Are Optical Drives Still Relevant in 2020

Optical drives have more or less become obsolete. For the simplest reason that people do not have any use for those drives as most of the media, we consume comes straight from the internet. Do not believe us? Just look at your music, movies, games, and even the software that you use. However, there is still demands optical drives in the market, something that was made evident when we talked about the best external optical drives in the market.

That made us wonder if these drives are still relevant in the market, or have they been put on the ventilator, and are just waiting to be phased out. That is why have decided to look at whether optical drives are still relevant in 2020 or they are not.

Allows You to Play Older Discs

The good news is that if you still have some of the older discs available, you can easily play them on your optical drive without any issues. Sure, they might be scratched up but the ones that are in a passable condition and work fine will play without any issues, as well.

Additionally, we also have to keep in mind that music and movies that are released on discs are often cheaper than the subscription services like Spotify, as well. So, in those situations, having optical drives are also a good thing.

Ability to Write Data Quickly

I honestly do not remember the last time I wrote something on a DVD. However, that does not mean that I might never have the need to do so. There are times when you cannot find a USB drive or something else in which you can copy your data. In such situations, there is nothing bad with relying on a disc.

I remember the day I bought my car, and I was pretty bummed to find out the stereo in the car only supported discs. That made me realize just how relevant these discs still are. Sure, I did upgrade the stereo in the future, but at that time, having an optical drive was the only way to pass time during boring commutes.

Having a Physical Collection is Amazing

I still remember the day when I was arguing with my friend that having a digital library of pretty much everything is great. I showed him my music collection as well as my Steam library, and although he seemed impressed at the start, it was only up till the moment he showed me a room full of music CDs dating back to 60s, as well as movies, and games.

That was probably the largest collection I had ever seen in person; everything was encased in the original packing, organized, cleaned, and properly stored. It was not that he was not using those. He just took such good care of them that they barely looked used.

That was the day I realized that no matter what people say, there is no denying that physical collection will always be better, way better than having a digital collection.

Consoles Still Use Optical Drives

It is true that you can buy digital games on almost every single console available in the market but the one thing that you will see across the board is that console gamers still prefer having physical copies of the games. Why? Because there are two reasons. The first one is that they prefer building a collection; which makes a ton of sense based on the last point that we have discussed.

The second is much more important. When you buy a game on disc, it comes with all the install files that you would need. Installing the game through the disc is going to be much quicker than downloading. Even when you have to download the day one patch that comes with most of the games. The game will install itself through the disc, while the patch will do so through the internet, making things much smoother and simpler for you.

Saves a Lot of Time

This one kind of ties to the previous point that I have discussed. When looking at optical drives, one of the benefits that are going to get is that you can save a substantial amount of time when it comes to accessing something. For starters, if you have internet that is relatively slow, the whole idea of streaming or downloading can become an ordeal that you will have to go through.

Opposed to that, having a good optical drive is going to give you a much better experience as you can buy the disc from your nearest store, load it up, and start enjoying whatever it is that you bought. Whether you are talking about games, music, or movie.

So, Are Optical Drives Still Relevant?

Well, based on our use case, and general opinion, they are certainly better than not having them, in the first place. They serve as good contingency plans, and in many cases, they can actually get ourselves out of sticky situations. If your internet goes down for some reason, you will be safe knowing that your optical drive will still work, and all your music, movies, or games will still be accessible.

However, another important thing that must know is that as long as consoles keep shipping with the optical drives, it actually is impossible to kill the optical drives or make them irrelevant because then there would be no way to consume media.

So, in conclusion, optical drives are relevant and will be relevant for the next coming years. Sure, the overall requirement and usage have reduced, but that does not mean people will stop buying them altogether.

Bill Wilson


Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.