Discs are used to play a variety of multimedia. This can include music, movies and video games. People enjoy having a hard copy of their media because it has more versatility. If they had a non-physical file format instead, then it would be lost once their digital storage space became corrupted. Discs do not have this issue.
Other hardcopy forms such as long-playing vinyl records (LP) and cassette tapes were once used to play music. Eventually, CDs became more popular due to their sharper audio quality. They were also thinner and smaller than LPs. Music is still being recorded on CDs to this day. However, streaming and digital downloads are preferred by listeners as this method requires much less physical space.
When DVDs became cheap enough they were purchased by millions of consumers. They employ the same kind of technology as CDs. The main difference is that a DVD plays video as well as audio. This makes it an ideal way to watch movies and TV shows. In recent years they have lost their appeal thanks to the emergence of other disc formats such as Blu-ray and 4K. These give a much sharper image with a higher definition. They are the same size as a DVD, allowing this older method to still be played on newer machines.
Console systems such as PlayStation and Xbox popularised the use of discs for playing video games. Once again they retained the same shape and size as DVDs and CDs. This has allowed game systems to become ideal multimedia machines. They can play both old and new physical formats. Not only that, but they can also access the internet and utilise non-physical software.
In days of the past, different forms of media were often limited to their own systems. For example, if someone wanted to listen to a CD, they would need to buy a CD player. However, today multimedia systems can be utilised to play a variety of forms all on one machine. Despite this, there are still some limitations. Games, in particular, are restricted by the hardware that can access them. This is due to rival companies wanting to keep their artistic property safe.
Despite the fact that online information is overtaking hardware, discs still have their place in modern entertainment. This can undoubtedly be confirmed by the amount of disc-based media being released currently. Older disc formats such as DVDs are becoming much cheaper. This is helping to renew their popularity.
It is uncertain how long discs will continue to be mass produced for this purpose. If they do decline, then it will likely take several decades before discs completely stop being manufactured. Even after this, there will be plenty of second-hand ones still available on the market.