Image: Hideo Kojima

Despite the increasing prevalence of digitally served content, there are still plenty of gamers, film aficionados, and music lovers who prefer to get their releases the old-fashioned way: on physical media. Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima got on his soap box this weekend to warn those folks that they better enjoy it while it lasts, as the days of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs will inevitably come to an end. Although Kojima isn’t the youngest guy and grew up largely with physical releases, which he continues to splurge on based on his Twitter feed, he admits that digital advancements such as streaming has definitely made things much more convenient.

One day there will be no more CDs or BDs. That day will come for sure. As a person from the Showa era, I want to physically own the things I like. I guess it’s because I grew up in a time when there were no goods or information like now. Streams are more convenient. […] It took me a lot of courage to switch from LPs when CDs arrived.

Source: Hideo Kojima

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13 Comments

  1. It already died, and resurrected.

    People are buying more and more Vinyl, CDs, blurays and even cassete tapes and laserdiscs.

    Personally I haven’t bought any physical media in like 10+ years. Not games, not music, not movies; everything I got is either streamed or download. But the market is still there.

  2. When you put in your media based game, and it then proceeds to download an ” update” of equal or greater size… Is it really alive? When it requires authentication that may or may not be there for you, is it really alive?
    In the switch … Maybe still alive?
    Its a disgrace in many ways. However it will be an elimination of a lot of waste though.
    Its the not owning anything that sucks though.

  3. Only physical media I own is a bunch o Jazz on vinyl.

    Are photo negatives media? I got a shitload of those too.

  4. [QUOTE=”Uvilla, post: 38332, member: 397″]
    Its the not owning anything that sucks though.
    [/QUOTE]
    Even for physical items like music CDs and vinyl and such – you never owned the music itself, you only owned that piece of plastic and had the rights to use the music contained upon it for your own personal use

    Not much has changed in that regard. The biggest difference is on the streaming world they can remove your access whenever they feel like it, for pretty much any reason they want.

  5. They haven’t already?

    I haven’t bought any physical media (video, audio or games) in a good 15 years…

  6. Maybe I’m the last one, but I only buy music on physical media. And it’s getting really difficult to obtain.
    As for movies I stopped buying those long ago, most newer movies are barely worth watching let alone owning.

    As for games the physical media is only a token as you still need the online service to install them, so it’s ganz egal. If it’s cheaper digital I buy it digital, if it’s cheaper in physical format then I buy that.

  7. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 38336, member: 96″]
    Even for physical items like music CDs and vinyl and such – you never owned the music itself, you only owned that piece of plastic and had the rights to use the music contained upon it for your own personal use

    Not much has changed in that regard. The biggest difference is on the streaming world they can remove your access whenever they feel like it, for pretty much any reason they want.
    [/QUOTE]
    You didn’t own the rights to the music, but you own that copy of the music, they can’t take it back or cut your access off. I’d say that’s a huge difference compared to digital distribution where they can cut you off at any time for no reason at all, and they probably have a clause in the TOS that says they can get away with it too. Like the story where someone got banned from psn loosing access to all digitally purchased games.

  8. Old news Kojima, where you been? Oh that’s right, you were busy making a boring walking simulator, and then getting pissed off when Western reviews weren’t so good, claiming that Western audiences couldn’t appreciate the “art” you were trying to make, cuz apparently we only care about shooting things. Plus like Stoly said, physical media is kind of on the rise again, getting more popular again.

    With video games I still prefer to get physical media, although I can’t really give you a reason why. I will admit that as time goes on, this matters less and less to me. For movies it doesn’t matter, but if a movie is cheap enough (like a few bucks) I will actually buy the disc instead of just sticking with blu-ray rips. The video+audio quality of the actual disc still can’t be beat. With music I don’t really care about having CDs though.

    I guess because I come from a time before the Internet could be relied upon for everything, I always like to have local copies of my media. I don’t like my gaming, video-watching, or music-listening to require an Internet connection. I have to be able to use all my media completely offline. The only streaming I do is from a storage device that is either inside my PC or connected to my PC/home network.

    Really pisses me off when a Switch cartridge doesn’t contain the entire game, because the company who made the game cheaped out and bought cheaper cartridges with less space. So you still have to download the rest of the data before you can play the game (or in some cases, the game is still playable but you are missing access to the stuff that’s not there – see games like [I]Spyro Reignited Trilogy[/I] were I think at least one of the games in the trilogy was not on the cartridge at all). So in 20 or 30 years when you go to play that cartridge offline (on a system where you don’t already have the rest of the data), you’re f*cked. But then again, you should be using a soft-modded Switch and have a full digital version of the game. At least with games on other systems, the full game is there on the blu-ray disc, even if the data is outdated cuz no patches and whatnot. Which brings me to another question: how come companies don’t update newer-manufactured discs of a game with the latest patches and stuff for that game? If a game came out 3 years ago, and has had a bunch of patches and updates since, and I’m buying a disc that was made a lot more recently, it should have a newer version of that game on it. It shouldn’t just be the launch version of the game.

