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97 Comments

Microsoft Ready for Full 360 Downloads?

Molyneux risks everything by saying nothing.

Is Microsoft or GameStop going to kill Peter Molyneux...to death? Probably not, but if the man behind Fable II is implying that Microsoft is getting ready to distribute full Xbox 360 titles over Xbox Live, well, his blood is not on my hands...that's all I'm saying.

Warning: Always Kill to Death.
In an interview with gamesindustry.biz, Molyneux stated that a digital release of Fable II "would be a great thing for this studio work on." Ok, sure, not so crazy. Fable III would also be a great thing for Lionhead Studios to work on. When further asked if any plans were in place to actually make Fable II available for download, Molyneux coyly responded:
I can't say anything else on it - I would be killed to death
Killed to death! That's worse than being killed to working on the Zune! This is definitely the stuff of speculation, but is it really that far-fetched? Microsoft already lets you download original Xbox games. You can also now install your 360 games entirely to your hard drive. It seems to me like Peter is a poor keeper of poor secrets.

So I leave it to you. Are you ready to pre-load Street Fighter IV and put an end to pre-orders and launch day shenanigans? Is the technology not there for this to work out happily for everyone? Give me shrink-wrap or give me killed to death? Vinny Caravella on Google+
97 Comments
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Posted by Verge

I'd like the option to do full game downloads, especially on the more popular stuff that I'm very unlikely to trade in and I'll be playing on a regular basis, Halo 3 being a good example.


But I could still see myself buying a physical disc for the majority of games for the following reasons: The 120gb hard drive seemed huge till I transferred my Rock Band 1 data and Installed Rock Band 2 along with all my DLC its nearly 9gb. Add to that some demos and other game installs and I easily brought it down to 50-60 in no time at all.

Another thing is that outside America people actually have download caps, the cap on my line is 30gb and its a decent speed and package where I live. I had to be careful what I bought on steam because its easy to break that 30gb with one or two large downloads.

And finally I'm still not too happy about how the 360 handles DRM, its all rosy while connected to live but gets a bit messy the second you bring your hard drive over to a friends place to show off a new game.

Posted by MonkeysDad

They'd need to be cheaper than boxed retail copies, for starters. If I'm losing the trade-in value of the game, I'd be lees inclined to put as much money upfront for a new title.

Posted by AspiringAndy

First they need to make Hard Drives cheaper for the 360 AND they need to improve internet in Australia.
This is kind of a foresight into how much lazier the human race are going to become,

Posted by Wright

Peter Molyneux can never die. His dog saves him every time.

Posted by Clockswork

Wow! I would LOVE that!

  • No more shipping = lower prices (maybe) and better for the enviorment
  • No more discs = More space in my room and no chanse of scratches
  • The comfort of buying games from my home, without waiting for shipping
Posted by Kush

I have no problem with full downloadable games...as long as it's just another option to buying retail copies, not instead of buying a physical copy.

Posted by Karmum

Would eliminate the problems of losing disks and them being scratched.

Posted by skrutop

One bonus of shrink wrapped copies...they go on sale.

Posted by geekpimpfx

Oh snap!  Gamestop is gonna be PISSED!  This could put an end to used games (assuming this distribution method was ever adopted exclusively), it could at least put a slow to what's going back to gamestop for trade.

I remember hearing Walmart, Gamestop, etc were mad about certain PS3 games being available for download (SOCOM, Warhawk), imagine if you could buy most or all new releases on line.  I'd love to have that ability!

Posted by Red

For PC games, I get it: I have a huge hard drive, I don't have any real restrictions, I can usually download faster than the 360....if I don't download it I'm stuck with a bunch of CDs...

For the 360 I just don't get it at all. I guess it may be because I've never pre-ordered from gamestop/midnight launched but just wait a day and get the game.

I just don't see how the whole Digital Distribution thing would work out OUTSIDE of the PC. Hard drives are too small, games are too big, too many official restrictions. 
Posted by dtran1212
Posted by Pibo47

Sephiroth9997 
on Dec. 10, 2008
I remember the last time i was killed; wasn't pretty.  Thankfully it wasn't to death.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nice.
Posted by DJDarkViper

I dunno, doens't feel right with 360... but then tis not that big a eal either, considering DVDs are upwards of only 8GB.

Thing is though, thats alot of bandwidth and a LONG wait time, and if anything gets screwed with your account its possible the digital signature can be lost forcing you to rebuy a title simply because you felt like cleaning up your harddrive to make room for something else one day.


Its a little mroe comfortable on bigger harddrives, but even im still wary about downloading full titles off PSN.

Posted by Otacon

Hard drives aren't at all big enough on consoles yet, it would be the same problem people are having with VC games on Wii.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

I like the idea, but I've got a measly 20 gig hard drive.  If it happens, I'll buy a new hard drive for it.  I live in a very rural area with no game shops, and digital downloads are a godsend.

