While we’re talking about how expensive stuff is today, PlayStation 3 owners in Europe-land are now available to purchase the favored Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the price ofÂ â‚¬49.99 directly from PSN. As in, you can just turn on your console, press a few buttons, maybe whip out a credit card to remember a few crucial numbers, and Eidos Montreal’s cyberpunk adventure will download directly into your house with the only middle man being the PlayStation Network. It sounds like a near miracle to get even a recent blockbuster release via legitimate download (much like Steam on PC), but it comes at a (financial) price: you can find the game for much cheaper at retail, who still seeks to ruin everything when it comes to the future of gaming.
If you’ll recall, when Xbox 360 Platinum Hits (the games that have been out for a while and sold X number of units) went to Games On Demand, they started at $29.99 when retail versions were going for $14.99-$19.99. Nowadays, it sorta makes sense as their Games On Demand service hosts quite a few games that aren’t available on retail shelves anyway and of course, the prices on those digital downloads have fallen. The problem is, again, that platform holders don’t want to irritate their retail buyers, who still make up the majority of their revenue (not to mention it’s difficult to download a console). So, that’s why we’re seeing newer games being released at a much higher price than their digital companions, when they do appear at all, as to discourage people from conveniently buying the games at home through their consoles so they can sell their ‘disc scratch protection’ plan or push their magazines.
“But N, PC developers can get away with it through Steam!” Yeah, but retailers really don’t care a huge amount about PC games. Just go to your local brick and mortar and you’ll find a ton of World of Warcraft, game cards for subscription games, and Nancy Drew titles. There’s also no related revenue category aside from joysticks, video cards, or new mice.
Well, some day we’ll get the future we asked for, but it’s probably a year away.