  9. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 38397, member: 1298″]
    You didn’t own the rights to the music, but you own that copy of the music, they can’t take it back or cut your access off. I’d say that’s a huge difference compared to digital distribution where they can cut you off at any time for no reason at all, and they probably have a clause in the TOS that says they can get away with it too. Like the story where someone got banned from psn loosing access to all digitally purchased games.
    [/QUOTE]
    I make a distinction here, there are different kinds of digital distribution – I thought I had made it in my original post as well, but to clarify:

    Streaming (and I am lumping in always-online requirements here) – they can cut you off by removing access for whatever reason. This is true to what you describe, but not all digital distribution follows this model, it’s only become popular recently.

    Just Digital Distribution — not sure if there’s a word for it apart from “not streaming” (such as buying an MP3 and downloading it for use) – same as physical media. So long as you have a copy of it somewhere you can use it. This includes hardware-based DRM (such as iPod lock-in that Apple had in the early days) — so long as you have a copy of the file and device, you can still play it back: They can’t arbitrarily remove your access.

  10. All this said, I’ve pretty much gone away from physical media entirely.

    Of all places, the one spot I thought I would always like physical media – my consoles, to use gray market games on – turned out to be the place I hate it the most. Part of it is just I’ve gotten fat and lazy and I don’t want to get up and change the disc when I want to play a different game. The other part is that Day 0 patches and such have made it so there is no advantage to buying physical media when I’m on slow internet – it would take me 1-2 days of downloading to play regardless. And the final part are those games that have online-activation content only, those wouldn’t come with gray market copies of the game, meaning you’d need to buy those like DLC if you wanted them, even though you got the base game for cheaper. And the last part was just Gamestop – the biggest place I had for gray market game purchase, is slimy and I feel disgusting in that store and the used games are generally not a very good deal anyway.

    I do still have a DVD subscription at Netflix. But they mostly go into my Plex server and I watch them whenever I want at that point.

    I did buy a box set of 4K DVDs for my wife a couple years ago (She’s a big Harry Potter fan), but we don’t have a UHD player to watch them on. She probably won’t open them even if we did though. But that’s been it for physical media in the past… decade or so?

  11. All my movies and music went on the Plex server, except for the new 4K movies… and I don’t have a player yet. I honestly didn’t think it would take this long to get a PS5. For consoles I do both, but I like the idea of being able to sell my games after the fact when I’m done or if I hate them. OTOH, I also am a lazy butt and don’t enjoy getting up to change discs.

    I think physical will eventually go away, but there are still huge chunks of America with crappy internet. Until universal high speed internet happens, physical media will still be around. Unless it devolves into digital kiosks or something, think like a Redbox but you plug in a USB and download your movies to take home. I could see hubs like that popping up in small town grocery stores so people could still get movies and games. But the laws and copy protection involved would need to evolve too.

    true story – my BIL has a house in upstate NY and all he can get is 1.5mb dsl and satellite. Streaming a movie requires saying prayers and lighting candles. He went out and physically bought Blurays of all the stuff his kids would normally stream. I mean, he loaded up a shopping cart. They now have a huge physical library of movies up there.

    edit – I am also looking around outside the city for property… the #1 question I always have is… how is the internet? Some of the places have none except mediocre cell phone service. If I went this route, I would be picking up physical media again I guess (or at least continuing the Netflix disc or Redbox usage)

    TLDR – most of us will be dead and gone before physical media totally bites it.

  12. For the past few generations of consoles, physical media has been very important to me mainly because most console games I borrow from friends. I used to hate it when they got digital copies of games, cuz it meant I couldn’t borrow the discs from them later. That was less of an issue during 8th-gen, when I ended up just borrowing entire systems.

  13. [QUOTE=”DrezKill, post: 38444, member: 230″]
    For the past few generations of consoles, physical media has been very important to me mainly because most console games I borrow from friends. I used to hate it when they got digital copies of games, cuz it meant I couldn’t borrow the discs from them later. That was less of an issue during 8th-gen, when I ended up just borrowing entire systems.
    [/QUOTE]

    This brings back instant memories of golden Zelda and Link cartridges in black plastic cases bearing the Nintendo logo, and the faint smell of cigarette smoke from the plastic (as for some reason the kids who had the most/best games parents always smoked, and did so indoors for some reason, eww)

    It’s been a while since I borrowed a game, but thinking about it has some instant flashback material associated with it.

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