Downloadable Games, With the Inconvenience of the Store

By  |  Monday, April 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm

pspslimA solution for the digital download squeamish: Go to your local video game store, buy a boxed version of a digital download voucher, go home and use the Internet to install the same product that’s being sold cheaper to those who don’t want to leave the house.

Ars Technica’s Ben Kuchera has word from a “reliable” insider — with a proven track record of breaking stories — that this will happen for the upcoming PSP game Patapon 2. Kuchera suggests that Sony is testing this retail download model to gauge whether it will work for other games, maybe even setting the stage for a UMD-less PSP.

Why would Sony hang on to retail at all with this release? Because as much as video game publishers would love to kill the middleman, they need that shelf space. Digital distribution doesn’t share equal footing with hard copy sales. Besides, cutting out Gamestop and other retailers could potentially force them to drop the PSP in retribution. Despite the strained relationship between publisher and retailer, no one wants to rock the boat.

As a result, we might have this bizarre solution in which consumers can pay $20 plus a trip to the store for a $15 game that they can download at home. You pay more for the luxury of an empty box.

Whether the rumor is true or not, I can’t imagine retailers lovingly embracing the idea in the long run because they’d be digging their own graves. Once enough retail shoppers realize they’re getting duped at retail, they’ll abandon the store. GameStop also loves the used game market, and won’t give it up without a fight.

Retail downloads might work in the present simply because of shelf appeal, but Sony and other game publishers can’t have it both ways forever. Eventually, they’ll have to commit to a download-only future — brick-and-mortar be damned, consoles can be distributed other ways — or commit to physical media and all the retail baggage that comes with it.


Read more: , ,

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Gabriella Adams Says:

    I easily get addicted to PSP games and i am always updated with the newest PSP games in town.`:’

  2. rogaine hair regrowth Says:

    I am so lucky to find this good blog.Really I appreciate your work.Thanks for sharing this topic.

  3. January Neal Says:

    I so love downloadable games. I can play everywhere and anytime. This age is really amazing!

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. [TechBlogWatch] Best of Blogs für den 14. April 2009 | TechFieber | Hot Gadget Blog. Smart Tech News. Says:

    […] Downloadable Games, With the Inconvenience of the Store […]