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Games Entertainment

Amazon Rolls Out Release-Day Game Delivery 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-the-lazy-and-impatient dept.
1Up reports that Amazon has launched a new service for getting certain games into the hands of customers on release day, rather than simply shipping the games on release day. According to the press release, the service will be free for Amazon Prime customers, and available to everyone else for a $5.98 charge on upcoming titles Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Fable 2 and Gears of War 2. They tested the program recently with the release of Soul Calibur IV.
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Amazon Rolls Out Release-Day Game Delivery

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  • Hmm? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MeanderingMind (884641) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @04:25PM (#24755987) Homepage Journal

    Isn't there always someone who brags about getting their Amazon ordered copy of a game before the release date, or has that become a thing of the past?

    • by ivan256 (17499)

      It happens sometimes. I've had them blow the 2-day delivery and gotten games from them a week late too though.

    • I'm not sure about games being delivered before the release date, but they've done this for books.

      My copy of Ron Paul's book, The Revolution - A Manifesto actually came a few days early.

      Amazon has done Release-day book delivery Harry Potter books. I don't know if this is standard procedure for books because I pre-order so few.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gad_zuki! (70830)

      It should be. Why are we wasting packaging and transportation on digital files? How about they sell me digital delivery instead of more extra fees for "SUPER FAST SHIPPING!!!"

      Its incredible how behind the times the game industry is in digital delivery.

      • Re:Hmm? (Score:5, Funny)

        by LandoCalrizzian (887264) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @05:20PM (#24756649)
        I couldn't agree more. It's like the game industry is full of hot air when it comes to digital delivery. If only someone could charge full STEAM ahead with solving this problem.
      • by daeg (828071)

        As long as they allow complete backups AND can install patches from the original developers, sure. This whole system of digital downloads requiring separate patches, limited backup abilities, etc is ridiculous. Look at the fate of the failed music services turning off their key servers... it's only a matter of time before that happens to a game service, too.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Quite so, I'm willing to spend some cash on physical media because I can install it whenever I need to do so, whether or not my internet connection is available.

          Any game which requires a phone home doesn't get purchased, or if slipped in discretely gets returned. Any publisher I catch pulling that sort of bull, isn't going to be selling me any more games.

          I personally like the idea of downloads, but in most cases I'd rather have the physical media for when I reinstall. All that limit 3 installations stuff is

          • by tepples (727027)

            Any game which requires a phone home doesn't get purchased

            I take it you don't play a lot of multiplayer PC games. Multiplayer games over the Internet need to phone home to run the server that makes the game world persist, or for matchmaking even in non-massive games.

          • by Ilgaz (86384)

            "Any game which requires a phone home doesn't get purchased, or if slipped in discretely gets returned."

            I fail to understand the logic behind buying a software with your credit card which has all your details including your home address and not letting game/software to check for updates using your worthless (compared to CC) IP address.

        • Valve has said that if they turn off their servers that they will release a patch disabling the DRM first. Steam also has a backup feature.
      • by ozphx (1061292)

        I guess you haven't heard of Steam [steampowered.net], Valve's digital distribution mechanism.

        Before the Team Fortress 2 release I clicked pre-load, downloading the entire game. Then when I paid (which happened to be a couple of days after release - I was busy) - I got immediatish (decryption time of a couple of minutes) access.

        You could have tried this yourself - last weekend was a "Free Weekend", the benefit of digital delivery (and yes, DRM), is that they can yank your game back off you after the weekend is over ;)

        • by Kalriath (849904) *

          Or they could yank it back off you because they don't want you having it, like you "violated the EULA" by ... dare I say it, buying the game from another territory because your territory is 75x more expensive.

          Steam sucks. Period.

          • by ozphx (1061292)

            Thats when you yank the money back off them with your credit-cards fraud protection.

            Theres nothing stopping any other multiplayer game from blacklisting your UID, no matter how its delivered. Valve tends to block your account from "secure" servers if you install cheats - they only remove a game if your payment is declined.

            If the game has a single player component then you can happily warez it if you care that much, and play on LAN servers (or whatever is allowed without your key).

            TBH I suggest it leads to h

            • by Kalriath (849904) *

              They also remove the game if you claim you're from a different region because you object to paying 300% of the US price for the same game.

