The Future is Still Retail

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There is also big danger for retail - if there is long term oil price spike, retail might just become too expensive (compared to digital distribution) for most customers.

The advantages to using digital distribution only outweighs the points in the article. From the publishers point of view, it allows them increases margins and kill the second hand games market at a stroke. However it wont happen until the next generation of consoles come on the market.

Hooray for my collector-ish ways helping keep physical retail in the market!

Now tomorrow I will be buying MSP cards... I want ilomilo.

it will go fully digital when everyone will look at games as services and not as products. I know I'm just paraphrasing gabe newell but he knows what drives steam, and it's that it's a good service that does not provide copies of games but licenses for games, like your tv subscription just hypotheticly unlimited. I don't know about consoles, but I can see consoles demand online authentication as well at one point. What I'm saying is that the market can go full digital when the notion that games are services will be commonplace.

Onyx Oblivion:
This isn't even accounting for internet speeds of connected consoles, as you touched on, in the quote below. Connected could be anything.

Some of those folks simply cannot reach broadband access from where their console is sitting.

When I first got on Xbox Live, the first thing I did was download Shivering Isles. That's the sole reason I got online in the first place, really.

Do you know how long it took to download with my internet at the time?

18 fucking hours. For 1 GB.

That was with DSL. Hard-wired.

I made the Xbox Live version of DOOM lag, with just 2 players.

Oh man... I actually got Saints Row 2 off of the games on demand service on the xbox 360. Big mistake. I had to delete nearly all of my save files and arcade games, and it took somewhere near 30 hours to download. And it was glitchy as hell. And laggy online. And the loading times were pretty bad.

I believe collector's editions will be a constant even in the digital age.
I mean, on one hand you have your Steam Special Edition, and then there's the boxed copy with coffee-table artbook, soundtrack CD, making-of DVD, and limited-edition Geralt of Rivia pewter bust. Companies will make collector's editions for as long as people pay for 'em - and the number of games with fancy boxed editions has only been increasing over the years. (Same with the price, but that's beside the point...)

For christmas presents, I'd probably agree with that - at present, the options for digital-distribution service presents are the gift card (which is lacking in personal feeling and ends up not feeling so much a present as a money transfusion) and the Steam gifting option (which lacks a physical component entirely), so digital distribution definitely is at a disadvantage here.
On the other hand, there's the way Patapon 2 did it - each box in retail just containing a download code. However, when I went and got my copy from the local GameStop recently, it contained a UMD disk, so I feel like this may not have been entirely successful.

For visitors, I believe cloud gaming covers this angle quite well. Services like onLive allow you to plug-and-play on any terminal with a 'net connection, and even distribution services like Steam have reasonable download speeds for medium-small sized games.

Impulse buying doesn't make any sense as a drawback for digital, however. When Steam have sales, it is the epitome of an impulse buy situation - especially since every user in the world can see those sale items a few clicks away. And Steam's Black Friday-type sales, in particular, are just incredible in terms of how many impulse purchases they've coaxed out of me in the past.

And the final point: One can see a direct correlation between "users connected to the 'net" and "quality/price of internet service." Xbox is supposed to have the best console Internet services around - but they cost money for the top tier, which probably puts a good number of people off. Playstation, in contrast, has less-lauded but free online services, which attract extra users. And the Wii's "internet services" are only perfunctorily present - with friend codes providing an incredible hassle for any Internet-connecting hopefuls - and the numbers reflect this. (The Wii's numbers, admittedly, are also influenced by its "casual" userbase, a large number of whom don't really use the Internet all that much)

The potential field of right-now Internet users for a console that could combine the PS3's prices with the 360's features is probably around 80-85%. But this is missing one crucial factor: "Killer apps." Just like [insert nonexistent game here] has done for the Kinect and Move, a big-advertising-budget title from Activision or EA, say a new Call of Duty, going full digital-distribution could sell the service to 50-90% of the remaining non-Internet users. And that, when you consider the money saved by cutting out the middleman and the packaging/shipping/distribution costs, might in truth be worth the cut in audience.

