Is DD only a potential Monopoly on Consoles?

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#1 Edited by Star67 (4296 posts) -

Maybe this is a stupid question, but I had this thought the other day.

So yes I was watching ReviewTech USA on YouTube (Yes I know.....) but any ways the guy was ranting about gamestop going out of business, and how that they failed to adapt to a digital market and PC and console are going all digital in the future...and there's no stopping it.

But it got me thinking..on PC there are a handful of online Digital Stores like Steam, Origin, and Windows store competing to sell digital games.

But what about consoles? For Switch there's the Eshop, PS4 has the PlayStation store. But there's no other way to download and play games on those systems....right now I can buy the physical game at a store or online....So there's competition.

But what's the competition for an all DD console? Download cards at Walmart? Is it something where a government has to step in and make the console manufacturer's open up their consoles a little more?

I'm just curious about this, I really don't want to have one option to buy games on a console.

EDIT*

Here's a little article that further explains the issue

http://criticalcoins.com/industry/a-disc-less-xbox-one-is-the-path-to-a-platform-monopoly/

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#2 Edited by GarGx1 (10547 posts) -

It depends on how and if third party developers are forced to sell their games through Sony/Xbox/Nintendo or if they can also sell through another third party sellers. It still wouldn't necessarily be a monopoly though as the competition comes from the other manufacturers, especially with multi-platform games.

As for the first party games, they can sell them any way they want, they have no obligation to allow others to profit from them through third party seller fees. They are also free to charge what ever they want to and no one can do a thing about it, other than not give them any money.

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#3 Edited by Blackhairedhero (2339 posts) -

The publisher would still get their money so it's not a monopoly. Sony doesn't really compete with Walmart for an example they get their cut regardless

Although honestly an all Digital future wont be happening any time soon.

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#4 Edited by Star67 (4296 posts) -

@GarGx1 said:

It depends on how and if third party developers are forced to sell their games through Sony/Xbox/Nintendo or if they can also sell through another third party sellers. It still wouldn't necessarily be a monopoly though as the competition comes from the other manufacturers, especially with multi-platform games.

As for the first party games, they can sell them any way they want, they have no obligation to allow others to profit from them through third party seller fees. They are also free to charge what ever they want to and no one can do a thing about it, other than not give them any money.

But the competition only comes from the hardware side of things then, if I have a DD only PS4 and want to play Battlefield going out to buy an xbox to play battlefield really isn't competition for the software purchase.....Sony controls the distribution and access to the store

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#5 Posted by GarGx1 (10547 posts) -
@Star67 said:
@GarGx1 said:

It depends on how and if third party developers are forced to sell their games through Sony/Xbox/Nintendo or if they can also sell through another third party sellers. It still wouldn't necessarily be a monopoly though as the competition comes from the other manufacturers, especially with multi-platform games.

As for the first party games, they can sell them any way they want, they have no obligation to allow others to profit from them through third party seller fees. They are also free to charge what ever they want to and no one can do a thing about it, other than not give them any money.

But the competition only comes from the hardware side of things then, if I have a DD only PS4 and want to play Battlefield going out to buy an xbox to play battlefield really isn't competition for the software purchase.....Sony controls the distribution and access to the store

Battlefield, like most games, is a multi-platform, and the price is actually dictated by the publisher not the store. Besides wouldn't the price of games affect your decision when buying a new console?

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#6 Posted by General_Solo76 (492 posts) -

I’m already prepared to go completely retro if digital distribution is the only option in the future. I’m not going to actively participate in new games and systems if that’s the case. There’s plenty of awesome retro games and systems for me to play and collect if that time ever comes

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#7 Edited by Star67 (4296 posts) -

@GarGx1 said:
@Star67 said:
@GarGx1 said:

It depends on how and if third party developers are forced to sell their games through Sony/Xbox/Nintendo or if they can also sell through another third party sellers. It still wouldn't necessarily be a monopoly though as the competition comes from the other manufacturers, especially with multi-platform games.

As for the first party games, they can sell them any way they want, they have no obligation to allow others to profit from them through third party seller fees. They are also free to charge what ever they want to and no one can do a thing about it, other than not give them any money.

But the competition only comes from the hardware side of things then, if I have a DD only PS4 and want to play Battlefield going out to buy an xbox to play battlefield really isn't competition for the software purchase.....Sony controls the distribution and access to the store

Battlefield, like most games, is a multi-platform, and the price is actually dictated by the publisher not the store. Besides wouldn't the price of games affect your decision when buying a new console?

No the price of games typically doesn't make a decision for me when I purchase a console, since the price is normally the same for all platforms.

But I'm not sure we are on the same page.

