Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by CardJoe, 8 Dec 2010.
They really aren't if I'm honest, how many stores actually sell PC games these days? I would say only online retail is actually important for PC these days, plenty of bargains and just about every game you could ask for. I still think steams the best thing since sliced bread though with it's uber offers!
I think buying the box physically is nice. You can buy it as a gift. Seriously, I would really prefer someone to give me a an actual gift, boxed and wrapped, then just go "oh yea... I just ordered XYZ game on Steam for you, because I just remember it was your birthday, despite you taking a big effort in going to a store, finding my perfect gift, wrapping it for me".
As to answer stom20200, where I live in Montreal, we are packed with stores that sells games. We have Game Buzz, Best Buy, Future-shop, EB-Games (Game Stop Canada), and of course Walmart and Costco. And even then, these are just big retail stores, that come to mind. You have all bunch of small stores here and there. Heck even Jean-Coutu and Pharmatrix (both are pharmacies), sell video games and consoles. It ridiculous. And I don't see this market dying here any time soon. In fact these game store exclusive, are actually opening new places. I can only accept this if the person that send me the gift is a family member and outside of the country or province.
Does stream provide you with a nice printed manual, a disk so that you don't have to download several GB of data which might take you a day or two (~11GB for Modern Warfare 2), and sometimes goodies, like The Witcher 2? No, of course not. And it's not like Steam games are THAT cheaper.. just a few dollars, and this is if they are special or is old, except in some rare cases, like Christmas.
Goodbytes, you are an old romantic at heart digital is the new black as they say.
Here is what you can't do with Steam downloaded games over retail:
Get the ingredient: Game + chocolates + the cheapest box of cracker I could find where the game can fit inside (dollar store.. Hmmmmm... Yummy)
Open the box of cracker at the bottom using a knife. Empty the content (What I actually did, is cut each bag and leave 2 cracker in each.. so that when my brother opens the box .. he sees dollar shop crackers.
Then insert everything, and close the bottom with double sided tape.
Now, gift wrap, and put it in a gift bag with the full set... and well.. you can image the rest
We are all trained to open the box from the top... so he or she will really feel that this box of cracker was never opened, during the process of opening the box, as we opened the bottom.
So, in conclusion, we can clearly see that downloaded games are no fun as gifts.
Well, you can type in "I'm a box of crackers" as a message when you gift a game on Steam.
And they typically come with pdf manuals, which are just as good as printed ones(if not better) since the printed ones are really cheaply made these days.
Except you can't have both open in the same time which is sometimes helpful. (ARMA 2 i'm looking at you) Admittedly though i haven't bought a game at a bricks and mortar store for over two years though i suppose it's still an important market for the more mainstream games such as WOW starcraft and The Sims
I remember great big 300 page game manuals, perfect for the toilet!
Blizzard games are quite huge in retails stores from my experience. They did a great job with their Battlechests. Every store I've been in which stocks video games has had a Battlechest of Diablo, Starcraft, Warcraft 3 or WoW, or some combination of them. Yesterday at Best Buy there was a whole table of Cataclysm boxes sitting by the checkout line with expansion boxes, WoW battlechest boxes, WoW merchandise such as the Steel Series WoW mouse, and even non-WoW branded gaming gear such as regular Razer Nagas.
There difference is that Blizzard really pushes retail copies. They exploit the goodies factor with well made manuals, strategy guides, and decorative boxes. They then make sure that every retailer stocks it.
I just started seriously using steam for the last year, even though I have had an account since the release of half-life 2. I know for a fact that I have spent more money on games in the last year, because of using steam, then I did for all the years before that since steam has been around. I love steam. I love how I can find older games through digital downloads then I could at a retail store.
Hope all of you old farts die quick so the rest of us can get our games digitally quicker, cheaper and easier. I don't know why Blizzard feel they are morally obliged to resuscitate physical sales, 'cause the sooner they die off the better.
Old fart?! I am in my early 20's.
And you are one then, for not supporting Phantom console.. this Steam-like game console back in 2004 (announce in 2002). But instead you decided to keep quiet, and still purchase your game physically instead of sending letters to publishers so that they make their game available for the console to allow it to be released with some form of content.
A gaming console that was way ahead of it's time.
The real answer is that both are needed. The only difference is that retail store will stock less. Some games are best bought digitally, others retail box, depending on the person monthly bandwidth limit, if it's a gift or not, his or her preference and what goodies it comes with.
All my local stores (even CEX) have shrunk down to a one shelf wide ~1m PC section from 2+ and they're overpriced. No reason to buy from them, Amazon all the way
I rarely buy digital downloads as I like a real hard copy in my hand. I only get things like Chime online. Proper AAA games I will keep purchasing the old fashioned way until they stop selling them that way. Things like Steam are more hassle than they are worth (yes I have a steam account but I use it as little as possible).
I know I bought Starcraft 2 from retail due to the Blizzard price gouging in the digital distribution edition. Still it was nice to have a box for once but if games can be cheaper through digital distribution then it is a relic of a bygone era of gaming that I can do without.
This year i've finally started buying games from Steam and GOG dispite only being able to download at 100kbps (last year was 60kbps), main reason is GAME and Gamestation have reduced the PC section to 1 stack of shelving in a cramped corner, and they're just full of copies of WoW, MW2 and Sims 3. Not even the used games section exists any more. I'm not sure i've bought any games from a highstreet shop this year.
I prefer going to stores and just buying it, because downloading can be quite unreliable...(especially when my housemate seems to think he can hide his torrenting from me... the network engineer) although I did buy Civ5 a few days ago from game, and steam was down, so i couldn't play my fresh new game for 6 hours, oh fun!
But back on topic, in the UK at least, PC games sections are literally 2/3 small shelves now. I even popped into my local supermarket for the WoW expansion (just to see if its cheap), and their PC games section was just budget Â£4 or less computer games, mostly educational ones. Consoles had both rows on the same aisle devoted to them.
Retail may be important, but in the UK, for the PC at least, its really starting to die out. Unless you play the sims
Hostile opening is a great way to incite discussion. I'm nearing 30 myself.
tbh, I haven't heard of that particular console ever before, but then again I wasn't too keen on gaming at the start of the millenium. Sounds great though, so it's a pity it didn't took off.
Yea, I too prefer my odd collector's edition every now and then. But seeing even how these very forums are infested by leeching pirate scum, I honestly believe digital downloads with approriate measure of drm will be required If we are to keep gaming at all. Also, I dislike the idea that digital distribution will carry unnecessary price premium just because someone is too afraid to undercut physical sales prices. If Steam prices would exclude costs for physical media, shipping, storaging and other costs irrevelant for directly distributed digital media, how do you think it would affect the sales of physical copies? I doubt getting a cardboard box on top of your game would be very popular if it would come, lets say 20-30% price premium, or more over digital copy.
You wanna know why they think it is important? This is why:
If they had joined Steam or had their own platform for a few years as they should have, they would be singing a different song.
They've somehow managed NOT to make Starcraft 2 turn up at our retailers... Strange
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