Digital gaming has seen a massive explosion in popularity as this generation has progressed, and with subscription services and cloud gaming looking all set to become the next big thing in the industry, the digital scene is only bound to continue that growth. That said, physical media is still something that customers put a lot of stock in, which is why Microsoft and Sony have both confirmed that the Xbox Scarlett and the PS5 – respectively – will still have disc drives and won’t be going fully digital.
Someone else who’s happy with that decision? The retail chain GameStop- which makes sense, because their business is built primarily on selling physical discs of games to customers. According to GameStop’s chief customer officer Frank Hamlin, both Sony and Microsoft are “keenly aware” that physical media is still very important to consumers, and the retailer chain itself is also very happy about disc drive inclusions in next gen consoles.
“I think both Microsoft and Sony are keenly aware that the consumer needs that optionality,” Hamlin told GameSpot. “We’re very much a believer in helping our customers sell them a physical game when they want it.”
“It’s much like a collectable,” Hamlin said on the value of physical media to consumers. “They like the collectibility and trophy on the shelf. That tangibility is something that’s extremely important for the right game experience. Not giving the customers the privilege of having that is something I think both Sony and Microsoft are aware would be a foolish thing to do.”
Though Microsoft have confirmed that the Xbox Scarlett will indeed have a disc drive, recent reports have also suggested that they’re working on a discless, xCloud-focused streaming box variant, to present as a cheaper alternative to consumers. Read more on that through here.