Sony to Launch Day 1 Digital Initiative

Sony to Launch Day 1 Digital Initiative

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Sony attempts to make its digital catalog more timely.

There's good money in digital distribution, just ask Valve. No, really. Call their solid gold telephones and ask. You might have to let it ring a few times, sometimes they can't hear you over all the money. While PC publishers seem to have digital distribution down pat, the consoles are still struggling with it. Digital versions of games often come out long after their retail counterparts, and rather bizarrely, they cost just as much. Sony is at least trying to fix one of those problems.

The PSN Day 1 Digital initiative is an attempt to get digital games out on the same day as their retail counterparts. The initiative starts on October 2nd with the launch of NBA 2K13 and Resident Evil 6, with other select PS3 titles to follow. For the most part, the prices are exactly the same as retail, but PlayStation Plus members can snag the odd discount here and there, provided they pre-order a game.

The first batch of games included in the initiative:

  • Resident Evil 6 (Available for download on October 2 - $59.99)
  • NBA 2K13 (Available for download on October 2 - $59.99/$53.99 for Plus members, with pre-order)
  • Dishonored (Available for download on October 9 - $59.99/$53.99 for Plus members, with pre-order)
  • DOOM 3: BFG Edition (Available for download on October 16 - $39.99/$35.99 for Plus members, with pre-order)
  • 007: Legends (Available for download on October 16 - $59.99)
  • Medal Of Honor: Warfighter (Available for download on October 23 - $59.99)
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted (Available for download on October 30 - $59.99/$53.99 for Plus members, with pre-order)
  • Assassin's Creed III (Available for download on October 30 - $59.99)

The big three's hesitant, ham-fisted attempts at digital distribution have always struck me as odd, especially given the, at best, parasitic and, at worst, adversarial relationship they have with retailers like GameStop. Apple and Valve have made a fortune by cutting out the middle man, yet only Sony shows any real signs of following suit.

Source: Destructoid

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I can get some of those games for cheaper at retail new...I like the concept of digital downloads, but I usually found the prices to be more inflated than at retail.

I also like to own the physical copy of the game.

Maybe they'll still be in business at the end of the decade after all...

Grey Carter:
yet only Sony shows any real signs of following suit.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS was available in the e-Shop at midnight on release day. Just saying.

A Satanic Panda:
Maybe they'll still be in business at the end of the decade after all...

Who knows? Something else could go horribly wrong.

what does a slow-bro have to do with this couldn't have been like the sony waiting bar?

the funniest part of this is that trying to get rid of like Gamestop also gets rid of market-share, and in turn lowers overall sales of games, and systems.

captcha: wicked witch, interesting I didn't know that Sony was located in Oz

Buretsu:

Grey Carter:
yet only Sony shows any real signs of following suit.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS was available in the e-Shop at midnight on release day. Just saying.

And how many 3DS games that are also sold in retail are available in Nintendo's e-Shop?

So their plan is to charge me more than I'm paying in Gamestop for less? Yeah, great plan there Sony. Don't think I'll be paying 60 quid for a digital copy of Resi 6 when I could pay 45 - 50 for a physical one. (Just assuming, but they never fix prices for exchange rates on these things. $60 means 60 euro.

I was wondering why Sony and Microsoft hadn't started this sooner. Don't get me wrong, physical copies are still needed to some degree, but I know plenty of people who'd rather just get digital and keep it that way. This is probably a smart move, just with some poor implementation.

Namely, Sony and Microsoft charge for online. Microsoft charges for just online entirely, while Sony is only for PS+ members that need to pay, and even then the special deals they get aren't all that impressive. Steam and Origin are at least free because they know they'll make enough money selling their massive libraries of games to cover the cost of running the service. If MS and Sony can gear themselves in that direction, that would be really impressive.

Then there's Nintendo. I'm not sure what the WiiU will do, but the fact they already said third parties can use their own online service for their products gives me high hopes they'll have free online for the most part. Plus their digital distribution may not be for current games, but that is the strength of Nintendo's REALLY REALLY MASSIVE back catalog of games going all the way back to the 80's. Seriously, being able to buy the old NES or SNES games that won't work due to old cartridges or fault devices is amazing, and it's something that neither competitor is capable of yet.

I'm looking forward to what the next couple years hold as WiiU enters the fray and Sony and Microsoft try more ideas from other publishers to keep in the business (not a shot at them, but that's literally been their strategy in the past couple years).

Compared to other Big Three, Sony is like a spider: they really know how to spin the web.

gigastar:

Buretsu:

Grey Carter:
yet only Sony shows any real signs of following suit.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS was available in the e-Shop at midnight on release day. Just saying.

And how many 3DS games that are also sold in retail are available in Nintendo's e-Shop?

