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The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

OK, maybe it's not the end of the world smile
However, a recent article on yahoo talks about how the PS4 and next gen Xbox may exclude used games, or may possibly not even use physical media. Although I personally think this is unlikely, the article is worth reading.

http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in … 39870.html

The article also says:

Think this worst-case scenario is that far off? Think again. It's already starting to happen. Every EA game sold for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 now has anti-used game components built in. New games ship with one-time use codes that give the original owner access to online game play and features. If you try and play one of these titles without the code on a different console or gamertag, it'll cost you extra to get online.

This is a good point. However, I don't think that's such a terrible thing. Basically, these codes are an incentive for people to purchase the game new (and spend more money). This is NOT the same thing as not being able to play a used game -rather, you simply lose out on some "exclusive bonuses". However, these said bonuses can of course come back in the GoTY edition, which many games seem to include. So, that does not bother me one bit.

Of course Sony hasn't confirmed any of these supposedly leaked details, but is it really out of the realm of possibility? The Vita is a prime example of the company's piracy paranoia. It's locked down and vacuum-sealed, made painfully apparent by how tedious it is doing trivial things like transferring files between device and computer. The reason for all the red tape? To combat piracy.

Perhaps, but if you can still play used games on it, I don't really care how difficult it is to transfer files from the computer etc.

This week's PS4 rumor suggests that all games would be tied to a single PSN ID -- so could one sign into their ID on a friend's console thus allowing the "sharing" of the game? We just don't know yet.

I don't like this one bit. At least, the notion that you have to login to play a game. Again, I don't think that will happen, at least not for all games. I can certainly see it for any MMORPG, but if that were to be the case for all games, then I would simply stop purchasing games. Again, I don't think that will happen, and I do think the article raises good points about the future of gaming.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

I am completely against all of that, and the implications thereof. I'm sure you all know I'm stuck in my ways, but you can't blame me since the SNES/PS1 gaming era was so good! It's nice to know that I'll always be able to go to a thrift store or a flea market and buy SNES games for $3 without worrying about online activation codes or having to pay an extra fee since someone else owned that game before me. Long live crappy sprites and low-res polygons.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

There will always be a market for physical media. It may simply come down to a collectors type thing in the future but the demand will always be there. See: Vinyl.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

I posted about this in one of vert's threads... [extra comment deleted]. I barely touch my PS3 as it is (I only got it for the backwards compatibility; I have four PS3 games [three were gifts] I haven't touched) so if they want to do this and pretty much guarantee the fact I won't buy the system because of it let them do it. It's like them revamping Castlevania; I'm not going to lose any sleep over it because I'm not interested.

Still, I'm all for anything that hurts Gamestop... but this would hurt the independent mom and pop shop I get my older games from. I would hate to see that.

Edit:

In the end, just copy and paste what Zane said here as well. I'm not terribly interested in what modern games have to offer anyway... stuck in the past never felt so fine.

Last edited by Ashley Winchester (Apr 3, 2012)

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

jb wrote:

There will always be a market for physical media. It may simply come down to a collectors type thing in the future but the demand will always be there. See: Vinyl.

Vinyl is not a great example because it is really hard to distribute it digitally. I wish I could buy good vinyl rips from the iTunes store. Usually when people buy a record, usually the intent is to listen to it, not rip it and shelve it.

CD's might be a better example, as they are more commonly ripped and distributed (but still collected) but yes, I agree with what you said.

I think the end factor is cost here. I believe there is pressure to sell more copies to offset production costs and used games cut into those numbers. Or at the very least, publishers are thinking the used games cut into those numbers. Having the media downloadable saves money on the frontend as well, removing the packaging expense. If the perception is that gamers just want the games without the bells and whistles (like a smartphone app), they'll continue in this direction.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

It's not just the end of physical media. It's the end of ownership. You will no longer own games. You will be granted a license to access and play games according to the terms the publisher specifies. Can you imagine if car companies put biometric readers in every car they sold new so that if someone other than the original driver attempted to operate the vehicle they would have to pay for the car all over again?

