Getting Some Play: The Glorious Disc-Free Future

Disc free gaming

Recently, thanks to a scratched disc (moving cross country sadly means that some stuff will get busted), and a mix-up regarding “special” and “regular” editions of the game, I had to go through three copies to finish playing LA Noire. The whole experience had me cursing physical media altogether, and wishing for a digital-only future.

That day may come sooner than later – both EA and Sony have made moves lately that indicate they’re getting ready to go digital. This week, EA flat out announced that they will someday be a no-disc company. In an interview with GamesIndustry International, EA Labels’ Frank Gibeau said, “We’re going to be a 100% digital company, period. It’s going to be there some day. It’s inevitable.”

Sony recently acquired game streaming company Gaikai, placing the console giant in a fantastic position to capitalize on cloud gaming. From Ars Technica:

The PlayStation of the future may be little more than a conduit to display and control games running on powerful remote servers. At least that’s one potential end game now that Sony Computer Entertainment has announced the $380 million acquisition of streaming gaming specialists Gaikai, which it will use to establish a new cloud service.

As much as I like having a collection of games to display on my bookshelf, I’m ecstatic to say goodbye to discs. There will be challenges, for sure – and console manufacturers will need to put safeguards in place to protect consumers against theft (and nasty DRM, for that matter), but a future sans scratched disks is a happy future indeed.

Incoming!

If your not already addicted to Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, Spelunky or The Secret World, fear not. There’s plenty to play coming out in the next couple of weeks, not the least of which commences the beginning of XBLA’s Summer of Arcade.

College football fans! Your big day is July 10, with the launch of NCAA 2013 on the 360 and PS3. On July 18, every sports gamer (and person who was gaming at all in 1999) should think about checking out Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, the rebooted classic skate sim, on XBLA. It kicks off the Summer of Arcade, which promises several other gems as the season goes on.

3DS players, you have yet another nontraditional rhythm game to keep you tapping your toes (or, well, thumbs) on July 10, with Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure. If you’ve ever wanted to play art thief by way of funky dance moves, this one is your jam.

Also on 3DS, Heroes of Ruin is out on July 17, promising co-op friendly RPG questing for you and three of your best fantasy-loving friends.

That’s all for this week, gaymers. Come back next time for more Summer of Arcade and handheld releases.

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