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Digital distribution survey

Discussion in 'Xbox 360 Forum' started by DJSigma, Mar 22, 2012.

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What are your thoughts on digital downloads?

  1. I would love to buy all games via digital downloads! Death to discs!

    21 vote(s)
    24.1%
  2. I only buy cheap XBLA games via downloads, the rest are on disc!

    43 vote(s)
    49.4%
  3. I hate digital downloads! Gimme my physical media!

    23 vote(s)
    26.4%
  1. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, it's far too limiting a poll to be honest and really presents the bad about DD and is biased towards physical distribution. What about models like Spotify, Netflix or love film use for films where you could pay a subscription and have access to 1000's of games without restriction for say £19.99 p/m? This just assumes that DD is the Steam model full stop where it isn't as there are other models available.

    We are moving away from this concept of "owning" other peoples/companies intellectual rights and instead having access to use all material for a subscription. You could have varying levels of subscription and even pay as you go routes working along side the subscription routes. There should be DD pricing and use models to please everyone really.
  2. DJSigma

    DJSigma New Member

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    The poll is in no way biased towards physical media. If you would only buy digital downloads if they're cheaper, then clearly you still favour physical media and don't want to see it disappear.

    Perhaps, instead of questioning the poll, you should consider that many people do NOT want to give up their rights and potentially pay higher prices, as you would do if Steam was the only place to buy games.
  3. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN Well-Known Member

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    Ah the typical, blinkered response where you completely ignore anything anyone says outside of your agenda. I guess I'll say it again, even though it will probably be ignored, but Steam is just one possible DD model. It is not a discussion about whether you want to buy games on Steam or in a plastic box, it's about looking at the huge possibilities of digital distribution in terms of subscription based product etc.

    Not everyone can dabble with all (or even a large proportion) the games out there for financial reasons but with a viable subscription based DD model they could get access to a much wider range of games for a lower outlay.

    Picture the scene where you are skint as you have already bought 3 games this month, have traded in all you want to at the moment but tour mates are all going on this new shooter (replace game with whatever you enjoy playing) this weekend. Normally you may not be able to afford or justify the purchase, but if you are on a subscription based service then you just stick it to download and come Friday night you jump in for some games with your mates.
  4. Pebb

    Pebb Active Member

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    At the moment I prefer physical media, because a lot has to change before every can be a digital download. Along with that I think the next stage for physical media must be some form of flash drive, seeing how the drives are becoming cheaper and larger.

    And soon, they should also get much smaller and stronger. However I think it will be at least 10-15 years before such a thing will ever happen.
  5. DJSigma

    DJSigma New Member

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    The poll shows that people who want a digital download only future are in the minority by a good distance, so it's no surprise that you would claim bias and then ignore what the majority want. Blinkered indeed.
  6. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN Well-Known Member

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    The poll is in the 360 section where there is only a very limited DD service so of course most people buy 360 games on disc. I buy all none XBLA 360 games on disc because there is no viable alternative. The middle option is basically just asking what people do now. The poll should have been asking what people would prefer to do, perhaps with a couple of DD options (individual purchase or subscription based service) and maybe a couple of physical options (bricks and mortar store and online store).

    The Other two options at the more extreme ends are actually in favour of DD.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  7. DJSigma

    DJSigma New Member

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    Yes, it's about digital distribution on the 360, but also about the next MS console as well. What did you think it would be about, given the forum section you're posting in? :rolleyes:

    I shouldn't have made it anonymous thinking about it, cos I bet there's a few PC gaming hermits who don't even own consoles voting for digital distribution based on their "I buy games for 10p in Steam sales" mentality.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. SparkShot

    SparkShot Active Member

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    I wonder what the result would be if you did the same poll in the pc gaming section.

    I doubt there would be many there who would want to go back to discs.

    Like the cassette, floppy discs, cartridges, cd-rom i would imagine the dvd will be going the way of the dodo before long at least in the gaming world anyway.

