PS3 News: Digital Retail To Outstrip Traditional Sales In Three Years? - PS3 News

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

Digital Retail To Outstrip Traditional Sales In Three Years?

We're not the biggest fans of this gradual shift towards digital format for video games, but whether we like it or not, it's happening. And as it turns out, game companies are either unaware of the impending inevitability or are simply behind in preparing for that change.

This according to claims that will be made by keynote speakers at the London Games Conference on October 27 (as reported by IGN). Perhaps surprisingly, the statistics show that digital distribution will "outstrip traditional retail sales within three years" and yet, about 40% of game companies are "unprepared for the rate at which this shift will take place." This will be a major topic at the conference and is bound to become a hot subject in the gaming community as well. Parker Consulting's Nick Parker will give a presentation that shows the digital mapping over the next few years, and that by 2013 or 2014, both Sony and Microsoft will have released their next-gen consoles. Hence, from next year on, he claims that standard box product sales will begin to fall off in favor of the digital format. "For the first time ever, the games industry has a way of alleviating the pain that traditionally befalls it during generational decline, through online gaming in its many guises," said Parker. Yeah, the Internet really is changing the way we do things.

The question is, are these claims accurate? Will the shift to digital media really be this fast? Maybe it simply won't matter from a consumer standpoint; they'll just accept it. Right?

10/7/2009 9:20:03 PM John Shepard

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 (45 posts)

cLoudou
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 10:15:38 PM
Reply

I'd rather have physical media over digital anyday.

Agree with this comment 14 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Orvisman
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 8:45:33 AM

Amen!

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

Lemon_Saint
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 11:51:50 AM

Praise Jeebus!

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

archs13
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 6:56:14 PM

oh yeah, i mean if digital was the case... i wouldn't be able to see how much my mint einhander game's worth in ebay anymore.

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

Gone
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 10:20:01 PM
Reply

If your hard drive crashes or your PS3 is broken and you have like 50 games, it will take you about a week just to restore your PS3. If you are fed up of a game you will just have to delete it and lose your $60. I am all for progress, but this is just making it harder on the consumer.

Last edited by Gone on 10/7/2009 10:25:45 PM

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

SnipeySnake
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 10:26:58 PM

When you buy a game in the psn you can download it as many times as you want so its saved somewhere else where you can download it from again. Unlike physical games where you break it, gotta buy it again. (im not on either side though)

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Akuma07
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 12:40:09 AM

yes, but it costs you in downloads from your ISP everytime you redownload it.


the shift to digital media, shouldnt happen, not for decades.

technology isnt advanced enough yet to no just sustain it, but make it profitable.

for example, there are a large number of people who own PS3s but do not have an online account, some cant afford it, or some just dont have access to it, companies would be shutting out a VAST percentage of their consumer base.

plus i doubt very much that retailers would like it at all, physical media is the basis behind companies such as EB games and gamestop, they would go out of business if that happened.

also the cost of the console itself would dramatically increase, because retailers would need to make a marginally higher profit from it.

Last edited by Akuma07 on 10/8/2009 12:42:10 AM

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Orvisman
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 8:54:05 AM

I keep seeing people mention that DLC costs you in downloads with your ISP.

With Verizon Fios now, and Comcast cable before that, both broadband, I just get an upload/download speed.

As far as I can recall, I don't think the model you mention has been SOP since the dial-up days. I could be wrong though. I'm sure there might be areas in the U.S. that don't have access to broadband yet or it might be too expensive.

BTW, I just renewed my Fios contract for another two years and my speed went to 25/15 from 20/5; so, I'm happy.

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

Lemon_Saint
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 12:05:45 PM

@ Orvisman:

Actually, in my Comcast contract , it states that there is a 200GB cap per month. Some places are as low as 90 GB, while others don't have a cap at all ... it all depends on the usage in your area and how congested the lines get.