        • by gad_zuki! (70830)

          Ah yes steam, which requires me to authenticate to play single-player non-online games. Or the steam I've had to reinstall a few times because of bugs. Or the steam that refuses to let me play TF2 because of some random error. Or the steam that bans whole accounts for any reason which means you just lost all your games.

          We dont need a friggin DRM framework to download games. Give me the exact same installer youre putting on the CDs and call it a day.

      • Some do manage it. Last game I bought this way was Savage 2 --- awsome game, runs on linux, and with the dollar so low, quite cheap :)

      • by Ilgaz (86384)

        They are the same company who invented "auto torrent generation", that makes me wonder more.

        Any file at Amazon S3 can become torrent based if its vendor allows it. E.g. instead of www.s3aws.com/huge.exe , if you put www.s3aws.com/huge.exe?torrent , it comes you as torrent file and it starts tracking it.

        (btw I forgot the s3 domain, it could be something else)

  • This is News? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Oh wait, I forgot on Slashdot we like to advertise for companies. Also, this is something numerous other companies have been doing for years (EBGames for example) at no charge other than the shipping to get it to you.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by StingRay02 (640085)
      This is also a tad old. Unless Amazon can get me Tiger Woods in the next nine hours, they're going to miss the release date.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by MBraynard (653724)
      Yeah, I was just thinking about that. I remember EB games shipping me the original Xbox on release day and the games also arrived on release day that I subsequently order.

      On the other hand, who really MUST have a game on release day? Get a life, really.

  • I'll wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @04:26PM (#24756005) Homepage Journal

    $6 extra for a $50-$60 game? Forget that. I'll wait a day or two and enjoy a lunch out.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      $6 extra for a $50-$60 game? Forget that. I'll wait a day or two and enjoy a lunch out.

      Denny's... here I come!

    • Agreed, hell most games I'm likely to wait a year or two before even bothering to buy. What do I miss out on? Bugs, patches, crashes, glitches, and if it's multiplayer:hacks (although that can be arguable depending on success of game)
    • Well, you may feel that way, but i know all those people who camp out for hours to pick up a game might be interested in this.
      -Taylor

    • Or troll down to your local best buy/target/etc and pick up a copy on release day. Gamestop-o sometimes holds games if you didn't pre-order, but other than Wii games that come with a plastic gadget I've never seen places not have plenty of discs in this day and age.
    • by edcheevy (1160545)
      Or you could sign up for the Amazon Prime trial, which is free.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by rtechie (244489) *

      This is highway robbery. $6 just to play the game 12-24 hours earlier? WTF? I hate GameStop with a passion, but even they offer a better deal. Plus, GameStop tends to have pre-order bonuses other retailers don't have.

      Please don't get me wrong about Gamestop. I hate them. I've sued them twice. Their entire business model revolves around ripping off little kids.

      • by rtechie (244489) *

        Someone on /. must really love GameStop. You might like them, but their business revolves around buying used video games from little kids that don't know they could do far better on ebay, or on craigslist, or trading with thier friends and then selling those used games hugely marked up. GameStop typically gives $3 for a game the sell for $25.

        GameStop has a blatantly illegal return policy. They refuse to give you your money back on anything, ever. Those suits? Over getting them to return stuff. One of the th

    • Just go to your local game store.. it's right next to your lunch spot, and you don't have to worry about shipping.
    • ... but for some of us, the difference between $50 and $56 is not so much a lunch out as it is staying an extra four minutes past quitting time. I don't normally worry too much about exactly when I get my brand new toys, but for the ones I've been eagerly anticipating for forever, sure, bill me for the FedEx. (Better still, figure out how to let me download you in advance. I love digital delivery and I spend my entertainment budget appropriately, industry watchers!)

    • by harl (84412)

      Exactly.

      I've been buying games on launch day for as far as I can remember and not once have a paid a $6 premium to do so.