    I can see blu-ray going another console gen with sony but not sure if ms would go down that route due to blurays sony links so digital downloads are a high probability on the next xbox.

    Will everyone like going downloads only? Probably not

    Will they still buy the games anyway? probably will after some kicking and screaming.

    Will they miss discs once DD is the norm? probably not going by my experience over in pc land.
  9. Sniper Ash6

    Sniper Ash6 Well-Known Member

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    Gee, that's nice...
  10. DJSigma

    DJSigma New Member

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    Right, but it's different with PC gaming as PC gamers have already had their rights stripped away.

    If I buy a game on disc for the 360, I can pop it into the console and play it immediately. There is never a forced install and patches are limited to a few MB (and you can refuse those and play offline anyway). I can take a game round to a friend's house and play it with no problems, sell my games, trade them in etc.

    All of the above isn't true of the PC with physical media as you have to install the game, games often force you to install Steam and to download a large chunk of data, and the DRM prevents you from lending games out, selling them etc. This is why PC gamers shouldn't vote in this poll based on their experience with PC gaming only, cos it simply doesn't apply in the same way with consoles.

    Still, even with the PC, if you compare the prices for new games - particularly the big releases - digital downloads are more expensive.

    It might not be nice, but unfortunately that's how forums tend to work. If you make an anonymous poll saying "have you ever had the RROD?" then someone that hasn't ever owned a 360 will vote "yes", you can pretty much guarantee it, and this is the same sort of thing.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  11. Sniper Ash6

    Sniper Ash6 Well-Known Member

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    It's a forum, anyone can enter the poll if they wish, it's not down to you to say who can and cannot. The opinion of anyone is perfectly valid and promotes discussion.
  12. DJSigma

    DJSigma New Member

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    Not really, cos if someone votes to say "I have had the RROD" when they haven't, as in my previous example, they're just skewing the results of the poll for the sake of it. I want to know what Xbox owners think, hence it's posted in this section.
  13. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but I think you'll find that DJSigma is right about everything, he knows the future and is a much higher intellect than the rest of us put together. Infact I'm not even sure why we have polls on these forums now, we just need DJSigma to give us the answers so that we don't have to trouble our feeble minds about such issues.

    In reality however his comments about Steam prove that he either hasn't really used it. As much as I'd like games to be 10p in the sales, sadly that is never the case and does he really think that Steam users pay Steam prices? The cheapest price i can see for the physical disc version of The Witcher 2 is just over £25 (the same price as Steam are selling for pretty much), but after fancying giving the game a go, I bought a key from a well known legit key store for £13.99 which was instantly delivered. After redeeming in Steam I was downloading twin minutes of ordering.
  14. majnu

    majnu Well-Known Member

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    Who goes to their mates house to play games nowadays? It's all about online multiplayer gaming. FWIW I've not voted as none are applicable for me.

    Forgetting XBLA, how about On Demand? That is so expensive and with the exception of Crysis I don't think I've ever purchased an on demand XBL game.
  15. DR Kronenbourg

    DR Kronenbourg Active Member

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    It's all good you PC boys having valid points and all but I am more interested in what this is going to do with my future Xbox playing in the middle of the north sea, nearly every vessel and rig offshore has a Xbox or playstation that will never ever see online! We're forgetting there are people in remote places whos gaming days are numbered if it goes full digital download, will M$ care about such a minority? Likely not!
  16. noisecrime

    noisecrime Member

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    This all sounds incredibly dodgy, especially getting a newly released game at half price. Care to tell us the name of the website?

    From a quick scan of these so called 'legit' key stores are extremely 'grey market', getting codes from promotions or other countries where the games/keys are sold much cheaper. As such not illegal, but probably against the EULA. Apparently though Steam hasn't done anything about it in many years so many people seem to think its ok.

    Honestly don't understand publishers, when they go all out to destroy the second hand market and blame piracy for killing their market, but leave massive loop holes like this. I guess they are still making a small profit on each sale, but nothing like the amount they would be expecting. So can only be a downwards spiral, more games sold at less profit.