Therumancer:

In general people buying anything want to have control over that product. With digital distribution there is no guarantee that the guys you bought a game from are still going to be in operation six months down the road, never mind ten years or more. If I'm an Octogenerian in a rest home decades from now, and I decide I want to play "Fallout: New Vegas" on my antique PC which I've preserved all this time, I'm probably out of luck because 40-50 years from now there is no guarantee Valve/Steam will still be in business. [...] Consider for example what a massive Juggernaut "Origin Systems" was at one point, they no longer exist.

It's possible to still easily play Origin System games, though: abandonware sites. The legality is questionable, of course, but if we're talking about Things That Can Be Done, playing System Shock and Ultima fall into that category.

(Or you could track down a physical copy and hope it was well-preserved, and then track down a floppy drive that will work with your modern computer so that you can actually install the thing. This may be easier for Origin games than more obscure ones, but it's still a hoop to jump through. But that's beside the point I'm trying to make.)

So let's say it's 50 years in the future, and you're trying to play Half-Life 3, which was only distributed digitally, but you can't because Valve doesn't exist anymore. Well, the good news is that back in 2015 (and because I'm saying that it means we won't see Half-Life 3 until at least 2030, sorry guys), some dirty, cheapskate, parasitic pirate decided to crack the game and put it on the Internet. Therefore, someone will still have it, and it will be entirely playable.

I'm not here to make any judgement on the ethics of this reality, I'm just saying that this is the reality. In the grand scheme of things, a dead company will not mean a dead game.

Shamus, I agree with every point except the one that says you'd lose impulse buyers. My friends and I are constantly buying stuff off Steam, or more recently GoG, that we had no intention of buying. Steam specifically will lure me into buying a game every month or so just because it's so damn cheap. Hell I have games on my Steam account I have yet to even start up nevermind play.

Even more so than Steam the Android Marketplace sees a cubic shit ton of my cash on a regular basis thanks to impulse buying. I can't count the number of times I've been on "the throne" and bought a new app or game on a whim. Impulse buying and sales will be just as steady digitally as they are for the brick and mortar stores.

I just saw Twisted Metal Gears of Warfare and loled.

matrix3509:

Zechnophobe:

This is not necessarily true. I mean, there are trends in both directions, that doesn't mean they are equal. Better Tech also means greater file compression. We've actually drastically decreased the growth of game size over the past 5 to 7 years compared to the 5 to 7 before it.

Um no. System Shock 2 required 250 MBs of Hard Disk space, while 4 years later KOTOR required more than 4 GBs. That is roughly a 1600% increase.

I am willing to bet that the increase in Hard Disk space requirements of games has been logarithmic is scale. Compression or no.

Until you can compress stupidly large games like Dragon Age down to something more reasonable like 4 GB (or less) don't talk about compression because it is currently irrelevant.

I suspect you mean exponential. Logarithmic growth is quite slow. For example, a log of base 2 must double the input in order to increase the output by 1!

matrix3509:

Zechnophobe:

This is not necessarily true. I mean, there are trends in both directions, that doesn't mean they are equal. Better Tech also means greater file compression. We've actually drastically decreased the growth of game size over the past 5 to 7 years compared to the 5 to 7 before it.

Um no. System Shock 2 required 250 MBs of Hard Disk space, while 4 years later KOTOR required more than 4 GBs. That is roughly a 1600% increase.

I am willing to bet that the increase in Hard Disk space requirements of games has been logarithmic is scale. Compression or no.

Until you can compress stupidly large games like Dragon Age down to something more reasonable like 4 GB (or less) don't talk about compression because it is currently irrelevant.

Er, are you trying to make my point for me?

1999: System Shock 2, 250 mb
2003: Kotor, 4000 mb (increase of 16x in 4 years)
2010: Startcraft 2, 12000 mb (increase of 3x in 8 years)

See that progression?

