I know IGN, not the mot reputable. I just thought this an interesting rumor. If this does happen I won’t be participating in the console market or at least will be choosing the company that decides not to do this. I don’t buy used games, well rarely. When I do they tend to be older classics that I sold way back in the day and want to pick up again. Imagine not being able to find an old copy of Panzer Dragoon…that would totally limit a community like TWOTA. I like my 360, but what I have come to realize is that all the games I have on my Xbox, I can get or have purchased cheap on Steam or on sale at the local Best Buy. Why buy two copies of a game…well I like to have backups for future use. I know I will always have a PC, I don’t really know how long my 360 will last. That seems to be another issue, what happens if your hardware fails? Are all the games you purchased no longer usable or at best you have to go through some long authorization process? What happens when MS decides not to support the system anymore. Am I SOL in the future when the system wears out? I have such a large collection these days, I may just withdraw from the market completely unless there is the odd gem that I really want to play like Skyrim or Deus Ex on the PC.
This is essentially no different from Steam, so it’s fine with me.
Steam is okay for the cheap sales. I have purchased many games through the service, but all of them were dirt cheap. In fact I don’t think I have spent over 5 dollars on a game on Steam. There is a value in that. If I buy a new game though, I want the full deal that I can play for life. I can’t imagine not owning Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force 1 and 2, Deus Ex, Mass Effect, etc. I am already skeptical as to my add on content in the Mass Effect games just because I don’t have anything to back that up. I guess I just see a good game like a good book. If I like a book, I purchase the hard cover version and keep it on my shelf forever. I want to be able to do that with my games.
One difference between Steam and the Xbox Game Marketplace which I think is relevant is the pricing. Microsoft has far fewer deals and many of the games remain at high prices for long after they’ve been released. Whereas Steam has to stay competitive to compete with other PC digital distribution services (and piracy), Microsoft controls the whole solution much more tightly.
I personally don’t mind if everything goes digital, so long as there is competition to keep it competitive. It makes sense from an environmental viewpoint not to be shipping plastic around the world (although, it’s questionable how much energy is saved, given that data-centres consume a lot of energy too). With regards to PC games at least, if Steam ever went down permanently they would either release a patch to play offline (Valve said they would, no legal guarantee though), or if not then the community would likely create one unofficially. However, there are some concerns about the Xbox - will 360 digital games work on the next Xbox, for example, and if not, what happens when your 360 wears out. This is the same for discs though.
I read an article yesterday which relates to this problem. As software becomes harder to copy, the means of preserving it will also become harder; software may well disappear.
This seems to relate to your point, frelled, but on a larger scale.
technologizer.com/2012/01/23/why … re-piracy/
I will be the first to admit I have backups of all my old games. Everything I loved on the Genesis, Sega CD, Gameboy, Saturn, and a few other odds and ends I have Roms and emulators for backed up on disk and portable HD/flash drives. I have backup copies of all the PC games I own except for the ones that require Steam on install. It just makes me nervous to know that I don’t have a disk or means to make own and iso for future use. I know my Saturn won’t last forever. In fact my controller ports have been acting up lately on it. Having the Roms future proofs that. So your post on preserving it really hits home. I know with a book I will always have future rights to read them. It doesn’t seem to be the same with games on the newer systems. It is enough to make me want to exit from the market because gaming for me involves a lot of nostalgia. I just recently replayed the Shining Force III games via emulator and the new patches. I do own all three versions of that, the US version and the Japanese versions. I would even go as far as saying the ability to back up and modify games makes them even better. When that ability is taken away, gaming just won’t be the same for me.
Like I said before though, I only buy digital copies when they are dirt cheap. In the case of Mass Effect, I did buy them on Steam but I also own the 360 versions. I actually plan on not keeping my 360 in the future because most of the games I own on that are available for the PC and I find PC games tend to be more future proof, ie I will always have a PC and the ability to install that older software. I doubt my 360 will last very long. My launch system died after 4 years of moderate use. My Saturn is just now showing issues with the controller port. My old Genesis and Gameboys work just like the day I bought them.
I guess my problem is that for my entire life I have been able to purchase a game, play it when I want and how I want. I have been able to take them over to my brothers to play together, I have been able to put them on my shelf and go back years later to replay them. If I can’t do that in the future, I don’t want to get attached to a game and world if I won’t be able to exerience that again when I wish.
It will be interesting to see how long the newer 360’s last. I had one of the old ones from launch that got the red rings of death (twice). In 2010 I bought one of the smaller 360s (bundled with Kinect) and it died with a few months, but the replacement has been going strong since. I don’t know why they don’t make them more reliable if the money is made from software rather than people buying replacement hardware. The Saturn truly is a sturdy piece of hardware; mine was still working last time I checked too.
At least with older games we have emulation. Maybe someone will work on a 360 emulator next. How’s that original Xbox emulator coming along?
My launch 360 got three red rings after 4 years of moderate use (I wouldn’t say it was anywhere near as heavy usage as my Genesis/Saturn have received). I was well out of warranty but the new version was coming out. I waited and got the 4gb matte slim one and used a 16GB zip as my HD. I later found an official 120GB drive for it for half price (still overpriced imho). The system seems to be working well, but it still gets hot enough that when I shut it off, the fans still run to cool it off. My launch system started having video artifacts toward the end before it finally died. I think the failure rate of the original systems had to be close to 80% because most of the people I know who had a launch system had it crap out. My brother still has his but I upgraded the heatsink in his not long after he got it and just to make sure because he didn’t want to have to pay more for another one either. I would think the xbox emulators would work better considering it was more like a regular PC. The 360 probably could have emulators, but it is a bit more complex with multiple cores and I honestly just don’t have faith that one that works will be released anytime soon. I think that is why I have been purchasing PC copies of all the 360 games I own just because I know that I will always have a working PC.