DICE dev: Digital downloads “the console future” but prices must drop

DICE’s Johan Anderson thinks it’s “very cool” that BF3 is available to buy day one on the PlayStation Network and that full-game downloads are the future of console games, but there are a couple of issues holding back a digital-only tomorrow.

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Grip3407d ago

in five years i see it coming but now, hell no!!

darthv723407d ago

that is....if consoles are still around in 5 years. Im seeing more of a shift to portable gaming. Be it on a phone, tablet or dedicated machine, the increase is noticeable.

BattleAxe3407d ago

Whether its Steam or the PSN, if I have the option I prefer to buy digital downloads. It makes for much less clutter around the house.

Iroquois_Pliskin3406d ago (Edited 3406d ago )

There is no single reason i can think of as why the digital download are so damn expensive!

GraveLord3407d ago

I can definitely see an increased focus on digital downloads on portables.(Like the Vita which will launch all games digitally Day 1). But for consoles, games will only keep increasing in size.

Internet isn't affordable enough for most people to download huge files really fast. Bandwidth caps are still annoying. I don't see ISPs doing anything about this any time soon.

darthv723407d ago

Why is there still this idea that file types will remain the same as time goes by? If they did then yeah I would agree.

We have seen several new file types come out and virtually replace older ones due to them being equal and smaller more efficient as well.

Expansion in programming already occurred several years ago. Think to the switch from carts to optical. Carts just couldnt hold as much as a disc and now we are seeing a retraction. Things getting smaller and smaller these days. Vita will be a good example of console quality on the go.

To think that there will still be a need for big bulky boxes under the tv to play games is hard to believe but there is some validity to the idea that mobile is where things are going.

Even the complexity of the chips inside the ps3 are being reduced in size due to new manufacturing techniques. You think the same cant be applied to the games themselves? One day your "console" will be on your wrist and can project full screen 3d effects when set on a table.

Yeah that last part is looking into the future but that is what the future is for. These companies create ideas and given the right amount of time can make those ideas come true.

Awesome-Xanto3407d ago

I see a future, where digital and physical media co-exist peacefully next to each other... as you will always have people who prefer physical products or digital products. I don't understand why no one thinks both can co-exist.

Lets just hope by then game companies have given up on this dumb idea of streaming games...

NiKK_4193407d ago (Edited 3407d ago )

Exactly. That's how it should be. But, like they say, the prices need to be more equivalent to what you can get for physical media, especially since physical media costs more to produce, albeit not much.

ATi_Elite3407d ago (Edited 3407d ago )

OK here's the deal....

Console Publishers need the stores as a way of guaranteed money. Publishers sale the games to the stores then the stores sale the game to the gamers for a profit. So as soon as a Pub ships a game to a store that Pub has gotten paid.

Console Publishers do not want to take too much of a chance and ditch the guaranteed money from the stores to selling games themselves Digitally. The cost of a manual,case, and disc is almost nothing so that's not an issue but digital sales would mean 100% profit for the publishers instead of the $10 to $30 that they get from selling to the stores.

Publishers can ship really crappy games to stores and Gamefly and still turn a nice profit but in a digital world if a game is crappy no one is gonna buy it once the word gets out so Pubs will loose more money that way.

This goes to fully say that the console business model is totally different from the PC business model where Digital Gaming accounts for over 70% of PC Game sales and increasing.

Digital only works very well for the PC but it may not work for the consoles. Sony and M$ have been gathering data by who what and how many make digital purchases from PSN and XBLA.

Next Gen consoles will remain "go to the store buy games" business model BUT they will further increase the amount of Digital game sales and even may start to implement micro-transactions with the increase in MMO's and Free 2play games that we will see next Gen on the Consoles.

and for everyone who is complaining about Broadband caps and sucky Internet speeds.....I'm sorry to say your WRONG!! PC Gaming is doing just fine using the same Internet consolers use and almost no PC gamer goes to the store as everything is digital download.

Awesome-Xanto3407d ago (Edited 3407d ago )

ATi_Elite - "and for everyone who is complaining about Broadband caps and sucky Internet speeds.....I'm sorry to say your WRONG!! PC Gaming is doing just fine using the same Internet consolers use and almost no PC gamer goes to the store as everything is digital download."

But your forgetting something, PC gaming is a lot smaller compared to console gaming. I also know PC gamers who still buy physical products through online retailers such as Amazon.

The fact is it was easy for digital to take over in PC gaming because PC gaming almost died. Nobody bought PC games, and when Steam came out it revolutionized PC gaming which made it easy for digital gaming to become the normal on the PC. But that doesn't mean the PC market is the same as the console market... and there are vastly different in size.

Console gaming on the other hand is still going strong, and comparing digital downloads on a console to physical media is like comparing apples and oranges.

Digital downloads work on a PC's because it is a small market, and if you don't have good internet... what do you think those people play on? Consoles.

The internet infrastructure is no where capable of supporting a digital future in most of the word (hell it can barley handle Netflix), even if these companies what it to be... they just want a digital future for more money and more control over the products they sell. But as a consumer that does not benefit me one bit.

darthv723407d ago

I have to ask. Do you think this same line doesnt apply to retail? Word of mouth is exactly that. Be it a digital game or physical game, the word of mouth will always have some influence over the buying public.

It doesnt control it per say, it just adds influence. The final purchase still resides on the consumer themselves.

bozebo3407d ago

Digital only will be valid in about 5 years in NA. At the moment, it is fully possible in the EU & JP markets if people change to a decent ISP, many of which are cheaper than corrupt/shoddy ISPs with harsh bandwidth restrictions.

