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GameStop Wants To Sell Secondhand Digital Download Video Games 123

Posted by Soulskill
from the secondhand-ones-and-zeroes dept.
MojoKid writes "GameStop makes a killing selling used videogames, but what happens to that business model when digital distribution platforms run physical media out of town? That's not anything to worry about today, tomorrow, next week, or even next year, but at some point, GameStop will have to deal with the direction the games industry is headed, and it may already have a solution. GameStop CEO Paul Raines recently brought up the possibility of reselling used digital downloads."
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GameStop Wants To Sell Secondhand Digital Download Video Games

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  • Good Luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NalosLayor (958307) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @02:14AM (#40806075)
    Putting an end to Gamestop's business model is exactly what the publishers intended to do when they started moving to digital downloads. Add to that the DMCA which makes it illegal to circumvent such practices and the non-existence of the right of first sale for digital goods and Gamestop is up a creek without a paddle. And as much as I dislike Gamestop, so are we.
    • Yup. GameStop won't be able to do the same thing with digital copies as they could with hard, physical copies; their business model is going down the crap shoot and consumers won't be far behind because you can't resell these digital copies. eBay items will evaporate as will the low prices.

      • Re:Good Luck (Score:4, Interesting)

        by wmbetts (1306001) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @02:29AM (#40806123)

        If I were going to attempt this I wouldn't be selling used games, but whole accounts. For example you have a steam account with games x,y, and z and a steam account with just game x. I would pay you more for account 1 than account 2. There's already market places setup for things like wow accounts. A quick google search pulled up something called armorybids. Yeah, it's against their ToS, but it's not illegal yet.

        • Since its against the tos, what's to stop them closing the accounts when they find they've been sold? That'll lower the value and demand for "second hand" accounts bit.
          • by wmbetts (1306001)

            Blizzard does exactly that. I'm sure it stops some people from buying them, but based on the prices I saw on that website it seems some people are willing to pay outrageous amounts for some accounts.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I heard something about the European Union saying that here in Europe people were allowed to sell their second hand media so if they used ToS to do something like that here then presumably they would be breaking the law. I am glad about the ruling because if it were only possible to buy new games I would probably just stop buying games.

            • That works for software on physical media, but it doesn't for purely digital products. Where's the media for a downloaded Steam/XBLA/PSN/WiiWare game?
              • by BillyIII (1723454)
                Physical media is nothing, customer buys a serial key printed on the CD / cover.
                • Then I'll rephrase my question: Where's the serial key for a downloaded Steam/XBLA/PSN/WiiWare game?
                  • by BillyIII (1723454)
                    It's there, attached to your account theoretically. :) Whenever I buy a steam game from third-party seller (even physical), I get a serial key for registration on steam. Non-steam/origin/w.e. games often have a serial key too.
                    • But how do you get the key for a game bought over Steam so you can sell it on? Similarly for the other platforms.
        • When Steam games are already so insanely cheap during the sales - often much cheaper than used games, who really cares about reselling them? You'd probably only get something like $10 for 100 games if you tried that. Personally I'd rather have the possibility of playing the games again someday - sometimes I get the urge to go back and play the classics.

          • 25% off $60 Call of Duty Modern Warfare X still is not cheap. They should go for at least half off for a used version, but it does depend on supply and demand in the used market.

            • By the time you come around to reselling the game, it will have been available cheaply and everyone will already have it. You're not going to get much for it. I've seen "used" games in stores that are about 90% of the price of the new version too..

              If you must have X game, and you reckon you're going to want to sell it again pretty soon, then renting is the best idea IMO. These days I'm only really happy to pay full price for open world type games that will give me at least a week's worth of gameplay. The re

              • by Raenex (947668)

                By the time you come around to reselling the game, it will have been available cheaply and everyone will already have it.

                I've sold several popular console games for around half-price on eBay. Most games don't have a lot of replay value, anyways, unless you are really fond of the online play, so I have no reason to keep games lying around.

