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Comment Re:News Flash (Score 1) 383

If they sold 500,000 at ~$50 , but could have hypothetically moved 3 million at ~$10, they might have come out 5 million dollars ahead (negligible per-copy cost incurred, so volume can pretty well be adjusted at will without repercussion).

That's way beyond unrealistic. I don't believe even half of the pirates would pay $10 for a game, let alone 80%. By that logic, video and music -- both almost universally available for download at pretty darned reasonable prices -- piracy wouldn't be a booming business (and it is a business for some pirate sites).

That's not to say that I disagree that price reductions could be implemented that would benefit the video game industry (there's probably a sales-enhancing middle ground between $10 and $50 per game) but given that video game prices haven't changed significantly -- compared with inflation and considering increased game development costs -- in 20+ years, I think we're dealing with a situation where most people who pirate won't pay any price for what they're downloading. Of course, that means that annoying DRM practices are still an exercise in futility. :)

Comment Re:Never going to happen. (Score 3, Insightful) 502

It's a complicated solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. Companies make good money selling games on optical discs and, again, manufacturing costs (including cases and instruction books) are miniscule. I've got a decent connection and I still wouldn't want to download a BD's worth of data. The frustration of watching a download bar instead of playing a game would drive me nuts; it's already annoying with a DVD9's worth of data. Being forced to go to a particular retail location to download the game to flash memory wouldn't make me happy either (and we could be talking some big flash cards given that Blu-ray games can already reach towards 50GB).

Honestly, the only places I see people complaining about optical discs in game consoles are on technophile sites like this one.

Comment Re:Optical? (Score 1) 502

Indeed. I've got virtually unlimited downloads (I'm sure there's a cap somewhere if I pushed hard enough) but how long would that last if just for gaming I was downloading an additional 20+ GB per month? And there are enough people in the world with hard caps on monthly bandwidth that it makes no sense for a console game company to move to a system that would at least limit their game-buying capability ("I'd love to buy Arkham County but I already bought Mass Effect 4 this month"), if not shut them out completely.

Comment Re:Never going to happen. (Score 1) 502

Agreed that the download latency would suck today, but it's not always as bad as your example. We have 100/100 fiber, and in principle it would take about 70 minutes to download 50GB. In practice, downloads can be slower than 100Mbps, especially when downloading stuff from other countries, but when downloading from a major reputable company we usually get 30Mbps or better per site (and can saturate the 100Mbps by downloading several items simultaneously).

In principle console game companies want everyone to want/buy their product, not just the subset with high-bandwidth, no-cap (particularly important - many caps wouldn't even allow the download of one BD game before extra fees/slowdown/disconnection) broadband connections.

I love downloading games, especially for the PC, but I've also had to wait overnight for Steam to finish downloading, usually due to either general network or Valve server congestion. Being able to decide on a game, go to Gamestop to buy it, come home and start playing over the course of 2 hours (I ride the bus) is very nice. The fact that removing this capability would also limit the available market means that optical discs aren't going away anytime soon.

Comment Re:20 MB is a stupid limit (Score 1) 64

While I'm sure part of the reason is whatever 3G deals Sony is negotiating around the world, there's also the fact that 3G is S-L-O-W compared to WiFi.

When you start talking about downloading 1GB+ games (this size is fairly common already among PSP games and Vita games will probably be even larger) you run into some big issues because of the time involved. This includes battery life where just about any 3G device would need to be plugged in to pull down a gigabyte of 3G data. There's also going from tower area to tower area while the download is happening; inevitably, the process would start, stop, slow, and/or stall multiple times, increasing the potential that the downloaded data will be corrupt or have to be downloaded more than once.

Granted, a good download manager would take care of both these issues, but it's still a practicality issue. Downloading huge games via 3G would be a dumb use of time, bandwidth, and battery life when one could stop by a Starbucks and get the same download in a fraction of the time.

Comment Re:same as with everything else (Score 1) 401

Well, you see, now you're going down an entirely different, subjective road. Make up your mind: Either you want to criticize my "simplistic" approach for its lack of objective detail or you want to assign values based on more ephemeral factors.

For the record, I agree with you. But when you're taking me to task for how I respond to/attempt to correct a completely misguided post, it seems out of line to move the goalposts like this.

Comment Re:same as with everything else (Score 1) 401

It's too simplistic an explanation that doesn't take into account multitude of variables.

If you want to do a more complex analysis, I'm certainly open to correction. However, keeping in mind the increased spending in game development, I think you'd be hard pressed to find today's games to be anything other than a significantly increased value compared to those sold in the 80s and 90s.

Comment Re:same as with everything else (Score 5, Insightful) 401

If you look at console games, you'll note that the price point is now roughly between 60 and 70 dollars, whereas it was 50 a generation or two ago.

No, you won't note that. You'll note that the price point is now roughly between 50 and 60 dollars, assuming you're talking US dollars. You'll also note that $50 was the standard price for console games for much longer than "a generation or two" - more like over 20 years. Heck, I remember Super Nintendo games up to $75 at retail and N64 games sometimes debuted at even higher prices! Playstation prices bucked the trend (and in fact set a new trend) by being cheaper because pressing CDs cost publishers next to nothing (just as DVD and even Blu-ray duplication is extremely cheap compared to cartridges). In short, adjusting for inflation, retail console game prices have gone down over the years. This is thanks, again, to the disc formats replacing cartridges and the economies of scale. Even with significantly higher game development costs, more games sold means profits can be realized at lower retail prices. I think the reason people think that game prices are higher today is that the average age of gamers has risen steadily over the years which means that more people playing games today bought them with their own money. I was buying games with my own money before the Genesis and Super Nintendo hit the scene, so I've had to know game prices for over 20 years.

Comment Re:saying. "Fast forward to the 21st century" (Score 1) 504

I suggest that you read the goddamned article. The author goes into detail explaining why you and your ilk are wrong. Read it. It's a worthwhile way to spend a couple hours if you're actually interested in learning some of the facts about PC piracy, rather than blindly accepting the rationalizations and outright lies spread by those who either a) don't know any better and/or b) just want to keep infringing the copyrights of games because's it's fun and free.

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