Gamers are holding out for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4
According to data released by The NPD Group, gamers in the U.S. spent a little less on game content in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year. That's not to say gamers suddenly turned stingy -- overall game sales totalled $2.88 billion, a hefty sum, but down 3 percent from the same quarter in 2012. The primary reason is that there were less new titles to choose with new console launches on the horizon.
The next generation of game consoles from Sony (PlayStation 4) and Microsoft (Xbox One) isn't just about the hardware, it's equal parts software and whether or not the gaming industry as a whole is ready to transition to a digital distribution model. For the most part, the transition is mostly complete on the PC side thanks to services like Steam, and had Microsoft stuck to its guns, the Xbox One would have leaned much more heavily on digital downloads than physical media. As for Sony, it wasn't even a consideration, because gamers simply don't want to buy games online, the company says.
If you can sell an old CD when you're done with it, why can't you sell off an mp3 you no longer want, too? That very question is currently winding its way through the U.S. court system, but the European Union dished out a surprise ruling this week that says users have the right to resell their digitally downloaded software as they see fit, no matter what the original EULA or license says.
Electronic Arts' contentious fued with Steam isn't exactly on the same level as the Hatfields and McCoys was long before the digital age, but it's clear there exists plenty of bad blood between these two sides. The latest indication of this comes from an interview Senior VP of Global E-Commerce for EA, David DeMartini, gave to GamesIndustry. DeMartini, who obviously has a vested interest in Origin, had some choice words for Steam.
If you're an old school PC gamer, a quick way to get depressed is to head over to your local GameStop or Babbages and browse the PC section. The lone rack (at best) is a far cry from the days of shelves lining stores like Software Etc.* with PC titles, but that doesn't mean the platform is dead, Steam and other digital platforms have change the way PC gamers shop, and it's the reason Activision Blizzard's digital sales are at an all time high.
U.S. consumers spent in the neighborhood of $4.2 billion on gaming hardware, software, content, and accessories in the third quarter of 2011, an enormous amount of cash on its own, but down 11 percent compared to the same quarter one year ago, according to data released in NPD Group's U.S. Games Market Dynamics report. There are some interesting trends taking place when breaking down game related spending.
Battered and beaten up in court, peer-to-peer file sharing service LimeWire has agreed to pay $105 million in damages to major record labels, the Recording Industry Association of America announced. The settlement ends a jury trial that began last week to determine the amount of damages LimeWire would owe, which could have ended up being 10 times the amount of the settlement, or more.
A new study by Pew Internet finds that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Internet users have paid to download or access online content of some kind, whether it's buying music or paying for a news subscription to everything in between.
The survey pinged 755 Internet users between October 28 and November 1 of this year. They were asked about 15 different kinds of online goods or services that could be purchased or accessed only after a payment.
There was a tie for the top spot between digital music and software, both of which had been paid for at some point by 33 percent of respondents. After that, mobile apps proved the most popular with 21 percent. Down at the bottom of the list was adult content, with only 2 percent fessing up to having paid for it.
All told, Internet users spend nearly $50/month on average to download or access material, Pew Internet says.
The allure of a free Sony movie download with the purchase of select PNY products, everything from HDMI cables to 8GB and higher SDHC cards, has prompted the two companies to extend the promotion indefinitely.
Consumer who purchase an eligible product, which also includes some USB flash drives, DDR1/DDR2/DDR3 memory kits, and videocards, can redeem their code at www.pny.com/movies and choose from over 35 movies downloads. The extended promo campaign now includes a new mobile feature and is compatible with Windows Phone 7 devices, PNY says. To download a movie to a WP7 phone, users need to download the free PNY Movies app.
The movie downloads are for keeps and can be viewed from up to two different locations.
It seems like so long ago that we were skeptical Steam could get us to stop bitching about DRM and provide a viable distribution system that both publishers and game players could live with. Well, we're not finished groaning about DRM, but there's no denying Steam does what it's supposed to, and does it well. Perhaps too well.
According to U.K.'s weekly gaming rag MCV, some retailers are threatening to ban games that integrate the Steam service on fears that Steam has a monopoly on the download market.
"If we have a digital service, then I don't want to start selling a rival in-store," said the head of one of U.K.'s biggest gamers retailers. "Publishers are creating a monster -- we are telling suppliers to stop using Steam in their games."
A purportedly big-name digital service provider backed up those remarks, saying "At the moment the big digital distributors need to stock games with Steam. But the power resides with brick and mortar retailers, they can refuse to stock these titles. Publishers are hesitant, but retail must put pressure on them."
Should retailers be concerned that selling games with Steam baked in only pushes users towards buying games through Valve online, or is this just another 'wambulance' call?