Alan Smithee

Microsoft’s Games on Demand Puzzles Me

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Yesterday, it was announced that the MS Games on Demand service was announced with a list of games that are coming out for purchase through XBLA. Then came the speculation as to what the pricing should be, as of writing this article, the only clue as to what the games will be costing us is a piece on Joystiq that tells us that they’ll cost between 1600 — 2400 MSP which is $20 — $30 USD.

This is madness, I can easily go out to my local GameStore and pick up many of these titles for the same, if not cheaper, price that MS is offering. On top of that, if you buy the physical game, you’ll actually have SOMETHING besides the game data! I thought that digital distribution would drive costs down, not cost the same as the physical media…c’mon Microsoft get a clue!

I’ve taken the list of games released yesterday and assuming that the games do cost $20 each on the Games on Demand service, looked up the price on GameStop’s website and here’s what I found:

  • Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft) NO DIFFERENCE
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (LucasArts) +$2
  • Rainbow Six Vegas (Ubisoft) +$7
  • BioShock (2K Games) +$2
  • Mass Effect (Microsoft Game Studios) +$5
  • Ridge Racer 6 (Namco) +$14
  • Burnout Paradise (EA) +$2
  • Meet The Robinsons (Disney) +$7
  • Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis (Rockstar Games) +$10
  • Call of Duty® 2 (Activision) +$7
  • MX vs. ATV Untamed (THQ) +$2
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SEGA) +$5
  • Viva Piñata 2: Trouble in Paradise (Microsoft Game Studios) +$2
  • Need for Speed Carbon (EA) NO DIFFERENCE
  • Test Drive: Unlimited (Atari) NO DIFFERENCE
  • Fight Night Round 3 (EA) +$2
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted (EA) -$5
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2K Games/Bethesda Softworks) -$10
  • Prey (2K Games) +$2
  • Viva Piñata (Microsoft Game Studios) +$2
  • Karaoke Revolution American Idol Encore (Konami) NO DIFFERENCE
  • Kameo: Elements of Power (Microsoft Game Studios) +$10
  • Perfect Dark Zero (Microsoft Game Studios) +$12
  • Dance Dance Revolution Universe (Konami) +$7
  • Keep in mind this is all assuming that the games will all cost $20 only, though we do know that some games will be $30 and it’s a safe bet that Oblivion and NFS: Most Wanted are going to be at that $30 price point. I just don’t get it, how is this a better deal?

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