GameStop Is Happy PS5 And Scarlett Have Disc Drives

Red Dead Redemption 2 in 8K could be 400 GB, a GameStop exec says.

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New video game consoles are coming. Microsoft's Project Scarlett platform is scheduled for release in Holiday 2020, while Sony's next-generation PlayStation system is rumoured to release around that time as well. Both Scarlett and the PS5 will have disc drives, and retailer GameStop is pleased about that following some ongoing turmoil related to the all-digital Xbox One S model.

The retailer's chief customer officer, Frank Hamlin, told GameSpot that both Microsoft and Sony are "keenly aware" that people want to have the option to play a disc if they want. Digital game sales and the popularity and prevalence of digital services like streaming and subscription programs are growing year-over-year, but at the end of the day, giving people the option to play physical media is important, Hamlin says.

Not only that, but unlike TV, movies, and music--industries that have all adopted a digital-first approach--the file sizes for games are generally much larger. And they're growing all the time as games become more and more content-rich and graphically impressive. As such, discs will continue to be important for some portion of the gaming audience for a long time to come, according to Hamlin.

"I think both Microsoft and Sony are keenly aware that the consumer needs that optionality," he said. "We're very much a believer in helping our customers sell them a physical game when they want it."

Hamlin went on to say that people still enjoy buying physical games because they enjoy owning something tangible when they pay $60 USD or more.

"I think both Microsoft and Sony are keenly aware that the consumer needs that optionality" -- Frank Hamlin on PS5 and Xbox Scarlett having disc drives

"It's much like a collectible. They like the collectibility and trophy on the shelf," Hamlin said. "That tangibility is something that's extremely important for the right game experience. Not giving the customers the privilege of having that is something I think both Sony and Microsoft are aware would be a foolish thing to do."

File sizes for games are indeed growing. Just recently, it was reported that Cyberpunk 2077 will be 80 GB on PS4. One of 2018's biggest and most impressive games, Red Dead Redemption 2, is over 100 GB. With the kind of 8K graphics that Project Scarlett and the PS5 can offer, the file size for a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 could balloon to 400 GB, Hamlin estimated.

Microsoft experimented with an all-digital Xbox model with the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition that was released in May. The console has no disc drive, so it doesn't seem to be the most attractive product for a retailer like GameStop that relies on physical media. Unlike Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target, GameStop does not sell the system. Hamlin told GameSpot that GameStop continues to have conversations with Microsoft about offering the system, but those talks haven't amounted to anything yet.

"We're absolutely excited about it, but we're not presently selling it. Microsoft is a wonderful partner and we're in conversations about how that could be a possibility," he said.

It's not immediately clear what's holding things up, and Hamlin said he wouldn't comment on conversations between GameStop and Microsoft that are currently ongoing.

Whatever the case, Hamlin says he believes physical will continue to be a better way to experience larger games, and start playing faster.

"For the larger, more immersive games, I think a physical experience is going to be a better get-your-game-in quicker experience," he said. "Even on increasing bandwidth speeds. I think that's why the customer doesn't want to throw away that optionality. It's not like movies where the file size of a movie is pretty much the same file size forever year after. These games become more and more immersive, and as they do, their file size gets exponentially larger."

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Avatar image for imajinn

This article should have been named "Duhhh". Of course GameStop is happy. Disc drives means they can stay afloat.

Avatar image for urbanman2004

Gamestop is just delaying the inevitable, lmao.

Avatar image for polaris3245


I don't like gamestop either. At least we still have hard copies and cloud gaming on the PS5 with full BC and FC now. The console wars are cutthroat as its about OS software design vs the gaming PC market where it's about hardware vs OS software optimization for gaming.

Avatar image for jsprunk

So basically the baloney-heads running Gamestop are just waiting to go extinct. Pfft. No business sense at all in that company for at least 10 years.

Avatar image for eli150

Why do they keep mentioning 8K? PS5 and Xbox whatever are going to get a graphics card close to Radeon RX 5700 XT so they run some games at 4K30fps for sure but anything above that is just ridiculous. I'm not even sure they could keep running every game at 4k when other graphic settings are pushed further like shadows, ambient occlusion, ray tracing etc.

Avatar image for Schizycho

People still care about GameStop and what they think?

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

Yeah, right 8K graphics. As if he really believed that anything but some crappy indie games and last gen games could run at that resolution. I also doubt that the PS5's drive could read any discs bigger than 200GB. I mean they've now had 2 consoles in a row that were only capable of reading 50GB discs. Still, for 4K gaming 200GB for a game should be more than sufficient, and since all games are being fully installed now they can just compress the data on the disc to make it fit. Disc space is not really an issue. Hard drive space though might be an even bigger one than it currently is. With how short loading times are supposed to be compression might become an important tool again though, same as it was during last gen where the Xbox was still using DVDs.