Last edited by XLord007 (Apr 3, 2012)

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

XLord007 wrote:

It's not just the end of physical media. It's the end of ownership. You will no longer own games. You will be granted a license to access and play games according to the terms the publisher specifies. Can you imagine if car companies put biometric readers in every car they sold new so that if someone other than the original driver attempted to operate the vehicle they would have to pay for the car all over again?

Depends on the companies, I hope that there will be more places like GOG.com which will sell DRM-free games (even somewhat modern ones nowadays), which means that it's easy (and recommended by GOG.com) to backup the install files. Someone do the same for music (please let it be Bandcamp) please. And when that happens, with proper huge catalogues with older stuff, I'm happy to ditch physical media somewhat. At least I don't have to curse about lack of shelf space.

Thought, I would still like to get my books and manga in proper paper form, for some reason, reading those in digital way is just off putting. I want the feel and smell of those in my hands and nose.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

The US release of Warriors Orochi 3 on the PS3 is download-only.  At $50.  I ended up ordering the European version, which is a physical release for $60.

I prefer physical copies, but I understand that with devices like the iPad, digital downloads are going to be more and more common.  Honestly, the quality of the software is going to drive whether or not the transition to downloads is successful.  If Diablo III was released as a download-only game, I think a lot of people would complain and whine about it, and in the end, they will buy it anyway.

But one thing that never made sense to me is the idea that a digital item should cost the same as a physical release.  The content may be the same, but the manufacturer is collecting the retail price rather than the wholesale price, doesn't have to physically produce the media, and doesn't have to deal with inventory management and supply issues.  Meanwhile, the consumer gets a product that cannot be resold.  Lower costs for the manufacturer, less value for the consumer.  To me, that should translate to substantially lower costs.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Crash wrote:

The US release of Warriors Orochi 3 on the PS3 is download-only.  At $50.  I ended up ordering the European version, which is a physical release for $60.

I imported the European releases of Siren and the Ratchet & Clank mini sequel as well because I wanted a physical disc instead of download-only.  Ugh, I hate the future.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Crash wrote:

But one thing that never made sense to me is the idea that a digital item should cost the same as a physical release.  The content may be the same, but the manufacturer is collecting the retail price rather than the wholesale price, doesn't have to physically produce the media, and doesn't have to deal with inventory management and supply issues.  Meanwhile, the consumer gets a product that cannot be resold.  Lower costs for the manufacturer, less value for the consumer.  To me, that should translate to substantially lower costs.

I know why ($$$) but I fully agree. Consumer gets a lot less for the same amount of money.

Then again, $60 for a new game that is anything short of must-have is pretty appalling to me still. Definitely not spending that on a digital copy.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

I just finished reading a few books (Eon and Eternity by Greg Bear) about a city full of digital people. Even those that chose to remain physical sent out digital representations of themselves (partials) to conduct business. All this talk about video games going digital is easy to deal with mentally, financially, and emotionally. But not socially. This is where I see a problem. Unless we're all digital, just like the games.

Maybe in my lifetime I'll be able to experience one of my dreams from my teenage years. I always thought it would be fun to play DOOM for real. To actually go there, smell the demons, slip in their guts, dodge the fireballs, shoot the barrels. Of course, I'd send one of my partials in.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

GoldfishX wrote:

Then again, $60 for a new game that is anything short of must-have is pretty appalling to me still.

Am I the only person whose hobby is video games who remembers that this was the normal price (or on the LOW end) for video games before the PS1?  And who realizes that game development costs have gone up AND there's this little thing called inflation?  I mean I'm as much of a cheapass as anybody else (Xenoblade is the first time I'm paying full price for a game in ages) but the constant harping on how much games cost (by everyone on the internet - I'm not singling you out here, GoldfishX) seems a little... misguided?  Take a look at that thread on neogaf of all the developers - and lots of good ones - that have been forced out of business since the beginning of the HD generation.  If consumers continue to demand ridiculous graphics the costs certainly aren't going to go down and the notion that game prices can't go up is going to end up hurting the industry.

