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Microsoft readies games-on-demand for Xbox 360

Microsoft readies games-on-demand for Xbox 360

Microsoft unveiled the games-on-demand service at E3 2009, though it was a bit overshadowed by Natal.

Microsoft is getting ready to launch the new games-on-demand service for the Xbox 360, the first step of which has been to rebrand the existing Xbox Originals service on the official Xbox.com website.

The games-on-demand service will let Xbox 360 gamers download full Xbox 360 titles to their hard drives for a fee and was unveiled at E3 2009 - though the announcement was a bit overshadowed by Microsoft's Project Natal. The new service has incorporated the existing Xbox Originals service too, which let gamers download titles from the previous generation.

Set to be fully unveiled in August, presumably in time for GamesCom, the launch line-up will include some of the most popular Xbox 360 titles of recent years, including BioShock, Assassin's Creed and Lego Star Wars.

Most exciting of all though, Microsoft has promised that at least one new game will be added to the online games library a week and that gamers will be able to pay for title with their credit or debit cards directly - no need for MS points.

"It's not going to be new games," said Microsoft's Shane Kim in an interview recently (via Eurogamer). "We did it with Xbox Originals and now we're expanding that to Xbox 360 games for the first time."

"They're bigger and more complex and there's a whole bunch of business-related issues that we have to work out there if we wanted to start going day-and-date with new releases."

What do you think to the idea of owning a digital version of a console game? What will happen when the new Xbox model launches? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

28 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Jamie 19th June 2009, 17:24 Quote
"business-related issues" aka piracy?
mikeuk2004 19th June 2009, 17:36 Quote
Wow, they are finally following sony in releasing full games on download with real prices and none of that points crap.

When will they scrap the points all together?
supaste 19th June 2009, 19:20 Quote
Sooner rather than later i hope. I hate having to buy points.
choupolo 19th June 2009, 19:23 Quote
As well, I think by "business-related issues" he maybe referring to the fact that retail stores would go ape. Old games dont matter at the moment since most would buy second hand, rent or download than buy new.

Digital distribution is the future though - the high street shops better have a contingency plan.

Also I'm with mike on the MS points - never bought a thing with them since I would have to buy the points in bulk and not just pay for what I want. So unfortunately that has put me off all DLC, themes, pictures, films etc on the X360 so far.
lewchenko 19th June 2009, 19:32 Quote
Good idea, should have done it ages ago.

The only problem will be pricing.. the games will be just as expensive as the retail shops like GAME (but more convenient to buy if you want it there and then), and more expensive than amazon / play etc.

Just like Steam really.. A wasted opportunity really, as every game Ive bought recently has either been from Tesco or Amazon... Steam/GAME retail are just too expensive. Cant see this being that different... especially if they are planning to put older games up there like Bioshock, which I think I picked up for £10 !
samkiller42 19th June 2009, 20:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeuk2004
Wow, they are finally following sony in releasing full games on download with real prices and none of that points crap.

When will they scrap the points all together?

I'm sorry Mike, but PSN is awfull, theres only 2 or 3 full PS3 titles on it, and the amount of choice is soo limiting it's un-real, kinda why i stick to my PC for games, use the PS3 for Blu-Ray.
I'm happy that companies are pushing for Digital Distribution, but i prefer a hard copy of something like a Game/film etc, so as long as there is a choice, i'm happy.

Sam
LeMaltor 19th June 2009, 21:21 Quote
How big is my 360 HDD for all these games I'm going to download?
p3n 19th June 2009, 22:02 Quote
More bandwidth for BT to complain about!
proxymoron 19th June 2009, 22:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewchenko

Just like Steam really.. A wasted opportunity really, as every game Ive bought recently has either been from Tesco or Amazon... Steam/GAME retail are just too expensive. Cant see this being that different... especially if they are planning to put older games up there like Bioshock, which I think I picked up for £10 !

I got Bioshock for £3.49 in the Steam sale at Christmas, so it's not always the case that Steam is more expensive than shops.
Veles 19th June 2009, 23:34 Quote
I'd only consider buying them if the prices are cheap, if it's anything like the DLC, it will be high and stay high, I imagine it will be full RRP, so for things like Dead Rising you could expect to pay £20.
sui_winbolo 20th June 2009, 04:45 Quote
Yay! If I delete some stuff off my hard drive I can fit one 360 game! Awesome!! /sarcasm.