              • Well maybe this is not a common thing but this game Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 was $60 when it came out last November and it is still $60 on Steam after the brief 25% off sale ended.
                http://store.steampowered.com/app/115300/ [steampowered.com]

                And on top of that, they'll be coming out with a new Call of Duty in November probably like they do every year and a lot of the online players will migrate to that which reduces value of the game a bit for me. The game from 2010 is going for $40 now. http://store.steampowered.com/app/4 [steampowered.com]

                • And on top of that, they'll be coming out with a new Call of Duty in November probably like they do every year and a lot of the online players will migrate to that which reduces value of the game a bit for me.

                  I tried MW2 just to see what all the fuss was about. It was pretty fun, but not fun enough for me to play their little game of upgrading for the sake of upgrading every 6 months..

                  • It's every 1 year... unless you include map packs. I completely agree though. They are really milking it. I go to lan parties with a bunch of people in my wife's family a few times a year. They are a lot of fun but now I have to buy whatever game they have (and 2 copies).

                    • Ah I heard that they have 2 separate development houses working on the series so that they can release every 6 months. But yeah it looks like every year. I guess that's not quite so bad when you compare to something like subscribing to WOW for a year.. not that I do that either!

      • Re:Good Luck (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Telvin_3d (855514) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @02:46AM (#40806175)

        eBay items will evaporate as will the low prices.

        Except that's not how it's worked in practice. If you look at Steam all the old titles are still available and for cheap. Brand new and fully patched and cheaper than they sell for used at GameStop. When every player represents a sale and inventory space is unlimited there is a huge incentive for continued support and aggressive price drops.

        Last week on the big Steam summer sale I picked up copies of Batman: Arkham Asylum for $4 and KoTOR (I lost my discs years ago and have been wanting another play-through) for $2. The system works. And works far better for every level from the developers to the consumers. The only people is does not serve better are parasitic rent seekers like GameStop.

        • Re:Good Luck (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Sunday July 29, 2012 @03:40AM (#40806329) Journal

          Actually last time I went into Gamestop (a couple of months ago when my nephew wanted to go there as part of his BDay) they were seriously big into gift cards for things like Steam, WoW, and just about every other MMO and game seller you can name. Made it easy for a kid like him to get some extra goodies on his favorite Korean MMO without having to worry about having a CC or trying to get his parents to use theirs which they sure as hell wouldn't on some funky overseas MMO.

          But I got to agree about the Steam sales, its great to not only load up on the new stuff but to get the old games you may have missed. I personally got the HL 1 collection (lost my HL 1 disc ages ago and never got around to Blue Shift or Opposing force) for like $5, my oldest got him some TF classic for $2, not to mention the newer games like Bulletstorm, Saints Row 3 (we all got that one, its a hoot in co-op) as well as some indies like Trine 2 and both boys got the dungeon defenders series which they are playing the hell out of.

          I just have to wonder how many publishers other than Valve will let you keep playing old games? i mean I fired up HL 1 DM and TF Classic and was blasting in full servers within seconds, but you look at a company like EA and they won't let you run your own servers and pull the plug after like a year and a half for many games. Who is gonna want to buy older games if half the game is broken?

          • TF classic is more of an exception than a rule. Oftentimes with games that have tacked on multiplayer, it becomes a ghost town long before the servers are taken down. GTA IV, I hopped on multiplayer maybe two years after it had come out. Aside from free roam, no one was playing. Doesn't matter if the servers are still up if no one is playing.

            Presumably, any games with multiplayer options that are dead, the pricing will have to reflect that.
            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              But something like the Steam sales can actually get people to playing the MP again if it exists. For an example I've been racking up some kills in Bioshock II MP and that was pretty lonely before the Steam sale, but since it was put on sale for 75% off there are plenty of fresh splicers for me to do my aerodash into a shotgun blast or rocket to the face bit.

