I’ve seen a lot of articles lately about how digital download video games are the future of gaming. I tend to disagree with this and I’ll give my reasons as to why throughout this article. People seem to be in a resigned state when it comes to digital download only games. Like it’s an inevitability or something, well I’m of the belief that there is only one inevitability in this life and that’s death. If you’re not a fan of digital download only then let your voice be heard loud and clear. We can’t afford for people to be apathetic when it comes to what we want. We are after all the consumers.
The biggest reason why digital download wont work is because of the current state of the United States internet. The United States are the largest consumers when it comes to gaming hardware and software. That being said, our internet is some of the slowest on the planet. I know there are exceptions but I also have quite a few friends and even people in my competitive gaming clan that have some of the worst internet connections around. These people literally have to leave their gaming consoles on overnight or in some cases days at a time to get a game demo, map pack or arcade game. When the Crysis 2 multiplayer beta was released on Xbox Live it took almost three days for a clan mate to download the whole thing, and that was less than 2 gigs I believe. What would happen if all we could do is download digital games? I would tend to think a lot of people would just give up gaming altogether.
There are a few reasons why we are getting hit with this digital download blitz, first of all it would save game developers and game publishers money in production cost. No DVD’s, no Blu Ray and no packaging. That being said, we’d still be seeing games that would cost between forty and fifty dollars, maybe more. So we the consumer wouldn’t really see a huge savings. Secondly, all of these companies want to completely stop the sale of used games, digital download is going to be the only way to do this effectively. They have already tried and failed with online passes and were even starting to see things like the one saved game feature, where you cant start a new game. These are all just companies trying to cut out the sale of used games. I know I cant be the only one who buys both used and new games, I don’t think I’d be very happy or apt to buy new consoles if they only offered digital download games, I’d also not like to lose out on the chance to buy and play used games. Sometimes games I buy used are games I might not be too sure of, I don’t want to waste sixty dollars on a game if I don’t have a clue as to whether or not it’s worth buying or even worth playing.
These companies are slowly but surely trying to take away our rights as gamer’s. We’ve become so apathetic that we seem to not even notice. I was so happy when the PSPGo failed, not because I hate Sony or didn’t like the design of the handheld itself, but because it only offered digital download and I knew Sony was testing the waters for something I really don’t want to ever see. Time and time again digital download and even services like Onlive get thrown at us and in the end fail completely.
There is a social standing of people who maybe don’t have a ton of money and yet still game as a hobby, I wouldn’t be able to lend my friends a game and vice versa. We have to keep in mind that not everyone can afford only new games. I know some people who buy a game like Call Of Duty and that’ll be the only new game they will buy for the whole year. The only other games they might buy are used games. If we ever go to a digital download only format, the industry will truly be alienating a large chunk of the fan base that has made the gaming industry the financial juggernaut it is today.
I believe there might be some people out there that are of the mindset that digital download works well for music, I would agree that for small music files it does work well, but I still buy CD’s more than digitally download music. You have to keep in mind that musical files are rather small, especially when you take into account that video games are becoming larger and larger, which means they would take longer and longer to download. Can you imagine how long it would take to download something that was 20 gigs or higher? Which brings me to another reason digital download only wont work. Some internet providers have a download cap limit. More and more internet service providers are adding these caps, stiff penalties and fines for people going over their allotted limits would actually do more to hamper the games industry then help.
At the end of the day it’s all about business and greed. The companies don’t like not getting paid for used game sales but at the same time it’s people’s right to sell their used games. If the gaming industry thinks they are untouchable and can do whatever they want and get away with whatever they want, I would like to point out the game industry crash of the 1980?s, which was brought on by a lack of quality games as well as because people didn’t want to go out and buy a new console every four years. It’s happened before and it can certainly happen again.
I also would worry about a world where it’s digital download only games and the problems there would be when a new console came out. I mean they have enough problems with backwards compatibility now. I want to know that I can always go back and play the games I paid my hard-earned money on. Sometimes things happen and who’s to say your files will always be there for you to go back and download at another time?
I’m a realist so I know digital download will be around for the foreseeable future. I think it can and should coexist with physical media, I’m fine with DLC and arcade titles and things like that. I just never want to see physical media die out completely as I believe the majority of gamer’s want that new game smell so to speak.. So hopefully some of you can see my point of view when it comes to physical media and why I don’t want to see digital download only. Any and all comments are appreciated.Tags: money