The Download Revolution
The future is now. The future of video games and the online market may drastically change forever in the very near future. This has already started with the assimilation of the new PSP Go, which notably, doesn’t take UMD discs anymore. Sony is now requiring gamers to purchase and download games via it’s online store. While there are some pros and cons to this, downloading video games may soon be the future for all the video games we love and know.
Think about it, all the video game console systems, Nintendo Xbox360, Sony Playstation3, and the Nintendo Wii, all offer downloadable content. While at first this was meant to augment and amplify current games, with the ability to add expansion packs, more levels and more weapons, we now see that many games in their entirety are available for download. While this is mostly true for older games of the 16-bit and 32-bit generation, we may very well see this new uprising for new current market games. In reference to our previous post, OnLive is aspiring to taking this new future one step further. Instead of downloading games to your local console’s hard drive, OnLive promises to deliver the same action we get on our consoles today, via a live stream over the internet.
While there are clearly some good and bad aspects of this, as many gamers have seen on the PSP Go – the future of the video game market has yet to be determined. Yes it is kind of annoying that you can’t use any old UMD disc’s if you purchased a new PSP Go, but on the other hand it is pretty neat that you don’t need to travel to the video game store to purchase new game titles. By simply logging in, you can download games directly to your PSP’s memory stick to play. On the other hand, there are many gamers who like to buy a physical package, complete with box art, a game manual, and any extras you may find in special edition versions of video games. Waiting in line all night for the next release of Halo is truly indicative of the video game culture. Will this be gone in the near future? Will GameStop have to update with the times or will we see their sales suffer?
One notable news flash of recent occurrence was Amazon.com’s announcement to ‘stock’ and sell a large array of Sony video game titles, all available for download. With this new phase of a longtime partnership between the two corporate giants, Sony and Amazon, they have announced that over 200 game titles will now be on sale via Amazon.com’s online video game store. Technically speaking, gamers will pay and purchase a game via the online store, in which they are then given a registration code. By entering the code on their PSP, the game will now be available for download. In other respects, there are some minor concerns here. Since games will be downloaded, space may be limited depending on how capacious your memory stick is. This was obviously an advantage of buying a video game in a retail store, however on the other hand, downloading may save gamers time, and time means money in this day and age.
On a side note, Amazon.com and Sony’s online store also offer the ability to buy games as gifts for people. After payment is made, the registration codes can be sent to others which can be redeemed as a gift. This is a nifty little feature, but we still feel that most gamer enthusiasts would rather get a physical package with their video game. As aforementioned, the new Sony PSP Go disallow’s one to do so, because the console does not take discs. Whatever happened to swapping games with your friends when you were done playing? Or loaning out games to your neighbor or cousin, or even trading in games back to GameStop for credit towards other games? Will all these really cease to be so in the neat future? Total annhilation of the physical video game doesn’t seem possible, but a decline in these things, probably yes. By offering bonus materials, add-ons and updates, downloading games from places like Amazon.com may seem more appealing to some users in the long run. It is evident that most older games from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are now available via download on their online stores. For just a few dollars, you can download and play Super Mario Bros. 3 like we were back in 1990 – Yes, 1990, almost 20 years ago to date.
Will the future hold the same for current release titles that encompass gigabytes of video, music and gameplay data? It is often hard to imagine, but most of the video games we’ve known to love when we were younger, are seemingly smaller than the download video bokep of a single MP3 music file; All that music, data, and hours of gameplay can be condensed into a single tiny ROM file. We’ve truly come a long way in the past few decades. Will we look back upon this point in time and say the same things we are saying now in the next few years?
It is clear that the future of the video game market as we know it may be in for some big changes over the next decade. Microsoft, Nintendo and other video game manufacturers will need to jump on this bandwagon in order to stay alive. While they already have in some respects, further amplification of this may be required. Microsoft has already partnered up with companies like Netflix who provide movie content straight to your Xbox via download. Sony has done this more so with the video game market, while Nintendo has revived many of their older games. Furthermore, entertainment fixtures including movies, music, photos and console modifications continue to play a big role in the future of this industry. Whoever offers the most, will probably be best off, although at the moment we see a mixture between the triopoly in our current day video game market.