It’s already happened, at least for PC games (thanks to Steam, basically)… consoles are a different matter because of traditional usage, but even with consoles, the digital transition is well in the way.
What is the long term future of consoles? It seems like they are trying to become “entertainment devices”, where you can watch tv, movies and other content in addition to playing games.
Germain to this discussion is a case the Supreme court is currently hearing. If they decide in favor of Lexmark then the used game market is dead.
That’s basically what they are now. Playing games is third or fourth on the list of things I use my PS4 for. Going forward I’m not even sure we’re going to see “generations” of consoles anymore, starting with Microsoft’s Project Scorpio this winter.
Interesting, thanks for sharing. I’ve been hearing about this case for a few months now but not with regards to video games. If Lexmart wins it could upturn a lot of apple carts.
I’m inclined to go with the notion that if Lexmark win then bankruptcy due to a total collapse in sales follows.
Printer companies love to screw around with the cartridge supply because that’s where the money is, if they could have killed the refilling of cartridges by now they would have.
I don’t know if anyone else has responded further down the thread to this effect, but the value in owning a game is being able to sell it again for about 80-90% of what you paid for it if you don’t like it, or at get at least half your money back even if you play the whole thing thru.
There’s also trade in which is still a big market as the pre-owned sections in the local games stores seem to testify to.
I’d actually say there’s no real value in downloading a game. You paying the same, with no resale value, no refund and no tangible copy.
Digital prices are the same as physical prices to protect the retail channel. Once companies give up on retail I expect a completely different price structure to take hold. I expect the same to happen with comics too.
It will be interesting to see what happens. Some games are very costly to produce, so that may be a factor (in the same way that the argument might not run exactly parallel for big blockbuster movies either).
It may be that we see more variation in pricing, with prices reflecting the cost of production a bit more closely (there are already tiers now for A-list games, budget games etc.).
At the moment, digital is frequently more expensive than physical retail, even for new copies of a game (unless you get a good digital sale).
When 50% of the retail price goes to distribution and retail margins they can easily double their profits and reduce the prices by 30%+. It’s a far more attractive financial model.
I think long term the pricing strategy will be low entry costs (say the first couple of levels for $10) with additional buy ins as you become immersed in the game.
Maybe so. To an extent it’s already moving that way with paid DLC.
Honestly, with a customer base already preconditioned to pay retail prices for digital content I don’t think distributors will see much reason to lower the price once digital becomes dominant.
Jonathan Hickman made some good observations on that. He said he initially thought digital comics should drop the price to 99 cents, as has been seen in the music industry due to removing loads of the cost. However it would actually destroy the business as a 10% drop in sales would drive most comic shops to closing down and with it most of your customer base.
However if and when that percentage of digital sales reaches 50% or more they may well just let them go.
There are a few parallels because as Chris points out you have resale value. However the games (or comics) producers see none of that so don’t care. You always need to look at the POV of the producer as well as the customer. Consoles are maintaining that price point for now but with PC games I generally pay a fraction of what I did on Commodore 64 cassette games 30+ years ago.
You have to also remember here the retailers have more power in this industry than in comics going digital as the lead units and all the peripheral hardware is sold through them. If Playstation decide to go digital you can be damn sure every retailer will promote and push X-Box and probably stop selling Playstation altogether, and vice versa. The console market has a barrel behind it when it comes to downloads because everyone still has to sell a new upgraded console every few years through Amazon and Tesco and Walmart.
Playstation are already selling their games online via a portal regardless of hardware owned. They are not seemingly wedded to an idea of the hardware control over extra access to millions of punters.
Another problem is that each generation of hardware is less impressive than the last as tech changes. Ben posted the pics of Zelda on WiiU and Switch that looked almost exactly the same, that could never have been said about PS1 to PS2 that was a huge leap.
But surely you need to be constantly pushing that area, even if it’s another 7 years down the line for a new console, cutting retailers out would be a massive mistake would it not.
I just really find it hard to see them pulling out of retail and cutting off their options with the hardware market. There’s a control over marketplace there that X-Box and Playstation continue to exploit, if they back away and go digital, that space will be filled.
I doubt they see any of it as pulling out, it’s a potential transition. Most of us haven’t even heard of the PS Now idea but they’ve clearly invested loads of money on it.
The model has been sell the hardware cheap and recoup it on the games but that has not always been the games model and it would be unwise to assume it would be forever more.
This entire conversation started with a major retailer announcing they were cutting stores, that’s not a basis to assume a growing market, only a shrinking one. Shareholders will ask where you plan to fill the gaps.
I completely get that, but hardware is still selling strongly online, delivery is the thing that’s closing stores. Perhaps a catchall device is coming at some stage soon, but I would worry the majority of console users would baulk at the idea of using a PC as opposed to a console.