The next-generation of consoles have gone halfway towards a disc-less, digital-only approach, says Eidos life president Ian Livingstone, hinting that the next Xbox will require internet connectivity and will feature watermarked discs that block used games.
Livingstone, who was one of the driving forces behind Eidos and its Tomb Raider franchise, was in India recently to promote Crystal Dynamics’ latest Lara Croft adventure.
On the possibility of boxed retail being abandoned in favour of digital distribution, Livingstone told MCV, “Boxed games aren’t being abandoned just yet. I think the next iteration of consoles – the PS4 and the next Xbox, have got optical disc drives even though they probably don’t want to have them. Broadband speed globally isn’t at a level that justifies digital-only.”
“So they’ve gone halfway,” he added, giving the example of Microsoft’s supposed next-gen approach, “With the next Xbox, you supposedly have to have an internet connection, and the discs are watermarked, whereby once played on one console it won’t play on another. So I think the generation after that will be digital-only.”
Livingstone also opined that the PS4 and the next Xbox could well be the last generation of consoles in their traditional form. “It’s difficult to predict because so many factors come into play, not least of which is how fast broadband is going to be. It’s likely that there won’t be a set-top box anymore. It’s likely to be technology embedded into a smart TV that’s connected to the internet and everything will be served from the cloud."
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