Considering how quick Nintendo was to pull the plug on the Wii's online servers (and presumably the Wii U's as well once the Switch is out for a little while), I do still have to give them credit at least for keeping the 360/PS3 servers around this long, especially when everyone has well transitioned to current gen by now...
Microsoft has also already said you're not going to lose your game library ever again. Every console upgrade will still play XB1 games starting with the Scorpio. This isn't something Xbox One owners are going to have to worry about anymore.
Yes. The licenses reside on Xbox Live and I'm guessing there is a huge amount of licenses servers that host that information.
As long as Microsoft uses the same protocols they have been using for previous consoles, it will be fine unless Microsoft completely goes under and nobody buys those licenses and infrastructure. However, if Steam gets a pass regarding online purchases, I have no idea why people are worried about Microsoft. Look at Valve, currently, they are a private corporation that makes the majority of their money from Steam. The network could always take a hit from other storefronts and they are already losing diehard Valve friends based on their recent development track record.
In the end, it doesn't really make a difference if you lose your license keys. I would say 10 years from now, only 5%-10% of peoples collection will get replayed and most likely that consumer would have bought that title again.
Gamestop couldn't exist forever. Personally I haven't shopped there in about 4 years or so. I either buy digitally or I purchase games on Amazon since I am a Prime member and you get games for something like 20% off for the first couple weeks if you have Prime.
On the one hand, it's nice having Gamestops around because they offer convenience. If there's something I want right now, I can drive a block and pick it up. On the other hand, they utilize shady and obnoxious business practices much like Blockbuster used to, rather than enhance the customer service model to try and create a sense of community and comradery with their customers.
Overall I'll be glad when they're gone I guess, their used game market hurts the business and the people who make the games, and the way they pressure their employees to push crap on customers is not something that should continue.
I probably won't be gaming by then, assuming I'm even alive.
If I was twenty years younger, I'd keep my physical stuff in this digital future though. Part of the reason I still play a PS2 (Aside from the great game library that stands the test of time) is the reliability. No software updates, no internet connection required, no password checks, no waiting for a gamertag to load. No lizard squad scriptkiddies ruining a holiday weekend.
And once Steams long dead and buried (Nothing online lasts forever), there should still be some working PS2 hardware and media to use.
You can play 37 year old hardware now. A recent game epo had Intellivision II's and 2600's.
Hell, you can get unrefurbished stuff from the 1940's that still works. Maybe Xbox's or Gamecubes will be hard to find, but one of the the most popular and mass produced consoles ever made will be available as long as gaming exists.
Those didn't have optical drives and other more advanced components that the PS2 does.
You might be right but I will put my money on everything be available on the Internet than a 40 year old machine that wasn't the most durable piece of hardware to begin with. In 20 years, they're might not be TV's......