Why Next Generation Playstation and Xbox will have Disk Drive
For a while now rumors have been flying around about the next generation Sony and Microsoft consoles - whatever they may be named (the placeholder rumors are Xbox 720 and Playstation 4). One of the predominant (and most scary) to some is the one about disk drive-less consoles. There are many reasons why this would be a bad move for Sony and Microsoft and those will be reviewed, however according to the Wall Street Journal both Sony and Microsoft have now stated there will be a disk drive in their consoles.
Why Non Disk Drive Consoles Would Hurt The Economy
If you think about the majority of game stores out there, they run on two things. First, the ability to sell games. Second, the ability to resell games people are done with. A fully online system for Sony and Microsoft would kill both of those aspects for any game selling company.
These stores are the primary points of sale for most customers even though you can digitally get copies of a lot of games these days. Most people like going into stores, and most people like the option to resell if they need/want to.
Lastly, this would hurt the economy a lot. A large amount of revenue is generated by these secondary points of sale, which goes into paying employees. If all of these game stores went out of business then a lot of people would be out of work which would mean a lot of people not buying other goods and services and so on. Gamestop alone generates about $1B every year.
Why Sony Decided to have Disk Drives
First of all, Sony needs to have a product that sells. PS3 started off bad, losing a lot of money but in the last two years has caught up with Xbox. This means that they would not want to take unnecessary risks.
Sony also has an investment in Blu-Ray - more than $100 million in 2008 alone. It also has the ability to play Blu-Ray movies which puts it ahead in some categories.
Internet itself was the final reason they said they did not want to change. Besides being too inconsistent around the world, a lot of providers impose caps. Game files are huge, and depending on location could take days to download on slower internet speeds. That would not be good for sales if most people just gave up on buying games because of giant download speeds.
Microsoft has announced similar dislike for the non-disk system but has not been as clear about it.