The Digital Question Aug 24, 2011 19:37:01 GMT -5
Post by solidbatman on Aug 24, 2011 19:37:01 GMT -5
With the upcoming release of the digital only Playstation Vita, I got to wondering, are digital games the way to go? Sony has already tried once to go with an all digital release of a system with the PSP Go, but that system failed in large part because regular UMD PSP games were still available and consumers bought those instead. Sony is now forcing digital downloads onto gamers, but is it a good thing or a bad thing?
If the PSN outage has taught us anything, it's that digital games are vulnerable to hackers. While those with a digitally downloaded game already were fine, those who did not have the game and maybe wanted to buy the game could not due to the PS Store being down. This resulted in lost revenue for game developers and Sony. However, I believe that Sony has remedied the issue, and that an another outage is unlikely in the next few years.
Don't give us these if digital downloads are the only source of games
A major issue that comes up with downloaded games in the size of these games. With the current capabilities of the Vita and it's games, the size of the game has to become an issue at some point. After all, only so much hard drive space is in the Vita. What do you do when space runs out? You have to delete a game to make room, and when you want to play the deleted game again, you would have to delete another game and re-download the first game you deleted, which can become a hassle. The good news is that hard drive tech continues to grow and thus the amount of storage space also continues to grow. For example, my first computer had around 8GB of hard drive space, and that was in 2004. Now, there are thumb/pen drives with twice, even three times the amount of storage space. So, one may not have to delete games if storage tech continues to grow like it has.
Digital downloads look poised to work for the Vita, and I know I will end up getting a Vita shortly after it is released. But, could would a consumer buy a digital download only console? I think it could work, if certain steps are taken.
Many gamers, the author included, buy used games. They are cheaper and with the costs of gaming, cheaper is good. If Sony went all digital for a home console, it would force gamers to buy all of their games new. But Sony/ the game developer should be able to lower prices, as they would not have to produce casing, discs, or manuals. A digital copy of a game would be cheaper. Sony and the game developers would also be eliminating lost revenue that comes from used gaming. When you buy a game used, that money goes to the game store, not to the game developer. By eliminating used games, that revenue that is lost, would go to the developer, meaning lower prices again.
We could also look at it from another angle. Steam is successful in large part because of the deals that are offered. Right now, I am staring at 66% off for one game, 75% for another, and a lot of 10% off games. I know for a fact that pre- ordering Deus Ex: Human Revolution was around 10% as well. With promotions like that, developers could easily promote all of their games, by show casing games at a discounted price. which would in turn have consumers see other games made by that developer. Indie developers would also have a field day. We would see more Amnesia, Terraria, and Minecraft games out there. Not necessarily games mirroring them, but games that just come out of nowhere and wow us.
We gamers love saving money
Online storage would be needed for a download only console. Right now PS+ users are treated to this handy little feature. If a download only console was made, I believe that it should be made available to everyone, not necessarily for free, but as a separate service. With online storage, game saves could be kept as well as records etc. By making a separate service, those who don't want to pay for the extras that PS+ offers could still have online storage. Sony could even bundle online storage with PS+ for a reduced price to encourage people to buy PS+.
Digitally downloaded games look to be the way of the future, and the be honest, I don't have an issue with it, as long as it is done right. The PSP Go was an example of how not to do it on a handheld level. The PS Vita looks to be the right way. If done on a home console, Sony would have to do a bit of work on the PS Store and PS+, but I think it can be done in a way that the consumer wants to go digital.