    So whilst you might be getting a good bargain now, don't expect this to last or carry over to xbox DD. Once a critical mass of people are using this method to avoid paying the 'fair' price, the publishers will have no choice but to start closing accounts with keys being used from other countries. At which point we'll be locked back into whatever price system they want to charge, again with zero competition to drive prices down.

    Though thinking about it I wonder where exactly the lower cost is coming from. If its due to publishers selling titles cheaper in some territories then I don't see it lasting, on the other hand if its a combination of favourable exchange rates and lower or non-existent taxes then I can see this method gaining ground, until that is the government take notice at all the tax they might be losing.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  17. Lostsoul 301281

    Lostsoul 301281 Member

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    I've got to agree with the point about PC gamers not voting in this poll.
    This is the Xbox forums section and the poll is aimed at Xbox gamers.
    Sure, some people game across both platforms, but that's besides the point.

    I'm guessing this poll is aimed at purely Xbox gamers.

    I voted for only cheap XBLA games as it was the closest to my opinion of DD.
    I don't even buy many XBLA games, especially nowadays.
    I prefer physical media as I can do what I want with it.
    I can lend it to a friend, take it round a friends place when we hang out together and play games(yes, people still do play games in the same room despite online MP), I can borrow games from friends, rent from Blockbuster and even sell on/trade-in games I no longer want and get something for them.

    With DD none of this is possible.

    You can waste money on games that you'd otherwise have rented or borrowed and be stuck with them as you can't pass them on in any way.
  18. majnu

    majnu Well-Known Member

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    Witcher 2 has been out on the PC since 2011, whilst it is going to be ported to the xbox and released on April 2012.

    Key stores can get you games cheaper but as you said even trusted sellers are very shady with their dealings and some may sell the same Key multiple times (From what I understand it isn't the same as an xbox key where once used it is registered to one user only and the key cannot be redeemed again).

    If the key is not steamable then it is pretty much worthless imo. As you don't get trophies (achievements), and publisher patches and dlc.

    Steam and Origin being the sole method for digital distribution does not drive competition. Taking keystores, price glitches, voucher codes and sales out of the equation newly released games on the PC are on par with console games price wise. So where is saving?

    Lets take ME3 standard edn since it is a newly released game -

    PC (Origin £34.99 DD; £34.99 Physical Media @ Grainger)
    Origin
    Mass Effect 3 (PC) | Grainger Games

    Console ( £30 Grainger; £36.68 Tesco ent)
    http://www.graingergames.co.uk/games/xbox-360/xt1031-mass-effect-3
    Mass Effect 3 - Game - Microsoft Xbox 360 - Tesco Entertainment - Free Delivery

    The savings come later where Stores later throw in a free game or discount the game heavily like Dj was alluding to by that time the game is a few months old and taking recent physical media console game price cuts they still equate to similar prices.

    I'm looking at DD from a pricing POV, it kills competition unless you go down the shady Keystore area.

    Additionally when it comes to collectors editions, you won't get the physical memorabilia. My Art Books should be a "book" not a digital scanned copy. But then that is all personal preference.

    Metro LL maybe giving a Zippo themed Arytom journal and lighter with collectors editions, again you can't get that with dd.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  19. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN Well-Known Member

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    Surely that can't be right. Whilst I didn't get in on the Xbox at day one I did own the original Xbox and have owned several 360s without a break in ownership since that console was launched. As such I feel that I have a right to vote on how I would prefer to see games marketed on a console and brand I've been pretty loyal to (have maintained gold live subs since around 2004) over the years.

    There are probably two main reasons why I only buy the odd game on the 360 now (last buy was Forza 4).

    A) as a console it's showing it's age now, which is understandable as it came out around 6 1/2 years ago. I game on a projector so need a higher resolution and good levels of AA & AF, probably more than most.

