Downloadable Games: How Important are they for the Future of Gaming?

Gaming consoles such as Playstation, Xbox and the Nintendo Wii have dominated the gaming industry in the past, but recent trends have seen a decline in the marketability and profitability of their products.

Collectively, Sony and Microsoft have lost $10 billion since 2000, which is a big indication of changing preference and the current economic situation. It has also been a while since a new generation gaming console has been released, and news of a next-gen Playstation or Xbox has been officially quelled by recent statements from both companies.

We are also seeing a lot of re-releases of previous hits, which are relatively cheaper to manufacture compared to brand new games. The culprit for this trend? Downloadable games.

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sly-Famous2402d ago

Not very, I still want hold the hard copy in my hand.

Canary2401d ago

Many people (myself included) agree. But that doesn't change the fact that digital distribution IS the future--of every form of media.

The music industry has already been taken over by DD. Books, too. With mobile games, XBLA, PSN titles, Steam, etc., digital distribution is becoming ever more common with games.

A key aspect of the Playstation Vita is the 100% digital distribution of software--if you can buy it in a store, you can download it. How much longer until more games will be digital than retail? Several PS3 localizations of Japanese retail titles have already opted for digital-only releases. It's cheaper for the publishers/developers AND it gives them greater profit.

And, arguable, it's more convenient for the consumer.

Like it or not, it's the future.

And, realize it or not, it might just spell the end for the current industry environement. If format is no longer an issue, how much longer can different companies market hardware based solely on input? The 360 and PS3 use the same controller, after all. The DS, Vita and iPad all use touch controls. How much longer until all hardware becomes homogenous, and no matter what plastic box you buy, you'll be downloading the same games from the same people for the same price? (Hardware) competition will cease.

sly-Famous2401d ago

I disagree on some of your points, I do agree that DD is part of the future but it is not the future, DD will only work if there is also a hard copy available(something you mentioned) the PSPGo is proof of this, it didnt fail because there was something wrong with the tech, it failed because it was just DD. Gaming for instance, out of all the gamers in the world not including PC gamers, only 15% are online, many of whom have multiple accounts, which means only 15% are capable of downloading.

DD the future? Maybe but not any time soon, I dont think even any time later.