With Red Dead Redemption, Xbox 360 Downloads Creep Up On Retail

By  |  Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm

When Microsoft launched Xbox 360 Games on Demand in August 2009, it had the air of a clothing store with nothing but last year’s inventory. All the game downloads were at least a year older than their retail counterparts, and some dated back to the console’s launch.

But slowly, the digital download service has crept up on retail, and the announcement of Red Dead Redemption for Games on Demand seems like a major milestone. The game is only seven months old, it’s on a lot of lists for game of the year, and it’s priced at $60 — same as retail.

Rockstar Games isn’t the only publisher to have a game become downloadable within seven months of launch. Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and THQ’s UFC Undisputed 2010 all launched at retail in May of this year, and became Xbox 360 Games on Demand within the last few weeks. EA’s Battlefield: Bad Company 2 hit retail in March and Games on Demand in early December.¬†Digital downloads are definitely getting fresher.

Like Joystiq’s Alexander Sliwinski, I wouldn’t advise downloading these games unless you don’t mind throwing money away for instant gratification. A new copy of the game can be had for $40 from NewEgg, and GameStop has used copies for the same price. Discrepancies like these have been¬†a pock mark on Microsoft’s download service since launch.

Still, if Xbox 360 Games on Demand keeps narrowing the gap between itself and retail, there will eventually come a point at which full price is reasonable, and Red Dead Redemption is the closest I’ve seen to that point.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Jig Awat Says:

    Why would anyone do this? Besides, as the article says, you're throwing $20 away, you're also throwing away potential resale value. This is exactly what microsoft wants. The next generation will be all downloads unless consumers wise up.

  2. @JefTek Says:

    Also, as I just found out today that the OnDemand version does NOT alway include the same content as that comes with the retail boxed version. I purchased the EA title Battlefield: Bad Company 2 from Xbox OnDemand games, and it does NOT come with the VIP code that comes with the boxed retail version. You can purchase this VIP code for 800msp, but after contacting both MS and EA, they say the only solution is to purchase the VIP code from the marketplace.

    Nowhere on the purchase screen for the MS download does it tell you that you are NOT getting the same content as if you purchased the retail Box set.

  3. Zip Says:

    How do they fit on the 8GB drive that comes with Xbox?

  4. JaredNewman Says:

    Well, I don't think the 8 GB Xbox is meant for downloading full-size games. The $300 model, which comes with a 250 GB hard drive, is much better-suited for that.