Dale Dietrich
friedman: always supply your comparative advantage
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Microsoft Games on Demand Service – One Step Away from Microsoft Points

Categories: consolesindustryinteractive mediavideo games
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Microsoft Points Card

In my opinion, the biggest Microsoft announcement at E3 today was made after their press conference was over. They announced a new Games on Demand service (coming this August). It has two important features:

  1. Full Games Available for Purchase on Demand: Microsoft will start selling full games on-demand via download through the Xbox Live Service starting this fall. Following in the footsteps of Steam (and to some degree Sony), this may be a critical inflection point on the path away from retail game sales. The 30 announced games are all older games (eg: Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed and Bioshock). Games are to be sold at regular retail prices (no disk-free, Gamespot/E.B.; disintermediation discount). Nothing was said about the future availability of new titles day-and-date with retail releases. With the service in place there is, of course, no technological reason why this couldn’t happen. It’s just a matter of time.
  2. A Step Away from Microsoft Points: Anyone who is a regular reader of my blog knows that I am a critic of Microsoft Points (see this post, for example). Games purchased through the Games on Demand service will be purchasable with a credit card. No Microsoft Points required. Amen! Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end for Microsoft Points. 

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  • http://www.davisfreeberg.com/ Davis Freeberg

    I think the points thing is kind of annoying too. I've never actually bought anything because I don't want to have to deal with the hassle.

  • http://www.daleisphere.com Dale Dietrich

    Exactly! The only time I purchased Microsoft Points was to purchase Halo maps, to puchase my client's N+ game and to purchase 1 HD video (Blade Runner – Directors Cut) to test the HD download service.

    It makes me angry that I have to purchase more Microsoft Points than I need because you can't buy just the amount you need for your purchase. So I have extremely reluctantly given Microsoft their interest-free loans for the absolute minimum possible.

    Otherwise, all my money goes to Apple TV which, after factoring in the Microsoft Points to Cdn $ conversion makes movies available for about 2/3rds the cost of the hidden Microsoft cost. But even if they were the same price or less on the Xbox I'd still use Apple TV or the PS3. That's how much I dislike the silly Microsoft Points system.

    On a related point, I have also purchased a couple small download games on the PS3. There are several Microsoft arcade games I would have purchased over the years had they been available for money.

    …Dale

  • http://freemicrosoftpoints.com/ Free Microsoft Points

    I don't mind microsoft points, but the ability to just charge it to a credit card will be very favorable to many gamers.