The Struggle with Distribution Media

The Struggle with Distribution Media

Perhaps it is not that big of a topic to talk about, but distribution media has more in it than just a vehicle for games to be acquired by all. There are numerous issues to consider like compatibility, uniformity, piracy, and so on. A lot of things are still going wrong with each company’s decisions in regards to their distribution media. To save readers from hair-splitting, here are a few things to consider with today’s platforms and whatever they have to offer in terms of their media.

For example, the Sony PSP first came out with the introduction of a new distribution medium, which is the Universal Media Disk. Well, it wasn’t as universal as most would think as only Sony, with its usual snobbish business policies, created a new and more useless version of the Memory Stick. The only difference is that the Memory Stick is still being used and the UMD is not as the new PSP Go has gotten rid of it altogether. PSP homebrews have made sure that UMD’s piled up in their warehouses like dust on a college physics textbook. They have now opted for paid downloads to distribute their games, which only has the word “piracy” resonating throughout the scene.

The Nintendo DS features another distribution medium that seems out of place. The game card may seem small enough, but have enough of these in your collection and it would seem like you’re digging through your drawers for that game that you suddenly had the itch to play. At least it is better than the UMD since it actually holds your savegame. Quite an upgrade from GameBoy Advance cartridges since they don’t need a lithium battery to maintain their volatile memory, which has been punctuated with the release of the DSi, which has eliminated the cartridge slot altogether.

When Toshiba threw in the towel with their HD-DVD in absolute surrender to Sony’s Blu-ray Disc back in March 2007, it was the end of an era where you had the difficult task of deciding whether to buy the Xbox 360 or the PS3. Well, it is arguable that the PS3 is the best Blu-ray player you can buy in terms of both quality and value. As for the Xbox 360, all you can do is play games with it. Recently, Microsoft has addressed the issue of adding Blu-ray support in the Xbox 360, standing firm in their decision in not helping their competition by adapting their medium. Whether this is a good decision or not, only the future can tell.

The only gaming platform to have stayed consistent with its use of distribution media is the PC. Of course, the PC has always been open season in terms of new technologies, excluding the operating system. No matter what, it is either CD, DVD, or download. It is so simple that even a child can remember it. Of course, blank CD’s and DVD’s are so cheap that the piracy problem persists like herpes. However, it can be said that a balance had came to be during this see-saw effect.

These are some of the things that have come to pass in recent years with distribution media for games. A lot has happened and we have been constantly confused by it. Keeping a closer eye on it is surely helpful in our choices and methods in acquiring these games that we just can’t seem to get out of our system.

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