How big do you think Dragon Age would be, without more modern and efficient data compression? Just because it is big doesn't mean it isn't smaller than it could have been. And just because it is 'biggER' than something that is older, doesn't mean the ratio of size to transfer speed is getting worse.

sagacious:

Shamus Young:
The Future is Still Retail

He isn't saying the future is retail

Actually, I think that is pretty much what he is saying.

Delusibeta:

Which completely contridicts the headline. Stoopid Escapist with their misleading headlines. A more accurate headline would be "Retail Still has a Future".

Yes, this exactly. Though I still think as retail has a smaller and smaller market, it will simply cease being an efficient way to distribute digital products.

SOME games may be available at retail even 20 years from now, however, MOST games won't. It doesn't really matter whether retail exists or not, if I won't be able to get MY game at retail. Heck, actually, I may not be able to buy retail games for MY next-next-gen console, because it won't have a disk drive!

It's the same as with copy protection. Sure, it's nice that SOME games have none, but I still can't play Ass Creed 2 for PC, because I refuse their policy.

It doesn't matter for me that SOME games cost 5 $, if the one I want costs 50.

Delusibeta:

sagacious:
He isn't saying the future is retail, he is just saying that retail will never completely go away.

Which completely contridicts the headline. Stoopid Escapist with their misleading headlines. A more accurate headline would be "Retail Still has a Future".

Agreed. You beat me to it.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Zechnophobe:

The_root_of_all_evil:

We're still waiting for the paperless office (predicted in 1975). Funny how offices seem to have even more paper now....

I work in an office. I almost don't need to know how to WRITE because I use physical paper so rarely. Imagine all those e-mails you send each day, the online training manuals for your product, or the complex process of getting authenticated by an outside company for doing good business.

How many receipts do you have? How much paper is there in signs? How many cards, notelets and memos do you have? How many free newspapers are brought in daily? How many paper cups with paper cooling? How much shredding is still done?

Just because electronic paper has increased exponentially doesn't mean that normal paper hasn't stopped increasing. Not including novels, tissues, magazines, flyers, packaging, post-its, money...

I think we are somehow having two different discussions here. I'm not saying that paper, as a construction material, is going away. I'm saying that the business logic of the company, keeping track of records, receipts, and other information no longer relies so heavily on it. I even use a clipboard for taking notes at meetings sometimes... unless it is an online meeting, then I of course use Notepad++.

I actually am not familiar with the prediction you are citing, but I can't imagine it being one that is foreshadowing the lack of use of wood pulp in construction, though if somehow that is what it is going for I would be wrong.

If you don't know how to write, that's another problem entirely. Atrophy.

Yes, though my handwriting has never been particularly beauteous. I've also lost the ability to hunt with a spear, start fire with flint and tinder, or chisel stone into roughly round objects. Not sure how I'm going to live in this crazy new future world without such basic skills ;-)

Even if the world went all digital tommorrow the retial chains would still have enough pull for them to be able to sell downloads via flash cards and such so, retial wont be going anyway anytime soon, maybe in 50 years things will change to a Ghost in the shell type of setup even then you have retail chains even if they are just owned by the main 2 or 4 conglomerations you still have the appearance of consumer driven pricing.

darn it I thought it ate my post....

heres the other post I made

Even if everything went digital tomorrow you'd still have retail chains because they have to much money and power to haggle pricing points. They would sell it as a middle man using code cards or flash drives. Even in 50 years if things have not collapsed you will have retail chains even if they are owened by the 2 or 4 top conglomerates who own everything else. There will be less "independent" business as more and more monopolies gobble each other up but there will always be an appearance of consumer or market enforced pricing.

darn it I thought it ate my post....

I think there is one big issue that will affect where retail and digital go, and that will be who takes over Valve when Gabe Newell is done. If we end up with someone who maintains the same policies, then the future will continue to be the combination of digital and retail. If we end up with the next Bobby Kotick as the head of Valve, however, I could easily see a great many people stop using Steam, if not digital entirely. I won't make any predicitions on those futures until Newell retires, though. As it is, good article Shamus, I agree that retail isn't simply going to die out.

