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PlayStation (Games) Sony The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Sony Charges Publishers For DLC Bandwidth Usage 127

Posted by Soulskill
from the nothing-if-not-consistent dept.
tlhIngan writes "Since October 1, 2008, Sony has been billing game publishers for DLC bandwidth usage. The game companies are forced to pay 16 cents per gigabyte downloaded by users (the 'Playstation Network Fee') regardless of whether the content is free or paid. The good news is that free content will only be billed during the initial 60 days it's up, but paid content will require fees forever. (No word on whether free content will mysteriously disappear after 60 days, though.) Given that some popular game demos run over a gigabyte by themselves, it could easily start costing publishers serious money (16 cents each for a few million downloads adds up). So far, it hasn't cut down the content available (or few publishers have started pulling content), but it's too soon to tell. It should be noted that Microsoft isn't charging publishers any money for content on Xbox Live, though some may argue that the 'gold premium content' is the same thing." Perhaps this is one of the reasons various publishers are pressuring Sony for a PS3 price cut.
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Sony Charges Publishers For DLC Bandwidth Usage

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:10AM (#27277243)

    $0.16/GB is what you'd pay to serve content at pretty huge volumes. If they published it on any other website, they'd probably pay more.

    • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:19AM (#27277255)
      Quite true... and since there's not a "gold subscriber" subsidy like there is on Live, I think it's reasonable. It's not unheard of, considering the installed base, to charge for this, but I'm sure since Sony's been taking it on the chin P.R. wise, this will be magnified more than it really needs to be.

      To each his own. :) I wonder if anyone knows the going rates for Live content? I know the absurdly small file size probably nullifies that, as far as live arcade stuff goes, but what about demos? Does MS charge EA for demo space or is it simply rolled into the cost of your yearly gold membership? It's late... I'll google that tomorrow. :)
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft, on the other hand, limits the amount of size of the content you are allowed to put up on their marketplace. Certain megabyte allotment, 150 MB at the moment, although it's been only 50MB for a very long time leading up until now. I know this doesn't apply to all types of content, but it does to downloadable games... ...

        so who's stifling developers more? ...
        yay for wii and ridiculously overpriced snes roms; although this isn't fair to sony: while their ps1 downloadable offerings are cheaper, they

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The downloadable Watchmen game was over 1 GB.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Doctor_Jest (688315)
            ..And Microsoft had their "dilemma" about it, and temporarily (meaning they didn't want PSN to be the only place to get this game, even though it sucks) lifted their restriction. The game was $20 to boot. So they recouped any cash they would've lost in "overage" with the upped price, which I believe is the most expensive Arcade title to date. The previous was Braid at 1600 points, IIRC.

            What I enjoy is the total lack of 400 point titles anymore. :) MS quietly killed the less profitable titles in favor
        • by rdnetto (955205)

          Only arcade games are limtied to 150 MB. Demos don't seem to have the same restriction, as they often run into the gigabytes.

        • Don't know where you got the 150mb limit from, Halo 3 map packs are closer to 500mb, and then there are demo trailers over 150mb
        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          yay for wii and ridiculously overpriced snes roms

          Those things aren't cheaper on flea markets either except flea markets have a terrible selection so you probably won't find what you were looking for anyway.

      • by adisakp (705706)
        Parent is exactly right. Sony charges Publishers... while Microsoft charges the Users. Neither one are offering online services for *FREE*. It just depends who you think should pay for it.
      • Silver users get demos for free and are not charged for use.
    • by BlueBlade (123303)

      $0.16/GB is what you'd pay to serve content at pretty huge volumes. If they published it on any other website, they'd probably pay more.

      Are you sure? I admit I'm not in the hosting business, but that cost seems extremely high to me. I don't even pay that much for my home connection ($29.95 with a 200GB quota, $10 per 100GB slice over). I would assume that, for those huge upstream pipes, the cost will be much lower (2 or 3 cents per GB maybe?). Maybe someone who works for a big content provider can correct

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You forgot that they've already admitted that they make their entire system difficult and painful to use on purpose believing that it will extend it's life by making it more difficult to use it's full potential quickly.

      • Are you sure? I admit I'm not in the hosting business, but that cost seems extremely high to me. I don't even pay that much for my home connection ($29.95 with a 200GB quota, $10 per 100GB slice over). I would assume that, for those huge upstream pipes, the cost will be much lower (2 or 3 cents per GB maybe?).