Next gen I would expect all games to be available digitally and most to be available physically too - differing depending on regions.

Something that really annoys me at the moment is how overpriced a lot of digital games are, they should NEVER cost the same as a physical version.

Spitfire_Riggz3407d ago

Its ridiculous how digital downloads cost the same as a hard copy. WTF

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3406d ago
princejb1343407d ago

digital download should definitely be cheaper, at least $10 dollars cheaper than full retail copy

barb_wire3407d ago

$10? - since you're not paying for shipping, a box, an actual disc any/or manuals..

digital downloads should be $25 or more cheaper than their BM counterpart.

kma2k3407d ago

BUT digital downloads would be the end of the used market, so there would be no reason whatsoever for them to lower the price since there would be no competition. I would expect them to say something along the lines of server costs actaully cost more than physical discs so the price is going UP $10 & game would almost never go down in price even a year after relsease!

TheDareDevil3407d ago

It doesn't cost $25 per disc for the box, manuals and to ship. Considering that games are manufactured in large volumes, the cost of these would be significantly lesser per disc. $10-$15 would be about right.

You're obviously cutting out about 30% of the retailer's share but we also have to include the cost of servers, etc to facilitate downloads for millions of people.

bozebo3407d ago

"server costs actaully cost more than physical discs"


kma2k3407d ago

the biggest issue is download speeds & download caps! The day we can make 50mbps the norm & eleminate all download caps we can start talking about this serisouly, but i think that is still serisouly 5-10 years away.

kcuthbertson3407d ago

Umm... 50Mbps is pushing a bit far...10mbps is just fine...

kma2k3407d ago

for games that next gen will relaistically be 30gb or more? That would take hours considering most download speeds are crap. Imagine trying to download a 30gb file from lets say EA on launch day that litterally millions of people are also trying to do the same. It could litterally take a week to download a game!

The 30gb is even being generous. Rage that just came out recently was 23gb & that is with current gen tech. Next gen tech will be much better plus without the restrictions of physical media they could make the game files enormous. It would only be disc space on a hdd & since i would assume next gen would have probably 1tb of hdd space or more you could see games be 50gb. They might have you delete games when you hdd is full & be able to redownload them when you want to play them.

With as impatient as most people are i think the low end has to be 50mbps, to really get this going right we might need to serisouly start looking at 1gbps speeds!

kcuthbertson3407d ago


I don't think being impatient has anything to do with it if they find a good way for people to preload their games.

And rage is the worst example ever, it was almost 25 gigs and it has some of the worst textures I've seen since the PS2 days. Sure from far away they look great, but up close they're horrendous.

darthv723407d ago

do you think there wont be an evolution in programming over the next several years? What once was big can now become small.

Files that are smaller are quicker to transfer over existing speeds and can come in under the caps as well. You just got to think positive.

digger183407d ago (Edited 3407d ago )

It will never be the future since a lot of IP's are capped here in the UK and Europe.

BF3 is about 13.5 gigs download size on the PS3 and since the caps over here are 20-30 gigs a month, this is crap!!!

I'm on Virgin media 50mbps without a cap, but after reading the small print, even this has a fair useage cap, where if you download quite a bit, they slow your internet speeds down.

Edit: Oh look a disagree for someone telling the truth

The Meerkat3407d ago

You speak the truth.

But their fair usage is huge!

I've downloaded over 100GB in a month with no slowdown.

dead_eye3407d ago (Edited 3407d ago )

The fair usage cap applies to peak times. I think it's about 2.5gb between 9 and 3 and 1.5gb between and 3 and 9 (can't check at the moment but it is something like that) and after that it's unlimited. So all you have to do is plan your downloading around that.

Downloads will always be more expensive because stores are still needed to sell consoles and developers don't want to piss them off and lose that

bozebo3407d ago (Edited 3407d ago )

"a lot of IP's are capped here in the UK and Europe"

Then switch to one with a decent policy. There are good ISPs around now, people just refuse to switch for some reason.

Virgin suck, any ISP or company in general that advertises that much is guaranteed to suck. Nothing stops you from reading the small print before you agree to a fail contract. Virgin know that most people don't, so they are out to profit from it.

I live in a house with 7 other heavy internet users (7 desktop PCs on 24/7, 3 360s, 6 PS3s and 6 laptops). Last week we downloaded 8TB and uploaded 3TB, constant 22mbps down/3.2mbps up and 20ms pings to London, Be ftw. People I know with virgin disconnect/lag in P2P games (Virgin run software that attempts to detect torrenting but causes some games to fail), their XBL disconnects, they time out of teamspeak, ping of 40ms to london and totally random download speeds (50mbps at 4am, but 1mbps at 6pm) and pathetic upload speeds.

The infrastructure in the UK is entirely capable of good internet, but ofcomm refuse to penalise ISPs that are out to rip people off (95% of ISPs) with artificial speed caps. (they claim it's your line but you can test the snr and attenuation with a good router and prove them wrong, provided it's copper not fibre). Even Virgin's fibre is terrible (compared to actual ftth in other countries) and artificially capped. And the 'fibre' that BT plan on installing (and are getting government grants for, so taxpayers are paying for it...) will be redundant in 10 years.

Anyway... rant ftw.

"Downloads will always be more expensive because stores are still needed to sell consoles and developers don't want to piss them off and lose that"
Actually, high-street retailers are bad for developers/console license holders. Though they are countering trade-ins fairly well.

Flashwave_UK3407d ago


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