Digital downloads seem to be the way of the future, looking at the current landscape of the gaming industry now. Even analysts say that retail will be overtaken by digital distribution
in a mere three years' time. Nintendo
's big boss, Satoru Iwata
, begs to differ, however. To him, digital distribution will sure be a hit -- but not till 20 years later.
Talking to their investors, Iwata stated:
Most radical people even dare to say that retailers will be replaced by digital distribution in no time. But personally, I think it will still require a significant amount of time. In short, in 20 years or so I might say it will have probably changed. But in five years or so, I do not totally agree with opinions that no one will purchase titles at retailers by then. Habits of life do not change such radically and quickly.
I do agree that physical discs probably won't be phased out in five years. If the lukewarm reception of the PSP Go is any indication, gamers are not entirely that ready yet to part ways with their physical copies. However, I do find 20 years to be a tad too long for the digital transition to happen, especially when we're in that process of transitioning already.
What do you guys think? Will digital distribution be the lone future for games? How soon is soon?