To be fair I'm totally in favor of stopping the graphical arms race because I'd much rather still have companies like Hudson around than have super shiny coats of new paint on boring military shooters but that's a whooooooooole other argument.

*edit - fixed double negative.  Dur.

Last edited by Qui-Gon Joe (Apr 6, 2012)

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:
GoldfishX wrote:

Then again, $60 for a new game that is anything short of must-have is pretty appalling to me still.

Am I the only person whose hobby is video games who remembers that this was the normal price (or on the LOW end) for video games before the PS1?

I remember NES carts selling for $45-50 new, but I would usually wait for Toys R Us to do one of their $19.88 sales unless it was a particularly desirable game. Also, Phantasy Star IV was a ridiculous $74 new, but someone else bought it, beat it, and pawned it and I was able to pick it up with the (somewhat useless) strategy guide for $35.

These days I usually wait for "Greatest Hits" versions and price drops. Rock Band 3 came down in price from ~$50-60 to ~$20-30 after six months, and Rock Band 2 still fulfilled my fake drumming fix during that time smile

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

Am I the only person whose hobby is video games who remembers that this was the normal price (or on the LOW end) for video games before the PS1?  And who realizes that game development costs have gone up AND there's this little thing called inflation?  I mean I'm as much of a cheapass as anybody else (Xenoblade is the first time I'm paying full price for a game in ages) but the constant harping on how much games cost (by everyone on the internet - I'm not singling you out here, GoldfishX) seems a little... misguided?  Take a look at that thread on neogaf of all the developers - and lots of good ones - that have been forced out of business since the beginning of the HD generation.  If consumers continue to demand ridiculous graphics the costs certainly aren't going to go down and the notion that game prices can't go up is going to end up hurting the industry.

THANK you.
A bazillion times this.

We've been paying pretty much the same prices for ages now (I remember some SNES and N64 games being even notably MORE expensive, in the Netherlands at least, not to mention the crazy prices SNES games used to go for in Japan), and yet suddenly for some reason people won't take it anymore, even though they're getting A HELLUVALOT more bang for their buck than they used to.
Moreover, the people who were children then are grown-ups with their own incomes now, so you should actually have MORE money to spend. I could only buy maybe 1 or 2 games a year when I was a wee lad, but I buy at least 2 a month nowadays.

People need to stop whining.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Amazingu wrote:

Moreover, the people who were children then are grown-ups with their own incomes now, so you should actually have MORE money to spend. I could only buy maybe 1 or 2 games a year when I was a wee lad, but I buy at least 2 a month nowadays.

When I was a kid, I would save up a week's worth of pay to pick one Super Nintendo game for $59.99 or $69.99 and I would play it for months. In time, a new game would come out that I really wanted, and I would save up more money and would follow suit with that title as well. If I picked up 3 games a year at $60 a piece, I would end up spending about $15 a month on video games. Now, if you're buying two $60 games a month you're spending eight times as much for games - not to mention the added costs of internet access, additional downloads/DLC, XBox Live membership, etc. That adds up to over $1,400 a year.

Now that we're adults, I look at your argument about having more money to spend in the complete opposite way. Instead of only having to worry about my piddly paper route income so I could buy video games and candy, now there are many other more important things that come up in life that demand my finances: groceries, rent, utility bills, car insurance/gas, etc. As much as I would love to live worry-free and not have to worry about that crap anymore, it's just impossible. (Even though the idea of living back at home playing video games all day with no responsibilities, no car, no relationship and no job is extremely inciting.) The way I look at $60 now is different than I did back when I was a kid, or even several years ago when I was still living at home, back when importing an OST for $50 felt normal (now it feels like highway robbery).

My appreciation and perspective of money (and of the money my parents spent on me when I was an unknowing kid) has changed, so I side with GX's viewpoints. $60 for a video game from my current perspective at this point in my life is just way too much to pay, even though I understand that games have consistently been in that general range when bought as new (especially in the cartridge days). I almost always purchase second-hand in general (always with video games), so I can't justify spending that much when I can go to a thrift store or a local game shop and spend $5 on a video game.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Indeed, with the fact there are so many more choices, adding on all the OLD choices, etc.

