Even as gamers speculate about what, exactly, is going to be a part of the next PlayStation and the next Xbox, analysts have been saying that consoles as we know them aren’t long for this world.

Why? Digital distribution, of course.

With Sony’s acquisition of the cloud-gaming service Gaikai, there have been fresh rounds of speculation that the company will build more remote gaming into its line of products.

Mega-game publisher Electronic Arts certainly sees the trend, and EA Labels President Frank Gibeau told GamesIndustry International that EA will be 100 percent digital in the “near future.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that the company will abandon its retail partners and stop offering disc titles — as long as gamers want them.

“We’ll continue to deliver games in whatever media formats make sense, and as one ebbs and one starts to flow, we’ll go in that direction,” he told the game-focused publication.

Gibeau said that the fastest-growing segment of EA’s business is its digital services and that it’s “inevitable” that the entire company will move in that direction.

The trend, which would free up so much of my shelf space, is largely seen as an inevitability for the game industry. Valve’s Steam platform has shown how quick and simple it can be to ditch physical discs and all the shipping costs that come with them.

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