    B) I personally prefer DD as previously mentioned and just find the whole process of using a system where I just click on my games and they play without me needing to change the game disc etc.

    I don't have an issue with there still being physical games available and my reason for the DD only route is not to deprive people of that method. What I have an issue with is that many folk (especially those who just aren't bothered about online gaming) just mod their 360 disc drive, download games from the Internet and play them for free. These people are not contributing to live and are just gaming for free. Further to this, there seems to be agreements where DD firms need to keep their prices around rrp on launch titles, so as not to detract from the physical product. I guess economies of scale comes into this as well in that if you are paying to maintain servers etc. for a relatively small customer base then the costs need to be higher to recoup the expense, where as if you have a huge customer base the additional server costs are vastly outweighed by the extra sales profit and therefore prices can be cheaper. We have a barrier at the moment where folk see either the same price or a slightly higher price for new games online and feel it should be cheaper, especially as they are not getting anything physical for their money (despite the fact that the actual physical product costs pence to make).

    There are certainly changes afoot though with the likes of the Game group going into administration and a certain rise in the amount of DD purchases over the past couple of years. It is a big industry though and you do have to consider the economic effects of going down the DD route as well on the retailers of the physical product. Good companies like shop to will go down the pan and it will even have a big effect on more diverse retailers like HMV, play, amazon etc. unless there's a way they can transfer their business into DD providers.

    Basically the things I would ideally like to see would be :-

    A) for it to be made very difficult for piracy to continue (I understand that totally eradicating it is very difficult, but it can at least be made harder)
    B) physical media to exist for those that want it
    C) cost effective DD to provide a viable option for those that want it (I.e at least matching the best physical prices in the market place)

    The lack of physical media at least makes piracy harder but for many I guess the argument is not whether the media is physical or not, but whether it can be sold on afterwards. Sadly the only real way to reduce piracy is through online registering and verification of games where perhaps a online signal is sent after verification to allow the game to work and once verified on your account the key used would be useless to anyone else.
  20. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN Well-Known Member

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    You could still offer that service by sending the collectors pack in the post, the only difference is that there would be no disc in the box.
  21. SparkShot

    SparkShot Active Member

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    Yes but you can't really take all those factors out of the equation when buying games weather it buying a physical or digital copy.

    At the end of the day i paid £18 for my digital copy of ME3 on the week of release which was a big saving when compared to the console versions at the time.

    The most i've paid for a new release on pc was about £20 for Batman: AC from greenman gaming on a pre-order deal.

    Sure i could have paid alot more if a bought from steam or origin themselves but on pc there are plenty of more DD options.
  22. DJSigma

    DJSigma New Member

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    Oh dear. Someone does have their knickers in a twist! :rotfl:

    As for your cheap keys for Steam, there are plenty of sites out there selling keys bought using stolen credit cards, just like there are people selling gamertags loaded up with MSP bought with stolen credit card details. That's why NeoGAF has banned discussion of such sites for Steam altogether. But yeah, it's completely fair to toss sites like that into the discussion. My mate Dave can get consoles games for £2 each off the back of a lorry, so I should probably mention him too!
  23. Rorifett

    Rorifett Well-Known Member

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    Which ones? ;)

    *EDIT*

    Also, does this explain the Atari ET?! lol
  24. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN Well-Known Member

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    The site I buy off sends you a photo of the key on the game box. The way they operate is stated below :-

    "Our company functions by importing the games from main distributors within the EU, where games have cheaper retail prices than in countries such as the UK. Because of the savings made in postage costs (as our items are sent digitally), it allows us to provide extremely low pricing. Not only this, but the games work worlwide as digital downloads, unlike physical games which have region locked discs."

    I'm not saying that all key sellers are legit though, which is why I mentioned a legit key seller.
  25. majnu

    majnu Well-Known Member

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    I did so it is comparing apples with apples. CD Key stores carry a risk and you could end up having your steam account revoked.

