Unplugged: Is There a Way for Microsoft to do Online-only Right?


via jayroeder.com

So, obviously, there's been a ton of conversation around the possibility of a next gen Xbox requiring an internet connection to launch and continue to play games. While I'm against this sort of idea (and I'm definitely not alone here), there could be one real benefit that I see from the lack of second sale: potentially (that italics is important) cheaper games.

Used games going away means that every game sold is contributing to the bottom line of the companies that make games. I have a bit of guilt every time I pick up a used copy of a game series I love and want to continue to be made. The issue is, I'm a dad first and a 'gamer' (god, I hate that word) second. Spending $60 on each new game that comes out is not feasible, so I end up picking up mostly used copies of games a couple of months after they come out once they hit the sub-$20 mark.

Now, it seems that lately game publishers are starting to speak more to me as a consumer. I just picked up a new copy of Far Cry 3 last weekend when it hit $30 at Best Buy, and I picked up Hitman: Absolution when it went on sale on Xbox for $20. These sales are great for someone like me who couldn't buy a $60 copy a couple of months ago at release.

All this has left me thinking, "What if Microsoft went the route that Steam went?" That is, providing a good system to download games, and allow installation of games (with a key) and in turn, provide great discounts a few months after the games release date. Better yet, what if AAA games were $30 or $40 at release? Given this sort of pricing structure, they'd undoubtedly expand their audience, please their customers, and make money on every sale (not just the first one).

So I leave you with this question: If Microsoft's next Xbox is online-only, but were to sell new games for $35, would you be interested?