        If I understand the situation correctly, Sony's offer includes content distribution. Presumably, users in Europe, the U.S. and Asia all have adequate bandwidth when downloading it. When you buy mere

      • >>>that cost seems extremely high to m

        Sony is losing massive amounts of money, because they were once the #1 console seller (over 200 million PS1 and PS2s sold) and now they are a distant 3rd place with the PS3.* That wasn't part of their original plan when they developed the PS3 so they find themselves deep in debt. Sony is probably charging more than they need to charge for upstream rates, because they're trying to earn extra dollars. It's what I do on ebay - offset losses on the sale by earni

        • "It's what I do on ebay - offset losses on the sale by earning profit on the Shipping/handling rate."

          You are a charlatan and a practitioner of the sharp practice that makes modern eBay suck, sir. Also you appear not to have mastered capitalisation. I suspect these facts are not unrelated.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Hey... I start almost all my videogame auctions at just 1 single penny. If the item sells at that price (and they often due since few people want ten-year-old games), I HAVE to cover my costs, which are approximately:

            2.50 postage
            0.50 bubble envelope
            0.75 ebay fees
            1.00 paypal fees
            0.25 misc stuff like foam/gasoline
            =================
            5.00 TOTAL for shipping plus handling, which is *exactly* the same amount that amazon.com charges to ship a videogame. Apparently amazon feels no guilt about making sure their cost

            • P.S.

              Doing the above doesn't make me a "charlatan" as you claim. It makes me a smart businessman. Only an idiot sells items at a 1-2 dollar loss - that is the fast lane to bankruptcy.

              Oh, and no you can't set a higher start price. Customers won't pay me $2.00 for an old game that my competition is selling for 1 cent. The two dollar auction would fail to get any bids.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm in the hosting business, I can tell you that 0.16/GB is a very good price.

        Most plans are over-subscribed. For example, I offer 80GB/mo transfer (no rollover) and I charge $100/year. However I charge $0.50/GB for overage. When a customer wants lots of bandwidth I usually try to steer them somewhere else.

        One guy wanted to host his video on my server instead of putting it on youtube, I canceled his account and refunded his money.

    • To me it sounds like they are using their status as a platform owner. It's like your landlord propping up the rent. Sure you can move out if you think it's unfair. But it will take time to pay off because of the high short-term cost of moving.
      It seems like every week another "App Store" is opening. They are not selling service, they are selling visibility.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      $0.16/GB is what an American would pay to serve content at pretty huge volumes.

      European and Asian bandwidth is much more sanely priced. I'm small peas and my costs are $0.04/GB for low volume, and around $0.007 for high volume (yes, 7 tenths of a cent).

      Yet another reason to thank internet porn. If porn hosting still cost $0.16/GB, it would be dead by now.

    • by karim113 (1505917)
      Are we sure it's $0.16/GB and not 0.16c/GB? After all, Sony and Verizon do a lot of business together.
    • by tzhuge (1031302)

      I would agree that the amount is small enough that it doesn't really matter at the end of the day. It does complicate the business case for demos and free content though, but I don't think it's enough of a cost to tip decisions one way or the other.

      The bigger problem is the PR. This is one more move that re-enforces the impression that Sony has shifted to mitigating their losses for this console generation. Dropping BC (seemingly less value in newer SKUs), being slow to cut the price, and now this. Each mov

      • A 1GB demo downloaded 1 million times costs $160K. That is big money in the game industry. There are over 20 million PS3's out there. If they all decided to download a demo, it could bankrupt the majority of the companies out there.
    • Well that blows.

      I know someone that signed up for with DreamHost [dreamhost.com] last year when they had the $9.99/yr promo one day.

      He's been pushing about 3TB per month from his fileserver. :P

      Lucky him, I guess?

      Even going with a webhost a bit more professional, which won't oversell... like say VPSville [vpsville.ca] or VPSlink [vpslink.com], you can get about 1TB of bandwidth for about $60/mo, which comes out to about $0.06/GB.

      Plus you get a bunch of beefy VPS's you can use for whatever you want, in addition to the downloading.

      Seems like a fine solu

  • I support this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by electrosoccertux (874415) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:21AM (#27277261)

    Hopefully this will keep publishers from shipping broken/empty games with plans of patching them up later (*cough* UT3 *cough*); and we could go back to actually getting a working game on the disk, not a game in need of a patch and more content.