              If they are honest though and say "MP is dead" upfront so I can get that choice? Not a problem but I think that frankly they should at least release t

              • by Lumpy (12016)

                Which is why I dont care about MP anymore. I dont even redeem the DLC codes to enable it. There are only TWO I do MP on.

                Modern BF3 and Black Ops. and both are to tplay with buddies that were ex seals to just utterly crush the kiddies running around with N00b tubes. it's amazing how you can wax a camper and set up a couple of claymores and watch the fool wax himself by running back to his camping spot.

                • by hairyfeet (841228)

                  Those type of game frankly ruin the fun for me. While I'm all for having a little strategy in MP those type of games are strictly "If you sink X number of hours you slaughter, if not you're fucked". Its like TF2, My oldest wins sniper competitions on that thing all the time but God knows how many hours he's sunk into it. I watched him play one time and I had to die laughing because some old Vietnam Vet was on the chat going "Will someone take out that Goddamned VC sniper already?" and I actually had to expl

          • There are no gift cards for steam. Are there?

          • When did Steam get those? I was looking for them a few years ago. :(

            I wished Amazon wouldn't ask for my credit card even though I have gift cards! I hope Steam doesn't do this too with its gift cards!

        • Re:Good Luck (Score:4, Interesting)

          by interkin3tic (1469267) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @04:24AM (#40806459)
          It also means there's no returning a stinker though. It's rare that I buy a game soon after it comes out. It's also rare that a game I'm counting down the days until release turns out to be bad, but it has happened. Kingdom hearts 2 for example, I bought it new the day after it was released, and sold it back to gamestop about a week later. I really hated it, but ended up spending less than $10 on it because I was able to sell it back.

          Not saying it helps overall, but in a few rare cases it does work out better for us.
          • by cdrudge (68377)

            Wait, you returned a just-released game to Gamestop and got your money back minus $10? I thought that was unheard of. I thought it was spend $60 on a new game, get $10 back (if that) if/when you traded it in.

            • Hotly anticipated titles within a week of release get a not-too-bad return, since the demand is so high. Everything else, yeah, you get like a quarter of the price you paid for it new.
          • by Nemyst (1383049)

            In the case I'm not sure about a game, I wait until it's cheap and get it. At worst, I'm $5-10 down, which is identical to what you had, except I still get to keep the game on top of that.

        • Re:Good Luck (Score:4, Insightful)

          by gallondr00nk (868673) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @07:03AM (#40806853)

          Last week on the big Steam summer sale I picked up copies of Batman: Arkham Asylum for $4 and KoTOR (I lost my discs years ago and have been wanting another play-through) for $2. The system works. And works far better for every level from the developers to the consumers. The only people is does not serve better are parasitic rent seekers like GameStop.

          I take exception to the idea that Steam is better for consumers. WIth physical media, I buy the game, I own the disk, and then I'm responsible for what I do with it. I've got originals of games from 1995 on CD.

          With Steam, I give up:
                    - Physical ownership of the game medium.
                    - The ability just to install it standalone w/o client software.
                    - Control of patches and updates.*
                    - The ability to resell or transfer ownership.
                    - Guaranteed access to the game.

          Valve might seem all nice now, but what if in 5 years time they go the Origin route and start ditching game support? Or jacking prices because they own a virtual monopoly on game distribution? I can see both happening one day. Dominent market positions get abused.

          Steam might grant a little convenience, but takes a lot of control. Is it worth it? Hardly.

          Older Steam games are cheap only because Valve decide they are. In the second hand market, it's because the market values it at that price. At the risk of sounding like a wanky free-marketeer, I'd rather have the latter. Yes Valve set prices based on demand, but with Steam the ball is entirely in their court.

          * I own Saints Row 2 on Steam. Every time it updates to current, the game becomes hideously unstable on my machine. Stopping it from patching is nigh on impossible.

