I just don't see this opinion bearing out. Netflix, Steam, Amazon Prime, Pandora, Kindle, iOS apps, etc.... the market is embracing and moving more toward an all-digital future every day. Any tech reporter or market strategist will tell you it is only a matter of time.
Tech reporters and market strategists have been saying for a long time that all-digital is just around the corner and inevitable. It is not.
The ones you mention, i.e. Netflix, some things on Steam, etc., have the benefit of being decently priced. $8 a month for all you can watch? Games for a dollar? Those are a FAR cry from the $40+ Games on Demand on XBL or new releases on Steam being the same as the boxed product in the store. If you are stupid enough to buy a GoD game when the physical product is half that cost, then you deserve to be parted from your money.
I agree retail will hang on for a long time to come, but the emphasis will be more and more on digital every day that goes by. Threats of super high bandwith caps that still have not come to fruition are not going to change that.
You must not be Canadian. Last year, the ISPs there attempted to get caps as low as 25GB. You must've also missed the fact that pretty much every major mobile provider in the United States has instituted bandwidth caps.
Bandwidth caps (starting relatively generous then reducing as people get "used" to them) are much more likely to happen than your pie-in-the-sky belief of all-digital.
As someone who never sells games because A) I think it's shitty and B) I am a PC gamer and we accepted loss of resale years ago I would CERTAINLY rather do away with those shitty trends than keep Gamestop's pawn shop money going.
Everyone harps on Gamestop. They have a valid business model and are perfectly legal in their efforts. If you don't like 'em, don't use 'em. If you do away with them, and allow them to be done away with, then the next target will be eBay and Amazon's third-party sellers.
I may not use their business model, as I would rather get more than a pittance for the games I do sell and get more money to the sellers, but I do use them when they have a good pre-order bonus.
As to your "shitty" argument, selling a game is no different than me selling my car. If you are willing to sell ANYTHING you own, then selling a game should be no different. Unless you are willing to do away with ALL secondhand sales, because every time those are sold the maker doesn't see a dime, then it's a bit hypocritical to single out video games.
Anyway, I'm not arguing opinions here, I am arguing what I see as facts. My own personal opinion is if you sell something in a box then it should be a product and not turn into a service when you get home. I dislike MMOs and Steamworks titles for this reason, and since the next console cycle might do a Steam style activation system I will dislike that too.
I will agree with you on Steamworks shit. I don't use their DRM and advertising platform.