One of the other points in favor of retail is the consoles themselves. A lot of decisions made at the corporate level for retail is "how many accessories can I sell for this item?" Shelf space being limited, they are always going to favor stocking game systems that they sell physical games for over game systems that people are going to come in and buy once in five years. Some retailers may even take the long-term view of "If I help this DD-only console become a success, then I am slitting my own throat in the long run as people won't need to shop in my store if it becomes a success."

I don't know if this is part of what happened to the PSP Go. I'm not sure that I've seen one sold anywhere although, since I haven't really looked, I could just be overlooking it. I do know that it hasn't sold very well and I wonder if places like Gamestop took a look at it and said "We can't sell anything secondhand on this. Sell the initial models that we got and don't order any more."

This eventually creates the problem of where do you get the machine that can play these games if the surviving retailers aren't using their shelf space for DD-only consoles. Do the companies go with an online service? (How do you convince people to make only exclusives for your brand then? What if people aren't willing to upgrade their computers to play Ninja Gaiden 5 Black?) Do you do direct sales of your consoles? (Imagine Sony's initial reaction to the dead pixel issue that the initial batch of PSPs had without the mitigating factor of the retailers. Then there's the cost of shipping to your customers directly as opposed to a bulk rate to stores. Do you eat that cost or pass it on to your customers which lowers demand for the console?)

To be honest, I think if and when the market does go DD-only, you're going to see the gaming market go through a period of contraction.

Smaller games will become digital only. It's cheaper to publish (requiring no actual publisher royalties or distribution chain) and gets the game company a clear 100% of profits.

Word of mouth is incredibly powerful and with social media and online gathering spots it's easy to promote games to the groups of players that are into them.

A-list titles may benefit from retail, but it's a hassle and gamble for anyone but the biggest companies.

Even digital distribution may include follow up physical extras. How cool would it be to buy a game online and then receive a t-shirt or pvc figure in the mail a few days later?

Retail may have a future, but it's not the fun experience it used to be in the past, where big glorious boxes, full of nifty stuff, and with great artwork were vying for your attention. It's become a sterile act where you go in and pick up a boring dvd case that contains something barely qualifying as a manual and a dvd.
At least with online sales you don't have to deal with some schmuck behind a counter, plus you know the majority of your funds go straight towards supporting the game maker, instead of a boring brick palace.

If retail wants to become truly relevant again, it'll have to step up its game somehow or simply become a necessary evil for those who don't have broadband or who want something physical.

Ha, you guys remind me of the historians and political scientists, most of whom were very intelligent and had very valid reasons for their assertions, saying that the Russian Soviet Empire would never go away.

Shamus Young:

The era of digital distribution may be upon us, but retail won't ever go away.

Yes, actually, it will. You're wrong. How do I know this? Because people like me aren't going to let any industry, let alone the video game industry, enforce "false scarcity" when digital distribution is already on it's way to eliminating the need to pay for anything information-related.

If you try to wall off the freedom of information, you will literally have to murder people like me to prevent us from finding ways around them or simply breaking them down.

Therumancer:

It's possible to still easily play Origin System games, though: abandonware sites. The legality is questionable, of course, but if we're talking about Things That Can Be Done, playing System Shock and Ultima fall into that category.

So let's say it's 50 years in the future, and you're trying to play Half-Life 3, which was only distributed digitally, but you can't because Valve doesn't exist anymore. Well, the good news is that back in 2015 (and because I'm saying that it means we won't see Half-Life 3 until at least 2030, sorry guys), some dirty, cheapskate, parasitic pirate decided to crack the game and put it on the Internet. Therefore, someone will still have it, and it will be entirely playable.

I'm not here to make any judgement on the ethics of this reality, I'm just saying that this is the reality. In the grand scheme of things, a dead company will not mean a dead game.

But it is important to realize that games from that era only exist today because they had a physical copy to be made from; this is taking into account that the internet did not exist in the state that it is today meaning that storing those games was only practical on a physical copy or stored on a then massive mainframe.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: The Future is Still Retail

The era of digital distribution may be upon us, but retail won't ever go away.