Avatar image for jsprunk

@Atzenkiller: Do 200GB discs even exist? I thought Sony and Hitachi scrapped their plans for making anything larger than 50GB, but I could be wrong.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@jsprunk: Blurays can have multiple layers. I'm not sure what the limit is but even back when the PS3 was announced there was talk about them being able to offer at least a few hundred GB in space eventually. It's just a matter of cost. Normal Bluray drives are dirt cheap and Sony was even too greedy to add one to the Pro that could read 4K discs, which can hold 100GB. I doubt that drive costs that much more, but if they don't see much demand for it they'll just stick with the smaller versions. As for 200GB and up, those might cost significantly more so I don't know if Sony and MS would be willing to add those. But for 8K capable consoles I'd say it's a necessity. Since nobody wants to have to put multiple discs into their console to install one game.

Avatar image for doylusmaximus

If it's gonna be 400gb they may get most of that on the discs and not have us downloading the full 400 after buying it physical.

Avatar image for justin760

Id feel bad about gamestops impending doom and inevitable decline into bankruptcy, if it werent for the fact that they ripped me off as a kid trading in my games. I get it, theyre a business looking to turn a profit, but the profit margins were egregious. Buying a trade in for 5 dollars and reselling it for 40, thats a 800% profit which is unreasonably high.

So I wont shed any tears for gamestops extinction. Immature as that may be.

Avatar image for Simulator_Shock

Lol Gamestop probably won't even be around anymore by the time the PS5 and Scarlett launch, the way things are going with them...

Avatar image for Ovirew

So do we need 8K? Is it really going to be that much of a benefit over, you know, having a game be a third or a fourth as big and having plenty of room left in storage?

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@Ovirew: Well, if you wanna get a 100" tv then it better have 8K, if you wanna be sitting right in front of it to count the pixels. I doubt anything past 4K serves any purpose as long as you're sitting at a great enough distance to be able to see the whole picture. But they gotta sell people new tvs somehow.

Avatar image for kgsg-19-2

400gbs... pretty sure that's like my entire ps4 hdd lol. But yea I'm w/ gamestop, keeps disks around please. It's nice to have a physical copy of something, plus not really big into buying an expensive bigger hdd.

Avatar image for dragonsama

They aren’t the only ones that are glad they have disc drives. I as well as all gamers are extremely happy that the new consoles have them.

Honestly it’s completely idiotic to have a console and not have a disc drive!

Avatar image for Tidus1012

I'm glad too. I don't know why people think that the technology evolution will lead to an only digital era, that will never happen, there will always be the necessity for physical media.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@Tidus1012: Do PCs still have disc drives? What year are you living in? The digital era has long arrived and we're now slowly entering the age streaming. In a few years you might not be able to download anything anymore cause streaming is "so much better". No more downloading a game for an hour, which many ADHD folks seem to have big issues with.

Avatar image for izraal

Gamestop really should quit being petty and just sell the all digital Xbox One S. If someone wants to buy one, and Gamestop doesn't carry it, that isn't an enticement to purchase a console with a disc drive and immediately buy used game discs. That kind of consumer will go across the street to a Target, Wal Mart, or Best Buy, or order it from Amazon on their phone right in the Gamespot store. They're losing out on potential hardware sales, and that's really the optimal focus for a brick and mortar store (hardware, controllers, retro products, and miscellaneous fandom items such as t-shirts and figurines).

It makes sense that they're please disc drives will still be present, as others have mentioned. The resale of used physical media has the highest profit ratio of any sale a store of that kind can generate. As others have pointed out, however, with modern console gaming the disc rarely contains the full game, and only acts as an authorization code to play the game essentially.

I've regretted every physical media purchase I've made for the Xbox One, and wished I had bought those games digitally. Whether a disc or a digital purchase, games have to install to the hard drive. A physical disc just leads to clutter, something that can be misplaced, and as lazy as it sounds, with a digital purchase I don't have to walk to the console to swap discs.

When Microsoft originally began discussion of the disc-free Xbox One S, there was a proposal for Microsoft stores to offer an option to bring in physical Xbox One discs to trade for digital ownership. I haven't heard anything on that since, but I'd happily trade in the handful of Xbox One games I purchased physically - many of those from Gamestop - for the convenience of all digital "ownership."

Avatar image for thenephariouson

8K Gaming lol, yeah, like you'll really notice the difference on anything less than an 80" Display..

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@thenephariouson: I doubt you'd notice anything there either unless you're sitting right in front of it. There's only so close you can get to a tv while still being able to make out everything that's going on.

Avatar image for nintendians

400 gb of hard drive space? not even the latest graphical pc with dlcs, doesn't even hit that high even in native 4k 60fps with hdr.

i doubt any game as of now could run 8k 60fps native, you'll probably need a 12-core cpu, 32gb of ram with a nvidia gefore rtx 40 or 50 series just to run it.

Avatar image for neurogia

No, next gen won't have games at 400gb large. Even the most high end 4k games aren't close to that. PS5 and Xbox Red are 4k machines.

Avatar image for gargungulunk

In other news, Pizza Hut is glad they have dough.

