The death of brick-and-mortar games stores?

Hi All,

Sorry for another gaming topic, but I thought this was interesting.

The other day at CES Sony announced Playstation Now ( http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/08/technology/sony-playstation-now-streaming/ ) which is PS1, PS2, and PS3 titles streamed to devices from the cloud (no consolei s required).

When the news hit, Gamestop shares plummeted ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2014/01/07/gamestop-plunges-after-sony-unveils-playstation-now-streaming-service/ ).

Now Gamestop are saying they want to sell PS Now subs, which sounds like a last gasp for Oxygen ( http://www.gamespot.com/articles/gamestop-wants-to-work-with-sony-to-sell-playstation-now/1100-6417016/ )

With the increase in digital games being sold on the PS Store, Steam etc…do we think stores are going away?

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I guess the Stream model competes more with stores. Do you think any game can be streamed? Would it be possible to stream 30 FPS with no lag and respond to user input instantly across the cloud? Buffering would not help.
So action games might still be locally installed and might need to be in some media.

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I would guess so, although it looks like the PS Now games are quite compressed based on the net connection. I am not sure which kind of magic they employ to do this, but I am curious to check it out.

I recall similar things being said about e-readers and the internet killing off book shops and librarys. In the fullness of time, they’ve just found their place in the market. I suspect this will be similar,

Equally, though, I recall similar things being said about Netflix and DVD rental shops and… indeed, DVD rental shops are all but dead. Blockbuster, who were massively dominant, shut down.

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Yes, but shops selling DVDs, as opposed to renting them have not gone away, neither have record shops.

I think that while shops offer an environment that adds to the overall experience of buying a game, and offers you something tangible that you can own (IE, the disk, the box & paraphernalia) and could resell later, there will be games stores. There may be fewer of them, and the little guys will have to fight hard against the chains. But that’s commerce in general.

Not yet. Give it time… :slight_smile:

If we use the music industry as a projection, it’d seem not! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/19/official_british_music_punter_still_loves_physical_things/

Agreed. Look at the backlash when Microsoft wanted to move to a digital-first model for the Xbox One.

Game streaming will be nice when you want to try a game out for an hour or two without having to download 20 gig of assets, but unless there’s a PSNow datacentre sitting in their garden, “hardcore” gamers who care about shit like lag will avoid streaming like the plague.

Digital downloads are a slightly more precarious proposition for games versus music or movies, especially given the massive size of titles for the now-current-gen platforms. Were I on a capped Internet connection (which, thank the Maker, I’m not, but many people still are), my downloads of Battlefield 4, Forza 5 and FIFA 14 for my Xbox One would have killed my cap, and then some. Sometimes it’s still nice to be able to walk into a store round the corner from home, pick up a game, and be playing it 10 minutes later.

Also: backups.

However, when you put the disc in and then it downloaded fixes which amount to about the size of the whole game, that would have killed your cap too, especially when it did it the next time you played as well, and the time after that.

True dat. IME though, digital downloads on consoles rarely send you the latest version on purchase, you get the “stock” image, then the updates appear on first run.

really? They don’t rebase the downloadable image? How very annoying!

I love my local Game Stop. That being said, I think it’s swan-song is being written right now. I hope that they can update their model but it might be something to have it bought out by like Radio Shack and pulled into the fold of some company or a merger of gamefly and gamestop for streaming the latest games. (This coming from someone who still plays Eye of the Beholder in DOSBox)

Yeah, it’s a pain in the arse. On the Xbox 360 at least. I’m pretty sure the PS3 did the same thing to me. Can’t speak for the Xbox One, as the games I got were launch titles, all digital downloads and bought/installed either on launch day or by the end of the week. Any updates thereafter have been magically installed in the background. Love it :slight_smile:

Yep, my PS3 certainly does that.

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