New changes turn video game consoles to digital only


Brianna Cozzi, Online Managing Editor

In 1976, the Channel F,  the first cartridge-based video gaming console, was released.

Originally, called the Video Entertainment System, the VES had just under 30 games, which were stored on the “video carts.”

In the 1980s, Atari and Nintendo popularized the game cartridge as the common means of buying, selling and trading games. In the 1990s, the PlayStation started the trend of using compact discs because of their greater storage amounts and decrease in costs of production.

In the 2000s, the PlayStation, again, pushed the industry to change the way gamers purchased games through online sales on the PlayStation Store.

Another popular feature that began to catch up with the world of gaming was ‘Expansion Packs’, which were packs which contained extra downloadable content to add to your game. These Expansion Packs were downloaded immediately to your chosen console, allowing players to access the content.

As the future of technology advances, video game consoles are following quickly behind by ridding themselves of cartridge and disc slots, advancing to the point where we can choose another option — digital copies. Digital copies of video games are downloaded directly to video game consoles after an online purchase on the supported shopping site on said console (Xbox/PS4/Switch). This allows you to play the game the same way you would with the physical copy of the video game.

This new change from disc slot to no slot is a huge change in gaming culture, considering that game stores have been a hub for gamers to explore, browse and discover new and games.  Some are worried that this trend will result in the collapse of game stores if physical copies are pulled from shelves, replacing video game racks with video game merchandise.

Sophomore Zachary Coleman, said he thinks that the transition to digital-only consoles isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“You can lose physical copies of games, then you’ll have to go back to GameStop and buy it again,” he said. “But with digital copies, you’ll have to lose your hard drive, and that would be kind of difficult to do.”