I wrote this up and thought some might be interested in this idea. Help me pan it out some more and catch some faults I might have overseen. "THE CONSOLE OF THE FUTURE In today's console world, always being connected is becoming more and more common. With that great connectivity comes great solutions (and problems at the same time). With the presence of the ever connected console in millions of homes, a new type of console would be something that would only make sense. Now not just a new console with advanced graphics, better memory, and a better look. But a console with life behind it. The closest thing we have on the market now is the XBOX 360. This console was BUILT from the ground up for LIVE support. The original console has really ushered in online gaming to people who hate gaming on the pc. The XBOX 360 has really opened that market to a much broader user base. And that all leads us to this brilliant idea of mine. The idea I speak of is for us to get rid of the most popular game medium we have now. That is the DVD (and soon to be BluRay). These discs brought A LOT of advancement to the market. The first major player was Sony with the PlayStation. The PlayStation was against the Nintendo 64, and because of the disc based medium, the Nintendo 64 quickly lost a lot of 3rd Party Support. The rising cost of producing cartridge based games, along with the many limitations brought a sad end to the Nintendo 64 (which is a really great system that had some awesome games!). The disc was cheaper and was better in pretty much ALL ways. Looking towards the future games are getting more and more expensive. What's to stop them but rising production costs (being pushed along by rising Development costs as well). We need to get a stab at something new and innovative that is already available in some forms, but it's not a massive stab in a sense. Game downloads. Game downloads would seem to solve all these problems mentioned earlier but it also creates a lot of problems as well. Some of these problems are; - Saving a lot of games - No internet connectivity - No used market - More expensive server bills - Piracy Using the disc based medium has avoided all those mentioned issues that downloaded games present, but with some clever marketing and tools, we can easily overcome these problems and make them almost non-existant. - This idea is very basic. You make a console very powerful to begin with. Lets say we are making a SLIM360. Now you wouldn't need a disc drive, lowering the overall costs of the machine. You can now make the machine a LOT smaller and it will be much quieter. There are now fewer moving parts so failure rates will drop a bit. You get rid of the 20GB HD and make the slot for the HD more streamlined. Now make an external HD capable of 1TB of HD space. The average game takes up around 3 to 6 GB of HD space, including game saves. So if you do the math, that is about 333 to 166 games. The average user will NOT be affected by this limitation. It could be an issue later in the console's life, but the lowering costs of HDs along with the rising amounts of storage space would be enough to curb this small issue. - People with no internet connectivity would still be able to purchase and download games. This is where the bigger part of the plan comes into action. Instead of just downloading the games and playing them. You would go to your local game store and buy the game like you would a normal game. It will come in a slim am-array case with the instruction manual in its normal place, and a card for the game on the disc side. There will be no disc holder, but a slot so the cards barcode shows through. Now you can take the thing home and enter the alphanumeric code into your console to download the game. Now if you don't have an internet connection, then this is where the tools portion comes into play. You take just your HD (that is why I said external, and streamlined), to one of many supported game stores. You buy the game and you give them your HD. They put it in a machine and they scan the card and it will automatically download to your account off either an online server or an onsite storage device. The process after streamlining would take up from 30 seconds to 1 minutes. You take it home and plug and play. - This brings us to our next issue. The USED game market is how soo many game stores survive (and I buy about 40 percent of my games used as well). Remember you got a case with the manual and the card with the games AUTH code on it. You just bring your HD with this game case in to a supporting game store and you give them both to them. If you agree on the trade in credit/value/cash then they take your HD and connect it to the same machine that you use to download the games onto the HD (if you don't have an internet connection). They scan the card and the machine locates the game and will delete it, only leaving the saves and extra downloaded content behind. So when someone comes in, they will see that slim case with the game manual and want to buy the game used. They go to the front and they grab the card (which is now making it equivalent as a disc -in value). The card gets scanned (which activates it, much like an iTunes card - so when the game is traded in, it becomes unauthorized so it can't be played if someone stole it!). They take that home and download the game, or use the in-store machine. Now keep in mind they DON'T have to bring the HD in, they can keep the game on their HD but it won't be playable no matter what they do. When the AUTH code gets scanned and de-autherizes, a portion of the games code is changed a bit so it won't be playable when someone else buys the game. - Now with this comes more expensive server bills. They will need to emphasize the need for servers for any and all games. This brings a cost increase, but the money saved from manufacturing gets it even. A great thing about this is this system can double for multiplayer servers as well, which are getting bigger and BIGGER every year! The only major problem is the amount of electricity used, and there aren't really any studies out there that touch on this kind of electrical use (that I've seen). Piracy is a major issue with games. With the whole downloading games and stuff, it makes it really easy to steal games. But the authorization code is there for a reason. The only issue that I can see is for offline consoles, and more of this will have to be thought out as time goes by. But any console that logs in will be checked for "clean codes". Any "dirty" codes -stolen games- gets picked up and tracked to the account, which tracks to whomever stole the game. Giving them a direct contact. There are several areas here that I know I am missing, but it seems like this idea would be pretty solid. Took me a little thinking about games and just started this avalanche of ideas! I think I may have something here, especially with the whole used market thing. Well I've written enough, I'm going to bed!"