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24. Re: Morning Consolidation Mar 9, 2012, 15:49 DG
 
I'm going to call BS at this point though it's not inconceivable that they switch to flash media.

They could just sell an SD card in a box, or make a bigger leap to downloads complemented by kiosks which are basically download stations to a USB3 stick. I would guess starting with the former and a gradual progression towards the latter.

At the cost of the kiosks (hardware, space rental and bandwidth) there's a few dollars saved per unit on the drive itself. And a few more dollars per unit average on warranty costs associated with the mechanical drive.

More significantly, it nets them the retailer's margin (I guess 30%?) and ensures the full library of content is available everywhere. And it could kill the used game market. And, they probably fantasise, could kill piracy.

And, if Sony's stuck with optical media, Sony may be reliant on retailers who are already fragile and will be even more so if a huge swathe of the Xbox market is taken away from them. Strategically, there is some scope for nuking their competitor's distribution channel. Of course that also means nuking the main channel for selling consoles and peripherals, and there's going to be an awful lot of retailers pushing Sony and saying bad things about Xbox.

On the technical side it should have significantly faster read speeds than an optical disk, removes capacity constraint, may allow potential for virtual memory and advanced DRM. Oh, and it's quiet.
 
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