Avatar image for Elranzer


We can't resell digital games at a higher markup than eBay while giving the customer pennies for it, CEO of national pawn shop franchise says.

Avatar image for shadowwarrior4

@Elranzer: LMFAO!

Avatar image for Pyrosa

Remind me... What exactly is the financial relationship between the site and the store again?

Just paid ads?

Avatar image for Elranzer

@Pyrosa: GameSpot and GameStop are two different entities, despite being anagrams.

GameStop owns GameSpot competitor, Game Informer, actually.

Avatar image for Pyrosa

@Elranzer: Aha -- that's the answer I was looking for. It's Game Informer that they own, not Gamespot. Thanks.

Avatar image for rob808

I think ps5 and xbox 2 will be doing 8k through Microsoft xcloud.The ps5 and xbox 2 are 4k machines .

I don't think alot of people will be playing in 8k including pc gamers unless they have tons of money to buy a monster pc which cost thousands of dollars.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@rob808: And what kind of internet connection would 8K streaming require? I doubt we'd be able to see that before the very end of the next console gen, if at all. And at this point whether 8K even catches on at all is still doubtful. If the technology exists everyone will eventually adopt it. But just due to the higher requirements for bandwidth and anything else companies might choose to stick to 4K until upgrading to 8K is not an issue anymore.

Avatar image for teaguru12

@rob808: That is true. But by the end of their console lifespan in 7-8 years, 8K might be the standard if not something completely unknown at this point. When you make a console, you need to make sure it is relevant for almost a whole decade unless you release a multitude of stronger versions.

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@teaguru12: As 4K is the standard now? Now, the more powerful versions of the next gen consoles will probably be comparable to the current gen ones, being able to run something like 4K for many games, but not getting anywhere close to the real thing. Even the Xbox X can't handle proper 4K for most games as far as I'm aware.

But with 4K at least that's already a thing and all 1080p tvs have been replaced with 4K ones. And there is a noticeable improvement, especialyl because of HDR. What does 8K have to offer that would convince anyone to buy a new tv? Who really needs an even higher resolution than 4K?

Avatar image for nsignific

Next-gen won't have RDR2 level AAA games running at 8k.

Avatar image for davillain-

Of course Gamestop is happy, cause without second-hand discs, they'll go bankrupt in a heartbeat lol.

But really, I went total digital at the start of 2013 from PS4, PC, & 3DS. No regrets and convenience for me but the only physical games I still buy are Nintendo Switch. I will never ever support digital consoles only without a disc drive and the whole planet is NOT ready for all digital. We all know digital/streaming is coming in the not too distance future. It's not a "if" but when?

Avatar image for Tidus1012

@davillain-: True, the world isn't even ready for 4k, just a very small minority play at this resolution, an they thinking about 8k? lol

I won't support only digital consoles either, there will always be the necesity for physical media, always.

Avatar image for KillzoneSnake

Yeah right... so im gonna fill up a 2TB HDD with 4 games...

Avatar image for struvokreborn

Microsoft experimented with an all-digital Xbox model with the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition that was released in May. The console has no disc drive, so it doesn't seem to be the most attractive product for a retailer like GameStop that relies on physical media. Unlike Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target, GameStop does not sell the system. Hamlin told GameSpot that GameStop continues to have conversations with Microsoft about offering the system, but those talks haven't amounted to anything yet.

"We're absolutely excited about it, but we're not presently selling it. Microsoft is a wonderful partner and we're in conversations about how that could be a possibility," he said.

i guess they havent found a way to offer somebody $2 for their $60 digital game, just so they can turn around and sell it for $60

Avatar image for s0102247

How they sell Physical discs for 60$ but also Digital copy for the same price? Would'nt it be better to sell the digital ones for something like 50$?

Avatar image for Atzenkiller

@s0102247: Better for whom? The companies that are trying to milk you for as much as they can? Every product costs as much as people are willing to pay for it. So over here current gen games cost 70€, which is a lot more than $60. And next gen they might very well increase the prices further, after all people will pay for it anyway, no matter how much it costs.

Of course if they did lower the prices by only 10 bucks for digital sales they would ensure that pretty much everyone would switch to digital only, which would increase their profits drastically. But I guess their attitude is: why bother? It's gonna happen eventually anyway. Most people are already buying digital so converting the last 10% or 20% or so that don't wouldn't be as profitable as keeping the prices as they are.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

@s0102247: You're starting to figure out that trickle down economics are a sham. Cost savings are NEVER passed down to consumers.

Avatar image for Tidus1012

@s0102247: Yeah, that's one of the most stupid things in the gaming industry that nobody knows, a digital game doesn't have a production or shipping cost, still they are more expensive than physical games smh.

Avatar image for walbo

@s0102247: greed gets in the way unfortunately. Weird as Microsoft etc really want an all digital format.

Avatar image for s0102247

Liked this one, made my day:

"Hamlin told GameSpot that GameStop..."

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