  • Not so new really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lanoitarus (732808) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @04:27PM (#24756021)
    Didnt they already do this for book releases (harry potter methinks)? Not such a revolutionary offering in that case, although still a welcome one. Amazons shipping and fulfillment system continually impresses me. If they ever joined forces with newegg we might reach singularity.
  • Great! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moo083 (716213) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @04:28PM (#24756047)
    I have Amazon Prime, and got Soul Calibur IV from them and this was awesome. I hope they'll do this for all new games!
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @04:35PM (#24756127)
    Here in the UK companies have been shipping games out so that they reach customers on the release date for at least the past eight years, and probably more than a decade. Gameplay always guaranteed it with first-class mail, which usually meant you got a game 2-3 days before release, and almost everyone else does it on their free delivery option (e.g. Play.com). Amazon.co.uk is about the only exception that springs to mind.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      I believe we do. Or at least Best Buy shipped my prerelease order of The Beast with a Billion backs so that it would arrive on the release date. It ended up coming a day early.

      I'd be surprised if Best Buy wouldn't do that for games. I'm sure there are other retailers that will as well.

      • by Sockatume (732728)
        I thought so, it seemed terribly unlikely that mail order places would hold off like that.
    • In America the mentality is different. If you can charge for something, why do it for free?
    • Yeah, this is a situation where US distribution mostly falls flat-on-its-face.

      I don't know the whole story, but my understanding is that GameStop has the US market pretty much wired down for first-day delivery. Due to the deals they have with publishers, if you aren't them or a handful of other big-name stores, the publishers won't even ship you the game on day 1 because they want to go with channels that have a proven track record.

      Amazon being added to the set of big names for the publishers is a big step

  • by bconway (63464) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @04:40PM (#24756173) Homepage

    I was getting games and movies on release day from Buy.com circa 2000, and I'm pretty sure I've run into it a few times since then. Is anyone going to fall for Amazon's "service?"

  • This is a great feature, and I love Amazon Prime. However, does anybody know if they already have this for books as well? I noticed my last D&D book which was released last Tuesday got here that same day. I used Two-Day shipping (free with Prime).
    • by k_187 (61692)
      I know they've done it with the Harry Potter books.

      To me, its not worth 6 bucks, you'd spend less than that in gas to pick something up at a store, probably.
      • by Alex777 (1113887)
        The problem with that is you'd have to pay tax. Between the tax and the gas money, it's about a wash. I'd just as soon wait a few extra days and save the money.
        • The problem with that is you'd have to pay tax.

          You have to pay tax either way. When you buy in a B&M, the register adds sales tax to your order. When you buy from an online store with no warehouse in your state, you declare the value in the use tax field of your annual state income tax form.

  • This is what I repeatedly asked amazon for and now they had enough of us ask for it that they deliver.

    Excellent service. I am already a prime member so I'm highly looking forward to this one.

  • Amazon Prime (Score:4, Interesting)

    by oahazmatt (868057) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @04:50PM (#24756297) Journal
    I tried Amazon Prime. I got a free trial and decided to pick up some random things that didn't qualify for the super-saver shipping.

    The problem with that, is while the 3-5 day shipping comes UPS at around 6:00 PM, when I'm home from work, the 2-day shipping comes during business hours and requires a signature and they won't leave it with the apartment's office. So in order to get the items I ordered I had to drive 30 minutes to the UPS center, wait until they opened it for pick-up, and then wait for my driver to show up with my delivery.

    I cancelled AP before it rolled over into a charge. I was hoping there was some sort of feedback form, but there was not.

    Be careful of any special shipping you get from Amazon, because there's a chance it becomes two-day-get-your-butt-over-here-and-pick-it-up-yourself.
    • by bilbravo (763359)
      That problem is entirely UPS or whomever the parcel carrier was... I guess you could argue that amazon should use someone else's service, but in my experience whether the package is left at the leasing office depends on 2 things: the carrier, and the relationship of the carrier and the leasing office.
      Point in case, UPS will leave things at the leasing office but FedEx will not. I asked the FedEx guy why not, and he said that he always gets a bad attitude from the lady in the leasing office.
      • FedEx will leave it at your door if you leave a note saying:

        DATE

        Mr. FedEx driver: Please leave package with tracking number XXXXXXXXXX on the back porch/between the doors/wherever.

        thank you,

        your name
        sig

        Address, including zip/postal code.
        • It really depends where you live and if the shipper feels that your location is "safe". Neither FedEX nor UPS will leave a package at my condominium, even if the delivery notice slip is signed. They will, however, drop packages off without signature at my friend's house 10 miles away.
        • No.
          It depends on the item.