    Steam Alternatives | Steam Unpowered
  26. noisecrime

    noisecrime Member

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    Sadly not true, everything is being hacked these days from blu-ray to Apple's in-app purchases. Though it would undoubtedly make it much harder for average joe to do, it no longer matters as it only takes one hacker to break some DRM scheme and its released to the whole world. Online registration will simply be set up on 'dark net' servers and the like.

    What's worse is often the games will be hacked in such a way that it becomes easier for pirates to play the game than your damn customers!

    Honestly from my own research into this issue I really think the answer lies in not worrying about the pirates. Remove DRM, let people pirate they aren't lost sales, but they could potentially be converted into additional revenue streams.
  27. Lostsoul 301281

    Lostsoul 301281 Member

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    I won't quote CAS FAN due to your long post, but the point I was making, other than non-xboxers chiming in on the poll(as this question was mainly aimed at console owners), was that DD only distribution would be too costly for a lot of consumers.

    Right now you can buy a game and do what you want with it.
    Keep it and take it with you for use on any console, lend it to a friend or sell/trade it in.
    There is also the option of borrowing from a friend or renting.

    Personally, I only buy games now that I know I will keep and will play again and again.
    I used to buy a lot of games on a whim because I was interested in them, but they weren't what I now consider worth buying, but renting only.
    A lot of those impulse buys didn't have demos either, so I wouldn't have been able to try them first.
    In the end I traded in around 60 of those games.
    That's 60 out of about 90 games.
    Some I sold to friends.

    Now, if DD was the only option, I wouldn't bother with a lot of games as I wouldn't want to risk buying a game and discovering I didn't like it enough to warrant having bought it in the first place and I'd be stuck with it as I wouldn't be able to sell it on or trade it in.

    DD only also eliminates rentals, again leaving you with little or no option to play games that you may or may not end up buying.

    I don't know about others here, but I don't have money to burn buying every game that interests me.
    That's why I rent.
    I rent a game for five nights, play it to completion, rinse a few achievements and then take it back, maybe to never rent again.
    I may or may not enjoy them in the end, and I don't feel as though I'd want to go back and play them over and over, but I have played them and not missed out.
    These are the kinds of games I used to buy on impulse and would more often than not only play once or twice and then leave sitting on the shelf, and they were the titles that I took when I did my huge trade in.

    To sum up, DD eliminates being able to try a game properly before you buy(demos never do a game justice), and it forces you to be stuck with games when you lose interest in them with no way of passing them on and gaining something from it.
  28. DJSigma

    DJSigma New Member

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    ^^I agree with that. It would change peoples' purchasing habits. I know that if I buy any big title for the 360 on the day it comes out, if it sucks I can bang it on eBay and get 80% of my money back at least. That removes a large element of risk, cos I know I'm never stuck with a £35 dud. Remove the ability to sell and you have to be sure you're going to want that game or it's £35 down the toilet, which means you take fewer risks or you wait for games to be heavily reduced and that's less money in the pockets of the console/game companies.

    It devalues your system too, because if you ever want to sell a console, you can't sell any of the games that you've bought. Again, that's different with a PC, cos a PC is used for all kinds of things which makes you more likely to keep it around, but if you do sell your old PC and get a new one, the games you've bought can still be re-downloaded and used on it.
  29. CAS FAN

    CAS FAN Well-Known Member

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    Yes but the subscription based DD system would remove all of these issues and for me improve the situation. There are lots of games I'd like a bash on but can't even be bothered to rent or I prefer to use my love film rentals for other games and films. With a subscription I would just click on the game to download and play it. When finished I would just delete it. No additional cost at all, just my regular monthly payment.
  30. Lostsoul 301281

    Lostsoul 301281 Member

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    That all well and good if you want to pay monthly the play games.
    I don't.
    I like buying the games I truly want and will keep, and paying £5 to rent those that I want to play but will only play once and not want to keep.
    For me it's better value for money, especially as I already pay for Xbox Live gold which I can stop buying if I don't want to bother with the online aspect.

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