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The Dreamcast Collection is a reminder that you have a choice…

March 9, 2011

While it is entirely understandable that Sega could’ve and should’ve put more effort into this collection, because 4 games is too little for a collection of this magnitude. Perhaps most insulting of all, is that it’s just a compilation of titles that had been previously released on Xbox Live Arcade and PSN, but let me make a case about why Sega had the very least gave gamers a choice and I will in this piece argue the little nagging aspect that I dislike about the whole digital distribution and why it’s probably not a good idea to shake your fist over Gamestop, GAME and other retailer’s bussiness practices.

The games industry follows roughly the same marketplace guidelines as everyone else, in doing, it is important to stress out that choice must be part of the equation.

First, the most obvious statement should be pointed out: To purchase each game from this collection individually through digital channels and download them,  will actually cost more than just buying this boxed compilation. It saves you hard disk space, that you could use for something else, like other XBLA/PSN games that might never get a boxed release and it saves you money.

However, if you don’t want another DVD-sized game case clogging your shelf, you still have the digital download choice, regardless.

With so much talk of a gaming future with digital media and no physical support sounds like a dream scenario, however, it doesn’t quite pan out that way. One could say that a video game retailer is nothing but an expendable middle-man and you might even be so bold to say how much better would it be to just get the game directly from the publisher hassle free, in abstract sense it sounds like a good idea, but not as great as you imagine when it’s applied to reality.

 

Snapshots from the GAME store: PC Download version above, PC boxed version below

With many stores selling physical copies of games, it is remarkably easy to get a game with the lowest possible price at any given time and when you include used copies the amount of choice you have becomes even larger. When things go digital, however, you, the buyer, lose all barganing power and you either comform with whatever price the publisher demands or you get nothing. The other aspect is that you cannot do anything with your game, it is not refundable and because of general DRM rules you cannot simply transfer content to someone else without going through some hurldes.

You might be lucky and score a good game for a very low price via a discount, but that doesn’t come around as often as you might think, whereas game stores often times have markdown and deals every monday or so.

Long story short, taking out the middle-man in this industry might not be such a glamarous idea when you actually think things through.

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