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

LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 10:21:05 PM
Reply

agreed, digital media is just to difficult to make widespread accessible.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Wage SLAVES
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 10:39:47 PM
Reply

There is something that is satisfying about the tangible purchase that gives a sense of assurance. Like you own that copy and it cannot be revoked or done away with. On the other hand you will never have a DLC copy in hand.

PSN is, however, a bit of a Trojan horse of sorts to incrementally have us trust DLC.

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

stone1979
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 10:47:34 PM
Reply

While digital media may become more popular, physical media will not disappear anytime soon.

There are still many parts of the world that don't have the internet infrastructure to sustain full game downloads by everyone (or they don't offer the speed to do this efficiently)

Games are already maxing out Blueray disc's!!! I expect they will only get larger by the next generation. For me, that means 2-4 days to download a game.......and I don't think my internet speed is going to go up anytime soon.

So while digital versions may become more popular, they will never replace the physical disc anytime soon. It would be sales suicide to do so.

Last edited by stone1979 on 10/7/2009 10:48:36 PM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:28:41 PM

also some people have download caps, so after like 30gb's no more internet for the month, and you gotta think about it, playing multiplayer games is constantly downloading the stream and such so that takes up the cap also. so in reality even devs and publishers should go with what they could make more money with, physical copies, so people could get more stuff.

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

Hezzron
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:26:14 PM
Reply

The answer to the last 3 questions in the article is "nope".

Agree with this comment 3 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Russell Burrows
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:28:00 PM
Reply

First lets get those "survey" corporations to survey how many folks do NOT have 50 MB internet service.

Lets see now ten PS3 blu ray games equals a 500 GB download.

So its NOT going to happen anytime soon.

Survey says...........
Corporate morons.

Survey says...........
Corporate idiots.

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

LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:30:45 PM

Not every ps3 blu-ray game is 50gb, most range in the 6-12gb area, only games like MGS and uncharted, those AAA games, spend that much space, and i have a 100mb service =)

But i entirely agree, DD will just not work, it's not accessible unless the world just gets together and makes online services for everyone.

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

Wage SLAVES
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:58:00 PM

I have twenty games so far in my collection not included the DLC's like gran turismo prologue and Burnout. Screw downloading 20 full fledged games...Imagine MGS4! Naz..

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Squirreldriver
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:33:34 PM
Reply

They'll get my physical media when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers! ;)

The US simply doesn't have the infrastructure in place for large downloads. What about the poor suckers that have a d/l cap? Half a Blu-Ray and you're done for the month.

Think the ISP's are just gonna say "Oh, no problem at all! We'll give you 50mb/s for the same price we're raping er, charging you now for your crappy 3mb/s!"

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Russell Burrows
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:40:20 PM
Reply




A lot of the World has 1 megabit to three megabit internet service and lets not even mention the huge amount of humanity to whom internet is still spelled dialup.

I sometimes wonder about corporate surveys and then I remember those lines from that movie where the motel patron was very upset about the terrible service and asks

What kind of idiots do you have working here?

And the response was

The best idiots that we can hire right now


Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Squirreldriver
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:40:32 PM
Reply

@ LegendaryW

100 mb?! Holy crap man, do you have the internets in your basement or what?

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

LegendaryWolfeh
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 12:20:23 AM

it's a 100mb service, but I don't get all of it =\ it's just a technicality fine print thing, at peaks I really only get around 20mb download.

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

SkantDragon
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:41:47 PM
Reply

Bull.

These guys are pushing an agenda. Companies that have something to gain by a push to digital downloads keep crying out that it's going to happen suddenly any minute now.

It's not. Digital distribution is growing over time. It's still a fledgling sort of thing. Just look at how wildly pricing and policies vary. That whole market is still struggling to find itself.

It will continue to grow. And that's the way it will be.

It just not going to become the dominant medium in only 3 years... if it ever does.

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

Oyashiro
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 @ 11:52:34 PM
Reply

Hell no it won't happen this fast.

