One of the things I hated about gaming was the CD checks. I’d usually have to go through hoops and cracks so that I could take the computer places without hauling tons of CD’s that would likely get swiped.

It was nice when Valve changed over to the Steam platform (though it has plenty of problems). Now you can install the client on to whatever computer, login and the games you’ve purchased show up. You can download the full game to the computer without ever touching a CD.

This is also occurring in the subscription world as there is really no need to have a CD when you need to login online anyways. In fact you can now download the full World of Warcraft game (all 3+ gigs) online for free using Blizzards torrent-based downloader (which can also be problematic and/or slow). I’ve actually done this twice for computers in different locations as the CD’s are somewhere in storage (currently moving).

Overall I think it will help the gaming industry save some costs and also probably make some more sales. It will be interesting to see if more consoles go the online platform route. The ability to just login and browse the games you have available, easily purchase them and then have them available to play soon after. Many already have harddrives so there is really no reason not to do this.