“No Chance in Hell” Games Go Download-Only Soon, Pachter says.

Michael PachterFor those of us who like to collect things, going download-only for games is a frightening prospect. But it’s going to happen someday, and we might as well just get used to that idea now. Thankfully, though, “someday” is not soon, according to the Man With All The Answers aka Michael Pachter.

“We’re not gonna ever have a mandated download as long as we have any device that is not connected to the internet,” Pachter said on his web show. He then estimated that 95% of PCs, 66% of Xbox 360s, “as high as” 85% of PS3s and between 35% and 50% of Wiis are online.

So when will we be forced to go download-only? No earlier than when 90+% of all of those devices or whatever comes after them are connected to the World Wide Web. Which he thinks won’t happen for at least ten years. I’d have to think slow internet speed has to be a factor as well. It won’t do to force us to spend a day downloading 8gb of Mass Effect 3 because everyone is trying to get it at the same time.

I just hope, now, that after waiting on this new age of gaming for the next 10 or 15 years, it ends up being a satisfying experience and having some semblance of narrative cohesion. Unlike the finale of Lost last night.

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2 Comments on “No Chance in Hell” Games Go Download-Only Soon, Pachter says.

Ross Lincoln

On May 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I’m Commander Shephard, and this is my favorite debunking of download-fever on the citidal.

Because seriously, I don’t want to have to constantly buy new storage everytime a new game comes out, and would like to delay that for as long as possible.

Ron Whitaker

On May 24, 2010 at 12:28 pm

As much as I have disagreed with some of Pachter’s stuff in the past, I tend to think he has this one right. You’ll be hard-pressed to get console manufacturers to commit to a download-only model until nearly every household has reliable, high-speed internet access. I don’t think they’ll be interested in limiting their sales that way.

It’s good for guys like me, who still have the 5 1/4″ floppy discs for our Apple II games. I like the feel of physical product in my hands, and the knowledge that I will still have access to my games no matter what happens to the distributor of them.