          • * I own Saints Row 2 on Steam. Every time it updates to current, the game becomes hideously unstable on my machine. Stopping it from patching is nigh on impossible.

            Changing from "Always keep this game up to date" to "Do not automatically update this game" doesn't work?

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              I believe that setting is not for the running game but for background updates. Steam will always attempt to update the game on game start regardless of this flag.

              • by Robadob (1800074)
                Only way to play games without them needing to be updated is by running in offline mode, but the game must be 100% upto date when you log into offline mode the first time else it will refuse to run as far as i know.
            • Nope. Unfortunately, Steam doesn't have any mechanism for controlling whether or not it updates games. The setting that you describe merely exposes a flag (that frequently gets set and unset automatically) for whether the game should be updated in the background. Steam often either disregards that or silently sets it back to "Always keep this game up to date" at odd times. Also, whenever you run a game Steam tends to do an update regardless and switches the setting back to "Always keep this game up to date"

        • by Nursie (632944)

          Two things -

          1) No returns
          2) No ability to sell games and use the money to buy more

          Now, point 2 has been degrading for a long time anyway, Gamestop and their ilk have been paying next to nothing for used games for a long time. BUT there is a large market segment who do this to stretch their money a little further.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          How on earth are GameStop "parasitic rent seekers"? They buy used games, that people don't want any more, and sell them to other people for a markup. Or to put it another way, they match up people who want to sell games with people who want to buy games, in exchange for a commission. That's a useful service, not parasitism. And interaction with them is purely voluntary - you always have the option of buying the game new - so they're not seeking rent on existing transactions.

          You can argue that their mark

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Won't happen until you can get the ISPs to quit overselling the living hell out of their networks and then slapping nasty caps just to make sure you don't use what you pay for!

        Don't you just love when irony is so moist and delicious? On the one hand you have a set of greedy publishing bastards that want to take away first sale, but to do so they have to get around the greedy ISP bastards that want to oversell and cap the shit out of their networks.

        Kinda sad when there isn't anyone to actually root for, Ga

        • by BlueStrat (756137)

          Won't happen until you can get the ISPs to quit overselling the living hell out of their networks and then slapping nasty caps just to make sure you don't use what you pay for!

          Don't you just love when irony is so moist and delicious? On the one hand you have a set of greedy publishing bastards that want to take away first sale, but to do so they have to get around the greedy ISP bastards that want to oversell and cap the shit out of their networks.

          Kinda sad when there isn't anyone to actually root for, Gamestop charging crazy prices while giving jack shit for trade ins, the ISPs capping your asses, or the media corps wanting to take away first sale and nickel and dime you with DLC so that a $60 game actually costs $130 just to get what you would have gotten before in the box...wow what a carnival of sucktitude!

          Agreed.

          I've pretty much given up on the whole industry. There are some older games I like that have good replay value that I run on an offline XP box and a PS2 that's also offline. Mostly flight sims and some classic FPSs. I was never much for online multiplayer modes anyway. Too many young children and assholes.

          They simply won't get any more of my money. Same with movies. I've also dropped cable TV, and only have lowest-speed-tier internet service. It didn't make a bit of difference in my actual speeds swi

          • I've got Charter's Ultra100 service (was Ultra60 originally) and I've had a couple of service issues - one was a hardware issue at some box a mile or two from here and one was supposedly some card at the "head-end". Both times I've had to escalate the issue to get it addressed; but beyond that I've pretty much gotten the advertised speed the entire time I've had them.

            That being said, I was not amused with the "caps" as while I've never hit them - we specifically asked about that when we signed up and were

      • by thaylin (555395)
        Why wont they? They own a distribution platform now. If they sell the games through that platform what is to stop a user from selling back their rights to the game and GS sells it to another player.The only thing to stop that would be in game accounts tied to a CD key, which most games still dont have.
    • by Hadlock (143607)

      Although, this doesn't come too long after Gamestop started selling Steam gift cards.