Nick Parker, you sir are a complete idiot! The day Digital will overtake Physical is the day that Digital download are released at a lower price point then ther Physical counterparts. Something that wont happen for a long time(Aside from the occasional sale.) No one wants to be the first to piss off retailers by undercutting them.

Then we have the blatant fact that the internet infrastructure of... well almost every where is completely out of date and not capable of competently handling large downloads. You know when a lot of people are using Sony servers at once when updates for games come out. How many people get stuck updating games/firmware for 2+ hours even when that update was only about 10MB large... Now think about that for a 10GB game!

I give it 15 to 20 years at the least. I bet the next gen of systems will still use physical media.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 12:23:07 AM
Reply

I have an iPod and I still buy CD's. I'll still buy disc based games. I can see an easy transition from physical to digital media when it comes to hand helds but for console games? No way. How else will we get our 25 to 50gb AAA titles? Can't see companies expecting us to download blue Ray sized games.

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

The CEO
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 1:01:00 AM
Reply

Dont see that happening unless the US and other countries get a better internet infrastructure like Japans. They have amazing speeds even though the US invented the internet. You know whats sad is the fastest internet connection in the world is in Sweden and a 75 year old woman owns it http://www.thelocal.se/7869/20070712/ She gets a mind blowing 40 gigabytes a second speed.That means she can watch 1500 HD channels at once or download a full HD movie in 2 seconds flat! If we all had speeds like that which is a pipe dream, or at the very least speeds comparable to those of Japans I could see this happening but until then it is not gonna happen. If it it does it will be the first nail in the coffin of the gaming industry.

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

Gogaku
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 8:34:18 AM

It is kind of strange how far ahead Swedens internet is compared to the us. Most people have 100/100, my family have 21mb/s but that is via wireless broadband. Here in the u.s. I have up to 21mb/s with fiberoptics....

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

Qubex
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 1:08:17 AM
Reply

I think both physical and digital will live side by side for a little while yet... however; when newer generation consoles (and new console-based televisions) being offering 2-5 Terra bytes of storage space as standard; and i/o interface speeds permit one to transfer a few gigabytes of information per second, handling large media or restoring huge game collections will not take long... we are about 5 years away from this... just look at USB3 transfer speeds or eSata...

The future is all about handling data transfer, data management on a large scale as everything goes digital. Once internal/external and total storage space catch up and cross a threshold the importance of buying and storing your physical media will reduce... again, as I have always said here, for many a year... it is just a matter of time... and the change is beginning now...

Also, have any of you seen/read information on the CELL-based 50inch television released by Toshiba... the TV comes with 3 terrabytes of storage as standard allowing the user to record about 25-30 hours of HD 1080p media in total... always on tap. The CELL is used to show 8 HD streams of media on the screen at the same time...

So remember; in the next 5 years, things will be different; buying games will be different... and physical media will be on its way out... whether anyone likes it or not... its the trend... it cannot be stopped!

Q!

"i am home"

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

Xbox_Killer
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 1:11:48 AM
Reply

If the internet was free, I'd be all for it.

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

___________
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 1:35:38 AM
Reply

hell no!
ive said it once, twice and 3 times but what the hell.
most people dont have a large enough download limit to surf the net and go about their bisness without going over their download limit as it is.
like me.
i still have not downloaded the last 3 epps of qore, fat princess, shatter,Zombie apocalypse and god knows what other PSN games i want to play.
theres so much crap i want to download but cant because of my download limit.
all those videos released at gamescom and TGS i still have not been able to watch.
secondly most people dont have a fast enough net connection.
it took me what 96 BLOOMIN! hours to download 3.5GB mag update.
if it takes 96 bloomin hours to download 3.5GBs imagine what 20+ GBs will take.
90% of people i know are stuck with cable like me because there is not enough copper under the ground to carry a ADSL2+ signal to their house.
so were stuffed thats why i have such a low download limit.
i could have 80GBs instead of 15 if i could get ADSL2+ but i cant.

