I’ve always thought of Xbox Live’s Games on Demand service is over-priced and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking so, Pav Bhardwaj doesn’t think so, but who is he to come to the defense of Games on Demand? Oh, he’s the UK Project Manager, apparently.
Shall we break down his statement and argue against it? Yeah, why not!
It comes down to choice. The customer has the choice of going to retail on day one if they really want to buy a particular title, or to wait a couple of months and buy it full price from the Xbox Live Marketplace.
This is where I have to be harsh and ask, what kind of idiot does that?
If I’m going to wait a couple of months, it’s so that I can buy the retail disc for around half of what it did on release, not to pay “full price” or about £5 less from the Marketplace.
It’s a successful part of our business, we’re very pleased with the growth and it continues to do really well. Clearly there’s an audience out there who are happy to purchase a product at full ERP six or so months after [its retail release].
That, to me, is quite surprising to know, that there is such a demand for the service. He says it continues to grow, but how do we know that this isn’t just a ploy to cover up a lack of popularity? Are there really that many suckers… I mean, gamers out there that would pay £19.99 for a game you could find online for as low as £5 brand new? Maybe that’s the problem, but then again, even high street stores drop their prices after a couple of months, so perhaps not.
We don’t do Games on Demand on day one, we focus on boxed retail for day one. That’s where our focus has always been and will remain that way for the foreseeable future, it’s a successful model, so why change something you don’t need to?
So with that, how far is, “the forseeable future”? Far enough that you’ve inadvertently just quashed the no disc drive neXbox? Of course they don’t or won’t do day one downloads, there’s no competition doing it that way since people will mostly go retail rather than download due to download generally costing more (despite there being no physical product).
It’s not worth changing because they profit so much from it or at least, the developers do and while that’s not a bad thing, the question is; just how big is the audience for Games on Demand? Until we see actual figures, we can only take Microsofts word for it.
How many of you buy from Xbox Live Games on Demand and do you pay full price or wait for a sale?