      I don't see large publishers allowing resale of their games, but an indie developer might opt in to the program if it meant a bigger cut of the initial purchase (say, 80% instead of 60%), and a 5% cut of each resale. How the owner, publisher and Valve/Steam would split the remaining 95% is down to closed door discussions. There's no reason why Valve couldn't allow this sort of thing; it's just an additional revenue

      • by Telvin_3d (855514)

        The developers, indie or otherwise, will see a cut of GameStop's resale when hell is cold and frozen. If GameStop was the least bit inclined to make that sort of deal the publishers and developers would have never felt the need to cut them off at the knees in the first place. GameStop has a business model that is entirely legal and sometimes advantageous for some consumers. At the same time it is incredibly destructive and long-term death spiral for the industry and consumers as a whole. They have refused t

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lisias (447563)

          At the same time it is incredibly destructive and long-term death spiral for the industry and consumers as a whole.

          Please elaborate.

          As far as I'm concerned, selling used goods drives a industry into a spiral death only when the industry itself is already stagnated and obsolete.

          When people refuses to buy new things from, sticking with the old ones, the problem is YOU.

          • by Telvin_3d (855514)

            The most destructive aspect has nothing to do with the 'old' games. The stuff that people pay $5-$15 for after it's been out for a couple years is a natural secondary market. It wold exist with or without GameStop and no one cares very much, one way or another, about these sales. The problem is with GameStop's approach ot new games.

            Brand new game comes out for $50. Even for the biggest titles GamStop only brings a couple copies outside of pre-orders. This is deliberate. Game is bought on release day and pla

            • GameStop is hardly the only retailer of new video games. Someone who wants a game on release day can just stop in at any big box store and pick it up.

            • by Lisias (447563)

              Well, since I do not buy from GameStop, I was not aware of this problem.

              I rarely buy titles on launch day (Assassin's Creed series being the only exception to the moment - I'm still waiting for The Last Guardian), but when I do, I do pre-orders on sites as eStarLand .

              I have had no problems until this moment.

      • by bhcompy (1877290)
        You're forgetting that GameStop now owns Impulse. Game trading, temporary licenses, etc, are entirely possible. Impulse is the #2 or #3 download marketplace(competing with D2D.. don't count GOG considering what they sell)
    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Depends on the alternatives, but at this point I would expect most major releases to be done primarily through XBL/PSN store fronts, and on PC through the Windows App store and Steam. (On the Xbox 3/PS4/Windows etc.) There's no room in this market for gamestop, and there's no way publishers are going to agree to a service that has used game sales the way gamestop does going forward. Hell, the publishers told gamestop about this years ago, but they didn't listen.

      Gamestop owning impulse does give them a bit

    • by Grayhand (2610049)
      They've been living on borrowed time. It's likely that the next gen game boxes will drop physical media either way so they are just plain out of luck. The user agreements don't allow for a transfer of rights on a download so unless the courts weigh in, don't hold your breath, they are out of luck.
    • In the US that may be the case because your government doesn't want to help its citizens but the EU says we can re-sell out digital content so the idea isn't out of the question in countries that care about their citizens.
    • The judgement from a few weeks ago seems to idnicate game could be resold. Thus making such business model of a market place of used digital download valid for EU. The US is not the only market palce you know.
    • Putting an end to Gamestop's business model is exactly what the publishers intended to do when they started moving to digital downloads. Add to that the DMCA which makes it illegal to circumvent such practices and the non-existence of the right of first sale for digital goods and Gamestop is up a creek without a paddle. And as much as I dislike Gamestop, so are we.

      for what it's worth, this is not the original article i read but the fist one i found back googling : maybe they should move their seat to europe then [gamelitist.com], i'm sure we can use the tax revenue. I'd recommend Ireland or one of the former soviet countries (although there have been known to be some real 'hostile' takeovers there). Ireland has pretty low corporate tax and for a business that doesn't have expenses from physical transport this is probably the best place to be seated in europe. If i'm not mistaken, goo

  • by greenreaper (205818) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @02:22AM (#40806101) Homepage Journal
    It's called GameStop PC Downloads [impulsedriven.com] - aka Impulse [wikipedia.org], bought from Stardock last year.

