Why is sleeping dogs 16 bucks on steam but 50 bucks on PSN? I'm a die hard Sony fan but wide price differences for the same gm on different networks is insane. I wasn't looking at getting the steam box before but I may hv to aftet seeing that huge price difference.
For Sony, to publish a game usually requires costs for advertising a game, and the costs involved in manufacturing and distributing the retail version. It wouldn't make any sence to make the digital version a lot cheaper than the retail version, because that undercuts themselves.
Once/If Sony goes to a digital only distribution model for the newest AAA games, we will probably see similar prices that we see on Steam...
Above is a pie chart where all the money goes with a typical $60 game. When you take the retailer related costs out of the equation, the net cost goes down to $33, which should be the theoretical cost of games should Sony go all digital...
I think a digital only model could be very dangerous. Not only because the absence of a physical copy could make the console less popular among general consumers but we could also see retailer retaliation. This is a big part of what killed Sega. Not over digital content but by cutting Walmart and KB toys out of their launch, both companies refused to stock their console or any games. Take away the games that make retailers a fortune and they could very well do the same exact thing.
You also have to think about something. How many digital only games have ever done great in sales even on Steam? A few do alright. But nothing compared to AAA console releases.
With the Sega reference, I believe you are talking about the surprise early launch of the Saturn, which did anger some retailers, however Sega patched things up by the time their final console the Dreamcast was launched. Unfortunately the Dreamcast didn't get support from some companies like EA, and along with the looming introdcution of the PS2 affected Dreamcast sales to the point Sega felt they had to exit the hardware business...
They didnt patch up with everybody though. Not sure if Walmart gave in but I know for a fact KB didn't because I worked there when the Dreamcast released and they wouldn't carry it
While EA had something to do with it as well, The Dreamcast had a library that more than made up for it not to mention 20.00 2K sports games that were well worth the money. And had Sega not screwed things up with the Saturn and retailers, I do not feel the Playstation would have blew up the way it did in the first place even if it was a better console. I mean Sony was the new kid on the block while Sega was already established.
I could be wrong however I just feel that as long as there is a retailer presence, the last thing a company wants to do is keep their best games out of the stores. Nirvana's old record producer brought up a really good point when he explained how digital distribution really effected the music industry and that its not because of free torrents. Aside from the lack of retail presence making your product less popular, there are still a good many people who do not see digital licenses as real property. Myself included.
I certainly remember that my local KB store sold Dreamcast games, and this press release says they even participated in the pre-order campaign.
Sony gained plenty of momentum and credibility with the original PlayStation, which was why Sega was in serious trouble when Sony was set to release the PS2.
FYI the $20 2K sports titles happened years after the demise of the Dreamcast, and Sega sold their sports gaming division to 2K.