IF a miracle happens and a MASSIVE IF! the gov of each country decides to shell out the cash and replace all the copper with fiber optics.
THEN and only THEN will full download distribution be plausible.
because then every living thing on this planet will have access to ADSL2+ speeds.
till then DD is dead in the water.
a pipe dream just like 3D TVs.

Sony would love this though.
im starting to think their working for a ISP or something.
every single fu**ing time i turn on my ps3 theres a update i have to download.
every fu**ing time.
i sware to god if you want to get everything out of the ps3 you have to have a unlimited download limit its driving me insane.

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

Qubex
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 3:23:37 AM

Actually "anonymous" you do make a very good point! In some parts of the world limits are really a problem.

Q!

"i am home"

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

JMO_INDY
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 6:14:37 AM

U know Sony is working with Comcast on an ISP, they said it will mean much higher speeds, although it wont happen until we get a more stable global economy.

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

Imagi
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 1:44:08 AM
Reply

It's inevitable people, it is no good for us, the consumer but it will happen. Will take more than 3 years though.

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

ceedot
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 5:08:02 AM
Reply

Won't happen.

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

ChronowerX_GT
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 5:22:33 AM
Reply

Ermm let's see. Blu ray 50gb. You'd only get 20 games on a 1tb hdd. It's no good for current sized hdd's in the ps3. Hell, i'd only get 2 games on my 80gb.

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

Ricochet
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 6:45:57 AM
Reply

Games like MGS4, Killzone 2 and other PS3 exclusives not to mention games like Final Fantasy XIII and RAGE are pushing the "storage" envelope voids Digital Downloads. I can see this works in favor for smaller games like PSP at most, PS2/Wii games.

Face it, by the time we reach 2012 - 2014 games would've surpassed 40GB limit, the PS3 may need to pull out their multi-layered Blu-ray disc pretty early. (I don't know about the 360 and their multi-disc issues)

Not to mention the internet connection on a worldwide base are not balanced to promote the digital download format. Getting a wi-fi not to mention super-high speed broadband.

All in all, I'm not totally against this concept but it's not practical. Not unless we have a mass upgrade where we can connect to the internet anywhere and EVERYWHERE in the world with super-high speed connections.

Either that, or games will stick to the 9GB storage format....

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

A2K78
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 9:25:04 AM
Reply

Here is my prediction for digital retail: It would go extinct faster than the traditional brick and motar method.

People(including developers) like to make the claim that digital retail is the next best thing, however they aren't telling you the full truth.

First of all consumers want a physical product because in the end a physical product can acquire value under certain circumstances. Why do you think 10+year old saturn games like PD:Saga or Radiant Silvergun are fetching for twice to three times as much as your typical PS3 or 360 title these? Its not the fact that these games are rare, but their legacy.

Another reason why digital retail is pointless...you're ultimately screwing over a certain consumer base and yourself. These game developers who are living in a fairytale land and seem to believe that everybody have the means of downloading a 1-9 gig title...the truth is that luxury isn't avaiable to anybody. Look a title like Shadow Complex for example, its a shame the game is download-only because I'm sure there are some 360 owners out there who would love to buy game, but due to spudity of the developers these gamers are denied the game. In the end the developer is not only screwed over those consumers over, they screwed over themselves.

In the end digital retail is a pipe dream that would ultimately fail and we're now seeing the signs.

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

A2K78
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 9:25:12 AM
Reply

Here is my prediction for digital retail: It would go extinct faster than the traditional brick and motar method.

People(including developers) like to make the claim that digital retail is the next best thing, however they aren't telling you the full truth.

First of all consumers want a physical product because in the end a physical product can acquire value under certain circumstances. Why do you think 10+year old saturn games like PD:Saga or Radiant Silvergun are fetching for twice to three times as much as your typical PS3 or 360 title these? Its not the fact that these games are rare, but their legacy.