Nintendo is one of the Big Three, but I'm pretty sure the 3DS isn't :P

gardian06:
what does a slow-bro have to do with this couldn't have been like the sony waiting bar?

the funniest part of this is that trying to get rid of like Gamestop also gets rid of market-share, and in turn lowers overall sales of games, and systems.

captcha: wicked witch, interesting I didn't know that Sony was located in Oz

This is why the big three are not pushing full on digital distribution. They are intelligent enough to know that places like gamestop are extremely important for gaming. Without them the gaming industry crashes.

Sadly this is something that a lot of ignorant developers are pretend journalists dont understand.

gigastar:

Buretsu:

Grey Carter:
yet only Sony shows any real signs of following suit.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS was available in the e-Shop at midnight on release day. Just saying.

And how many 3DS games that are also sold in retail are available in Nintendo's e-Shop?

Well, New Super Mario Bros. 2 for one.

Wait what? Does that mean that Sony didn't have Day 1 digital distribution?
Does that mean that Nintendo has better digital distribution than Sony? That Nintendo with the worst online support of the big 3?

EDIT: And just to add a bit more to the discussion.
Nintendo said that they won't force developer to sell their games digitally. They made the infrastructure and if the publisher wants, they can sell their games digitally from day 1.

that's cool but after 6-8 months will those prices go down?

I would have thought Borderlands 2 was the one that started it off, as that was Day 1 on PSN too.

Anyway, yeah, as far as I'm aware, the somewhat ridiculous prices are the publisher's fault more than Sony's. For an example, Activision put Prototype 1 up on there for slightly HIGHER than the full, brand new retail price.........almost 2 years after it was realeased. They do similar pricing with CoD games.
Again, publishers are dicks. Sony can only pull their price strings so far. If Sony wants it for cheaper, the publisher can just say no and take their business elsewhere.

Hey Sony, why should I buy digital, have no rights over my product, and have to spend hours downloading when you aren't even going to offer it at a lower price than the physical counterpart? You're asking me to buy an inferior product at the same price.

Look like they've missed the point of digital distribution...When you sell a game in a purely digital state, you save money on box art, manuals (heh), discs, etc. That should be reflected in the price. If they really want to entice people to buy floating bits of information they should price the products...oh I'm sorry, 'service' accordingly. Better than Nintendo though...didn't they want $45 for New Super Mario Bros 2 digital?

I for one think it's great. I love that they're actually pulling through with it. No, I probably won't buy anything from it since I don't use PS3 that much anymore, but I'm glad they're offering day 1 digital distribution at the same price for new. I dunno where you guys are getting games, but for me, it's 60 bucks new. And the reason it'll sell is because convenience. People are lazy.

gardian06:
what does a slow-bro have to do with this couldn't have been like the sony waiting bar?

I guess you aren't familiar with the Slowpoke (Slowbro was the evolved form)meme? Basically, you post a picture of Slowpoke with text referring to some event that happened a while ago (usually within a half year so that the ADD-addled internet can still get the joke). For example, sometime this December, there's probably gonna be a pic of the Slowpoke complaining about that bullshit call from last night's football game.

*Ahem* Anyway, the relevance is that he's making fun of how the console market is taking forever to catch-up with something that the PC market has been doing for at least half a decade.

Grey Carter:
Digital versions of games often come out long after their retail counterparts, and rather bizarrely, they cost just as much. Sony is at least trying to fix one of those problems.

Are people seriously still butt-hurt over this? Do we really need to take the time to explain that bandwidth isn't free? Here's a little news flash: You're paying for the convenience of not having to get in your car, drive to the store, buy a physical copy, and then drive all the way back home (not to mention the extra steps of having to install it, which digital downloads do automatically); as well as covering the bandwidth and power costs of having to keep those download servers running 24/7.

So... yeah. Do you want convenience, or physical product? Because at the end of the day you're still getting basically the same product at the same cost.

That is way too expensive, try $45 dollars max

NSMB2 was Nintendo dipping its toes into the water. It'll be slow, but if it was successful, I'd expect other big titles to show up there in the future. Hell, perhaps we can be lazy fatasses and not bother to go to launch parties for games like Pokemon.

As for bandwidth/server costs, I'm not sure how that compares to say, producing and shipping a physical product (typically overseas) and making deals with retailers.

So their wise plan is to charge the same amount (more in some cases) than a physical copy that requires more resources to produce and distribute, and comes along with the consumer-satisfying quality of being something you can actually touch?

Brrrrrrilliant...

Though, because of consumer stupidity/lazyness, I can see it doing well enough and setting a terrible precedent. Yay...

Why should I be paying the full cost of shipping etc that it takes to get them in stores over here with a digital copy when at the very least local stores tend to have them cheaper.

I get the whole bandwidth for them isn't free, but neither is mine. I pay for a fixed amount of net in my country and their game sizes aren't even compressed. If I have 100 gigs a month in my flat between 5 people, then I have 20 to roughly use for myself, one of these games would take about half that and they want full retail.