And yeah, back at the young age it was much easier to just enjoy a game for months. Granted you might say kids now should be able to, but....yeah I dunno.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Qui-Gon Joe wrote:

If consumers continue to demand ridiculous graphics the costs certainly aren't going to go down and the notion that game prices can't go up is going to end up hurting the industry.

F--- graphics. I get sick of the whole "realism" thing. The great thing about old games is even though you had a world presented in front of you you still had to use your flippin' imagination.

And sorry, I don't buy this as the gamer's fault. Sure, players demand things (and are complete graphics whores these days) but console developers control the technology and how much technology is "affordable" to make use of at the time. You don't have to go full throttle and make a $800 system when a $400 system will do. Didn't the Wii prove that? Uh... wait, that might not be the best example.... would have a year or two ago. The competition that comes with free interprise is what drives this s---... if a console maker didn't have a rival(s) the flow of technology would be easy to keep in check.

But seriously, I don't need every wisker on Solid Snake's face to be freaking rendered... at the rate they're going next they'll be showing me his asshair.

Last edited by Ashley Winchester (Apr 6, 2012)

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

I think prices for games these days are perfectly reasonable, because

1)they are less expensive than a few generations ago when inflation is taken into account
2)they are typically much longer and so you get more bang for your buck (although this does not make them more fun)
3)they will go down in price, so all you have to do is be a bit patient smile

That said, I think the real danger is having entirely digital releases. I feel that in such cases you (the consumer) never actually own the game. You're just renting it. If you're happy with that, then you are set. Myself, I like to actually own games I spend money on. Plus with digital copies they start charging you for this download, and that download, and yes they can do that for non-digital copies as add-ons, but when a game reaches GoTY status, it's often released with ALL downloads for free, on an extra disk or such. So anyway, that's how I feel.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

I think I was careful enough with my wording about games being $60 a pop to avoid it from being a general statement about the state of gaming today. My point was that ONLY the games that I consider must-have are worth paying that amount for and there simply aren't that many must-haves for me right now. One example: Bayonetta sure looked nice when I played the store demo, but I wouldn't have paid $60 for it.

To be perfectly blunt and quite negative, I think a lot of developers make really shitty and/or cookie cutter games and simply deserve to go out of business because they can't seem to make games that are worth my time or can successfully justify a full price tag of $60. Honestly, the only things I've really used my 360 for are the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, fighters (mostly Marvel vs Capcom 3) and neat stuff from Live Arcade. Very few actual retail games. And I've had the system for close to 5 years now.

Now then, let's assume there were games coming out that I considered must-haves. $60, given the cost of development and inflation, would be perfectly fine. Annoying, yes, but generally fine. Hell, who knows, maybe it might look good on a good HD TV down the line, that kinda shit might be worth paying for. And as I implied, I wouldn't be thrilled if I could only get a digital copy of an absolute must-have game at full price, but I would grin and bear it. However, the kicker is that games don't hold their value that well anymore and price drops happen quickly, seemingly to boost sales as soon as the full price stagnates. So there's even the temptation for people to wait a few months for an official price drop for games they actually want.

I look back at the Playstation 1 and just think how it steamrolled the competition by coming out with a library of games that were usually in the $40 range new, which the N64 obviously could not do. Playstation 3 and 360 libraries have enough trouble standing out from each other, I'm surprised one or the other hasn't pushed for lower prices to move more software pieces to try to gain an edge over the other. There is the Wii library, but...Yeah...

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

I thought this kind of thing was already taking place with current gen consoles. For example, your digital downloads on WiiWare, XBox Live, and PSN, you can't transfer those downloads to other people's consoles to play them, you can't distribute those amongst your friends.

QFT:

XLord007 wrote:

It's not just the end of physical media. It's the end of ownership. You will no longer own games. You will be granted a license to access and play games according to the terms the publisher specifies.

