Like the music and film industries, the gaming industry has shown a willingness to move toward a mostly digital future. Currently, gaming giants like PlayStation and Xbox offer all-digital consoles, and various AAA titles have skipped a physical release in 2023.
Anticipated games like Alan Wake 2 will not be released on discs, but Ryan Cohen from GameStop does not appear to be too fond of the potential death of physical gaming media.
The Executive Chairman of GameStop recently took to Twitter and expressed his opinion on digital consoles. He believes disc drives should not be left out of consoles.
Why it matters: GameStop is a major gaming retailer worldwide and operates in 17 countries. The death of physical gaming media would be a massive blow to such retailers.
Big win for consumers.
Consumers have also invested their hard earned money in to physical video games. Disk drives should be required on consoles.
— Ryan Cohen (@ryancohen) September 3, 2023
Commenting on Apple’s upcoming switch to USB-C charging, Ryan Cohen noted that this was a positive development for consumers.
He then stated that physical gaming media is important for consumers since many have spent hard-earned money to build massive physical collections over the years. Ryan Cohen also said:
“Disk drives should be required on consoles.”
Traditionally, physical media has been praised for its benefits to game preservation. While digital games can be pulled from storefronts, physical copies can usually be found for decades after their original release.
The Executive Chairman of GameStop appears to be alarmed about the inevitable abandonment of physical games, and the recent popularity of digital consoles marks the first major step toward this change.
Analysts also believe that gaming will be dominated by digital-only releases as early as 2028, leading to concern from gamers who prefer to own a physical collection.
Since digital-only consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series S can be produced at lower costs and offer a more lucrative business option, it is unlikely that PlayStation and Xbox will shift away from the trend.
However, this shift could be a major hurdle for retailers like GameStop, with gaming fans having little reason to visit such stores when everything can easily be purchased and accessed from digital storefronts.
While many will likely agree with Ryan Cohen’s statement, the growth of digital media is not expected to stop anytime soon. Despite its drawbacks, digital media has too many advantages that cannot be ignored by gaming giants like PlayStation and Xbox.
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