I’ve been an avid Playstation fan for some time now – ever since the PSX (or PS1 – or PSOne…..whatever you call it), and have had a steady diet of some pretty good games over the years. Yes…..I have the discs to prove that one. Playstation, for some reason, just has the games I like. No, it doesn’t have every game I like – probably why I play Xbox (the first one), Saturn, Dreamcast, NES, SNES…….you get the idea. All of these systems had one thing in common until the latest couple of generations…………
They had physical media to play them from – whether it was CD or DVD, we had the discs to show off that we owned these games. It was that way up until the PS3 and Xbox 360 came into being that something new emerged…………the digital download.
This is getting to be a problematic thing for a number of reasons. If you have a physical disc, you can play it on any console of that particular type you own in your own house – or a friend’s house. You didn’t need anything special to play the game – just the disc. Just make sure that you didn’t put any scratches, burns, warps, or gouges into it. With digital downloads, you run into two major problems (well, at least one – two if you play a lot of them), and I’ll go over each one here.
Problem #1: Disk size
The PS3 and Xbox 360 came out with varying sizes of hard drives, meant to appeal to a wider audience of gamers, because let’s face it……..not everyone is going to download every single title under the sun on the respective online outlet. The first iteration of these consoles had Sony in the lead for one simple reason – it was far easier to upgrade the hard drive in a PS3 than it was a 360. Why? Microsoft had propietary design hard drives. It was a special form factor that had to fit on top (or end) of the 360 so it would connect and allow the extra storage. The PS3? You just popped open a panel, unscrewed the one blue screw, then popped out the hard drive. Any 2.5″, 5400rpm, laptop drive would work wonderfully in upgrading your PS3 to 250, 320, 500GB or more! Why the need to upgrade at all?
Downloaded games…….take up space. Not only that……the games you buy in disc form often have to install game data to the hard drive so they play at a decent rate! You also have the add-ons and apps that you can install as well……….these take up space as well. Eventually, if you buy enough games…..you need more space. What options does that leave you? Either delete games you aren’t playing right now, and then download them again later in place of something else when you want to go back to them – or upgrade your hard drive. Now you know why the PS4 and Xbox One have options for even larger hard drives. Some people have figured out also how to add-on an external hard drive for even more room without having to touch the internal drive, so whichever path fits best for you, have at it.
Problem #2: The Game License Lock
This has caused quite a bit of stir in the gaming community – but why? Well, for one, Microsoft & Sony are exercising their right to limit how many systems you can play a particular game on. I don’t have first-hand knowledge of how the limits work on Xbox 360 or Xbox One, but I can tell you what I have found out on PSN games. In the beginning on PS3, you could have your login on up to 5 consoles, and everyone had access to everything you downloaded on all of them – that limit is now two consoles. The PS4 took this even one step further. You have to have a primary PS4, which gives everyone logged into it access to everything that you downloaded, but any secondary consoles would be limited to just your login for access (no one else on a secondary console could access those games). So if you have, say, 2 PS4’s, then if one is for the family, you would make that one your primary, and then one in your room would then be a secondary unit, since only you would be playing it.
One other thing that has been a new trend since the days of the PS3/360 is the “version updates/patches” that occasionally come out. You can buy a game brand new off the shelf, and you can just bet that there is at least one update just waiting for you to download right away. Sounds almost like a computer operating system update, ya know?
Whatever happened to the days of “insert game and play”? Sadly………those days are long gone.