Read Full Article

While the article is very well written, I think Shamus makes the same mistake as the people he quoted: He makes assumptions. Here, it is the assumption that social convetions and patterns does not evolve.

While a plastic card may not be attractive under the christmas tree now, there is no telling how it will be in the future. Certainly, what christmas is about and what the gifts were hasn't been the same ever since the first punter dragged a tree into his livingroom... Traditions and, perhaps more important, the human mind keeps evolving. Who's to say that some future generation won't think abstract enough to find the same joy in a represantation of the game, as the game itself?

The same can be applied to all things.

I'd also like to add that impulse buys can very much happen on Steam as well. I should know, according to my credit card bills.

Plankhead:

Therumancer:

In general people buying anything want to have control over that product. With digital distribution there is no guarantee that the guys you bought a game from are still going to be in operation six months down the road, never mind ten years or more. If I'm an Octogenerian in a rest home decades from now, and I decide I want to play "Fallout: New Vegas" on my antique PC which I've preserved all this time, I'm probably out of luck because 40-50 years from now there is no guarantee Valve/Steam will still be in business. [...] Consider for example what a massive Juggernaut "Origin Systems" was at one point, they no longer exist.

It's possible to still easily play Origin System games, though: abandonware sites. The legality is questionable, of course, but if we're talking about Things That Can Be Done, playing System Shock and Ultima fall into that category.

(Or you could track down a physical copy and hope it was well-preserved, and then track down a floppy drive that will work with your modern computer so that you can actually install the thing. This may be easier for Origin games than more obscure ones, but it's still a hoop to jump through. But that's beside the point I'm trying to make.)

So let's say it's 50 years in the future, and you're trying to play Half-Life 3, which was only distributed digitally, but you can't because Valve doesn't exist anymore. Well, the good news is that back in 2015 (and because I'm saying that it means we won't see Half-Life 3 until at least 2030, sorry guys), some dirty, cheapskate, parasitic pirate decided to crack the game and put it on the Internet. Therefore, someone will still have it, and it will be entirely playable.

I'm not here to make any judgement on the ethics of this reality, I'm just saying that this is the reality. In the grand scheme of things, a dead company will not mean a dead game.

I probably wrote things badly.

The point isn't that you can't play Origin games, which were physical media (not digital) to begin with. The point is that Origin was a big company in it's day and one of the cornerstones of gaming, a company that "wasn't going anywhere" that wound up disapearing. You can still play their games, or find them on abandonware sites because people got an actual, physical record of the data.

With a digital download you don't have that. What's more the guys your buying it from might not be the manufacturer. Let's say you buy a game on STEAM, and then Valve goes under rather suddenly. A company in trouble like that isn't going to be investing massive money they don't have to find a way to make sure all their existing customers will continue to have access to the game. The producer might still exist, but it owes me nothing, if I want to still play the game I need to get it from another digital download service and pay again.

The point I was making when I mentioned Origin is that today people look at big companies like "Valve" as titans, and figure that since they are a big deal right now, and extremely stable, that this will continue indefinatly. That's not the case, and if they go down, they take all your digital purchuses with them.

Having a disc that operates on it's own, holding all the nessicary game data, gives you the consumer control over your own purchuses. Unless you break it or something (like any other posession) what happens to the company that made the game, or the retailer you bought it from, is irrelevent.

As I've stated in about every discussion for Digital Distribution, I'll use it for PC only. For some reason I like having a physical console library.

Plus the PC back catalog is massive, with GOG topping my favorite service.

First.... . Where's the christmas sweater and pink bunny suit?! And you don't only have to buy them games for the things they enjoy, otehr things are cool too ya' know?

Impulse buyers? Impulse buying is made even easier while sitting on your ass in a pressure free environment with a debit card in your wallet. I buy much more impulsively online than not.