    • Re:I support this (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun (899105) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:45AM (#27277385)

      Hopefully this will keep publishers from shipping broken/empty games with plans of patching them up later (*cough* UT3 *cough*); and we could go back to actually getting a working game on the disk, not a game in need of a patch and more content.

      Think about the math a bit. It's not exactly a deal-breaker to patch a game at $.16 per GB. That's only 16 cents out of their bottom line per game if they had to send a massive 1GB patch down to each user. Still, it's hard to say if this means we'll be less likely to see large, free demos to download on the PS3 in the future. It's probably more likely that publishers will still do this, but just factor this cost into their advertising budgets.

      Still, it just doesn't strike me as the wisest of decisions to alienate publishers when your console isn't exactly leading the pack. Publishers might be just slightly less inclined to publish on their platform in the first place, and Sony can't really afford to lose too much ground at the moment.

    • Re:I support this (Score:5, Insightful)

      by c1t1z3nk41n3 (1112059) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:47AM (#27277395)
      Maybe I'm too cynical but I find it more likely at this point that they'll just take the money and run. They already have your money after all, why pay for patches?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by KDR_11k (778916)

        Most companies make more than one game and usually these games are aimed at the same userbase. Of course a shovelware publisher would probably hope you'd just forget his name so the next time you come across one of his games you won't put it back the moment you see the name but most of the big name publishers and developers have reputations that directly affect their sales. Get a reputation for broken and unpatched games and you'll sell less of them (EA had to downsize over massive losses so don't point at

        • ...get a reputation for polished games and good patching and you get more sales (see Blizzard and Valve).

          I think of Bethesda when I see this post. Great games, diversity of gameplay and almost limitless freedom.... if you wait till the third major patch.

          I'll still buy it the first week, but I know it will be broken for 6 months.

      • by master811 (874700)

        Patching is still free, this only applies to demos downloaded via the PSN store (which patching isn't, its done in-game.)

    • by FLEABttn (1466747)
      Given the complexity of games today, it would likely mean the same game being shipped, sans patches that fix bugs later on. UT3 isn't some game from 15 years ago; the code base I'm sure is nowhere comparable, so to be quite honest, bug free games these days aren't a realistic expectation.
      • so to be quite honest, bug free games these days aren't a realistic expectation.

        I would have to disagree with that statement. On a PC yes, but on a closed system no. It's not like they have to facter in different hardware set-ups. They know what specs they are programming it for, it should come out at least 99% bug free. 99% as massive playing of any game will find some random bug or another down the line. There is no reason for a console game to be crippled by major flaws from the start.

        • it should come out at least 99% bug free

          A game (or any significant code) that's 99% bug-free is an absolute disaster, totally unusable. It's not like a spelling or grammar mistake, where the end-user can still figure out what was meant ...

          Then there's the whole issue of code that's correct, but still doesn't work the way the end-user expects. While not a software bug, it's certainly not a "feature."

          99.99% correct before shipping is more reasonable, and certainly achievable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Hopefully this will keep publishers from shipping broken/empty games with plans of patching them up later (*cough* UT3 *cough*); and we could go back to actually getting a working game on the disk, not a game in need of a patch and more content.

      Don't worry, they'll just charge you for the patches.

    • by master811 (874700)

      FYI, patching is NOT done through the PSN store, this ONLY applies to Demos. Patching is done via a separate system and is automatic when you start the game, so this $.16 per GB doesn't apply here.
       
      In other words patching is still free.

    • by RyoShin (610051)

      I'm more worried that it will prop up a trend that already happens: include "extra" content on the game, but don't allow a player to access it until they've paid for the "extra" content.

      The download is thus a mere MB, or something likewise intangibly small, so the publisher gets their cake and eats it, too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21, 2009 @02:47AM (#27277283)

    at 16 cents per gigabyte, with most content, paid or otherwise, being a lot less in size than that - I see nothing wrong. If you're giving out a few gigs worth of content, chances are you're doing it for money or you're going to get the money back in some way.

    All the free content that was up before is still up now.

    Yes I own a PS3. Sometimes I play online a lot, sometimes i dont touch the system for months, sometimes its moderate usage. It's more than paid itself off when compared to a $50 a year live fee.

    And yes, I would definitely argue that xbox live subscriber is the same thing...

    I mean, how is it not? Very few users are going to download over $50 worth of bandwidth content a year at this measure =\, on any system.