Moderator
Posted by Nogert

Whatever, I prefer tangible copies with instructions, box art. A disc I can lend to my friends and a filled up shelf with my games collection.

Edited by Carlos1408

I don't know man, ive still only got a 20gb hard drive, so it's a bit early for me. It would be pretty cool, but what if your Xbox crashes or something, you could loose all those games, and even if you could re-download them it would still be a pain in the bum bum.
I do like having the physical copies though, it just feels more reliable and actually there.

Posted by crunchUK

dude i can't stand not having a box and a disk and an instruction manual in a nice small bag coming home from the games shop... downloads just don't cut it

Posted by F1

I would not even do that on my PS3 let alone my 360. I hardly have room for RB DLC! Actually I downloaded Burnout Paradise for PS3 through the PSN, but I had to move some of my music. I think it would be a good option for people who have the space. Better yet, they should make it so you can put it on an external HDD and go to a friends house and play there and so on.

Posted by AlucardaLaCarte

Downloading to dodge Gamestop's 20 minute spiel about preordering games or getting a game informer subscription or a Gamestop card for "only" however much they're charging...oops, looks like I've become the thing I hate!
Anyway I'd be down with this. Ever since they called my friend wondering if he wanted to sell his copy of Saint's Row a few years ago I've given up shopping there.

Posted by Zaapp1

I think it's got it's +s and -s, first - being that a 120GB 360 wouldn't hold anyone's whole game library (multiple hard drives, eck), and another that I enjoy the launch day events, congregating with other fellow local gamers.  The +s though, obviously, are the convenience of not getting up to change games and not going to a store to buy them...I'd be cool with it is what I'm saying.

Posted by HatKing

If they'd send me a box in the mail after I downloaded it I'd be happy.  I'm too proud of my DVD rack full of 360 games' cases to switch to downloading full games.  Not to mention most stores offer some sort of enticing bonus for going in to buy the game...circuit city almost always gives a free ten dollar gift card with new games.

Posted by BiggerBomb
Posted by DukeTogo

Make the hard drives bigger, cheaper, and possibly make the games in parts so one could say download part 1-4 and play the first few levels of the game while the rest was downloading.  Or possibly split the games.  Like CoD4 multiplayer is $30, and the campaign is $30, so if you only want one or the other you ca nbuy the part you want and maybe go back and grab the other later on.  Making the game initially cheaper for those that would otherwise not be able to buy the game at full price, but could then buy the other part when they got another $30 to spend.

Posted by NateDogg

I'm defiantely ready for it as I've used steam to make several purchases already..

The only thing I'll miss is having the physical box of a game on hand.. Something about the art on the box is always appealing to me.
Edited by manicproblematic

yes if this does happen then I will most certainly have to upgrade my hard drive to at least 60 gig... its probably not going to happen for a while though... 

 oh and yea peter is a total ledge!....(thats short for legend) !
Posted by Breadfan

Aside from the occasional Xbox Live Arcade games I buy, I prefer owning the actual product that I am paying for.  The same goes for music and movies.

Edited by TwoOneFive

edit: ya kno with gamesToP dickin over the entire industry, i can see why companies like MS and Sony would push for this in the future as the only way to get the games you want. they'd make their money. it could make the games cheaper too. 

Posted by Nicholas

Everyone knows you can only be killed. Killed by DEATH!

Posted by Stevokenevo

The reason why people still like their physical media is because they have become so attached to the disk being the source of the gameplay.  As soon as consoles have a download service as reliable as steam it should be an issue.  I personally have found that i no longer care as much about owning a physical copy.  I dont have the space to store it all in the real world.   Prediction!

Posted by Scooper

I preload games on steam so whatevs.

Posted by Godzilla_Sushi

My 20 GB just jumped out the window.....

Posted by dsplayer1010

Greatest thing this man has ever said

Edited by SmugDarkLoser
Branthog said:
"I couldn't care less about a physical disc. Physical media can be lost, destroyed or simply erode with time. How many of your CDs that have sat safely covered away somewhere still work flawlessly ten or more years later?


Umm... like all of them?  Quite literally every disk based game (meaning not those damn nes games) still work.  Okay, I lied.  Morrowind doesn't, but I played that to hell (granted I probably surpassed that with each halo and they work fine, but still).

Then all of my cds still work, even those that i found out of their case. 


What scares me about downloadable thigns is not being able to lend it to a friend, transfering it to another console (whether because you buy another or next gen's consoles), and really not having physical format

Seriously, what does downloading a game have over buying it for the consumer?  Maybe if your an absolute idiot who loses his game, but nothing besides that
Posted by piropeople13

Um, hard drive space.  And they rip people off for the hard drives.  M$ just wants more money from hard drive sales.