    GameStop has also been getting into the refurbished iDevice market [gamestop.com]. There will always be hardware of some kind to (re)sell.

    • by ebeckers (2695971)
      physical media will never stop Just like Radio did not replace TV and internet did not replace the newspapers..
    • I worked at a gamestop for a summer. If that store was representative of gamestops elsewhere, they make their money on 12 to 18 year olds guys who have nothing but disposable income, buy electronic toys when they first come out at high prices, then get tired of them and would rather get a fraction of the price back than let the thing rot in their closet. They buy that stuff and sell to other 12 to 18 year olds at a markup.

      That group isn't going anywhere anytime soon, sure, iphones might be the next thi
  • I doubt they'll be able to see Steam downloads secondhand, nor EA's games that use Origin, and nor Blizzard's games that use battlenet. Doesnt leave alot else, then they have to get the DRM issues sorted with publishers.... GL with that Gamestop
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      On countries where there theres the right to resell and the right to reverse engenieer to get compatibility, they could do something like Garena + hacking the executables to make them work without steam. Provided that each game sold is backed by a license, it would be legal in my country.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Its amazing, all of this lockdown in the gaming industry has completely put me off buying new video games. The last game I bought was Minecraft and I had pirated that for a month before I bought it.

  • The only way this could happen is if Game Stop is able to further limit the terms of the licenses of their download sales to give them an exclusive right to license buy-back. Without that, if Game Stop can buy back a license you purchased and resell it to someone else, that would mean that consumers have to have the same right to resell their software licenses and keys. There's a sound basis for businesses having the ability to restrict types of sales to distribution outlets that contract with them, but onc
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The only way this could happen is if Game Stop is able to further limit the terms of the licenses of their download sales to give them an exclusive right to license buy-back.

      Well, not necessarily. You allude to the solution:

      that would mean that consumers have to have the same right to resell their software licenses and keys.

      That is a right we all should have. If gamestop can find sufficient allies they can float this idea in court, and try to get the right for everyone which will include them. At this point they have really two logical choices: they can either fight (and it will be a fight) to have First Sale extended to digital downloads, as it should be (putting "on a computer" on an idea does not change it, only modernizes it) or they can get ready to pack up their toys and

  • Gamestop has some usefulness with used physical games, but I don't think that translates to downloads. Digital files can't be scratched, and they don't have any real storage costs. At the very least, they are going to have to go with MUCH smaller margins
  • As far as I know there is currently no means to transfer a license between the seller and the buyer on any current digital distribution platform. if they attempt to start their own competing digital download service where people can sell their games back then more power to them. However I think GMG already does this to some extent?

    I think Gamestop is just dreaming.

  • I think it's safe to assume that Steam isn't going to allow them to ride on their systems for this, and neither is Origin. You also have the issue of games that have one time use serial numbers (most notably, MMOs) and day one DLC content. For them to be able to do this at all, they would have to come up with their own distribution system.

    Since IP owners have more rights than anyone else in the US, there's no way they'd be able to put games in their system without the permission of said owners. But how do
  • When it comes to you and me buying a game digitally directly from a game vendor, we typically get a license to that game. It's OUR license. Sometimes we even own a copy (rare, and becoming even more rare every year, until we make licenses == legal copy in terms of copyright law, like the EU is doing right now). We usually don't have the right to resell our license, but if we own a copy, then we do.

