PS3 News: Are Digital Downloads A Cost-Effective Game Solution? - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Are Digital Downloads A Cost-Effective Game Solution?

The situation is simple: there are about twelve million games coming out between now and the end of the year, and with the slumping economy, fewer people have extra money to spend on leisure hobbies. Analysts have already talked about the "cocooning effect" - as have we - which means the economic lag won't hurt the industry (it could actually help it, really), but shouldn't we be looking at more cost-effective gaming experiences?

New games cost $60; we all know that. And we can always turn to the cheaper used games if we want to save a bit of cash, but is there a better option? Well, Wipeout HD may have dispelled several important myths and could indicate a long-term solution. First of all, it was widely believed that only small, puzzle-like titles could be turned into a digital download, but that's obviously not the case. Sony's awesome futuristic racer proves this idea incorrect, as does the fact that Burnout Paradise (with all the extra goodies) is now on the Store. Wipeout HD is a full experience from top to bottom, and it only costs $20, while Paradise goes for $30. Yeah, the latter came out back in January, but even so, you get the point. Shouldn't more digital downloads be considered for the future if these are the prices we're looking at? This isn't a matter of a few bucks; we're talking about brand new games that can cost half - or even 1/3 - of what the retail releases cost. Just think about how much can be saved if you don't have to release the game on a disc and send it to retailers around the world...

We're of the philosophy that if it can be done once, it can be done again. Wipeout HD proves that this is a viable option, but we will freely admit that it's still not reasonable for giant blockbuster titles like MGS4, GTAIV, or something like that. Still, this doesn't mean we can't get some great stuff as downloadable software, right? Just tryin' to look out for the consumer's best interests, you know.

10/9/2008 Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (18 posts)

LCF
Thursday, October 09, 2008 @ 10:50:48 PM
Reply

Not such a good idea when major internet providers start having download limits.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

The Cheat
Thursday, October 09, 2008 @ 10:56:57 PM
Reply

yea when my cap is 95gb i can not see this being a viable option.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ray taylor
Thursday, October 09, 2008 @ 11:59:36 PM
Reply

Call me old school but I still like to have a disk. Small games are ok for this but I don't think I will be buying larger games in this way.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

www
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 6:35:13 AM

Yeah n i don't have those dang credit cards besides even if i did i hate leavin ma ps3 on for soooo long just for downloading a demo n on 360 is worse, it's super-duper-extra SLOW,the ps3 is faster in downloads BUT i just don't like the idea of downloadin.

I luv to see the the thickness of the blu-ray disc anyday heck i even use it for mirrors now.I can carry the game disc anywhere n play not the whole system.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Cavan
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 1:55:10 AM
Reply

yeah i agree, and it seams more and more games will go this way, and maybe sony is thinking about this too, with warhawk as well on the psn, sony are introducing larger and larger hard drives, which will allow this to happen, esp when some games live DMC4 are asking you to install large parts of the game, if it can be downloaded instead then all the better if it saves us all some money.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LightShow
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 8:25:39 AM
Reply

two things have got to happen

1. Sony Comes up with an official way to transfer data from a smaller HDD to a bigger one. With all the digital downloads, any aficionado will need to replace his HDD with one that isnt so small. and it's going to be a pain making sure all your data gets over. a sony-produced program would hopefully catch anything that might fall through the cracks.

2. Sony's Servers get a major upgrade. My online multiplayer is solid, but my downloads take sooooo long, and my buds tell me that they have the same issue. if sony wants to make Downloads a viable option, they're gonna have to boost their servers. Big time.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Dan
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 8:31:08 AM
Reply

I'm not with the idea of having downloadable games. At least not yet. Not only because ISP's are starting to have a monthly traffic limit (which is very very very low where I live (2GB/month total upload and download)), but also because we'll be needing new extra space.