    A NOTE:
    -this "content" is limited to the store only. Game updates are not done through sony in any way. They are still free. Online gaming on the ps3 has been and still is free of bandwidth charges - due to the fact that usually the games run on publishers' servers, not on sony's.

    • by steeviant (677315)

      well done Anonymous Coward you hit the nail on the head.
      I own both a PS3 and an Xbox360 (lucky me). I do not live in the USA and US$50 is a lot of my local money just for online content. So I have never paid for Live Gold membership - bad luck for any developers marketing there wares for Xbox360. As for Sony charging the game developers for marketing - better them than the poor end user.

      Finally - I have owned a PC for many years and I have never had to pay any internet subscription charges just to play game

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I own both a PS3 and an Xbox360 (lucky me). I do not live in the USA and US$50 is a lot of my local money just for online content. So I have never paid for Live Gold membership - bad luck for any developers marketing there wares for Xbox360. As for Sony charging the game developers for marketing - better them than the poor end user.

        You do realize that every Xbox360 console comes with Xbox Live Silver, right? That gives you access to the Xbox Live Marketplace, most of the game trailers and demos, and other s

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:26AM (#27277345)

    DLC and micro transactions are quickly becoming anoying. Now developers are beginning to simply give you less for more, and charge you later for the things they left out.

    The worst is when the content is actually on the actual game disc, but it needs to be unlocked via online purchase.

    Its only going to get worse.

    • Last night I purchased the new Call of Duty map pack, practically solely for the new zombie level. At $8, it was pretty pricey, but I know we'll play it enough to justify it. But you can't just get $8 worth of Microsoft points, you have to get $12.50. Bullshit.
    • Don't forget locking demos to people who already bought the game! It just breaks the reason for demos in the first place.
  • Untenable (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anenome (1250374) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @03:33AM (#27277363)

    Developers do not appreciate this at all. Live is more successful, both from a consumer and developer point of view. Not all consumers want to play online at all, so they don't need to pay for it. And shifting the burden to developers, to put them in a position where the more popular their game is the more money it costs them is not a good position at all.

    • And shifting the burden to developers, to put them in a position where the more popular their game is the more money it costs them is not a good position at all.

      But the more popular it is, the more copies they will sell as well. Where did that fit into your equation?

      You seem to think a developer would be going "dammit, my game is too popular, and the demos that cost my $0.20 are hardly offset by the $60.00 sale price that millions are forking over. Pull the plug on my overly successful game!"

      Shifting the

      • You seem to think a developer would be going "dammit, my game is too popular, and the demos that cost my $0.20 are hardly offset by the $60.00 sale price that millions are forking over.

        There speaks someone with absolutley no frakking clue about the retail chain. The developer sees maybe 25%-30% of that at best. Now factor in the development cost. COD4 cost an estimated $20,000,000 to develop and market. Bearing in mind the developer gets nothing for second hand sales, it needs to shift a million units just to break even on that one game. If you've got several games you've released which have all cost $20m each and some don't sell a million copies, then the more successful ones need to tak

        • by nschubach (922175)

          There speaks someone with absolutley no frakking clue about the retail chain. The developer sees maybe 25%-30% of that at best.

          Sounds like you might not be too sure yourself... maybe 25-30%? Was that a guess?

        • There speaks someone with absolutley no frakking clue about the retail chain. The developer sees maybe 25%-30% of that at best.

          So what? It's still $20 vs. $0.20. It's still orders of magnitude off, and it's still valid to say the cost of the DOWNLOADS are not going to make or break the thing. Development costs don't enter into my point whatsoever. You are missing the very large tree we are discussing in order to preen yourself over your amazing knowledge of the forest.

          Nice try, smarty pants.

      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        Depends on how many demo downloads turn into sales and how many of those sales were caused by the demo. I know more demos have pushed me away from a game than pulled towards it and sometimes it's just because I felt insulted by the demo's restrictions (like ending after 20-30 seconds of game time like the arcade remakes on XBLA).

        • Depends on how many demo downloads turn into sales and how many of those sales were caused by the demo.

          Yes, but if you are trying to sell a game a level of interest high enough to generate large demand for downloads is always, always a GOOD THING. Even if some people are pushed away (It was Mirror's Edge for me that had this effect), those people were on the fence enough they would not have bought otherwise. Basically there are very few scenarios in which the very minimal cost of distributing demos is goi

    • by wshwe (687657)

      Not all gamers have high speed Internet access, especially in today' economy.

