It was a lifetime ago when the all-new Play station 3 and Xbox 360 appeared as two hefty love letters to all gamers whilst gracefully taking the helm as master innovators in the 21st Century living room. But with the latest salvos of ongoing console wars, between Sony, Microsoft and even Nintendo, many remain dissuaded by next-gen publisher’s greed.
Many gamers are still discouraged; not only by its pricey insignia but also by the price of digital games themselves. It is not a new issue – most have been whining about the high-pricing of digital downloads for some years – but with the PS4 Pro signifying the true dawn of next generation gaming; isn’t the expensive price of digital versions exposing the short-sighted greed of companies like Sony and Microsoft?
It’s not uncommon for console publishers to undergo significant price reductions particularly when consoles approach the end of their life-span but for them to substitute price decrees on digital games seems improbable considering that a vast majority of consumers prefer in store purchases. The question that remains unanswered is why are digital games the same price as offline games? Remove the cost of Blu-ray discs, the tangible feeling of a plastic box, and all the other pleasures that come with offline purchases; you would surely save a lot of cash. So with all those additional costs removed why are gamers still forced to pay the same amount as the physical copy of a game? It makes no sense to the average gamer when it only reaps the benefits of Microsoft and Sony.
With Steam offering a relatively level playing field of fairer prices, PC gamers are able to determine what method of shopping they favour while also having premium prices when purchasing online. As you would expect virtual sales on steam have elevated while actual sales of boxed PC games have completely collapsed over the past decade.
Digital games do seemingly feel like a virtual dream into the future of gaming e-commerce, but with high-priced downloadable games offering no incentive for gamers – the true potential of digital shopping will not meets its peak – until international publishers savings start to be transferred onto the people that make the industry so successful; the players. The innovative consoles makers will begin to miss out on productive trades and the virtual system that they have been bragging about will certainly stagnate if they fail to match the worthy demands of hardcore gamers.
One thing is for sure, that we are unable to assess if the price of digital downloads will eventually drop with the age of next-gen. Sony has already begun answering unresolved questions of digital prices by unselfishly giving away full games as gifts to PS Plus members. Although it is a positive start, it still does not offer any solution to the outcry of lower priced downloadable games. It is an issue that has been dragged into the next era of gaming without any consideration towards the consumers. Nevertheless, if the game industry does not manage to come to a verdict then hopes of a digital future will certainly plummet along with lost sales. It is something that needs to be addressed now, especially if Sony and Microsoft want to make the next generation of gaming the most memorable of all console cycles.