You can digitally download most big-name releases from Sony’s Entertainment Network on the day of their release (albeit at an inflated price) – but the same can;t be said of Xbox Live, which usually waits months before making the heavy hitters available on its Games on Demand service. You might have wondered why.
Second hand games. They make the world go round, gamers love ‘em for the fact that they can use them as a form of currency and publishers despise them for the fact that they cannot ring out any extra cash from them when they go into that previously owned market. That’s something that you see a lot of in console games, and to a much lesser extent, PC games. Except for digital versions of games that is, because there is zero resale available on that format. None, nada, zilch! And that’s something that ze Germans aren’t too happy about at all.
What’s the difference between THQ and my love life? None, because they’re both dead. Now that the former video game publisher is bereft of life and it’s various franchises divided and scattered to the four corners of the earth, it’s time for a little hindsight. Particularly from former THQ boss Jason Rubin, who laments the fact that THQ never made a move into digital markets.
If you’re a PS3 gamer with bandwidth to spare, you could have easily avoided last week’s Borderlands 2 stock fiasco by pre-ordering the game on the PSN (SEN just isn’t sticking, is it?) - pre-downloading the game, ready to play at launch time. Now now, Steam users don;t laugh at console gamers and point out that you’ve been doing this for years; day 1 digital downloads of AAA retail games on consoles is a relatively new thing - but Sony seems to be embracing it.
Gaming is growing; the explosion of casual, social and mobile gaming has brought millions of people under the gaming umbrella - earning companies like Farmville developers Zynga and the folks behind the Angry birds phenomenon Rovio hundreds of millions of dollars. Most gaming money though, is still earned from the “core.”
Rumour, at one point, suggested that Microsoft’s next console would ditch physical media and opt instead for being one based solely around digital distribution.
It seems Sony had that idea too.
Sony’s dealing retail a small blow with its new Ultimate Deals on the PSN - by offering slew of current and not so current games at a sizeable discount in its new Ultimate deals promotion. the games in the promotion include favourites like Read Dead Redemption, Black Ops and Infamous 2 - bundled with all of their available DLC at a steal of a price - with an extra discount for PSN+ subscribers.
It kicks off today - but here’s the kicker; for now it seems like it’s only open to those with US-based PSN accounts.
Sony’s PlayStation allows any standard PC keyboard or mouse to be plugged in (and in some games, even used!). Many of its games, like those on the PC, require installation before they game be played. It’s got an internet browser, and even allowed you to install and run Linux before the threat of piracy forced Sony to remove the feature.
It’s now becoming even more like the PC - but this time in a pretty cool way, by allowing users to purchase and pre-load games digitally.
MCV reports that it has inside sources that apparently confirm that the next might ditch the physical media we’ve come to associate with consoles; discs.
This is in stark contrast to previous rumours suggesting Microsoft had adopted Blu-Ray for its next console.
EA fairly recently re-branded their download manager, turning it in to a bona-fide digital delivery service called Origin. It’s become a mandatory for newer EA games on PC, like Battlefield 3 and soon-to-be-released Mass Effect 3.
It’s also apparently becoming sentient.
There isn’t much that gamers agree on but one of the overriding trends at the moment is to absolutely despise EA’s new delivery service, Origin.
Ask any Battlefield 3 PC player what the worst part of the experience is and they’ll undoubtedly say Origin so it was with a little bit of hope and a whole lot of gumption that we asked the regional EA rep whether or not Origin would be discontinued in the near future.
5th Cell, the guys behind the ambitious and frankly fantastic Scribblenauts, believe that the games industry is broken. With boxed retail prices of games hitting $60 a pop, only a handful of games have a chance of making a profit.
That needs to change.
EA said that sooner or later, theyâ€™d have a subscription service â€“ and it came sooner rather than later. EA Sports yesterday announced a new service available to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 users; Season Ticket. A paid subscription service, it gives sports fans a host of exclusive benefits. The people who buy EAâ€™s annual sports games tend to be pretty loyal, happily spending their coin on slightly upgraded iterations of the same games every year â€“ and Season Ticket seems like an excellent way top extract even more money from the diehards.
EA Sports vice president Andrew Wilson has told Eurogamer that one day in the future there will "absolutely" be a time when gamers will want to pay EA monthly subscriptions to access its content without being burdened by physical media. And itâ€™ll be you, the end user, pushing for it.