Foamy the Squirrel knows what's up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VEQ78WS … 4FTADaM%3D

QFT #2

Crash wrote:

But one thing that never made sense to me is the idea that a digital item should cost the same as a physical release.  The content may be the same, but the manufacturer is collecting the retail price rather than the wholesale price, doesn't have to physically produce the media, and doesn't have to deal with inventory management and supply issues.  Meanwhile, the consumer gets a product that cannot be resold.  Lower costs for the manufacturer, less value for the consumer.  To me, that should translate to substantially lower costs.

I say this same thing about music downloads, whether it's from iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, or what else is there out there?

Amazon MP3 charges about $7-8, maybe even more, for a digital album, when the print copy costs only $3 more. For $3 more, might as well just by the print copy, and rip it in whatever format I want.

Ashley Winchester wrote:

Still, I'm all for anything that hurts Gamestop... but this would hurt the independent mom and pop shop I get my older games from. I would hate to see that.

The Gamestops near me have desperate "Buy 2 used games, get 1 for free!" posters slapped all over their windows. I'm not too enthralled with Gamestop's practices either, but lost jobs are never anything to be glad about, unless that good labor is being diverted to worthier causes.

Amazingu wrote:

We've been paying pretty much the same prices for ages now (I remember some SNES and N64 games being even notably MORE expensive, in the Netherlands at least, not to mention the crazy prices SNES games used to go for in Japan), and yet suddenly for some reason people won't take it anymore, even though they're getting A HELLUVALOT more bang for their buck than they used to.

I think we got used to paying less for games during the PSX and PS2 eras, when the medium became cheaper to mass produce, versus cartridges, anyway.

For me, buying a PSX game $20 brand new was absolutely astounding when I first got the PSX, admittedly, 3 years into its life cycle.

As for games being expensive, let's face it: Gaming has always been kind of a "rich person's" hobby - if you have the kind of money to spend on this kind of stuff, and the amount of free time to actually partake of it, chances are, you or your family is/was rather wealthy.

Maybe I'm just a cormudgeny old person these days, but the way I think, I don't need to pay $60 to play a video game, especially given some of the games out there these days *cough*GenericFirstPersonShooterNumberOneMillion*cough*

Ashley Winchester wrote:

F--- graphics. I get sick of the whole "realism" thing. The great thing about old games is even though you had a world presented in front of you you still had to use your flippin' imagination.

I will say this about graphics: If they're stylistically unique, or surreal, or artsy, then it's worth it. But I don't need the world outside re-created in a video-game. I play video-games to get away from reality. But being able to tell what things are, or at least being able to get an impression of what something is, is always going to be positive for me.

Also, EA named worst company in America - but not for the reason you think: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57410 … ke-amends/

Last edited by Dartannian (Apr 8, 2012)

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

GoldfishX wrote:

However, the kicker is that games don't hold their value that well anymore and price drops happen quickly, seemingly to boost sales as soon as the full price stagnates.

You know, i brought up this exact point to someone and they said it was in my head because I don't buy newer ("newer" as in current generation) titles. That last part is true but games really DO seem do go down in price quicker these days. It seems a game has to be the s--- to maintain its value.

Last edited by Ashley Winchester (Apr 8, 2012)

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Ashley Winchester wrote:
GoldfishX wrote:

However, the kicker is that games don't hold their value that well anymore and price drops happen quickly, seemingly to boost sales as soon as the full price stagnates.

You know, i brought up this exact point to someone and they said it was in my head because I don't buy newer ("newer" as in current generation) titles. That last part is true but games really DO seem do go down in price quicker these days. It seems a game has to be the s--- to maintain its value.

I've been saying that since 2004, when the PS2 was still relevant. Games I purchased that Summer just plummeted in price - Front Mission 4, Rock Man X Command Mission, Samurai Legend Musashi to name just a few. Man, the crap I used to buy, and actually bothered to play through.

Last edited by Dartannian (Apr 8, 2012)

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Dartannian wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:
GoldfishX wrote:

However, the kicker is that games don't hold their value that well anymore and price drops happen quickly, seemingly to boost sales as soon as the full price stagnates.

You know, i brought up this exact point to someone and they said it was in my head because I don't buy newer ("newer" as in current generation) titles. That last part is true but games really DO seem do go down in price quicker these days. It seems a game has to be the s--- to maintain its value.

