THQ preparing for cloud-based, disc-free consoles

THQ CEO Brian Farrell says the publisher expects future consoles to drop physical disc support in favour of cloud gaming, resulting in reduced hardware manufacturing costs, lower console prices for consumers that will drive mass market adoption, and no physical goods costs for publishers. Delivering a keynote presentation at the Cloud Gaming USA conference, the executive said the transition from physical retail to digital is well underway. “The box, ship and done model is transitioning to observe, measure, and modify,” he said, according to GamesIndustry.biz. This is “a games as a service model where direct consumer feedback allows the ability to operate in this always on, always connected environment. We have the opportunity to interact with players in new ways that can be reactive to their desires, play habits, and buying habits.” Farrell then revealed plans to release 40 weekly DLC packs for upcoming title Saints Row: The Third, “which will grow and change the experience as the consumer engages with the game… We intend to create an online digital ecosystem with the consumer that keeps them interested for almost a year, perhaps even longer. And we expect most of our large console games going forward will extend the base experience with DLC packs. Things like online in-game storage, and consumables and other online items that will go on for at least a year post-release.”