Digital downloads mark the end for physical game sales

Exclusive: Industry expert says time is up for disc-based games

Cloud gaming and digital downloads to see disc-based physical game sales become a thing of the past says expert

A rise in digital downloads and the widespread birth of cloud-based gaming is to spell the end for physical game releases in the coming years, an industry expert has revealed to T3.

Following rapidly in the footsteps of MP3s and eBooks, digital games are to soon replace their physical counterparts as users look to cheaper, faster and space saving alternatives from the current disc formats.

"Eventually digital downloads and cloud streaming will mean the end for physical disc copies of games," said OnLive founder and CEO Steve Perlman in an exclusive interview with T3. "Everything's moving towards digital distribution. Video games are the last one because these are the largest and most difficult format to convert."

"Initially digital downloads and cloud-based gaming will be complementary to disc releases. People still buy audio CDs so disc copies of games are not going to vanish overnight."

With OnLive further pushig the possibilities of cloud gaming, Perlman was keen to take no credit or responsibility for the death of disc-based games. He said: "It would have happened even if it wasn't for OnLive. It's not a question of whether; it's a question of when."

Will digital downloads and cloud gaming completely remove disc-based titles from the market in the next five years? Let us know what you think via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.