  • not all that bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @04:03AM (#27277435)
    it doesn't look anymore expensive than paying for hosting else where to serve your files, and it's a damn sight better than expecting us to pay for it. i sense this story is an attempt at the usual /. sony hate nonense
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by dougisfunny (1200171)

      I pay $10 a month for 2.5 terabytes of transfer. Thats about .4 cents per gigabyte.

      • by scuba0 (950343)
        And then servers, software and people to monitor and serve it?
        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by dougisfunny (1200171)

          Thats what I'm paying $10 a month for.

          • by scuba0 (950343)
            So you have a server where you can decide delivery method of the download and limit to only PS3s for $10?

            And how about guarantee of uptime, should you use the same servers in US, EU and Asia?
            • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

              by dougisfunny (1200171)

              Are you intentionally obtuse?

              Sony isn't pushing files down onto the PS3s, the PS3s are requesting the files from a server and downloading them. What does the delivery method matter? Do you want UPS overnight or something? Its a file download, at its most complicated a secured session file download.

              I'm just pointing out that as a comparison simple web hosting goes for about .4 cents per gigabyte, 40 times less than what Sony is charging.

              • I think Sony are providing a content distribution network as well, which gives far higher availability and performance than just having a server somewhere does. There's also the cost of providing storage for that data (on all the servers in the CDN that end up mirroring the content), as well as a means for securely uploading it to the servers and making it appear in the store or however the PS3 works. I expect a good chunk of the cost is to cover the development and maintenance needs of the portal.

              • by scuba0 (950343)
                It is not just to put the files on an FTP and expect everything to work. It's ridiculous you'd even think it's that easy.
                • All PS3s needs to find the files.
                • An EU system might not have access to a US file.
                • Distributing using mirrors/different locations.
                • Storage and uptime.
                • The Playstation Store.
                • Not allowing a non PS3 system to download files.
                • Statistics so they can charge the correct amount and keep track of popularity.

                I'd like to see how you get that and 2,5 GB transfer per month! On top of all this the most ex

      • Re:not all that bad (Score:4, Informative)

        by Kalriath (849904) * on Saturday March 21, 2009 @06:36AM (#27277793)

        Sounds like Dreamhost or some other equally terrifying overseller.

        You do realise that your host hasn't actually got capacity to deliver you 2.5 terabytes right? If you actually managed to transfer that, they'd mysteriously find some way to terminate your account, because they count on you buying "2.5 terabytes" and using 250 megabytes. If everyone actually used 2.5 terabytes, the host would be bankrupted by the end of month invoice from their upstream provider.

    • by EvilIdler (21087)

      Yeah, hosting costs.

      But is it "the usual Sony hate"? It seems one group of people hate Sony, another Microsoft, a third group hates Apple here on this site. There are also RedHat haters, Debian haters and so on. But they're *not the same people*. Personally, I hate everything and tolerate whatever is most fun :)

      • I, personally, hate Microsoft *and* Apple thankyou very much (I forgave Sony, since they haven't done anything really horrible outside the music division, an dI also hate Amazon, so I need Son for an ebook reader).

  • What I find with PSN is that a lot of games, big titles too (Call of Duty 4 and 5 for example) have some horrendous bugs that ruin online play - such as the (now patched) CoD5 Castle level where you could get under the play area and kill but not be killed.

    If Sony pays the bills with content providers and not from its customers subscriptions then there isn't the direct incentive to put pressure on developers to fix games quickly that there would be if the customer base withdrew funding.

    They also seem to care

    • As mentioned elsewhere, this fee doesn't apply to patches. And it isn't Sony who put bugs in CoD5, it was Activison/Treyarch. Why do you blame Sony for buggy 3rd party games?

      In every online game I've played on PSN and Live you can mute players if they are causing feedback or saying stupid stuff. It's not a function of PSN (or Live), and it's done differently in each game. Kicking players depends on the game, most games won't let you kick people on Live or or PSN.

      • I'm not blaming Sony and I didn't say I was. I said that if PSN was subscriber funded it would encourage Sony to put pressure on developers to fix bugs IF PSN started losing subscribers.

        You can only mute in game, not in the waiting areas.

  • If you did this on one of ATT's data plans, like Blackberry, I-Phone, PDA, etc, it costs $0.00048/KB. Sounds cheap till you multiply it out.

    Guess I won't be using Netflicks over it, never mind games.

  • I didn't think that needed an acronym.

