Jesse Divnich: Next Xbox Will Be a ‘True Hybrid Console’

Clouds and discs together at last!

Industry analysts, not willing to let us reporters and supposed insider sources have all the fun, have rolled out their Jump to Conclusions mats and gotten in on the next-gen guessing game. IndustryGamers was able to get several prominent prognosticators to voice their thoughts about the next batch of home gaming platforms. Fire, meet fuel.

Leading the charge was M2 Research’s Billy Pidgeon. The analyst thinks the time is not yet right for manufacturers to rely only on cloud solutions.

I don’t expect vendors to leave physical media formats out of next generation consoles. Gaikai and OnLive are viable game delivery systems but in the near term cloud gaming services can’t yet allow access on a scale to realize their inherent disruptive potential. Again, back to boring basics, next generation game consoles and dedicated gaming handhelds must link to user accounts stored on servers rather than locking down identity and content ownership at a device level. If Nintendo and Sony do not follow Microsoft’s lead here, it will cost them market share next generation.

That being said, he does believe that cloud gaming “is in the long term future.” He holds to the belief that gamers will eventually “demand cloud services, including persistent storage and some delivery options when paying for digital content.”

David Cole of DFC Intelligence also weighed in. “I think the Xbox 720 should definitely have some sort of access for physical media,” he told IndustryGamers. “The cloud stuff can open up new doors and Microsoft’s strategy is all about delivering services via the box, basically it has been somewhat of a cloud strategy from the beginning.”

Cole thinks that the Big Three would lose out on a large slice of business if they put all their eggs in the cloud basket. “Half the fun [for game console buyers] is rushing to fight the crowds at GameStop to get your hands on a copy hot off the truck.”

Meanwhile, Colin Sebastian of RW Baird is expecting a healthy mix of cloud and disc-based games. “I think any smart console manufacturer will want to offer a mix of distribution points for consumers – both in the cloud and at retail stores. There is such a broad spectrum of games that consumers are playing, and there is not a one-size fit all [sic] solution.” He cited undersized hard drive disks and broadband’s insufficient connection speeds as the main obstacles facing a full-on cloud system.

Jesse Divnich (EEDAR) is on board with Sebastian’s theory, saying that he believes “the Xbox 720, or whatever they choose to call it, will act as a true hybrid console, supporting both physical and digital media with the long-term hopes that they can provide enough incentive and value to accelerate that transition.”

The switch to all digital will not just instantly happen one day as if a magic on switch was thrown according to what he told IndustryGamers. Instead, there will be “a transition.” Divnich hypothesized that both Sony and Microsoft will wait until everyone is technologically prepared to go all digital before they make such a move. In the interim we’ll all be offered something that is in the best interest of all consumers: choice.

[Source: IndustryGamers]

[Image via IndustryGamers.]

Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo

MASH Veteran

Nick has been a gamer since the 8-bit days and a member of the MTB editorial team since January of 2011. He is not to be interrupted while questing his way through an RPG or desperately clinging to hope against all reason that his Philly sports teams will win any given game he may be watching. Seriously folks, reading this acknowledges that you relieve MTB of any and all legal liability for his actions.

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