Microsoft needs to allow user replaceable HDDs. My 20GB HDD is not big enough for anything, and because I have the Halo edition Xbox, a new HDD won't match. I will have to swap the HDD caddies. Which isn't a big deal sure, but I'd rather pay < $100 and get a 500GB HDD. I could download all I want and not have to worry about running out of space.

That is the only thing I hate about the 360. Limited HDD space.
Dreaming 20th June 2009, 07:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sui_winbolo
Yay! If I delete some stuff off my hard drive I can fit one 360 game! Awesome!! /sarcasm.

Microsoft needs to allow user replaceable HDDs. My 20GB HDD is not big enough for anything, and because I have the Halo edition Xbox, a new HDD won't match. I will have to swap the HDD caddies. Which isn't a big deal sure, but I'd rather pay < $100 and get a 500GB HDD. I could download all I want and not have to worry about running out of space.

That is the only thing I hate about the 360. Limited HDD space.

USB Hard disk perhaps?

Also, good on Microsoft, it's a step in the right direction.
pimlicosound 20th June 2009, 10:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming
Quote:
Originally Posted by sui_winbolo
Yay! If I delete some stuff off my hard drive I can fit one 360 game! Awesome!! /sarcasm.

Microsoft needs to allow user replaceable HDDs. My 20GB HDD is not big enough for anything, and because I have the Halo edition Xbox, a new HDD won't match. I will have to swap the HDD caddies. Which isn't a big deal sure, but I'd rather pay < $100 and get a 500GB HDD. I could download all I want and not have to worry about running out of space.

That is the only thing I hate about the 360. Limited HDD space.

USB Hard disk perhaps?

Also, good on Microsoft, it's a step in the right direction.

You can't install games on an external hard disk.
Veles 20th June 2009, 11:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sui_winbolo
Yay! If I delete some stuff off my hard drive I can fit one 360 game! Awesome!! /sarcasm.

Microsoft needs to allow user replaceable HDDs. My 20GB HDD is not big enough for anything, and because I have the Halo edition Xbox, a new HDD won't match. I will have to swap the HDD caddies. Which isn't a big deal sure, but I'd rather pay < $100 and get a 500GB HDD. I could download all I want and not have to worry about running out of space.

That is the only thing I hate about the 360. Limited HDD space.

You can buy a specific 120Gb laptop drive, do a bit of do-hickery and put it in the caddy you have and have a 120gb halo edition hard drive for as cheap as you can find this drive. There are several guides around the internets about how to do it.
sui_winbolo 20th June 2009, 15:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
You can buy a specific 120Gb laptop drive, do a bit of do-hickery and put it in the caddy you have and have a 120gb halo edition hard drive for as cheap as you can find this drive. There are several guides around the internets about how to do it.

Okay, this is exactly something I always wondered!

I'm going to Google it later. Did you read any of the guides? Isn't there software you can use to transfer your data from your old HDD to the new one via a computer and a sata to usb adapter?

I think I remember seeing the software, but I never saw a guide on swapping in your own 120GB HDD.
mikeuk2004 20th June 2009, 16:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
I'm sorry Mike, but PSN is awfull, theres only 2 or 3 full PS3 titles on it, and the amount of choice is soo limiting it's un-real, kinda why i stick to my PC for games, use the PS3 for Blu-Ray.
I'm happy that companies are pushing for Digital Distribution, but i prefer a hard copy of something like a Game/film etc, so as long as there is a choice, i'm happy.

Sam


Technically PSN does not have limited games because it caters for PS3 and PSP. There are more than 3 Full retail games for PS3 and alot of Full retail games for PSP which Sony is currently in the stages of releasing all PSP games on the PSN.

Anyhow, we are talking about the proposed changes to Xbox live here. PSN and Xbox live both have their bad points, however some of the good points of PSN are real prices and full Retail games.

