Published in Gaming
Xbox 360 to get Games On Demand
More digital distribution for the platform
Microsoft will be adding a new “Games on Demand” feature for the Xbox 360 platform. The feature will allow users to purchase full retail versions of Xbox 360 titles and download them to the hard drive. While the digital distribution model is nothing new for Microsoft, who has been offering titles from the original Xbox via digital distribution for the Xbox 360, this will be the first time that premium 360 titles will be offered and marketed this way.
While we know that once it is released the service will start by offering about 30 titles at launch, we also know that the pricing will be in line with the physical retail version of the game; but it is unclear if this means that they will be priced less than the retail version. New titles will be regularly added.
One other thing of note is that Microsoft will be adding the ability to purchase the Games on Demand titles by a credit card, rather than having to first purchase Microsoft Points to buy these titles. This is a reversal from Microsoft’s previous stance that all transactions would be done using Microsoft Points. We do think that this will help to boost sales.
No word or indication was given as to how soon new titles or just released titles would be added. It is doubtful, however, that Microsoft would add new titles the day of release and cut out retail brick and mortar partners. Microsoft does suggest that retail sales will continue and digital distribution isn’t changing this, but it does offer another way for players to be able to buy titles and both retail and digital distribution can coexist.
Two things that at least for the moment could spell a spot of trouble for this announcement begins with the download speeds that most users have for their Xbox 360. The majority of users do not have super high broadband Internet speeds, meaning that downloading titles will take some time as the majority of titles will be close to 4GB in size.
The second issue for the announcement has to be hard drive space. It seems that Microsoft continues to talk about more and more content downloading, but with the largest hard drive available for the system only currently at 120GB, it does not take long to see that it is just not large enough to handle all of the content that users could be downloading to their systems. The latest we hear from our sources is that Microsoft will be offering a larger hard drive for the Xbox 360, which is expected to be a 250GB or 320GB model. While it is expected to be sold as an add-on, it will likely arrive in the fall time frame as Microsoft is waiting for the best pricing that they can get on these more expensive larger hard drives before offering them with their products.