Give your customers some incentive. The speed the PSN downloads games it'd be a day or two before I'd be able to play them anyway, so it's hardly convenient.

So they're catching up to digital distribution, eh?

Good! Now if only they'll catch up to the notion that buying a digital copy doesn't cost them as much to make and everyone knows this, so stop passing artificial costs onto the customer and charge less for digital copies than for physical ones! >_>

And I don't just mean Sony, I mean everybody. EVERYBODY. All of you. Even you, Guild Wars 2, because you're not excused from this either. Everyone....stop it. Just stop. It does not cost you $60 to make a digital download of the game and also $60 to make a physical copy. One of those two prices is artificial and needs to be changed, and I'm inclined to believe it's the one that doesn't require as many physical materials and labor to create and deliver. So get with the program and drop the price tag. You want to make digital distribution take off, and make it MUCH easier and cheaper for your company to sell its games? You know what to do.

*mini-rant complete*

Digital Downloads = Cheaper Price for consumer

If it doesn't then fuck you.

I can get games at cheap online retailers. Why would I pay 60$ for what a retailer offers me for 40 or 45$?

It's simple economics really. Why am i paying 60$ if I have no physical copy in my hands at the end of the purchase. What justifies the digital download being AS expensive as the physical copy?

WhiteTigerShiro:

gardian06:
what does a slow-bro have to do with this couldn't have been like the sony waiting bar?

I guess you aren't familiar with the Slowpoke (Slowbro was the evolved form)meme? Basically, you post a picture of Slowpoke with text referring to some event that happened a while ago (usually within a half year so that the ADD-addled internet can still get the joke). For example, sometime this December, there's probably gonna be a pic of the Slowpoke complaining about that bullshit call from last night's football game.

*Ahem* Anyway, the relevance is that he's making fun of how the console market is taking forever to catch-up with something that the PC market has been doing for at least half a decade.

What are you talking about? The Gameboy cartridges are top notch quality and can hold insane amounts of data, so they cost a lot of money to produce, you can't make that "digital" and send it over a inter-telephone line thingy to your machine.

No disc, manual, box, manufacturing cost, retailer or middle man to have to sell it through.

Yet they still think charging full price RRP for a game you can buy from Amazon for at least a third less is a good idea to promote digital sales.

Having it come out on Day 1 doesn't matter when you can order a real copy online for cheaper. The difference wouldn't be that much in terms of getting it either seeing as you'd need to download it, whereas going to the shop and buying it would be quicker in most cases.

It's their loss to be honest.

Sony: Singular proof that all the best games come from Japan but all the shittiest business practises come from there too.

I still can't understand why they expect people to pay physical price for a digital copy. It's not just Sony either, EA and Origin do the same damn thing. They all want to be like Steam but refuse to follow the example they set on how to be successful at digital distribution.

At this point I wonder if the people in charge actually have a brain let a lone common sense.

It's a good idea, of course but as long as prices stay at full-whack then it's basically just pointless.

Hmm, I could pay PSN and then wait for it download. Then I'd have it on my hard drive taking up the free space that gets smaller and smaller with every system update that adds things I do not want or need, and I'd still miss out on the best price and preorder bonuses offered by retails.

Or I could save a few dollars, get free shipping, save HD space, most preorder bonuses, and often a coupon for $10 off my next purchase on top of that by ordering it from Amazon. Also I'd have a physical copy of the game that is conveniently portable, tradable, and assuming I ever have too much cash again I'd like to see PSN pop out my goodies for getting a collectors edition.

Meanwhile PSN continues to lack many many digital ONLY games that XBLA gets constantly, and fixing THIS issue would do way more to promote your worthless PS+ service than your current not giving a crap tactic.

Gotta love how the upplay that shit, don't worry people we are finally pulling our crap together in the Super Mega Awesome Power Ranger Sony Institute!
You all like the sound of that right, right guys? guys? ...

Gotta love the amount of people saying that digital distribution is automatically cheaper than physical copies.

Because we've neeeeeeeever seen a $60 game on a retail shelf AND on Steam right?

Yay! You can pay the same price, wait longer for the download than it takes to go to the store, buy a copy, and return, and not be able to sell the used version! Where do I sign?

Nice to see sony missing a golden opportunity to pass up nintendo and microsoft by actually doing digital distribution correctly. Instead they opted to tow the line which is the practices that have them losing money left and right.

There is no incentive to buy any digital products for consoles.

- Same price as physical without a case, disc, and manual.
- Prices take 2x to 10x longer to drop
- Servers are infamously slow with downloads
- limited space on consoles makes gamers too cautious to go all digital
- No trade in value

I can't help but notice RE6, AC3 and MoH don't give you a discount...perhaps the most sought after titles.

Call me picky but if they're offering at least a 5 cent discount, they should be fair and discount every title.
Also, I'd rather pre-order those titles at GS. Sure, I don't get a discount either but at least they give random DLC crap.

 

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