Hostility Towards Direct Download Only -- Justifiable, But there are Positives
There is a lively debate raging regarding the new PSP Go details that have been leaked today (but not yet confirmed by Sony) from the June episode of Qore, Sony's Monthly subscription based news letter on Playstation Network (PSN) -- specially, the lack of UMD direct and thus complete reliance on the systems internal 16 GB storage (which can be expanded w/ additional memory cards).
Main Critisim -- Lack of Physical Ownership - I, too, am someone who much rather prefers to physically own objects rather than in some virtual nebulous space. It provides a sense of comfort and satisfaction that I can see, touch, and manipulate what I own. So I was definitely resistant to the idea of direct download only but am starting to come around to the idea.
Leaving People Without Broadband in the Cold - Obviously, this model of Direct Download doesn't work for those without broadband connection; although PSP games will definitely be smaller than their home console brethren.
So it's sensible that Sony would continue to sell the PSP-3000 alongside the PSP Go to give broadband a chance to further spread across the United States.
Inability to Sell Used Games - This is probably the closet reason why people don't want to do-away with physical media. Well, you can't sell songs from iTunes or games for the Zune HD so there's no way around this point unfortunately. And it gets into the whole argument regarding the "gamer ethics" of buying/selling used games at the determent of the industry (assuming you only buy used games).
Ability to Redownload Games - One clear benefit of direct download is the ability to re-download a game if you should lose your system or have it stolen. There's been several posts these past couple of money from CAGers who have had such unfortunate situations happen to them, and everything is gone. If they want to play their games again, they need to repurchases them. If they wanted to sell those games eventually, then that's money lost. Direct Download, however, negates that situation in your freedom to redownload a game no matter the reason. Speaking only for the PSN, you can download a game UNLIMTED times to 5 PSP's. And if its a PS1 game, its 5 PSP's + 5 PS3s. Sonys DRM this gen is hands down the best by a mile. (Thanks to Blitz6Speed for clarification) I believe this concept was specifically created as space saving feature for those with small (ex. 20 GB) hard drives. Don't play a PSN game for a while? Delete it and re-download it again when you want to play it again.
I am personally afraid of losing my DS when traveling because I sometimes carry games that, combined, cost more than the system itself (because I often carry some more recent titles that still have high value). If I should lose my system or have it stolen, I only need to redownload the game to "restart" my collection. Sure, I lose all my save data but better than spending all that money on rebuying said software.
Potential Tiered Pricing Structure -- This is strictly hypothetical. What if, say, the Direct Download game was $5-10 cheaper than the physical version? With Patapon 2 being released at $20, and that's a full title with great reviews, I can see a tiered pricing structure entering the market.
Now will that strain relationships with retailers? Most likely, but it would mean that Sony would have to give Brick-and-Mortar shops a greater slice of the sales pie to make up for lost game sales due to direct downloads should they being to reach a critical mass.
But Sony would ultimately win because it's hard to argue saving $10 over 10 games is $100, and at $20 a game that's 5 new games you could own (assuming you don't sell your physical copies).
Initial Hostility Can Lead to General Acceptance Given Proper Time and Marketing:
Case in point -- money.
People used to store money at home, then banks came around where their holdings are stored remotely. Part of it was for safety reasons obviously, but I'm sure people were initially resistant to the idea until the system had established itself and there were laws governing it.
Then comes the stock market where all money is virtual. No one's actually lost money in the stock market right now so long as they don't actually cash out their holdings. And people seem to be perfectly fine investing their hard earned money into 401Ks managed by some person who they never know, nor have any real clue how things are run. Just stick your head in the sand and hope you come out on top.
And one doesn't even need to bring up the success of iTunes and other digital downloads, which have surpassed CD sales long ago and by a significant margin.
You can Copy UMDs to your Computer via a Peripheral - Sony does plan to release a peripheral for the PSP that allows you to copy your UMDs to the PSP Go. But then again, you already have a older PSP that can play UMDs so that shouldn't really be an issue. There is no stratification of the user base per-say IMO.
Conclusion: Thank you for listening to my diatribe, but I think this is a debate the gaming community needs to have. Whether we like it or not the way we interact with the world is becoming increasingly virtual. It's up to gamers to decide if this is acceptable or fight it tooth-and-nail.
|Comments (Total Comments: 15)|
|SynGamer - 05-30-2009, 11:37 PM|
|Cash_Bash - 05-31-2009, 12:06 AM|
|Monsta Mack - 05-31-2009, 12:12 AM|
|Ecofreak - 05-31-2009, 12:24 AM|
|Shimrra - 05-31-2009, 12:26 AM|
- 05-31-2009, 12:36 AM
Updated 05-31-2009 at 12:48 AM by anonymouswhoami
|RelentlessRolento - 05-31-2009, 12:53 AM|
- 05-31-2009, 01:41 AM
Updated 05-31-2009 at 02:02 AM by h3llbring3r
|Blackout - 05-31-2009, 02:38 AM|
|johnnypark - 05-31-2009, 10:49 AM|
|Riyonuk - 05-31-2009, 02:15 PM|
|AvidWriter - 05-31-2009, 07:36 PM|
|Jack-Hunter - 06-01-2009, 10:39 AM|
|FroMann - 06-01-2009, 05:10 PM|
|lolwaut - 06-01-2009, 07:23 PM|
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