Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Going Digital Continues to Save Some Bucks
Thanks to Shacknews (or in my case, Joystiq) we've learned that we don't need to worry anymore about whether or not we'll see discounts on digital versions of Vita games like Japan has had since the device came out. The answer, quite simply, is that yes, Digital Versions of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Reality Fighters and all the rest of its Vita brethren will see a discount versus their physical versions. Now, whether or not you -care- is another matter entirely, as the discount might just be 10% off the regular price. I say -just- as if the simple fact that there's a discount at all isn't amazing - because it is. Companies (because it's the playstation store, but Sony isn't setting prices for everyone) honestly don't have to do -anything- and they've really really exercised that muscle with the PSP (among other things). So that we're getting a discount on games if you buy them digitally is really a step forward for...well, people who enjoy digital distribution. Which is not everybody, mind you.
I am not one of these people as you might have guessed. Or, hell, I've probably said it a few times over the year of posting here since it's an opinion that I've had for a while. My real issue is twofold in both the capability of the internet out here doesn't match what the rest of the nation does, as well as the fact that I'm just not comfortable with putting information of mine into these stores, especially in the day and age we're in when it seems like every other week we're finding about another place that got hacked and information stolen. Thankfully, most online avenues offer ways around giving them an actual credit card (likely because of things like the previously mentioned) and I'm pretty fine with going that route for digital purchases since I don't think they're -bad-, I just don't like -using- it as a method of getting games. Because on top of my hesitance with online buying, as you all know, my internet just isn't too good at supporting online ventures anyway.
Regardless, on the matter of the discount, if we're going by a picture taken of a Best Buy fact sheet or something, it seems like every game just has a discount of 10% digitally. At least, Best Buy's download voucher purchases have that which...well, I dunno. Uncharted: Golden Abyss is listed as $44.99 which is, indeed, 10% of $50, and Reality Fighters is $26.99 which, again, falls right in line with the established discount. Mind you this is, again, just a Best Buy sheet and it is conveniently only First-Party Sony games from what I can tell, which one might suggest will only have the lowest discount available. A bit cynical I guess, but if there's anything that Sony has been with their digital scene, it's flexible (too much so, really), so I imagine if your favorite developer wants to sell their game digitally at a 30% discount, they will be able to do that. On top of that, we could probably hope to see sales in the vein that we have seen already for the PS3 and PSP, though the latter to a lessened degree. Probably not right out, of course, but eventually.
I guess what annoys me here is that the comments for these stories basically eschew common sense in lieu of making everyone seem like the entitled children the rest of society expects us to be sometimes. Like I pointed out earlier, absolutely no developer or publisher has any -need- to sell you their game at a discount - there are people who will buy the thing regardless and in the end, they will probably make a profit off of it selling it everywhere at full cost. I don't think enough people pay attention to the gaming news out there to try and make sense of it all, and then point to Steam as 'the perfect example' of a DD platform. Which, I'm sorry, it's not. Steam is a very, very consumer-friendly DD platform, but that does not make it the best, nor does it mean that everyone involved walks away with tons of profit. People talk, with pride even, about their latest conquest, a game that was released not but three months ago, yet they have bought it for half the price as everyone else, seeing absolutely nothing wrong with it.
In all reality, there really -isn't- per se, but when you can go to Joystiq, Kotaku (urgh) or any of these other sites out there on any given day and read about how this developer is shutting their doors, firing dozens of people or any combination thereof, maybe there needs to be a little more thought put into matters. Our hobby is just that to us, our hobby, but for many, many people out there, it's a job. It's a sole source of income for entire families. Games are the culmination of hundreds if not thousands of hours of life from the combined team that put them together, no matter how little a part they took in its creation, and just because you base their value on the amount of time you personally spend with one, that doesn't equate its real worth. So maybe, just maybe, when these types of stories come out, use a little common sense. Because even if you don't like the big three companies out there, they're not the only people you're buying from and, in all reality, they probably make up a rather small percentage of where your money goes. 10%, if that's even the only discount applied to any Vita game, is huge and maybe we shouldn't devalue that.