With disks, you can just keep them aside when you don't need, but if you only have them on your hard drive, what would you do if it became full?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bamf
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 5:41:17 PM

I'm sure I get my dowmloads limited. I should get the speed I pay for. I didn't sign for this in my contract. Surely its worth seeing legal advice about it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

xStatiCa
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 9:30:05 AM
Reply

You can forget about selling the games to recoup money for a new game with digital downloads because of the DRM protections in place but if they can sell the game for half as much as retail then that would offset it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

m2tbo
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 9:47:46 AM
Reply

I think really large games would be a problem right now due to storage capabilities. Digital Downloads are definitely a great solution to being cost effective. If they can make games at let's say 7GB max and they still have a decent margin at $20 a game then it is win-win for gamers and developers. I'd buy them, heck I'm going to buy Wipeout HD.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

mk ultra
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 11:32:55 AM
Reply

What's all this talk of ISPs limiting downloads?

And I'm one of those people who still buy CDs. So even if this becomes the trend I'd still prefer to have a hard copy in my hands. I have really enjoyed both Super Stardust and Wipeout though, so I guess it is a good option for games I probably wouldn't consider for purchase if they cost a full $60.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Joe_III
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 1:16:01 PM
Reply

I would say that while there is a current trend towards digital downloads in general, that there will soon be a shift away from it, probably led by a consumer revolt.

We all know the stringent rules behind the PSN for redownloading paid content, and that has been cause for concern already. We've also seen this problem with iTunes, Yahoo Music, Spore and many others. DRM affects digital downloads more than it does physical copies, because HDD problems (failures, swaps, and upgrades) happen more frequently than Optical Discs.

Also with the current trends moving away from Net Neutrality from both ends, digital downloads could soon be more cost prohibitive when publishers are going to be paying for bandwidth and players are having to choose which games they get per month carefully because of bandwidth caps from their ISPs.

Don't forget that market saturation for broadband is still only around 70%. It's probably 85 for gamers alone, but I still don't think that that's high enough for publishers to rely on it -- especially with AAA titles like MGS4 and R2.

And personally, I like discs more than I do digital downloads. It takes a lot less time for me to go buy a game at a local store and play it than it does for me to download one.
Don't forget: games are big. The ISO for MGS4 is like 46GB. Even if you got japanese broadband speeds (50Mbps) on your connection that would take 2 hours to download. Would you like to wait 2 hours to dload? and then possibly dload it again after you deleted it to dload something else? and then dload again when you get a new HDD or PS3? no thanks.

Last edited by Joe_III on 10/10/2008 1:20:48 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

xnonsuchx
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 3:29:53 PM
Reply

I also prefer having a physical disc. The idea of having a bunch of fully-installed games that would need to be restored or re-downloaded if my PS3 or it's HD went kaput isn't one I relish.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bamf
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 5:38:49 PM
Reply

I have yet to get WipeOut HD, given the choice I would rather have it in physical form. Looking at my PS3 game collection, there is no way even a half of what I got would all fit on my 160gb hdd. I don't want to have to keep upgrading my hard drive if digital downloadable games was the future.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

shaydey77
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 5:51:16 PM
Reply

Digital downloading might have a problem too with ESRB ratings. Its possible that games could be downloaded by accident or purposely without having the system applied...not that thats a bad thing...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

shaydey77
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 5:51:17 PM
Reply

Digital downloading might have a problem too with ESRB ratings. Its possible that games could be downloaded by accident or purposely without having the system applied...not that thats a bad thing...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Xplicit
Saturday, October 11, 2008 @ 2:13:34 PM
Reply

i agree with the guy at the top, ISP's are always slowing down connections or setting data limits, a blu-ray disk holds a lot of data, so think how long it would take for someone with dial up for example to download a game. its a good idea but its not the best option for everyone.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Gabriel013
Monday, October 13, 2008 @ 1:21:38 AM
Reply

Give me a disc everytime. I get max 1gb during the day and .5gb in an evening running 2mb. After that I drop to 1mb. Like others have said, I don't really want to have to install a new HD and redownload all my stuff (wasting more bandwidth!). It might help if I could use an external HD for backing up my games making it easier to just drag and drop the ones I want to play at the time.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Got Madden NFL 25?
Yes, and it's great!
Yeah, but I'm a little disappointed.
No, but I plan to get it soon.
...they still make sports games?

Previous Poll Results