I've been saying that since 2004, when the PS2 was still relevant. Games I purchased that Summer just plummeted in price - Front Mission 4, Rock Man X Command Mission, Samurai Legend Musashi to name just a few. Man, the crap I used to buy, and actually bothered to play through.

I don't know if I'd call Mega Man X: Command Mission crap. Yeah, it's nothing more than a FFX clone but I thought it was done well enough beyond the story which was pretty disposable. I liked the soundtrack even though I wouldn't give it an A.

Now Samurai Legend Musashi's is a game I really won't bother defending... that game makes me pine for the PS1 original many times over.

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

Ashley Winchester wrote:
Dartannian wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:

You know, i brought up this exact point to someone and they said it was in my head because I don't buy newer ("newer" as in current generation) titles. That last part is true but games really DO seem do go down in price quicker these days. It seems a game has to be the s--- to maintain its value.

I've been saying that since 2004, when the PS2 was still relevant. Games I purchased that Summer just plummeted in price - Front Mission 4, Rock Man X Command Mission, Samurai Legend Musashi to name just a few. Man, the crap I used to buy, and actually bothered to play through.

I don't know if I'd call Mega Man X: Command Mission crap. Yeah, it's nothing more than a FFX clone but I thought it was done well enough beyond the story which was pretty disposable. I liked the soundtrack even though I wouldn't give it an A.

Now Samurai Legend Musashi's is a game I really won't bother defending... that game makes me pine for the PS1 original many times over.

Problem with Samurai Legend Musashi, S-E tried borrowing from FFVII too much. Gandrake Enterprises = Shin-Ra Inc. And the motorcycle chases in Samurai Legend Musashi weren't as gripping as the one motorcycle chase in FFVII. I remember the first motorcycle chase in Musashi was just a straight road through a tunnel; the one in FFVII was like a roller coaster ride! Otherwise, the action RPG platformer elements were essentially ripped from Kingdom Sharts, but done arguably better. Soundtrack was catchy, but the game, and especially its plot, were throw-aways.

Rock Man X Command Mission, was an okay RPG. But it got repetitive and monotonous if you tried to play as much in one sitting as you could, like I did. What really chewed my 'nads, though, was how it dropped half of its price by the time I actually got around to playing it. When you live on a fixed income like I do, a lost $20 is a $20 that could've been spent on another game. Or dinner. Or half a tank of gas.

That Summer was the Summer that I learned not to buy games when they first came out, unless they were limited prints, like some of the niche stuff Atlus releases.

(Wait, wasn't this topic about how physical media is dying out? How did we get talking about this?)

Last edited by Dartannian (Apr 10, 2012)

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Re: The End of the Physical Media is Coming! Repent Now!!

I was just thinking about the cost of games recently, and my conclusion is that these days the cost of games is by FAR the best it's ever been. The quality of games is also the best it's ever been.

For example, Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition... I don't know how long that takes to complete, maybe 80 hours your first play (or so I've read). The cost: $20. Twenty bucks for a game like that?! Back in the NES/SNES days, that would easily have been a $50-80 game, or more likely it would have had a small limited release and been sold out quickly and then you would sit at home moping since you can't find the blasted game!

Another example, who wants to be Batman? Well, the closest you can become is by playing Arkham Asylum, and it's an amazing experience. Truly cinematic, dark, gritty, and far superior to nearly anything and everything that Hollywood has done! Oh, and the GoTY edition is also in 3D (comes with glasses) and costs a whopping $20!

That said, to each their own what they find fun. Also, I do understand that although $20 is relatively cheap, there may be other goods/necessities people want to spend their money on. However, when all is said and then, I think we're living in very good times for people who like games, although there are of course downsides as well (I'm not going to go into details now). Also, as to why games can be so cheap, well producing a CD and the artwork, manual, is dirt cheap. Once a game sells enough copies and the companies make their money (and typically much more) back, they can then lower the cost and/or release a GoTY edition. That said, even if you paid retail price ($60) for Batman or Dragon Age Origins, I think you're still getting an amazing deal.

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