          There are 5 basic categories.

          Drop it somewhere and forget it.
          Leave it with a person / responsible-looking dog (no dogs with shifty eyes!).
          Get some sort of signature.
          Get an adult's signature (as opposed to a minor's).
          Get the recipient's signature.

          In normal circumstances, what is required is dependent upon three factors:

          Type of service requested by sender.
          Declared value of the items / value of insurance on the items.
          Type of item (booze? medical supplies? "Electric wand massager"?).

        • That's... not such a good idea if you live in the city. Plus, I'm not sure they'd actually follow instructions like that (liability and all) unless you call and register the request with their dispatch or whatever they call it.
    • by nullforce (743444)
      Amazon allows you to ship to an address other than your home address. I usually have my packages delivered to my workplace. As a side benefit, UPS and FedEx typically deliver to commercial addresses first.
      • I've found that having things delivered to work tends to get them a day earlier than getting them delivered at home. Not to mention actually having someone there to sign for it if needed...

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      I've placed about 30 orders with amazon this year (so obviously I use Prime...) due to some uniqueish circumstances. Ranging from $1.30 to about $200 per order.

      I have *never* had to sign for a package. I've had the UPS guy knock on the door and hand it to me, leave it outside the door after knocking, and leave it on the driveway.

      Of course I'm in a small town of 1000 people - so leaving stuff out is pretty normal...

      When I lived in the big city though, UPS/fedex/DHL always left packages with the valet, signat

  • I've had the same type of service from GameStop.com for a while now. GTA IV, Soul Caliber IV, Lego: Indiana Jones, just to name a few.
  • by Sp00nMan (199816) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @10:47PM (#24759863) Journal

    Can someone explain to me how this is better than just going to my local store on a release day and buying it? Why pay Amazon $6 more to get it on the same day? I don't get what Amazon is thinking??

    • by terrarum (1352041)
      Simple, some people (like me) are lazy. Paying more is a bit silly, free delivery is usually good enough, as a few others are saying.
      • by Sobrique (543255)
        I order from Amazon, because I like their recommendations system, and their huge catalogue. I'll batch my orders, and when I get enough for free delivery, I'll press the button.

        That works nicely for me.

        If I'm after something _right now_ i'll go out and buy it, but usually this is on _my_ schedule (e.g. I feel like a new film to watch) rather than anything to do with publisher/distribution schedules.

        *shrug*. Don't understand the people who must have the new release RIGHT NOW. It smells too much of being

        • by terrarum (1352041)
          I buy most things I want from Amazon, unless my staff discount at work can get it for me cheaper. I just like waking up in the morning, going downstairs, and hey look there's my copy of GTA IV waiting for me. A friend of mine in the US drove to a store, paid the pre-order fee, then woke up early on release day and drove there again to pay the rest and collect it, and all that got him the game one day before me. That said, I don't own a car, so who knows?
    • (As a UK citizen) is that Amazon usually charges less than the game shops. It might be different in the US, but over here a game that will go in the shops for £35 or £40 (approximately $70 - $80) will usually be on sale at Amazon for £25 ($50).

      Even factoring in the delivery charge, it's still likely to be cheaper than retail.

      I've not been into a game shop in years. Just never darken their doors. I use Amazon for the games I want at close to release date, and computer fairs for older stu

    • by Zorikin (49410)

      It's madness. The press release makes reference to "long lines" to buy new video games. I stood in a line to pre-order a Wii at GameStop and since then I have never seen any such line. With no pre-order, I bought GTA4 on the week of release and got a $10 gift card. The GameStop $5 deposit is bad enough, but a $6 pre-order fee on top of retail? It's like they're trying to punish us for planning things out responsibly.

  • Why can't I buy DVD ISO of a game or a executable which would produce copy protected DVD-R of game with my credit card making you and game developer profit more instead of plastic manufacturers and DHL?

    I am also outside USA which means $30-$40 paid for reliable plastic delivery.

    Why are game/software developers obsessed with boxes and plastic? Really... Is there a DHL/FedEx conspiracy? :)

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