Posted by Dryker

This would be cool if, and only if, all the packaging and distributing cost were deducted from the price. I'm not paying $65 for media-free software. That would be milking us for all they could get. Games need to come down in price, big time. I would have spent a lot more money this holiday season if games weren't so expensive, but after weighing $65 with a possible passing interest in a game; I passed entirely. If I could get 2 or 3 games for $100, I would sooner spend $100 than just $65 on one game. Less money for each developer per title sold, but more money pumped into the industry as a whole. So, if downloadables were cheaper, cool. They would also need to guarantee access from a server for a set amount of time. I, for one, wouldn't want to store all those games at once. So, minus packaging and distribution cost, plus storage cost; equals our new cost for each game. I'd be cool with that.

Posted by GreggD

@Brym: That's just sad, my friend.

Posted by The_A_Drain

Sorry Mr. Molyneux, but it's lies! LIES I tell thee!
Give me Shrink Wrap or Kill me to Death please I will have none of these downloadable shenanigans.

Posted by Relys
Weesh said:
"Sounds like a pain."
Fixed.
Posted by TurboNinjaPanda

I don't see this happening until there is a console  that is specifically designed for this type of distribution.  The largest HD for the XBOX 360 is 120 GB.  Most of the game installs average about 6 GB.  So that gives you 20 games, if that was all you had on the HD (which would be impossible).  I have a hunch that this just will not cut it for most people.  I do think that Microsoft will do this for their next console however because it is the logical progression of things.  It is incredibly convient for the consumer as they can just download whatever games they want and have instant gratification (who doesn't like that?).  There is also no worry about having your disks broken/lost/stolen.  It allows them to cut out all of the middle men in the process.  Think about how much money is spent on disk and packaging production and shipping.  It would also cut out the vendors like best buy and gamestop, allowing the publishers to maximize their profits.  Again, who wouldn't like to see the evil Gamestop empire crumble?

There are downsides to all of this, of course.  The used games market would be killed instantly and that would probably hurt a gamer's ability to pick up older games for lower prices.  It would also cause a monopoly to form over the selling of the content, meaning that Microsoft could charge whatever they wanted for games and not have to worry about being undercut by competition.  So basically, there is good and bad to it like everything else in life, but I think that this is inevitable because it will mean more cash for the people who make and publish games.

Edited by Crusading_Poet
Here's the thing though what if you buy a game and then after a while don't like the game or don't play it anymore you won't be able to trade to Gamestop.  This will also effectively kill Gamestop except for actual hardware and accessory sales which I am sure is a small chunk of their business.  But I do believe this is the direction the industry is going.  The fact that people won't be able to trade their titles in will excite companies like EA who don't like the second hand game industry.  The only thing that is lacking is the space issue and I don't think the interface in the xbox system is up to it though this is possibly fixable through an update, however, the network I believe is.  I think this is a next-gen thing for Microsoft possibly more capable for the PS3 simply due to the larger hardrives and easy ability to upgrade those that are too small, though PS3 needs a serious network overhaul just so it is more user-friendly.  Also I could see them not completely going over to digital right away rather giving people the option of getting either or taking their time to get there; having their next console moves closer and then the next completely digital.  Really they will have to give a discount or some other incentive to purchase games this way.  Renting is a valid point that Xalax brought up and his method a very good one, though I would hate having no option of borrowing or loaning games to my friends.  Lastly, publishers will hate reducing the price of games since it cuts into profits and they won't save that much money to actually put a game on a disc.  And now that I'm closing I realize that the only thing that there really is to gain for the developers, publishers, and console makers is the second hand market going down the crapper.
Posted by WilliamRLBaker

Zune? thats all i read i love zune...

Posted by TheGreatGuero

I have like 2GB left, man. I just can't do it.

Posted by carlthenimrod
Psynapse said:
"Wow... That would be some pretty awesome stuff... If Microsoft released a 1TB HDD, then i might think about it... Until then i'll have my domino set of 360 games sitting on my shelf..."
I'd like a 1 TB HDD for my 360, but it would probably cost $1500.00 being Microsoft and all.
Posted by REDRUN
Arkthemaniac said:
"People without the Elite are screwed on this prospect."
My Pro and Arcade (Jensen = Silky smooth and quiet) runs better than my RRoD twice Elite... its now making a loud fan noise. I can detect a third failure coming.

My advice, Get an Arcade (new) and invest in a 120GB HDD (new or refurb). It runs circle arround the Elite... not rings, rings are bad. I hear rumors of a 320GB HDD on its way, someone fact check that for me please.
Posted by Eelcire

Interesting, but I hope the option remeains for either physical media or a digital copy (or if you get a digital copy that you are able to burn it to physical media yourself). I still appreciate getting a box and manual to my games. As with anything digital the big question remains, who really owns it and will it still be useable 5, 10 years down?

Posted by sgt_match

meh. as long as it isn't a replacement, it is a good idea. now I won't have to get my lazy ass over to wal mart if I want to play something new. I have a bunch of games installed already. we'll see... I might do it with one or two games. not my entire library.