Another reason why digital retail is pointless...you're ultimately screwing over a certain consumer base and yourself. These game developers who are living in a fairytale land and seem to believe that everybody have the means of downloading a 1-9 gig title...the truth is that luxury isn't avaiable to anybody. Look a title like Shadow Complex for example, its a shame the game is download-only because I'm sure there are some 360 owners out there who would love to buy game, but due to spudity of the developers these gamers are denied the game. In the end the developer is not only screwed over those consumers over, they screwed over themselves.

In the end digital retail is a pipe dream that would ultimately fail and we're now seeing the signs.

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

kreate
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 12:31:20 PM
Reply


companies need to at least give us the option to pay the extra couple bucks to get the physical media in mail if we purchase the digital version of a game.

buying digital goods are not "buying to own". its more like "paying to play", if u know what i mean.

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

Wage SLAVES
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 3:53:47 PM

Yeah, um...that won't happen.

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

Bo0mKiiD
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 1:01:57 PM
Reply

With digital comes better ways to recover lost games and trouble-shooting for many other things. I think digital should take over, kids scratch the discs to often.

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

JackC8
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 2:16:27 PM
Reply

So are they going to make the internet 10 times faster in the next three years, or are we expected to wait for 10 - 20 hours for our PS3 games to download?

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

CptGreedle
Thursday, October 08, 2009 @ 4:25:59 PM
Reply

I don't agree with this. I mean, people are saying that Blu-ray doesn't have a chance against digital downloads, and that VOD is the way to go. And yet, Blu-ray have over 10% of the market and is growing fast, while digital downloads are still less than 1%. No joke.
Blu-ray movies are up to 50GB, and to get that full quality audio and sound as well as the extra content, it would not be feasible to download it. The same is true with games. Right now, the best games are approaching 50GB. Both Uncharted 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4 have dual layer Blu-ray discs, something the XBOX and Wii can't compete with. And while the 360 still uses DVDs for their games, it is undeniable that this limits their capacity for information, not to mention the transfer rate for Blu-ray is much higher.
Finally, the internet itself is NOT ready for this massive amount of traffic, neither is the consumer. Already ISPs are charging premium prices for people who exceed their bandwidth limits, which is a common occurrence for users who download a lot of movies. Most people don't even have access to high speed internet yet, and especially not in other countries. The internet is not able to handle this kind of activity yet, and it will take at least a decade for it to catch up to speed with the rate that people are going. Gamers who have broadband will take more than 3 years to become the majority enough to sustain this kind of statement. It is foolish to think that just because the most advanced of us are ready to move onto more advanced things, that everyone else is as well. Sure I can download movies and games on my system, but I know several people who can not.
For the foreseeable future, Blu-ray movies and games will continue to dominate the market, and will continue to grow in popularity, while downoad-able games will gain popularity and momentum, but will still take a long time to out-perform physical media. Maybe PSP games will go completely online, but those tend to be much smaller in size than a Blu-ray.
The day the average person can download a 50GB file onto their computer or PS3 in less than an hour, is the day I believe physical media is over.

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

slayerkillemall
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 12:03:12 AM
Reply

I,dont care if i can download 100 gigs in 1 second.

I will NEVER give up my physical media NEVER.

I Rather Stop playing games or whatever it is PERIOD.

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

PaiNT_kinG
Friday, October 09, 2009 @ 4:48:20 AM
Reply

BOOOOOOOOOOOOO

SAY NO TO CHANGE,ANTI-DIGITAL FORMAT =)

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

BikerSaint
Friday, November 06, 2009 @ 10:02:41 PM
Reply

NO!!!!
I mean it.....JUST SAY NO!

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 the Wii U?
Yep, had mine since day one.
Yeah; I just recently picked it up.
No, but I might get one soon...
No, and I don't ever want one.

Previous Poll Results