Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Been thinking about the game market lately

and came across this op-ed on ign.com today, Your local game store is going bust.  It's a pretty interesting article that covers a range of topics from next-gen consoles to the downsides of moving to digital downloads.

Some of my idle and ignorant thoughts on the matter are relatively simple.  On one hand I like online sites, specifically Steam, and just downloading games for many reasons:
  1. I don't have a car so getting to a game store is a pain in the ass, since for some fucked up reason there's no longer a game store next to campus.
  2. If I wait a little while games and their parasitic DLC will be absurdly cheap.
  3. There's a slew of stuff on PC, small indie games, that never would make their way to consoles for peanuts.
Downsides to digital copies:
  1. My PC can't handle the new mega-titles that I bought for console (namely Skyrim).  This is a fuckin drag and one that I am going to fix over the next few years.
  2. For digital 360 titles, the prices are still much higher than I would be willing to spend on a digital title.  My thinking is that a digital copy should be significantly lower in price than a physical copy.  I'm not getting a physical copy, or a manual, or anything.  There's nothing to ship or package or construct or do something with lazers or brick and mortar bills to pay (yes, I know the servers have to be somewhere but don't split hairs you know what I mean).  So why the fuck should a digital title be as expensive (or close to) a physical new release?
  3. One of the few benefits of having a physical copy is I can get something back for it at the end of the day and some titles are still worth something to collectors (imagine if you had an original Final Fantasy Tactics for the PS1).  Plus if I get sick of a game I impulse bought in two weeks I can return it for some credit towards something else I want to impulse buy.
  4. According to the gaming news sites and rumor mills the new generation of consoles are going to clamp down on the ability to play used games or have backwards compatibility.  Well fuck you too then.  Bad enough the PS3 has no backwards compatibility (a dick move that made me move to purchase a 360 despite being a diehard PS2 fan) and the 360 has limited compatibility (and the XBOX games available for download are outrageously expensive compared to what you could buy them for in shops) but to have no compatibility at all along with forcing gamers to buy new or digital copies of games is pretty crappy. 
By screwing over gamers and their wallets doesn't it seem more likely that they will be more tempted to just pirate a game?  Both parties are at fault (we all know my dislike for pirates after all) but the whole situation smacks of suck.  For my money's worth I am planning on putting my time and effort towards upgrading my PC instead of  buying into the new generation of consoles.  Plus I can just download old titles if I feel like playing a classic.

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