The purchase of PC titles from brick and mortar stores still accounts for more than half the market, so Target and Best Buy don't have to worry their little heads about Steam stealing their thunder. Speaking of Steam, the digital distributer is ahead of the game over it's rival in the market Direct2Drive, and Big Fish Games is the big fish the casual games market. This isn't surprising given the ridiculous sales and incentives Steam has to bring in new and old customers alike. You'll be crazy not to buy something, and with the new Steam Wallet in place, purchasing from Steam is even easier. Regardless of how easy it is to purchase games online, overall PC sales are still dropping, and getting lower each year.
Anita Frazier, an Analyst for the NPD Group says:
“The overall decline of PC games when combining sales via both digital downloads and physical retail sales is impacted by the expansion of social network gaming as well as the continued expansion of free game options.”
So it seems the Evil Farm Empire is partially to blame for the slow demise of PC retail. It doesn't surprise me that digital PC sales are out selling the boxed copies, it's the way the world is going. Physically purchasing a disk may be the primary way to acquire console games for a long time to come, but PCs will definitely go the way of the digital distribution. Almost all of my recent PC titles have been bought through Steam, and I can't even remember the last time I opened my disk drive.
Ranters, where do you buy your PC games? Digital download or do you like to have the physical disk? Let us know in the comments.