Xbox Will Go All-Digital Next Generation, Predicts Analyst

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PlayStation Won't Be Too Far Behind Either!

Story Highlight
  • The gaming industry is beginning to favor digital distribution over physical games.
  • Xbox seems to be leading the charge, with an analyst stating that it could be fully digital by the next generation.
  • The analyst also expects PlayStation and Nintendo to follow in a few generations.

As the gaming industry continues to innovate and push forward, a transition from physical to digital distribution is evident. Massive games like Hellblade 2 and Alan Wake 2 recently skipped a physical release, but demand for physical games still exists.

This is why Alan Wake 2 now has physical copies, but there’s no denying that an all-digital age is inevitable for gaming. According to an analyst, Xbox will likely be the first to make this jump, and the transition could come as early as the next generation.

Why it matters: Not too long ago, Microsoft laid off a chunk of its physical games department. This sparked similar speculations.

Xbox Physical Game
Xbox Relies On Physical Games Less Than The Competition

Mat Piscatella, a renowned industry analyst, recently commented on the state of Xbox games.

Responding to a tweet about the Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered Collector’s Edition skipping a physical launch on Xbox, he noted that people should get used to this happening more often.

Folks should get used to this across the market sooner rather than later.

-Mat Piscatella

He also elaborated that PlayStation would follow suit in one more generation, while Nintendo would likely support physical games for two additional generations.

Since Microsoft’s ecosystem relies on digital gaming the most, Xbox seems to be the first to make this move. Because of Game Pass, much of the user base is already conditioned to rely on digital purchases.

Previously, Phil Spencer denied such reports. However, this would not be the first time Microsoft said something that was contradicted later on. The future seems to be all-digital, and Xbox is typically the first to prepare for the future.

Hellblade 2
Hellblade 2 Skipped A Physical Release

Digital versions of games offer the advantage of not being damaged or lost, but people argue that they don’t provide a sense of ownership. An argument can also be made for hacking or other security issues that can lead to the loss of game libraries.

While physical and digital libraries have their ups and downs, we believe in more options for everyone. The current approach seems ideal, but the day is not far when digital eventually takes over physical distribution.

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