    • by xplenumx (703804)
      Thank you. When I saw DLC, I kept reading it as "Dynamin Light Chain", which I know is wrong for this site (and makes no sense for Sony). As Google is my friend, I googled DLC and saw "Democratic Leadership Council", "Digital Learning Commons", "Digital Library of the Commons", among others - but no "Downloadable Content". Google "Sony DLC", and you get a bunch of hardware. So I read the article - it took me a few seconds to realize that what DLC meant, as I wasn't thinking to look in the middle of a wo
      • by Lproven (6030)
        DLC is already a standard IT industry term, and for actual knowledgeable people who know about computing -- as opposed to semi-literate games weenies -- it means Data Link Control [wikipedia.org], which is a network protocol used by IBM SNA mainframes and peripherals and HP LaserJet printers, JetDirect print servers and other network-attached printers. It is also a layer in the OSI 7-layer network model.

        What it doesn't mean is "downloadable content", because "download" is a single word.

        So whoever came up with this ne
    • Thank you for that!

  • 1 GB for a demo is huge. Sure, it probably represents a smaller percentage of the release game than it used to, but still.

    $0.16 for 200 000 downloads works out to be $32000, so for a large publisher this is probably just a dip in the ocean when it comes to their marketing budget. For a smaller company the cost might hurt a bit more. Whether this means smaller demos or a change in approach by the publishers it is hard to tell.

    Part of the reason Sony is doing this, is probably because this is what they are be

  • It bogles the mind why they don't use torrents. They could even set it up so your ps3 turns on at some time of the night. And downloads the "latest content" over torrents using something like an rss feed. eliminating the need to wait when using the store (for demos). Costs nothing in terms of bandwith. With the number of ps3s sold, and a rather small set of data to distribute (compared to all the data that torrents generate currently), this would be very fast. It just seems like a no brainer.
  • I support this http://library.bpeer.com/movie/ [bpeer.com]
  • It seems that Sony's service is not so free after all. I mean someone is getting shafted for bandwith fees and in this case it's the publishers. So while we get the demos for free you can bet that it will find a way back to the consumer somehow. Maybe we'll start seeing games for $64.99 to cover the costs of development or they'll just scale back demos and other dlc. At the end of the day nothing is really "free".
  • This raises a question I've had for a long time: If the consumer has a gaming PC or game console, does it take less bandwidth to send them a CG movie in polygon form or in MPEG/H.264 form? GTA4 on Xbox 360 is an enormous game that fits into 7 GB. If you made a 720P 60FPS H.264 movie of a fairly thorough playthrough of GTA4 including cutscenes, how many GB would that be? If TV/movie studios want to send an entire TV series in HD to customers over the internet, they might save a lot of bandwidth fees if they could send it as polygons instead of MPEG. Of course, the TV series could only be created by artists at computer desks, not by actors on sets, so bandwidth capping would give game companies an advantage over Hollywood on the internet. I doubt even Pixar or Dreamworks would send their movies as game console-ready polygons because they're used to having nearly infinite memory and rendering time.

    Ultimately, Hollywood will have to do some major lobbying and investing with the telecoms so that every home can affordably stream real HD video over the internet.

  • Is Sony Suicidal? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Saturday March 21, 2009 @04:42PM (#27281877)

    You know, the more I hear about this kind of crap, the more I wonder if Sony is actually trying to ruin the PlayStation brand name. Every move they make seems to contradict common sense when it comes to business, almost as though they're afraid that following standard business tactics will make them seem weak to the consumer and their investors.

    At the rate Sony is going, the PS3 will be the end of the line for the company as a console manufacturer, just like the Dreamcast did for Sega. Even though a console is technically great, it won't survive if the marketing strategies are poorly executed.

    Just think, all of those great remaining PS3 exclusive franchises might become XBox 360 exclusives well before the predicted 10 year life span of the PS3 ends... complete with sony's own logo on the package!

  • So seems like complaint was about fees game-distributors might have to pay for user downloading a free-demo. If they have no other fees to pay, sounds like they are paying .80cents for a targetted demo 5GB demo 'advertisement'/person.

    How does this compare to ad costs through other forms to targetted, on-request-by-potential-customer, ads?

  • 1GB for a demo? That's a ridiculous amount of data. I suspect that there's much unneeded info in most demo downloads. If charging the developer makes them put more effort into cutting out the crap, then I say it's money well charged.

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

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