In recent years, game publishers, big time and small; have tried the digital distribution platform, trying to be the first to perfect the method. Guess what: no one has been able to do it with good reason.
Digital distribution is the future. A few years ago, PC gaming was declared 'dead' by many. Now because of things like Steam, GamersGate, Direct2Drive and Impulse, it's doing a lot better. Heck, someone just reported Steam posted a billion dollars worth of sales last year. That might not sound like much as of now, but down the road, I guarantee you that that number will become even larger. Either way, with things like Steam, Games on Demand and digital game marketplaces like Xbox Live arcade and the PSN store, the digital distribution revolution is already happening and it will be the future.
@ allyc4t Excellent points. A billion dollars in sales on one digital distribution platform alone? Digital distribution is the future whether we like it or not. I simply look at myself as an example. I still buy plenty of PS3, 360, and Wii games on disc, but I also purchase just as many games from PSN and Live. As for PC, nine out of every 10 PC games I buy is digital. Continuing that thought, I almost never buy CD's anymore, and Netflix has all but killed my purchases of DVD. I now only get my absolute favorites on bluray. That's it. As consoles continue to offer increasingly large HDD's, there is no reason not to buy games digitally. One of the first things I did with my 60 Gig PS3 was change it out for a 320 gig HDD. I still have over 200 gig available. And what is it available for? Games.
Only mofos with slow internet disagree.
I agree. Whether we like it or not, digital is the future. Companies save so much money doing things digitally that once enough of their sales go digitally companies will make the change. Does it suck, yeah kinda, but you will be a dinosaur someday if you refuse to change.
Hard copy will always be the preferred choice. Besides i need my local game store to stay open to get early access to games ;)
Yeah, CD's and DVD's pretty much prove that, download music and movies never took off. Oh wait...
How so when some digitial distributors let you pre-load the game even before the release?
sry to tell you dirty but down the road hard copy won't even be an option..........
Without retail, Console makers won't get their consoles sold. The reason Best Buy's, Target, Walmart, etc sell consoles with such low margins, is because there's profit in the games.
yes but games can be bought easily over the internet isn't this what we are talking about software not hardware......... i think buying retail games will eventually be a thing of the past.
Lets take Onlive (the console version). Not too long ago, the little console thing took a price drop to $66. Why? Because no ones buying it. Why is no one buying it? Because Best Buy's, Gamespot, Target, Walmart, etc....None of them are selling it. Why are no large chain stores selling Onlives Console? Because there's nothing in it for them. In fact, Onlive poses a THREAT to their entire business model. Why would they support it? And lets just pretend Onlive could convince Best Buy's into stocking it. Can you imagine how it would be....In the back of the store, unattended, and raggedy. Eventually, DD will happen and be priortiy, but it won't be anytime soon for consoles....perhaps not ever...not as long as Consoles need to be sold in stores at a loss. The day Nintendo, MS, Sony, and any future manufac. don't need to make consoles anymore....that will be when games won't need to be on disks anymore.
ummm your talking about streaming games im talking about d/l games online lol wow. onlive does not offer a d/l to your hardrive it streams games off the internet and the fact is allot of console gamers buy tons of games online already you just don't realize it every expansion pack is bought online for your console all the xbox live arcade games bought online also and that trend will get more and more popular on console, but steam is way better than that you don't need to pay 60 dollars a year to have access to your games unlike xbox live hahaha,
Steam says hi
Finally an article thats right on target. Steam is only a drop in the bucket compared to physical pc game sales. And most of there sales come from extremely discounted old games. And overall dd sales are pathetic when stacked up against physical sales. with dd sales alone there wouldnt be a game industry. @ below. Your an idiot. More units of games are sold through dd but sales/profits are way way way higher when talking about physical games. And the profit on console gaming was at its highest point ever in 2008, in the history of gaming. So of course things go down. Folks dont be a moron like this poster below and feed into the crazyness.
Stealth, you don't seem to know much. Publishers and developers make more money through Digital Distribution. PC Digital distribution sales are currently higher than retail sales. The PC gaming market is increasing yearly on profit, while the console gaming market decreases yearly. You clearly have no clue what you're talking about.
Yeah, maybe I am an outlier, but a couple of years ago I heard all this buzz about this game called Left4Dead, and this thing called Steam. That was the first full game I downloaded, and I havent purchased a hard copy of a game since then.
would love to have this backed up by actual citations........ gonna take a guess you dont have any
Dang, I have to spend my last bubble showing you that you are absolutely wrong... http://www.gamasutra.com/vi... 180 of those small little indy titles had over 1 million usd sales. Um just wow.
how the hell can a physical copy be more profitable over DD? did you even take a second to think about that? sales wise im sure physical copies sell more at the moment but if it was all DD only i just dont see how it wouldnt be more profitable. no packaging costs, manufacturing, seller getting a cut, seller making a killing off of used games etc. all that will end, seems like your the moron stealth....
everyone keeps talkin about how much more profitable dd is , why would i care about that anyway unless the savings are coming back to me somehow i meen if you want to buy a game and 6 months later its worthless then go ahead but i like havin something i can barter with
We will eventually move away from almost all forms of physical media. I don't mean like a couple years from now, but maybe 15-20 years, physical media will be completely obsolete. Steam, D2D, GamersGaet, etc; all precursors to what the future will be.
