revokable license for isn't the same as looking on your shelf and seeing an LE of a beloved game, or knowing that a goofy multiplayer game will be there to play with your future kids or grandkids one day. That you could even pass it on, and your descendants would know something about you and the experiences you had. That it might actually turn out to be a financially valuable legacy if it stays in the family long enough, those descendants could even build on it.

So yeah. It's pricier, but I've gone back to physical unless it's unavoidable. Even if it means getting less games that's fine, I have more than I'll ever finish anyway.


My thoughts 100%. WiiVC shut down. Hope you transferred to WiiU in time. Not owning the digital property that you "buy" is sad life. As soon as Amazon's Kindle came out I thought, "This is a scam to keep you from selling or donating your used books while forcing you on a platform they control."

I was reading r/pcmasterrace build advice and it said how an optical CD/DVD drive is an outdated piece of technology and they don't provide build with it. $20 USB drives aside, I like the LOOK AND FEEL of an internal player and want to play my PS1 and SS games on emulator where I can view the memory, make legal ISOs and program fan hacks down the line. Optical drive not outdated for vintage gaming.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:20 am 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
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Issac Zachary wrote:
Although the MS-DOS version can be legally had for some $300, or the arcade PCB for $500...

I think the MS-DOS version is simply rare, but one thing to keep in mind with the price of the arcade PCB is that you're paying more because you're not just buying the game but also its ability to make you money. Sure, arcades aren't prevalent in the US anymore, and the pandemic isn't helping anything; but, under non-outbreak circumstances, you could put that in a cab, put that cab in a public business (obviously with permission), and make money from it--something you couldn't do with the cheaper-but-still-obnoxiously-expensive MS-DOS version.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:22 am 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
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NewSchoolBoxer wrote:
I was reading r/pcmasterrace build advice and it said how an optical CD/DVD drive is an outdated piece of technology and they don't provide build with it. $20 USB drives aside, I like the LOOK AND FEEL of an internal player and want to play my PS1 and SS games on emulator where I can view the memory, make legal ISOs and program fan hacks down the line. Optical drive not outdated for vintage gaming.

It's also not obsolete for anyone who still handles music on CD, DVD, or Blu-ray. (SACD requires something else altogether. :/) It's also becoming more of a PITA to find a PC case with external expansion bays.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:15 pm 



Joined: 23 Oct 2017
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bobrocks95 wrote:
Issac Zachary wrote:
Downloading the game ROM for free is still kind of cheating even if the developers no longer get any money for the game anyway. Property is still property and people have the right to set whatever price they want for it, even if it's used property that they are reselling.


Downloading a copy doesn't affect the price of the original disks at all. People will continue to buy and sell $300 original copies no problem.

I think that depends. If companies and governments ever get their way and make it to where it's impossible or way to risky (high fines) to download unlicensed copies, then people's only way of getting the game will be the original and that will make it's price go up even more.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:55 pm 


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lalilulelo wrote:
The developers are no longer receiving money for the game no matter what, because there’s no way to legally buy a new copy of the game anymore. Your only option is to buy a used copy, like that $300 floppy that was mentioned previously; in that case, the money is going to the reseller, not the developer. Nobody’s receiving royalties for it either. The only reason I suggested this is because the used copy was so ridiculously expensive - this doesn’t affect the developer at all, but it does deprive that reseller of their exorbitant price, which I think is good.


I'll shed few tears for mass market licensed games. But there is an argument in favour of the aftermarket, namely that those prices demonstrate to publishers a demand for potential re-releases of older games which might well otherwise be seen as too niche. There are certainly small time developers who were never flush with cash to begin with who've seen further return on their work this way, which they otherwise wouldn't have.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:44 pm 



Joined: 05 Mar 2017
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Location: Woodinville, WA
I strongly prefer physical releases and will always pick up a physical copy when one is available. I like having something physical to hold onto and the ability to show it on my shelf.

That being said, I do think this physical vs. digital debate is the wrong framing. If our consoles of the past are any indicator, in ten to fifteen years, we'll be able to readily acquire the entire library of any modern system and play them directly on our consoles. So in this world, preservation of the physical media will be secondary to preservation of the game binaries themselves. As sad as the Wii Shop closing is, all of the games are available to play today with very little effort.

The biggest problem we'll face is the large dependence on online play for so many games. The top titles might have their online systems simulated but the rest will become completely unplayable. This will be true regardless of whether you have a digital or physical copy. And there's not much that can be done about this right now.

Another big problem exists with gaming on mobile phones. At least the game consoles strive to retain backwards compatibility for their entire generation. I have iPhone games I purchased nearly a decade ago that are no longer compatible with modern iOS versions. This is likely a solvable problem with patching like what is done on the Amiga with WHDLoad, but will be a pain nonetheless.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:03 pm 


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Sengoku Strider wrote:
I'll shed few tears for mass market licensed games. But there is an argument in favour of the aftermarket, namely that those prices demonstrate to publishers a demand for potential re-releases of older games which might well otherwise be seen as too niche.


Eh, I think if that was the case we'd see a lot more boutique retro re-releases for expensive titles. Metal Storm is probably the best example I can think of. But if publishers were really paying attention, Sega could easily drop 20,000 copies of Panzer Dragoon Saga, put them in a fancy box for $100, and sell them all immediately. I just don't see it often enough to think it really affects things.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you feel about the digital only future of console
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:16 pm 


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bobrocks95 wrote:
Sengoku Strider wrote:
I'll shed few tears for mass market licensed games. But there is an argument in favour of the aftermarket, namely that those prices demonstrate to publishers a demand for potential re-releases of older games which might well otherwise be seen as too niche.


Eh, I think if that was the case we'd see a lot more boutique retro re-releases for expensive titles. Metal Storm is probably the best example I can think of. But if publishers were really paying attention, Sega could easily drop 20,000 copies of Panzer Dragoon Saga, put them in a fancy box for $100, and sell them all immediately. I just don't see it often enough to think it really affects things.


Sega famously lost the code to Saga, it would need to be rebuilt from the ground up. But we have seen things like Radiant Silvergun resurface in HD for XBL, or Battle Garegga & the Aleste collection which wouldn't be as attractive without the ~$400 Power Strike II. There are so many others, Vasara, Game Tengoku, etc.


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