Microsoft: No simultaneous digital releases for Xbox 360 games

microsoft no simultaneous digital releases for xbox 360 games lite

Sony saw the writing on the retail wall when it was planning the Vita’s release. Nintendo, while it isn’t there quite yet, agrees with Sony’s vision. Digital distribution is the future. Online connectivity isn’t absolute in living rooms across the world—just over 68% of U.S. households use broadband Internet access, still a far cry from ubiquity—but the days of video games chiefly being bought at a store are coming to a close. That’s why both Sony and Nintendo plan to make all games available for purchase online at the same time they go on sale at retail. Vita does it. Wii U will do it.

Why then is Microsoft refusing to go day-and-date with its digitally distributed Xbox games?

“It comes down to choice,” claims Xbox Live U.K. product manager Pac Bhardwaj in an interview with MCV, “The customer has the choice of going to retail on day on if they really want to buy a particular title, or to wait a couple of months and buy it full price from the Xbox Live marketplace.”

Not all Xbox 360 games are made available as digital downloads on Xbox Live through the Games on Demand program, but those that do typically appear on the service around six months after their retail release. When they do appear, long after they’ve often been discounted at retail, they appear at the full price they initially sold for. PlayStation Vita titles meanwhile are made available simultaneously to physical releases and for $5 less on average.

Microsoft doesn’t see any need to change in the near future.

“It’s a successful model, so why change something you don’t need to? We don’t do Games on Demand on day one, we focus on boxed retail for day one. That’s where our focus has always been and will remain that way for the foreseeable future,” said Bhardwaj, “It’s a successful part of our business, we’re very pleased with the growth and it continues to do really well. Clearly there’s an audience out there who are happy to purchase product at full ERP six or so months after [release.]”

It’s surprising to see Microsoft resisting the shift to simultaneous digital and physical releases considering how forward thinking the company has been with the Xbox and Xbox Live over the past ten years.

Then again, Bhardwaj’s words could be construed as referring only to the current Games on Demand service, not a similar service that could accompany a new device. The rumored Xbox Lite console, which is said to lack an optical media drive, would need big releases available digitally at the same time as retail to survive.

Gaming

For the first time ever, PlayStation will be a no-show at E3

For the first time in the event's history, E3 2019 will not feature Sony or PlayStation. The massive event almost always features a lengthy press conference from Sony, often after all other major companies give theirs.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for November 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

The Army wants YOU … to play esports with soldiers

The U.S. Army is creating esports teams for games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and League of Legends. The initiative looks to boost recruitment, after missing the mark for the first time since 2005.
Computing

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.
Gaming

PlayStation 4 celebrates fifth anniversary with ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ bundle

The PlayStation 4 is officially five years old today, November 15, and to celebrate the anniversary, Sony is offering a new console bundle that includes a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Gaming

‘Hitman 2’ makes a target of the unkillable Sean Bean, but you’d better not miss

Famously mortal actor Sean Bean will be available to kill in Hitman 2 beginning November 20. He'll be in the game as an Elusive Target for two weeks and you'll only get one chance to take him out.
Gaming

Bug is turning ‘Fallout 76’ players into mutants even more terrifying than usual

A bug linked to the Power Armor gear in Fallout 76 appears to be turning players into bizarre naked mutants, complete with extremely long limbs that are more than a little unsettling.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

Tips for surviving the nuclear wasteland in 'Fallout 76'

Before running into nuclear wasteland with your Pip-Boy, take a moment to consider these Fallout 76 tips. From food and water to maintaining weapons and armor, here are the things all beginners should know.
Gaming

Find a fish and get your boogie on with Fortnite's week 8 challenge

The Fortnite season 6 week 8 challenges have arrived as we near the end of this spooky season. The big free challenge this week is the Fortnite fish trophy challenge where you need to dance with different fishes. Here are all of the…
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.