Microsoft dismisses discs as “historic phenomenon”, says downloads are the (near) future

By Patrick Garratt, Friday, 14 March 2008 09:38 GMT

Xbox Europe boss Chris Lewis reckons “shiny discs” are going to be cast aside in the media race far faster than people suspect, and that Microsoft and Xbox 360 are in the perfect place to take advantage of the trend.

“Going forwards, digital downloads is really where it’s at,” Lewis said. “More and more people’s ongoing and ever-increasing downloading of music and movies is becoming the de facto. I think that’s going to happen in very short order; people want to consume that way. Before very long we will look back wistfully at shiny discs as something that was somewhat a historic phenomenon in a way that we kind of think about vinyl or VCRs today.”

Lewis continued to talk down Blu-ray’s next-gen movie disc victory, saying that the death of HD-DVD wouldn’t affect Xbox 360’s fortunes.

“That’s the future direction, and I think that’s going to be the case in the next 12-18 months,” he predicted. “I think we’re going to be talking much more about that than anything else. Do I think that this Christmas will somehow be defined by DVD playback? I genuinely don’t think that will be the case. I do not think that [the demise of HD DVD] will have any material impact on our console velocity. And I think other factors, specifically our architecture around downloads, is far more advantageous and important for the future.”

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Chris Lewis