MS are taking the good parts from PSN to improve on the bad points of Xbox live which is a great thing. Real prices and full retail games will improve xbox live. You dont use points on steam do you? Dont know about you but I want to know exactly what im buying costs

I would like to have the option to buy the odd full retail game on 360 (if reasonably priced) However I wish MS will unlock the darn hard disk too and allow you to switch it for any laptop drive so that if I do buy alot of games, I can fit them on my Disc.

MS have avoided full retail games because Core/Arcade users wont benefit. If only they didn’t bother with those options and removed the file limit for developers.
DarkLord7854 21st June 2009, 01:36 Quote
Wish they could allow you to "rent" a game for an hour or two, or for a certain percentage of the game storyline, so you can test out whether you like it or not, if you do, then you pay the remainder of the price (minus the price you paid to "rent" it) and continue playing.
Zider 21st June 2009, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sui_winbolo
Yay! If I delete some stuff off my hard drive I can fit one 360 game! Awesome!! /sarcasm.

Microsoft needs to allow user replaceable HDDs. My 20GB HDD is not big enough for anything, and because I have the Halo edition Xbox, a new HDD won't match. I will have to swap the HDD caddies. Which isn't a big deal sure, but I'd rather pay < $100 and get a 500GB HDD. I could download all I want and not have to worry about running out of space.

That is the only thing I hate about the 360. Limited HDD space.

Same here, I have a 120GB drive and it's pretty much filled up. They should at least offer larger drives, and lower their insanely high prices. Possibility of replacing/upgrading the drive with whatever you want would be even more ideal tho.
mikeuk2004 21st June 2009, 18:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
Wish they could allow you to "rent" a game for an hour or two, or for a certain percentage of the game storyline, so you can test out whether you like it or not, if you do, then you pay the remainder of the price (minus the price you paid to "rent" it) and continue playing.

Demos? or you mean like shareware.
DarkLord7854 21st June 2009, 19:21 Quote
Not all games give demos and sometimes the demos barely show off anything, so yea, more like shareware I suppose.
sui_winbolo 21st June 2009, 20:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zider
Same here, I have a 120GB drive and it's pretty much filled up. They should at least offer larger drives, and lower their insanely high prices. Possibility of replacing/upgrading the drive with whatever you want would be even more ideal tho.

Oh wow, whats taking up most of your space on your HDD?
Chocobollz 22nd June 2009, 08:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sui_winbolo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zider
Same here, I have a 120GB drive and it's pretty much filled up. They should at least offer larger drives, and lower their insanely high prices. Possibility of replacing/upgrading the drive with whatever you want would be even more ideal tho.

Oh wow, whats taking up most of your space on your HDD?

It's porn I believe :P
Veles 22nd June 2009, 13:22 Quote
Here's how to it: http://www.pcworld.com/article/150970-2/upgrade_your_xbox_360s_hard_drive_on_the_cheap.html

Takes a bit of effort but you can have a 120Gb hard drive for only £30 or so.
DougEdey 22nd June 2009, 13:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
"business-related issues" aka piracy?

Nope, prevention of 2nd hand game sales and rental
liratheal 22nd June 2009, 13:32 Quote
I wouldn't be at all shocked if a 'custom' 360 hdd got your live account banned at some stage in the future.

I've not seen it happen yet, but hell.

Weirder things have happened.
DarkLord7854 22nd June 2009, 13:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Here's how to it: http://www.pcworld.com/article/150970-2/upgrade_your_xbox_360s_hard_drive_on_the_cheap.html

Takes a bit of effort but you can have a 120Gb hard drive for only £30 or so.

Shame you can't put a 500Gbs :(
mikeuk2004 24th June 2009, 00:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Nope, prevention of 2nd hand game sales and rental

and to remove allcompetition and keep prices high for longer. If the only place you can buy a xbox 360 game is on xbox live, then there is no comptition and no reason to reduce prices.

Games in the high street reduce value very quickly because of the competition between retailers. MS want to eliminate competition and increase profits by removing the distributors and retailers from the equation and is why they want all games and media to be download only.
DougEdey 24th June 2009, 09:43 Quote
The biggest impact on the gaming industry is 2nd hand games, developers and publishers don't make ANY money here, Gamestops Q1 09 results back this up, new software down 2.8%, used up 31.9%. They make 48c on the dollar with used compared to 21c on new (yes, that's almost 50% profit)
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