Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Downloadable games

I'm a big fan of downloadable media. Years of collecting movies and games have left me with bookshelves full of plastic cases, and I simply don't have room for another giant shelf to store another generation worth of plastic. I've grown used to getting my content through streaming or downloading, thanks largely to Apple's ecosystem. I can download games to my iPhone or iPad, stream movies to my Apple TV, and access my music anywhere, any time. I've used the Nintendo eShop to download a number of titles on my 3DS, and not just download-only games. The last couple of top-tier games I bought, I chose to download rather than get the physical copy in a store. Portable titles, however, seem to be where the convenience hits a turning point for me.

The other night I saw that Ubisoft was having a 30% off sale on the Wii U eShop. "Perfect!" I thought! "This is a perfect chance to get Assassin's Creed 3 on sale, and get some points for my Wii U digital promotion deal". The purchasing of the game was as easy as it could be, but possibly due to other people thinking along the same lines that I was, or maybe due to some other issue, the game hit errors 3 times during the download. I didn't notice these errors right away either. If I had wanted to play this game quickly, it would have been much easier to drive to a store, buy the game, come home, cook a turkey, eat, change in to some post turkey dinner sweat pants, and sit down to play. At the point the downloadable game might have hit its second error message.

What I'm really trying to say is the convenience isn't really there. With mobile titles, the sizes are small enough that I can wait a couple of minutes, grab a drink, and play my game. It's easy. With a console title, like AC3, the size (16 gb in this case) makes it so even on my super fast FibreOp connection, I still have to wait a long time. PS4 seems to have the right idea, claiming you can play while you download, but I'll wait to see this in action before I start singing it's praises.

That's my rant for the day. I love downloading games, hate long wait times, and believe that a better solution needs to be found before people really embrace digital content. What do you think? Do you download now? If so, what are your thoughts, and if not, what would make you consider switching to digital?

1 comment:

  1. The advent of digital downloading is fantastic for the gaming industry. That being said, I haven't purchased a release day game as of yet but are they having them available at 12:01am on the release date or is it not downloadable until later in the day?

    Also, the convenience factor is tremendous. It would be nice to get to a point where you wouldn't have to go out and track down a game that was just released (a problem I can remember having on several occasions) and having everything downloadable ASAP.

    The same can be said for most forms of entertainment. I can't tell you the last time I bought a CD and with the advent of Netflix, I find myself buying less and less movies each year. Nothing will replace the novelty of going to a theatre for a blockbuster film but the idea of renting a DVD or Blu-Ray seems ridiculous nowadays.