Kotaku yesterday posted a translated tweet from a Japanese journalist which apparently reveals that the Playstation 4 won't support CD's or Super Audio CD's. Whether this tidbit of information is true or not, it seems that some people are unhappy with the news. However I personally believe that eliminating the use of audio CD's would be a great direction for the next gen consoles to take, and here's why..
Cloud Streaming is good for the Music Industry
When reading the title of this article you were probably like "Huh? How the f*** is eliminating the use of CD's good for the music industry?" - The answer is cloud music streaming services. The business model in the music industry has completely shifted thanks to the abundance of pirated music. But with the introduction of Cloud Music services that users subscribe to, there are new ways for artists and record labels to collect the royalties they deserve for people listening to their music.
The way cloud music streaming services like Spotify works is they allow users to either subscribe, or listen at no cost with an abundance of ads in between songs. This model allows for Spotify to pay a royalty to all labels and artists who generate enough listens on their platform. And because you get so much value by subscribing to a service like Spotify, it feels almost as if you're still getting music for free.
Over the past year both Sony and Microsoft have been building up their very own Music Streaming services. So with the release of PS4 pending, and the fact that it's clearly a very cloud driven platform, it would make sense to push Music Streaming to the extreme. Allowing CD's to be played on PS4 would only set the music industry back, when it's just starting to move forward and pick up steam once more. CD's can be ripped, and shared with other people so it wouldn't make sense for Sony (or Microsoft) to continuously welcome the use of CD's when they can instead try and push people towards subscribing to their own Music Unlimited platform and in turn make sure everybody gets compensated for our desired music tastes.
I had this discussion with our music writer Mr. Kennedy yesterday, and as someone who still avidly uses CD's he wasn't happy with the news and I can fully understand why. However I do feel that people who love music should begin to get more educated about the direction of the industry, and move along with the times. Technology has a tendency to shift things at a rapid rate. Technology almost killed the music industry 10 years ago, but now the advancement in technology is once again helping the music industry to reform and profit in new ways.
I'm not saying this is the only reason Sony may have decided to exclude the use of Audio CD, because it could also have been dropped to make the console less costly. However as an overall decision it makes sense to drop support because of the reasons listed above.
So if Sony really is dropping support for Audio CD's then I urge everybody to understand the decision before bashing it.