Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Format Wars" a Losing Battle

There's been a lot of hubbub in the video game industry regarding what DVD format the next-generation systems will be using—HD DVD or Blu-Ray, either of which should have significantly increased capacity over the current DVD format. This doesn't just affect home gaming consoles, of course, as the success of one format over another could determine what next year's DVD players can run. (Think VHS vs. Beta, and feel free to check out this PC World article for a basic rundown of the issues here.) I'm getting the impression that copy protection capabilities is one of the major concerns being batted around by game industry execs in settling on a format.

Imagine my surprise, then, when Bill Gates announces that this particular format war is yesterday's news; the future is in digital distribution. Ah, that's right—I had forgotten all the talk of Microsoft's sneaky plans to distribute games directly into Xbox consoles connected to the internet, bypassing retailers completely. Perhaps the hope is that this will discourage piracy, as many Xbox users probably aren't aware of how easy it is to "soft mod" their consoles so that games downloaded onto PCs can be stored on the Xbox hard drive.


At 9:28 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Update: I changed the words "copy protection" to "piracy" at one point in the last paragraph because I just wrote the wrong phrase altogether there.

I did not have the heart to cover up my crime after leaving it in full view of the world for a whole day.

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