Microsoft has been playing with the idea for a long time now. Since the launch of the 360, users have had the option of downloading games directly to the hard-drive. We were than graced with the addition of “Xbox Originals”, a new feature that allowed users to download full Xbox games. Now we have the ability to play 360 games from our hard-drives after an install. I think where this will lead is the option to download full retail 360 games from Xbox Live.
We can view the feature above as the testing grounds to see how popular a feature like this would be. Also if we looked at the stats for Steam, we can see that PC users love direct downloads. This also eliminates the need to wait until midnight in the winter for a new game release. If Microsoft does go this route, they first need to figure out an alternative to the current point system, or create better bundles/deals to encourage the systems use. The question is are we ready? Do we want digital downloads?
I can speak only for myself, and I’m ready to use this, only if I can download my current titles to play off my hard-drive without having the game in the drive. I’m ready to purchase my games from Microsoft now.
One feature that has been tugging at the back of my skull, rentals. Using Xbox Live as a distribution service, Microsoft could allow developers and publishers to rent out full titles for seven days for say 400 points. This would give me less excuses to miss out on new releases. The only other thing I can think of to add would be a complete rip-off from Steam. Give users the option to pre-order a title giving us exclusive DLC, and when paid in full users could download the full title a couple of days in advance and would be “unlocked” on release day.
Now that I’ve blown your mind, add your thoughts to the discussion below, or send an email to [email protected] subject: “Digital Download”