    Now steam doesn't let you RESELL your digital copies to other players. But they don't sell licenses, nor
  • I'll be supporting used downloads. It's about time someone started recycling electrons. They are a non renewable resource and clearly this one-use culture has to end. The universe only has 15 747 724 136 275 002 577 605 653 961 181 555 468 044 717 914 527 116 709 366 231 425 076 185 631 031 296 electrons to begin with!
  • what happens to that business model when digital distribution platforms run physical media out of town?

    An extensive web search, comparison with analogous disruptive changes in the past and discussions with MBA colleagues lead me to the conclusion that it's utterly fucked.

  • by gaelfx (1111115)

    I hope they get sued by ReDigi, because that would be hilarious.

  • Once again a wonderful example of FARTS [urbandictionary.com].

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday July 29, 2012 @07:26AM (#40806907) Homepage

    I note that recently the Court of Justice of the European Union rejected an attempt by Oracle to stop the sale of secondhand licences on software downloaded over the internet. [theregister.co.uk] It seems to me that reselling of games software should also be allowed under the same ruling.

    • by bussdriver (620565) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:49PM (#40809167)

      Tell that to the lawyers; most politicians are lawyers. They love to create issues out of nothing, it boosts their business.

      Sometimes I wonder if politicians are trying to be programmers and make Judges into computers; except they have zero software engineering skills and their profession (and their own law firms they have a vested interest in) greatly benefits from "bugs" in their legal code.

  • by fa2k (881632) <pmbjornstadNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday July 29, 2012 @07:43AM (#40806943)

    Why does everyone have to call it "digital" (digital copies, etc)? Software is digital by definition, including that on CDs and floppies. And if you say it's short for "digital downloads", that doesn't make sense either, as "digital" is a useless qualifier (all downloads are digital).

    • My computer stores bits as arbitrary analog charges inside the floating gate of a floating gate transistor, you insensitive clod!
  • by retroworks (652802) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @08:19AM (#40807011) Homepage Journal
    You mean, if I bought it, I own it? I can resell it? I remember that battle, way back when, and we recorded our LPs onto cassette tapes.
  • I guess they have never heard of viruses....
  • this is FUD and BS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826)
    Not 1 single gamer I know wants a digital-only copy of anything ever. Unless it's half the price or the only option, they want a physical copy so if anything happens to the company, their account, their computer, etc they can still play the game. For the tiny amount of people who prefer digital, it's like iTunes. You only need to get burned by losing everything once before you decide that's not a good idea.
  • My main issue, and in fact, THE main issue with downloads is that they take up a tremendous amount of space on your hard drive. Most consoles and that upcoming SteamBox have pathetically tiny hard drives such that a dozen games that you've downloaded pretty much stuff it full, while a physical disc just has game data on it. If you've tried to download a full game from most online services for a console, it's an all-evening scenario as well.

    • by ADRA (37398)

      That's a defect of the console deployment scheme, not the fact that it has to download something really big. Have a choice to pre-order X, or buy it immediately. The downloads start in the background. If you turn off the console, it continues in low power mode to keep a CPU core, ram, hard-drive, and network interface (maybe USB) alive in order to facilitate the transfer. When its done, console goes into full suspend.

      This will take a long time (maybe a whole night), but the alternative is to drive to the st

      • by Plekto (1018050)

        So given your rather pathetically limited storage on most consoles (when I can but a 1TB drive for well under $75 now), what happens when you have to un-install a game to make room from a new one? Right - if you want the original; game back, well, get ready to spend all night downloading it again. A physical copy would be a 1-2 minute install and you're done. And 1/10th or less of the drive space required.

  • I've noticed more and more games are requiring a 1 time use only code to play. For example, EA NHL12 requires you to enter (which is a complete pain in the ass on an xbox) a 16 digit code to play any on-line modes. Essentially it makes the game worthless for re-sale.

    So for those of you siting Steam's reasonable prices as "the system works" I disagree. EA dominates a VERY large portion of the gaming market, almost entirely the sports game genre. They have no intent on playing nicely. Yes I can boycott them (

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