Xanthious:
Shamus, I agree with every point except the one that says you'd lose impulse buyers. My friends and I are constantly buying stuff off Steam, or more recently GoG, that we had no intention of buying. Steam specifically will lure me into buying a game every month or so just because it's so damn cheap. Hell I have games on my Steam account I have yet to even start up nevermind play.

Even more so than Steam the Android Marketplace sees a cubic shit ton of my cash on a regular basis thanks to impulse buying. I can't count the number of times I've been on "the throne" and bought a new app or game on a whim. Impulse buying and sales will be just as steady digitally as they are for the brick and mortar stores.

You sir... You sir just made me lose a ton of money. I did not know about GOG until now... Good bye healthy weight wallet... : )

9.99 is a bastard to try to argue against.

Thanks.

Anyway...

QuantumWalker:

Therumancer:

It's possible to still easily play Origin System games, though: abandonware sites. The legality is questionable, of course, but if we're talking about Things That Can Be Done, playing System Shock and Ultima fall into that category.

So let's say it's 50 years in the future, and you're trying to play Half-Life 3, which was only distributed digitally, but you can't because Valve doesn't exist anymore. Well, the good news is that back in 2015 (and because I'm saying that it means we won't see Half-Life 3 until at least 2030, sorry guys), some dirty, cheapskate, parasitic pirate decided to crack the game and put it on the Internet. Therefore, someone will still have it, and it will be entirely playable.

I'm not here to make any judgement on the ethics of this reality, I'm just saying that this is the reality. In the grand scheme of things, a dead company will not mean a dead game.

But it is important to realize that games from that era only exist today because they had a physical copy to be made from; this is taking into account that the internet did not exist in the state that it is today meaning that storing those games was only practical on a physical copy or stored on a then massive mainframe.

Perhaps I'm misreading this, but it seems like we agree, and you got your quoting messed up somehow.

Irridium:

Onyx Oblivion:
This isn't even accounting for internet speeds of connected consoles, as you touched on, in the quote below. Connected could be anything.

Some of those folks simply cannot reach broadband access from where their console is sitting.

When I first got on Xbox Live, the first thing I did was download Shivering Isles. That's the sole reason I got online in the first place, really.

Do you know how long it took to download with my internet at the time?

18 fucking hours.

Hehe, I remember when I bought Mass Effect off of Steam.

Took me 2 months of on/off downloading for it to finally finish. If I let it download and not stop it(and if my internet stayed on throughout) then it would have taken 2 straight weeks of downloading.

Thats another thing with Digital Distribution. I'm curious to see how many people are willing to sit and wait for 10+ gigabytes of data to download. I don't care how fast your internet is, downloading that much data takes a long-ass time. It'd be faster to just go to the store and buy it.

Eh. Connection speeds are one of those things...

I used to download large files on a 56k modem.
Now, those same files that took upwards of 20-30 hours to download, take all of 2 minutes.

Waiting 18 hours for something to download is painful.

Waiting 30 minutes? Not so much.

CrystalShadow:

Irridium:

Onyx Oblivion:
This isn't even accounting for internet speeds of connected consoles, as you touched on, in the quote below. Connected could be anything.

When I first got on Xbox Live, the first thing I did was download Shivering Isles. That's the sole reason I got online in the first place, really.

Do you know how long it took to download with my internet at the time?

18 fucking hours.

Hehe, I remember when I bought Mass Effect off of Steam.

Took me 2 months of on/off downloading for it to finally finish. If I let it download and not stop it(and if my internet stayed on throughout) then it would have taken 2 straight weeks of downloading.

Thats another thing with Digital Distribution. I'm curious to see how many people are willing to sit and wait for 10+ gigabytes of data to download. I don't care how fast your internet is, downloading that much data takes a long-ass time. It'd be faster to just go to the store and buy it.

Eh. Connection speeds are one of those things...

I used to download large files on a 56k modem.
Now, those same files that took upwards of 20-30 hours to download, take all of 2 minutes.

Waiting 18 hours for something to download is painful.

Waiting 30 minutes? Not so much.