I hope you're wrong. The day that gaming goes completely dd will be a sad day. I prefer something that I can hold with my own two hands. I like box arts, cases and manuals. Something that I can let my friend borrow, something that I can take over to someone elses house and play over there without having to redownload it, something I can sell to another person if I don't like it. If gaming ever goes completely the way of DD, then we wont be seeing the major benefit DD provides anymore (lower price), some developer of a popular franchise will just jack their prices up back to console prices and make it socially acceptable for others to do so as well, because they know that we wont have a choice since there are going to be no other alternatives. Don't get me wrong, digital Distribution is nice to have as an alternative but if it ever phases physical media out, I'm probably going to stop gaming.
Physical media for me, thank you!
Console wise, i don't think hard copies are goin anywhere anytime soon. I think people will have the option to choose though. We'd need tb hdd's, so I know Sony and MS are not trying to do that.
This goes way beyond this current gen. Terabyte harddrives are insanely cheap these days. 5 years from now we'll have 10 TB hard disks and 1 TB SSDs for cheap.
I still don't think it will work for console buyer. They have to keep the average comsumer in mind. Hardcore and casual gamers play console, while pc gamers are majority hardcore which they know the benefits of steam etc.
it will be the future! ppl that have a hard on for a physical copy need to get over this already. DD all the way, cant wait.... 40 yrs! wtf? what you still on dial up or something. i know onlive isnt perfect but damn they are making it happen right now! what makes you think sony, micro and nin. cant do it in 2 to 3.. anyway im in the states with internet thats waiting for this. guess it sucks to live in the woods...
IMO that's at least 40 years away. Network infrastructure still isnt in place in A LOT of homes. Unless DS3 connections become super cheap.
Can't be the future if it's already here.
not enough people with internet. later maybe.
average download speed in Western Europe is 22mb/s...i'm amazed about the States having such low average download speeds...and Australia with 256kb/s on average is like what we had 10 years ago.
Australia averaging with 256kb/s? Wow, research fail.
I hope physical doesn't go extinct, there's something about having that game/bluray/book on the shelf the dd can't satisfy for me. And how could you give these as gifts? Happy birthday I downloaded that game you wanted, sorry I couldn't wrap it.
This article is pure idiocy, though from an Australian perspective, so not very relevant... In the USA, just today, Obama has announced an initiative to have free wireless internet across the country in 3 to 5 years. Even if that's not totally practical, it's certainly not 40 years away. At least not based on the last 10 years.
not to mention america has one of the worst internet infrastructers in the first world.
Well let me first deal with this article, there are many reasons why digital distribution is more effective than actual media. Physical media cost money to physically create, ie dvd blu ray, packaging son on and so forth, not to mentoin the shipping cost, not just the monetary cost but the logistical cost of releasing a game on the same day across a continent. Digital distribution relieves it selves of these cost to the devolopers, plain and simple they save money there. Now to speak to your thoughts about release day speacial editions, that offer bonus such as extra content, a gimicky toy, or whatever they feel you would be willing to shell out more money for. They could easily offer you the same bonuses through digital distribution, however you would have your physical bonus mailed to you, worth it to them because you shelled out extra money that would cover their diminshed logistal shipping costs. More then likely they would shift their focus to digital bonus an extra level uppon release, or whatever the marketing genius come up with. However I do not believe that physical or digital distribution is the future of gaming, a more viable form of would be cloud based gaming aking to the onlive that is already availble, in where the games are stored on servers owned by, in this case I believe onlive. The idea is that the games are streamed to you in realtime. This eleimates consoles which I believe have been a R&D nightmare most of the console manufacturers, such as sony ( aparently losing money on console sales), microsoft who had a ridiculous failure rate and was forced to extend warranty of their consoles which cost millions if not into a billion dollars. Onlive is more akin to a modem then a console, you would not purchase a game but you would purchase access to a game. Having said that I still have reservations, I am at heart a fan of physical media, i still have my nes(my first gaming system) and tons of games that I purchased. In this digital world what happens ten years done the road, will you still have acess to your ps3 downloads, that you paid for. For instance hdd on my ps3 gave way, when signing to my new playstation with my old account, I was able to retrieve my game i had lost on the now defunct hdd, sounds great and in a way it is. Take for instance if I phisicaly break my physical media I am out of luck would have to purchase another if i planned on playing it again. However for the most part you you can safe guard physical media, keep it stored in a clean safe area, barring any fires or floods or curious three year olds it should be fine for decades to come. Your ps3s hdd will break down at some point maybe its ten years down the road, nothing you can really do to prevent it, in 10 years time will sony/microsoft/and game developers still honour my digital purchase??? Or is this part of the bomus they see in digital distribution, in the back end ten years down the road when people get nostalgic about god of war 3 they will more then likely have to repurchase it, either because you lost your data, erased it years ago to make room for some other data or what have you. Could they be this coniving? edit forgot to mention, that when sony sells you a game they made thorugh ps3 at 60$ They clearly make more money then selling the game to walmart for 40$ and letting the retail mark up the rest, in essense cutting out the middleman, however for game publishers that dont own consoles or digital distribution sites i imagine the dd site plays the middleman role.
What a terrible article. At least put up some numbers rather than screaming about how it won't work because the author doesn't like it. Pretty much deny the success of Steam and place gaming consumers as some sort of incredibly unique consumer unlike any other. One that would never respond to digital distribution. The random shot at Americans was real surprising for a website that at least seemed to have made an effort to come off as at least somewhat professional. No effort at all to disprove DD. All it sounded like was an angry consumer complaining about a growing trend denying all of its successes in the current market and in others. "The idea of an all-digital future in gaming requires the big time developers to make that leap." I'm not aware of any big time developers acting allergic to selling games digitally. Near every large publisher including Microsoft and Sony have been pushing for a more digital future.
N4G is a community of gamers posting and discussing the latest game news. It’s part of NewsBoiler, a network of social news sites covering today’s pop culture.