In the years since Valve launched its digital games distribution hub, Steam, the service has demonstrated that prices of video games could be drastically reduced by eliminating brick and mortar retailers as middle men. Anyone that doubts the extreme nature of the deep discounts available for PC games needs only to visit the Steam catalog during one of the legendary, record-breaking seasonal sales.
With both Sony and Microsoft making an effort to beef up their respective digital stores on the PS4 and Xbox One, console gamers have been hoping that they would start to see the same kind of discounts that PC users have been enjoying for the past few years. So far, the savings have yet to make an appearance on next-gen consoles. As a matter of fact, Xbox One exclusive prices actually went up over the holiday season.
In reaction to an outcry from fans over the digital distribution prices in the Xbox One store, Microsoft’s Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hryb took to Reddit to give consumers a bit of hope. Currently, consumers who pre-order Titanfall in stores are able to receive a $10 discount, but because there are no pre-orders for digital games, online shoppers miss out on the savings. Hryb addressed the complaint with the following statement…
“We are way aware of this and many of the concerns of the community — we have some great stuff planned for Xbox One this year (and beyond.) As soon as we can share some of the goodness…we will :)”
Further into the Reddit thread, Hryb was asked if Microsoft was looking into a plan for competitive pricing on Xbox Live. He assured the masses that, “It is indeed on the agenda.” That’s certainly not confirmation of price drops on specific titles, but it is something to look forward to. Although high prices are to be expected during any console launch, we would really like to see an across-the-board drop in prices for digital titles on both the Xbox One and the PS4.
Although both consoles sold incredibly well over the holidays, in the long run both companies will need to make some changes to their pricing structures as the popularity of Steam continues to grow. Whether they are Steam Machines, pre-constructed, or home-built; living room computers are becoming more and more popular. Between easily-upgradable parts and the reduced prices on Steam, the motivation to purchase games on PC rather than console is tempting for any savvy gamers.
How much do you think a digital next-gen game should cost? Is there a certain amount less than retail that you would expect to pay? Let us know below.
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