The danger here is that Sony or MS have an exclusive online store for access of gaming content, and yes even if the publisher sets the price, the store can still affect that price. For Example Sony or MS could easily change the cut they receive from game sales on their store. So what is the publisher to do? Go to a different console that has the same problem? This could keep the publisher from slashing the price of their game.

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#8 Posted by osan0 (15219 posts) -

basically yes. when you buy into a console you are buying into an eco system and a lot of vendor lock in. itll be up to 3rd party publishers to keep them honest (by removing or not supporting sales on a certain store if the manufacturer takes the piss) but if one console becomes dominant then that will be very difficult.

its not a console only problem. apple, google, MS (outside of xbox also), nvidia and so on do it. once they get people in using their stuff they want to make it as difficult as possible for people to get out.

ecosystem is the big thing in the technology world. its about synergy between services and devices: combining the power of the cloud with local computing to provide services to the market (or some such marketing BS anyway). they want you in (and ideally paying a monthly fee but there is more than 1 way to make money from users), they want you hooked and they want you stuck.

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#9 Posted by GarGx1 (10547 posts) -
@Star67 said:
@GarGx1 said:
@Star67 said:
@GarGx1 said:

It depends on how and if third party developers are forced to sell their games through Sony/Xbox/Nintendo or if they can also sell through another third party sellers. It still wouldn't necessarily be a monopoly though as the competition comes from the other manufacturers, especially with multi-platform games.

As for the first party games, they can sell them any way they want, they have no obligation to allow others to profit from them through third party seller fees. They are also free to charge what ever they want to and no one can do a thing about it, other than not give them any money.

But the competition only comes from the hardware side of things then, if I have a DD only PS4 and want to play Battlefield going out to buy an xbox to play battlefield really isn't competition for the software purchase.....Sony controls the distribution and access to the store

Battlefield, like most games, is a multi-platform, and the price is actually dictated by the publisher not the store. Besides wouldn't the price of games affect your decision when buying a new console?

No the price of games typically doesn't make a decision for me when I purchase a console, since the price is normally the same for all platforms.

But I'm not sure we are on the same page.

The danger here is that Sony or MS have an exclusive online store for access of gaming content, and yes even if the publisher sets the price, the store can still affect that price. For Example Sony or MS could easily change the cut they receive from game sales on their store. So what is the publisher to do? Go to a different console that has the same problem? This could keep the publisher from slashing the price of their game.

The only real thing we can use as a benchmark is Steam and it is always the publisher that sets the game price. The cut Valve receives is contractual and set at a percentage. So it would be up to the publishers to negotiate with the console store what percentage they receive per game sold and to set it as such, regardless of the game's selling price.

Do you honestly think that MS selling a popular game, let's say Call of Duty XV, for $60 would not stop Sony or Nintendo from selling it at $80? I think it would as it would definitely affect the decision around which console a consumer buys. If anything it could be a catalyst for a price war and drop the price of games in general.

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#10 Posted by Star67 (4296 posts) -

@GarGx1: I see your points, and yes Let's say if the Big 3 went all DD and you couldn't buy physical games anymore then yes those 3 exclusive stores would have to compete with each other on price for sure.

BUT there's been plenty of instances where a physical game at Best Buy or Gamestop has been cheaper than the DD version, I feel without multiple retailers or stores it can greatly diminish consumer choice and power; because you're essentially going from let's say hundreds of websites and stores to buy games to just 1 store on said console to buy games (Or 3 stores, one for each console)

But it is like a phone ecosystem, however Gamer's have had the luxury to at least purchase content out of an ecosystem, sadly it looks like we may be forced to

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#11 Edited by GarGx1 (10547 posts) -
@Star67 said:

@GarGx1: I see your points, and yes Let's say if the Big 3 went all DD and you couldn't buy physical games anymore then yes those 3 exclusive stores would have to compete with each other on price for sure.

BUT there's been plenty of instances where a physical game at Best Buy or Gamestop has been cheaper than the DD version, I feel without multiple retailers or stores it can greatly diminish consumer choice and power; because you're essentially going from let's say hundreds of websites and stores to buy games to just 1 store on said console to buy games (Or 3 stores, one for each console)

But it is like a phone ecosystem, however Gamer's have had the luxury to at least purchase content out of an ecosystem, sadly it looks like we may be forced to

I actually largely agree with you, more stores are extremely important. To be really consumer friendly they should sell download keys to retailers (both digital and brick and mortar shops) as they do with physical games and allow the market to run the way it normally does, the only major difference would be the delivery method. If that was the case, another benefit console gamers would potentially gain from this could be the ability to buy games from Key sites, such as Greenman gaming, where prices are nearly always much lower than the publisher store/Steam.