There has been a lot of talk about DRM and second-hand game sales surrounding next-generation platforms. It's no secret that publishers think that they deserve more of the pie, and at least a few of them are going to continue experimenting with ways to cut into users' ownership of titles bought at retail and turn those purchases into something more closely resembling licenses like what you see a lot of on PC right now.
Gamers want none of this. We believe (and rightfully so) that the disc that we purchase in a store is ours and we can loan it, sell it, or do whatever we want with it because it's ours and its value should not be removed by the requirement of a registration key or something akin to it.
Being realistic, however, we must recognize that something is going to have to give because publishers are being nipped by these used game sales and end up with a very small initial release window through which games can sell through their hands.
I think I have a simple and mutually beneficial idea for how this problem might be approached.
On the physical side, everything stays in tact. Nothing changes; physical copies are bought at a store and the consumer can turn around and sell that copy used later down the road if they so please. $59.99 off of the shelf, and second market value determined freely.
But here's the opportunity: Digital sales. Digital is growing, but it's not retail yet (at least not on consoles). It's getting there though, and I'm sure that the new features employed by the PS4 (background download/install, immediately jump into the game) will make downloading titles on day one a lot more viable for a lot more users. Here's a thought, though: what if games were available day one digitially through this more accessible system, and also hit on day one at $49.99 or even $54.99? From the publisher's perspective, they're selling a license. They don't need to ship or package this copy of the game, they don't need to print it to a disc. It's simply a license, and its value should be easily adjustable. From the user's perspective, this is a very attractive option. They can go to a store and buy the game just like they always have, and things will continue to work just as they always have - Or they can simply turn on the system, purchase the game for $5-10 cheaper, and play it immediately.
Digital sales would boom, and digital sales are not concerned with the used games market. The publisher would be selling more copies, they would be taking back part of the used games market pie, and instead of punishing users or stealing value from consumers - the user would now enjoy nothing but gain. Next generation could mean that the user still has his original option, and now his digital option has only changed by being cheaper and easier to access. I know this would surely be left up to the publisher, but Sony could call for it and set the example themselves. Profits will increase, and everyone else will follow suit.
Not going to happen consoles servers are more expesive then PC due to extra security. Games would still be full price like now M$ GoD is horrible outdated and never updated on a timely fashion. PSN is always having issues staying up when in demand. I believe no one, save, Nintendo had superb servers last gen. Furthermore, consoles charge dev for patches over a certain amount of MB, MB really how 1990's BF3 on 360 had to use their servers because it was 40K for 10MB and 25k for each extra 5MB Souces http://www.itproportal.com/2012/02/14/xbox-360-pat
Vita owner PS4 owner(hopefully)
Nice read, OP. It isn't a bad idea. But, the reason you more than likely will not see a price drop for digital vs. physical, is because no matter if you buy a disc or a download, the cost to make the game remains the same. They don't care if you physically buy it or downloaded it -- The developers / publishers are trying to get their money back (plus a profit) for their product.
In the future, I'm sure we will begin to see more and more perks for digital > physical, but it would probably be seen in enticing exclusive bonuses -- not a price difference.
My apologies for typing too many words, ne1atall. I have marked the most important text with bold font.
I can't believe you apologized when I was clearly a jerk. I apologize I was still working on my morning coffee (late I know but I was up late) and I reacted to the DRM in the title knowing there were other thread about it.
I like the idea now that I've actually read it. Apologies again. But as others have said it's not likely to happen.