I know that video game technology advances with each generation of console and that for the most part change is good, but if the management at certain large publishers have their way, the days of keeping game cartridges and discs on a shelf will become a relic of days gone by. Wired has an article that takes a look at how digital distribution stands ready to change how we get our games and how we store them.
Microsoft’s corporate vice president of interactive entertainment, Peter Moore, described the future of gaming: “Years from now, the concept of driving to the store to buy a plastic disc with data on it and driving back and popping it in the drive will be ridiculous,” he said. “We’ll tell our grandchildren we did that, and they’ll laugh at us.”
Here's the thing: I like cartridges and discs. I like the tangible qualities of taking a case off of the shelf in my little library and opening it. I like looking at the box art while I choose which game to play. I like being completely obsessive about my collection and alphabetizing the cases. I like knowing the history behind my collection, such as where I bought a game and the story behind the purchase.
To be honest, I miss the days of cartridges when a game box had a little weight to it. Moreover, I like knowing that those game cartridges and discs will last forever if I treat them well. Switch over to a purely digital distribution method and I'll have to worry about hard drive crashes and whether or not the publisher behind my favorite game will deactivate a part of the gameplay after a few years. My old Nintendo Entertainment System cartridges from twenty years ago still do everything originally promised on the box. Can I expect digitally distributed games to remain intact twenty years from now? Somehow I'm not instilled with confidence.