Who needs a disc when downloads are the impending future muses Microsoft. Chris Lewis the Xbox Europe boss believes those "shiny discs" won't last long in the race for better media, they'll be left in a ditch far sooner than most realise.
He claimed also that the Xbox360 is in a near perfect position to take advantage of this new trend. Can anyone say commendable optimism... or shameless denial?
“Going forwards, digital downloads is really where it’s at,” says Lewis.
“More and more people’s ongoing and ever-increasing downloading of music and movies is becoming the de facto. I think that’s going to happen in very short order; people want to consume that way. Before very long we will look back wistfully at shiny discs as something that was somewhat a historic phenomenon in a way that we kind of think about vinyl or VCRs today.”
While Lewis maybe talking a lot of sense and there is a definite migration toward more digital download services there's still something about owning a physical disc to make me feel better. Is it just me or am I the only one not liking where all this 'download only' talk is going? Services like Steam and GamersGate are a haven to many but is it a sign that the end is nie for the disc, or will pockets of resistance fight these new-age heretics?
Lewis continued to rain on Sony's parade over Blu-rays victory; he strongly believes the demise of HD-DVD won't have any negative effect on the Xbox360.
"That's the future direction, and I think that's going to be the case in the next 12-18 months," he predicted. "I think we're going to be talking much more about that than anything else. Do I think that this Christmas will somehow be defined by DVD playback? I genuinely don't think that will be the case. I do not think that (the demise of HD DVD) will have any material impact on our console velocity. And I think other factors, specifically our architecture around downloads, is far more advantageous and important for the future."
"We are best placed to offer that, we already offer that, our online pedigree is such that we will offer the best and most seamless experience."
You can't deny the power that the Xbox LIVE marketplace has whipped up over the years with DLC set to become more commonplace, and the launch of Microsoft's ownfor small-time developers. Sony themselves are hot on their tail though as they gear up PSN with things like "Home" to better integrate online communities.
Let the battle of the fanbois commence!