Well, I wish my connection was as fast as yours.

Irridium:

CrystalShadow:

Irridium:

Hehe, I remember when I bought Mass Effect off of Steam.

Took me 2 months of on/off downloading for it to finally finish. If I let it download and not stop it(and if my internet stayed on throughout) then it would have taken 2 straight weeks of downloading.

Thats another thing with Digital Distribution. I'm curious to see how many people are willing to sit and wait for 10+ gigabytes of data to download. I don't care how fast your internet is, downloading that much data takes a long-ass time. It'd be faster to just go to the store and buy it.

Eh. Connection speeds are one of those things...

I used to download large files on a 56k modem.
Now, those same files that took upwards of 20-30 hours to download, take all of 2 minutes.

Waiting 18 hours for something to download is painful.

Waiting 30 minutes? Not so much.

Well, I wish my connection was as fast as yours.

Connection speeds are something of a lottery, to be honest.

Mine is the cheapest option my provider has, but it's 10 megabits/second. (they do up to 50, or even 100 in a lot of places.)

And yet, 10 megabits that actually reliably gives that speed is above average in a country where DSL is still the norm...

And if you're unlucky enough to be in a country like Australia...

Well, let's just say I was chatting on a webcam to someone in Brisbane about their expensive 'fast' 4 megabit connection.

It felt a little weird to then have to say that my connection (which for me was mainly just the 'cheapest' available option), was more than twice that speed.

Zechnophobe:

sagacious:

Shamus Young:
The Future is Still Retail

He isn't saying the future is retail

Actually, I think that is pretty much what he is saying.

The headline of an Article is determined by the Escapist's Editor, not the Author of the article. Oftentimes, the Editor comes away with a different opinion of what the article was saying than someone else might. Shamus didn't say the future is still retail, the editor did.

Therefore my point still stands.

Zechnophobe:
I'm saying that the business logic of the company, keeping track of records, receipts, and other information no longer relies so heavily on it. I even use a clipboard for taking notes at meetings sometimes... unless it is an online meeting, then I of course use Notepad++.

Find out where your archives are. Find out how much spam mail you get. Find out how many faxes still are around. That was all meant to be done away with.

I actually am not familiar with the prediction you are citing,

Google is your friend.

but I can't imagine it being one that is foreshadowing the lack of use of wood pulp in construction, though if somehow that is what it is going for I would be wrong.

Total replacement of paper by electronic, ceramic/plastic (I believe?) means. Including all back ups.

If you don't know how to write, that's another problem entirely. Atrophy.

Yes, though my handwriting has never been particularly beauteous. I've also lost the ability to hunt with a spear, start fire with flint and tinder, or chisel stone into roughly round objects. Not sure how I'm going to live in this crazy new future world without such basic skills ;-)

Reductio Ad Absurdum.
I believe starting fires is still taught in afterschool activities. Writing is certainly taught to quite a higher point in schools. Signatures are still how you get hold of a lot of your future goods.

Hey games industry: How do I take my digital copy of Twisted Metal Gears of Warfare over to my friend's house?

I've purchased games because I experienced them through friends. It would be foolish to dismiss the power and importance of this viral individual-delivery demo.

You are a filthy pirate and owe greedcorp games fifty squillion dollars and your left testicle for such damaging behaviour. Shame on you, you cost us 75000 sales. You should have purchased an additional copy for every person in the room, it says so quite clearly on the EULA.

It's always funny to see writers bag out on filesharers one week and then turn around and laud it as a legitimate means of advertising the next.

Clash_Action:
Yes, actually, it will. You're wrong. How do I know this? Because people like me aren't going to let any industry, let alone the video game industry, enforce "false scarcity" when digital distribution is already on it's way to eliminating the need to pay for anything information-related.

No, actually, it won't. You're wrong. How do I know this? Because people like me aren't interested in going digital to buy all our software and like owning physical copies of the games or books or movies that we buy.

STILL? By god & willikers! What kind of slow progressing world do we live in where retail is still king? This shall not stand!

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