Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I can has DLC?

The landscape of the gaming industry has changed. Retail is no longer the beast it once was. With the growing popularity of services like Netflix, the idea of digital distribution is becoming commonplace. Gaming is starting to take that route as Steam has been increasingly popular, offering an online platform for indie and triple A titles. Why then does the concept only apply to PC titles? Why can't it be integrated into all the consoles.

Well simply put, the consumer base isn't there. No person wants to pay the same amount of money for a digital copy then for a hard disk copy. With the current setup of internet security, digital distribution has not moved to the point where you feel safe and secure possessing a digital copy. Services like I-tunes consistently lose account data, causing people to repurchase something they already payed for.

With the wonky and unfriendly user interface that Microsoft uses with Xbox Live, apprehension is to be expected. I bring up Microsoft as they are the biggest contender for success of this model but the biggest offender to its failures. Recently Valve has announced why their DLC has to have a charge point. Essentially Microsoft's model forces them to have a price point for their DLC. So the new update is 7 dollars on Xbox Live and free on Steam for users with a PC. This creates such a wonderful message for Microsoft and their overall agenda to consumers everywhere. Why is it that I as a consumer am forced to pay for something that has always been free to me on the PC for the past ten years?

Well to put it simply, Microsoft believes in charging for everything, it was the way they operated in making PCs and software, its how they operate in terms of gaming. Their argument is that the prices create an economy and the prices regulated the growing economy on Xbox Live. That is a bunch of BullS@#t. You just can't admit openly that you love charging everyone for everything on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Five dollars for a Halo marine costume for your avatar? Seriously? If that is the landscape of things then I might as well buy all my games on the PC. Where at least I won't get charged pitons for all the services that have been free for the past seven to eight years. Thanks Microsoft.

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